The Allahabad High Court at Lucknow bench while allowing an application filed under Section 482 of the CrPC. has recently observed that Judicial Officers should not pass orders on a printed proforma without application of the judicial mind.

The Court had quashed a summoning order issued by a Magistrate in a criminal case.

A Single Bench of Justice Shamim Ahmed said, “… this Court finds and observes that the conduct of the judicial officers concerned in passing orders on printed proforma by filling up the blanks without application of judicial mind is objectionable and deserves to be deprecated. The summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a serious matter and the order must reflect that Magistrate had applied his mind to the facts as well as law applicable thereto …”

The Bench further said that the summoning order cannot be legally sustained as the Magistrate failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in him resulting in a miscarriage of justice.

“… the impugned summoning order was passed in mechanical manner without application of judicial mind and without satisfying himself as to which offence were prima-facie being made out against the applicants on the basis of the allegations made by the complainant. the impugned cognizance order passed by the learned Magistrate is against the settled judicial norms”, the Court held.

Advocate Siddharth Shanker Dubey appeared for the applicants while AGA Jan Laxmi Tiwari Senanai appeared for the State.

In this case, the applicants were booked for offences punishable under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC and Sections 16 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

The applicants prayed before the Court to quash the entire criminal proceedings of the case registered against them. They also prayed for the quashing of the chargesheet and summoning order.

The main issue for consideration before the Court was whether the Magistrate may summon the accused person on a printed proforma without assigning any reason and take cognizance of the police report filed under Section 173 of CrPC. The Court in this regard noted, “… a Court can take cognizance of an offence only when condition requisite for initiation of proceedings before it as set out in Chapter XIV of the Code are fulfilled. Otherwise, the Court does not obtain jurisdiction to try the offences under section 190 (1) of the Cr.P.C.”

The Court further asserted that it is explicitly clear that the order passed by the ASJ/POCSO-II, Raibareli is cryptic and does not stand the test of the law laid down by the Apex Court.

“The matter is remitted back to ASJ/POCSO-II Raibareli directing him to decide afresh the issue for taking cognizance and summoning the applicants and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law keeping in view the observations made by this Court as well as the direction contained in the judgments referred to above within a period of two months from the date of production of a copy of this order”, the Court directed.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the application and quashed the order.

Cause Title- Krishna Kumar and Others v. State of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home and 3 Others

Click here to read/download the Order