Directly In Conflict With Interim Order- Supreme Court Seeks Explanation From Magistrate On Detention Order
The Supreme Court has asked a judicial magistrate from Maharashtra to explain a detention order passed by him that was "standing directly in conflict" with the interim order of the Apex Court.
A Bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aniruddha Bose was dealing with an application filed by a man, who was sent to judicial custody by the magistrate in June despite the specific interim order of May 7 last year of the top court that he shall not be arrested in connection with the alleged cheating case.
The Bench took note of the submission made in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the state by the investigation officer which said that on June 18, 2022, the magistrate had suo motu issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the man and later, directed that he be remanded to judicial custody after he presented himself in court and filed an application for cancellation of the warrant.
"However, before saying anything further in the matter, we deem it appropriate to extend an opportunity of explanation to the magistrate who had passed the order dated June 24, 2022," the Bench said.
It said that copies of the orders passed by the Apex Court in the matter and a copy of the July 5 affidavit filed by the police inspector may be forwarded to the magistrate who had passed the June 24 order.
The Apex Court said the magistrate would be expected to submit the requisite explanation within a week of the receipt of the relevant papers.
"Taking note of the submissions as made in the counter affidavit dated July 5, 2022, filed by the police inspector...Latur, Maharashtra, we prima facie find that the magistrate who has dealt with the matter needs to explain the detention order passed by him qua the petitioner on June 24, 2022, which was standing directly in conflict with the interim order passed by this court," the Bench said in its order passed on July 13.
The Apex Court noted that on July 4, it had preliminarily taken note of the factual aspects and had indicated that the matter gave rise to questions on the bona fide of prosecuting agency as also on the understanding of the magistrate about the operation of the top court's orders.
The Bench has posted the matter for hearing after two weeks. The Apex Court had on July 4 termed it surprising that the police had obtained an NBW against the man, despite its specific interim order of May 7 last year.
In the counter affidavit filed in the Court, the police had said that they had neither sought the issuance of an NBW nor custody of the man. On July 7, the Bench had observed that on July 4 itself it had got the compliance report that the man was released.
The Bench was hearing an application which has pointed out the arrest of the man and sought orders for his release. In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the state, the investigation officer had said the petitioner was released around 6.30 pm on July 4.
The affidavit said that on June 18, 2022, the magistrate had suo motu issued an NBW against the petitioner returnable on June 23. It said when the investigation officer attended the court on June 23, he was informed that the petitioner had presented himself in court and had filed an application for cancellation of NBW.
The affidavit said the fact that the top court had granted interim protection to the petitioner was also brought to the notice of the magistrate, who rejected the application and remanded him to judicial custody.
The petitioner had last year filed a plea in the apex court against an order passed by the Bombay High Court rejecting his petition seeking anticipatory bail in a case registered for the alleged offences, including cheating, under the Indian Penal Code.
On May 7 last year, the top court, while hearing his plea, passed an order which said: "Issue notice, returnable in six weeks. Petitioner is at liberty to serve the standing counsel for the state of Maharashtra. In the meantime, the petitioner shall not be arrested in connection with FIR".
With PTI inputs