The Supreme Court held that a petition filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing an order summoning the accused is maintainable.

The Magistrate in this case had made an inquiry as contemplated under Section 202 Cr.PC, and issued summons to the Secretary for abetment of suicide after a negative report was filed by the police. This summoning order was quashed by the Allahabad High Court.

Justice C. T. Ravikumar and Justice Rajesh Bindal observed, “There cannot be any doubt that once it is held that sine qua non for exercise of the power to issue summons is the subjective satisfaction “on the ground for proceeding further” while exercising the power to consider the legality of a summons issued by a Magistrate, certainly it is the duty of the Court to look into the question as to whether the learned Magistrate had applied his mind to form an opinion as to the existence of sufficient ground for proceeding further and in that regard to issue summons to face the trial for the offence concerned.

AOR Raj Kamal represented the appellant, while AOR Sakshi Kakkar appeared for the respondents.

The victim, who was working as a security Guard at Mandi Samiti, had committed suicide by consuming poison after leaving a suicide note attributing responsibility for the same on the respondent, who was the Secretary of the Mandi Samiti.

The complainant challenged the decision of the High Court where the Court invoked its power under Section 482 Cr.PC and quashed the order of the Magistrate with respect to issuing summons to the secretary.

The Court had to determine whether a summons issued by a Magistrate could be interfered with by a High Court in the exercise of the power under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

The Supreme Court clarified that the issuance of summons was a serious matter, and, therefore, should not be done mechanically and should be done only upon satisfaction on the ground for proceeding in the matter against a person concerned based on the materials collected during the inquiry.

The Court distinguished between the “existence of power” and “exercise of power” stating that a Magistrate was jurisdictionally competent to take cognizance and issue summons despite the receipt of the closure report.

Additionally, “taking cognizance, empowered under Section 190, Cr.PC, and issuing process, empowered under Section 204, Cr.PC, are different and distinct,” the Court elucidated.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: Vikas Chandra v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 261)


Appellant: AOR Raj Kamal; Advocates Maheen Pradhan, Aseem Atwal, Kartavya Batra, Anurag Chandra, Nupur Kaushik, Aprajita Tyagi and Muskan Sidana

Respondents: AOR Sakshi Kakkar and Praveen Chaturvedi; Advocates Ajay Singh, R Karthik and Shashidhar Tripathi

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