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Application of mind is a Sine Qua Non at the stage of Framing of Charges
Amit Luhach Vs State of NCT Delhi and Ors
About/from the judgment:
The Petitioners-accused, Amit Luhach, Akhilesh Yadav and Aditya Yadav, had contended that the impugned order on charge passed by the trial court assigned no reasons as to on what basis it had reached the conclusion that a prima facie case was made out against the Petitioners.
In this regard, the court clarified that there was no requirement in terms of Section 228 CrPC to record detailed and lengthy order if in the opinion of the trial court there was prima facie ground for proceeding against the accused.
"The order on charge should indicate that in the opinion of the trial court a prima facie case is made out against the petitioners. Such an order need not be a lengthy or detailed one."
However, he proceeded to state that even in such circumstances there must be some indication of application of mind by the trial court.
"The application of mind is sine qua non while at the stage of framing of charge," he said.
Reliance was placed on Mehmood Ul Rehman v. Khazir Mohammad Tunda & Ors., (2015) 12 SCC 420, wherein the Apex Court had ruled that there must be sufficient indication in the order passed by the Magistrate that he is satisfied that the allegations in the complaint constitute an offence, while taking cognizance.
"…the Magistrate is not to act as a post office in taking cognizance of each and every complaint filed before him and issue process as a matter of course. There must be sufficient indication in the order passed by the Magistrate that he is satisfied that the allegations in the complaint constitute an offence and when considered along with the statements recorded and the result of inquiry or report of investigation under Section 202 CrPC, if any, the accused is answerable before the criminal court, there is ground for proceeding against the accused under Section 204 CrPC, by issuing process for appearance."
Holding that the reasoning provided by the Supreme Court will also apply to the orders passed under Section 228 at the time of framing of charges, the high court set aside the impugned order and remanded it back to the trial court for consideration afresh.
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