High Court says cannot scuttle investigations at ‘threshold’ stage

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday held that it is not proper to scuttle investigation at threshold stage while dismissing a plea seeking quashing of
anti-graft case.
It was recorded by the court that if the FIR/challan discloses the commission of offences, the High Court should not interfere with the investigation as it
would amount to stalling the investigation and jurisdiction of statutory authorities to exercise powers in accordance with the provisions of the code.
“This court has to only ascertain as to whether the allegations made in the challan/FIR do or do not disclose the commission of offences and if it does, then
it cannot be quashed at the threshold stage,” said the court of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing a petition seeking quashing of FIR and challan
filed by Vigilance Organisation of Kashmir (VOK).
The petitioners Gul Mohammad Ashraf Jalali and others had sought cancellation a case (FIR no 1/2007) filed by VOK, police station. It also sought quashing
the challan before special judge, anti-corruption, Anantnag on the basis which they said they were made scapegoats and unnecessarily harassed despite there
being nothing against them.
On 4 January, 2007, anti-graft body filed a case that substandard steel trusses were allegedly used in school buildings of various blocks in Anantnag. It
alleged that the works have been undertaken by the J&K SICOP through an industrial unit holder, Gousia Steel Industries and incorrect certificates were used
for releasing payment.
To this, the petitioners pleaded that no action has been taken against the officers who were actually involved in allotment of the work and release of the
payment and other certificates.
The Court of Anti-corruption, Srinagar in an order dated 16 July, 2012 while observing that only the petitioners have been made scapegoats and that the real
culprits had been let out, returned the entire challan to Vigilance Organization, Kashmir directing them to carry out a fresh investigation.
The petitioners alleged before the High Court that despite seven years having passed since then, no investigation has been carried out nor closed by the
The court of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while hearing the arguments of petitioner counsel AH Naik observed that the power under section 173 of the code is
to be exercised cautiously, carefully and sparingly. It said that the court has not to function as a court of appeal or revision.
According to the letter, the non-filing of GST has been “abysmally low as only 40 percent returns” have been filed so far.
He said the failure of non-payment has led to blockade of revenues (both cash and IGST settlements), as there is considerable dip in revenue collection for
the past three months.

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