24 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Delhi

Mamta Tyagi vs. State Of Delhi & Anr.

MANU/DE/4124/2022

20.10.2022

Criminal

Summoning of the accused in a criminal case is a serious matter and should not be resorted to as a matter of course

The Petitioner has preferred the present petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ("CrPC) for setting aside the impugned orders whereby vide order, the complaint under Section 200 of CrPC for summoning, trying and prosecuting the accused for the offence under Section 354 of Indian Penal Code ("IPC") was dismissed by the learned ACMM, and thereafter, vide order, the revision petition filed against the dismissal of the complaint was also dismissed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge.

Non examination of material witnesses, non production of alleged complaints made to authorities before lodging a complaint with the police, delay in lodging a complaint with the police which is unexplained, lack of sufficient details in the Petitioner’s testimony before the learned Magistrate, report of the Vigilance Inquiry Committee which after examining all witnesses came to the conclusion that charges of sexual harassment have not been established against Respondent No.2. It is not possible to hold that a prima facie case against the Respondent No.2 for summoning under Section 354 of IPC is made out in the absence of such evidence.

There is no denying that such incidents more often than not occur in isolation, away from public gaze where there are no eyewitnesses of the incident. But in the absence of direct evidence, the Court has to rely on circumstantial evidence. For establishing an offence under Section 354 of IPC, the culpable intention of the accused is the crux of the matter. However, in the present case, the intention or knowledge of the Respondent No.2 with respect to outraging the modesty of the petitioner has not been established either by direct evidence or by attending circumstances. It cannot be said that, the alleged act of the accused is sufficient to establish the essential ingredients of the offence punishable under Section 354 of IPC.

It has been time and again laid down by the Supreme Court that summoning of the accused in a criminal case is a serious matter and should not be resorted to as a matter of course. No material error, illegality and perversity has been pointed out in the order passed by the Courts below so as to warrant interference in exercise of powers under Section 482 of CrPC. The present petition stands dismissed accordingly.

Tags : Complaint Dismissal Legality

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