Says investigation lacked legal sanction of magistrate under Section 155 CrPC
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Monday quashed an FIR (First Information report) lodged against Principal Dental College Srinagar for procurement of dental machinery on exorbitant rates, on the ground that it lacked legal parameters.
The court also overturned an order passed by Special anti-Corruption Judge Srinagar on 13 August 2012 letting Vigilance Organization Kashmir (VOK) to investigate the matter.
The court held that the FIR as well as preliminary investigation lodged by Vigilance Organization Kashmir into procurement of dental machinery on exorbitant rates at Dental College in 2012 was illegal, as the investigation for offence under Section 120-B (2), without a sanction of magistrate under Section 155 Cr.P.C. was illegal.
In a 65 page judgement, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said that a magistrate is precluded from exercising his jurisdiction in any manner against a public servant in any criminal proceeding, not just under Criminal Procedure Code, as in absence of a valid sanction for prosecution and it attracts within its fold the proceedings under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“The Preliminary Verification must be carried out in the light of the direction of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in and investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act, is not laissez-aller (absence of restraint) but controlled by the mandatory provisions of Section 3 of the Act and there must be permission granted by the Magistrate to a designated police officer under Section 3 of the Jammu & Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 for commencement of investigation,” The judgement said.
“Therefore in exercise of the inherent powers under Section 561-A Cr.P.C. to secure the ends of justice, quash the order passed by the Special Judge Anti-Corruption, Srinagar, under Section 156(3) Criminal Procedure Code dated 13.08.2012, in FIR no. 33/2012 Police Station, Vigilance Organization Kashmir, as being without application of mind,” court concluded.
The petitioner, Principal Dental College Srinagar Dr Reyaz Farooq had challenged the FIR lodged against him stating that it lacked any valid ground.