10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

V. Rajaram Vs. State

MANU/SC/1626/2019

26.11.2019

Criminal

Public servant should have disobeyed any directions of law with intention to save any person from legal punishment in order to make out offence under Section 217 of IPC

Present appeals arise out of the judgment and order passed by the High Court by which the High Court set aside the order of acquittal passed by the Principal Sessions Judge, and convicted the Appellant-Accused No. 17 under Sections 217 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and 221 of IPC and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and four years respectively.

The point falling for consideration is whether the judgment of the trial Court qua the Appellant was perverse and whether there were substantial grounds for the High Court to reverse the order of acquittal of the Appellant recorded by the trial court and convict the Appellant for the offences punishable under Sections 217 of IPC and 221 of IPC.

The Appellant has been convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 217 of IPC and 221 of IPC. At the relevant time, the Appellant was the Deputy Superintendent of Police of the jurisdictional Division. The allegation against the Appellant is that, he disobeyed the laws with intention to save the Accused from legal punishment and also intentionally allowed the Accused to escape from the place of occurrence and therefore, he is charged for the offences punishable under Sections 217 of IPC and 221 of IPC.

The evidence of PW-29 and Ex.-P82 clearly show that, PW-30-Additional Superintendent of Police was the officer In-charge of the security bandobust. The Appellant, who was the Deputy Superintendent of Police at the relevant time was under the supervision and control of PW-30. In his evidence, PW-30 has not stated anything about the Appellant having disobeyed his orders. In order to attract the ingredients of Section 217 of IPC, there should have been disobedience of the direction of law with intention to save the Accused. The prosecution has not adduced any evidence to show that, the Appellant-Accused has disobeyed the direction of law or the direction of the superior officer-PW-30 or acted with the intention of saving the Accused.

One of the essential ingredients to make out the offence under Section 217 of IPC is that, the public servant should have disobeyed any directions of law with the intention to save any person from legal punishment. In the present case, there is no evidence to show that the Appellant has disobeyed the directions of any law. On the contrary, there is clear evidence to show that the Appellant, PW-1-Sub-Inspector of Police and other police personnel have used mild force against the miscreants and thus, chased them away to prevent any further untoward incident. Absolutely, there is no evidence to show that the Appellant did not obey the command of PW-30 or PW-29-Superintendent of Police who were present on the spot for issuing directions and commands. There is no evidence to prove that the Appellant omitted to do any act to sustain the conviction under Section 217 of IPC.

With regard to conviction under Section 221 of IPC is concerned, one of the essential ingredients of Section 221 of IPC is the intentional omission to apprehend a person or intentionally aiding such person to escape. PW-29-Superintendent of Police and PW-30-Additional Superintendent of Police who were present on the spot issued directions and accordingly, the Appellant acted. After the occurrence was over, PW-29 directed the Appellant to search for the Accused. Accordingly, the Appellant went in search of the Accused and arrested Accused. There is no evidence to show that, the Appellant intentionally omitted to apprehend the Accused on the spot to sustain the conviction under Section 221 of IPC.

Upon appreciation of evidence and considering the ingredients of Sections 217 and 221 of IPC, the trial court acquitted the Appellant. When the trial Court has recorded the finding that, the ingredients of Sections 217 and 221 of IPC are not made out which is a plausible view, the High Court could not have substituted its views with the conclusion of the trial court. The High Court was not right in reversing the order of acquittal passed by the trial court and the impugned judgment qua the Appellant is not sustainable and the Appellant is acquitted. In the result, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court convicting the Appellant-Accused No. 17 under Sections 217 of IPC and 221 of IPC are set aside and appeals are allowed.

Tags : Acquittal Reversal Legality

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