High Court Declines To Quash FIR Against Former DM SICOP Kashmir

SRINAGAR: The High Court has declined to quash FIR, prosecution and charge sheet against the former Divisional Manager SICOP Kashmir for disproportionate assets case and dismissed his plea by observing that the FIR does not call for interference.

According to newspaper Daily Excelsior Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul concluded that impugned FIR does not call for any interference and as a consequence of which, dismissed the petition of Mohammad Anwar Mir the then Divisional Manager SICOP Kashmir by recording that it is without any merit.

Mir sought quashing of the prosecution as well as charge sheet filed against him before the Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption, Kashmir FIR No. 19/1997 registered in police station VOK under J&K Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and other provisions Act on the ground of possessing assets disproportionate to his source of income.

Justice Koul mentioned that Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice and the provision does not confer new powers.

“The High Court, while forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint or FIR should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power,” newspaper Daily Excelsior quoted the judgment as having said.

Court has been informed that during the course of investigation, it was found that the accused has wilfully and intentionally neglected to submit his annual property returns regularly and thereby has tried to conceal the properties possessed and raised by him within and outside J&K.

During the course of investigation it was found that Mir has constructed a palatial house at Baghi Hyderpora, purchased a flat at Vasant Kunj in New Delhi and also purchased a plot of land at Sidhra Jammu besides has got his children admitted in best schools of the Valley. Further, the petitioner was found living a luxurious life and spending lavishly on his family.

In order to eliminate the possibilities of tempering and destruction of material evidence it was felt necessary to conduct the search of the house of the petitioner immediately after registration of the case against him.

Accordingly, a team of officers of VOK (now ACB) was constituted and in order to ensure transparency during the house search and eliminate all doubts of malice and harassment, the services of an Executive Magistrate 1st class Srinagar, were acquired, who accompanied the team and remained physically present during the process of house search.

The petitioner-Mir on the other hand has stated that the ACB during the probe has not followed the Circulars of General Administrative Department and the Central Vigilance Commission whereby the clear guidelines have been issued with regard to the FIRs to be registered against the Government servants and other officers. He submitted that there are clear guidelines issued by the General Administration Department and Central Vigilance Commission with regard to FIR to be registered and to be investigated upon.

Justice Koul after examining the case said it does not at all persuade this Court to grant the relief prayed for by the petitioner. It is well settled law that Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the High Court to exercise its inherent powers to prevent abuse of the process of Court.

Court said to quash the FIR, is to be exercised in a very sparing manner as is not to be used to choke or smother the prosecution that is legitimate. Inherent powers do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the High Court to act according to whim or caprice. Such power has to be exercised sparingly, with circumspection and in the rarest of rare cases.

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