Bhisham Lal Verma  V State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr

On Monday, October 30, the Supreme Court ruled that a second petition filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 would not be maintainable due to reasons that may have been contested even at the time the first petition was filed.

While a second petition under S. 482 is not always prohibited, a bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sanjay Kumar noted that if the party had the right to relief in the first place, the plea would not be viable.

“It is not open to an aggrieved party to raise one plea after another by invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 Crpc, even though all of these pleas were very much available in the first instance. It is evident that there can be no blanket rule that a second petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. would not lie in any situation and that it would depend on the facts and circumstances of the individual case. allowing the filing of a follow-up petition in accordance with Section 482 Crpc. By submitting many petitions under Section 48 Crpc, regardless of when the reason for each petition has arisen, an astute accused might successfully postpone proceedings against him to suit his own interest and convenience if this principle is disregarded. Such abuse of process cannot be permitted” – Judgment authored by Justice Sanjay Sharma states.

According to the facts of the case, a complaint was filed by the Joint Director, State Urban Development Authority, Uttar Pradesh alleging irregularities in the construction of the toilet under the Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme and embezzlement of public funds by the person involved . In this regard, the Appellant was facing charges under the Indian Penal Code , 1860 and under Section 7 and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The Appellant first filed a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., wherein the order of the Uttar Pradesh government according sanction to prosecute the petitioner for the offenses alleged was challenged. The High Court disposed of this application granting liberty to the appellant to approach the trial court and challenge the sanction order.

Subsequently, the Appellant filed another application under Sec 482 Crpc praying for the quashing the charge sheet and the cognizance order. This was dismissed by the High Court holding that it was not open to the petitioner to go on challenging the proceeding one by one.

The Apex Court refused to interfere with the High Court, observing that at the time of filing of the first petition under Section 482 Crpc, the chargesheet was already on record and the Session Judge had already taken cognizance. However, the appellant had not challenged it at first instance.

In the case on hand, the filing of the chargesheet and the cognizance thereof by the court concerned were well before the filing of the first petition under Section 482 Crpc, wherein the challenge was made only to the sanction order. That being so, the petitioner was not at liberty to again invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in relation to the chargesheet and the cognizance order at a later point of time. The impugned order passed by the Allahabad High Court holding to this effect is, therefore incontrovertible on all courts and does not warrant interference .

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

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