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Mohd. Imran Vs. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) - (High Court of Delhi) (29 Mar 2022)

No judicial order is complete without reasons and it is expected that every Court, which passes an order should give reasons for the same



The present petition has been filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal procedure, 1973 (CrPC) on behalf of the Petitioner seeking setting aside of the order, vide which the Petitioner was declared a 'proclaimed offender' ('PO').

A plain reading of sub-section (1) of Section 82 of CrPC would show that if a Court has 'reason to believe' that a person, despite issuance of warrant against him, is concealing or absconding himself so that such warrant remains unexecuted, the Court may publish a written proclamation requiring the person to appear at a specified place and time, which is not less than 30 days from the date of publishing of such proclamation.

The expression 'reason to believe' appearing in sub-section (1) of Section 82 of CrPC means sufficient cause to believe. Section 26 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) also explicates that a person is said to have 'reason to believe' a thing if he has sufficient cause to believe that thing but not otherwise. Thus, 'reason to believe' that a person against whom warrant is issued is either absconding or concealing himself should be reflected by the material placed on record before the Court.

Recently, this Court in Rajesh Ebrahimkutty Majidhabeevi v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) and Another also held that, the provisions of Section 82 (1) and (2) of CrPC should be construed strictly and before issuing process, the concerned Court has to record its satisfaction that the accused has absconded or is concealing himself to avoid execution of warrants.

The issuance of process under Section 82 of CrPC and pronouncing a person as 'proclaimed person' or PO entail serious consequences, including not only deprivation of personal liberty of a person, but also attachment of properties and initiation of proceedings under Section 174A of IPC against such person. Therefore, any order to that effect must reflect satisfaction of the Court that the person concerned has absconded or is concealing himself to avoid the process of law. No judicial order is complete without reasons and it is expected that every Court, which passes an order, should give reasons for the same.

It is further apparent that, the learned ACMM did not record any reasons for his belief that the Petitioner was intentionally avoiding service/process. The Petitioner himself was obligated to apprise the Trial Court about the change in his address. However, considering the manner in which proclamation came to be issued against him, especially the fact that process was considered to have been received back as executed on the very day, it was issued, the whole process issued against him under Section 82 of CrPC stands vitiated in the opinion of this Court.

In addition, pursuant to the earlier directions passed by this Court, the Petitioner is stated to be regularly appearing before the Trial Court. The impugned order is set aside. Petition allowed.


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