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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Courts Cannot Conduct Mini Trial/Enquiry for Quashing Criminal Proceedings Based on Oral Defence Alone: Karnataka High court.

BENGALURU: Holding that merely on the basis of oral defence, courts cannot conduct a mini trial or enquiry for quashing the criminal proceedings, the Karnataka high court has refused to quash the proceedings against an accused in Civil Police Constable Recruitment Examination question paper leak case of 2018.

One DC Manjunath, a resident of Magadi taluk in Ramanagara district had approached the court seeking quashing of the crime registered by the Cyber Crime Police,Bengaluru.

He is arrayed as accused no 114 in the case.

According to him, he was only an aspirant to the constable post and the examination was not at all conducted. He stated that the main accused (Shivakumar Swamy alias Guruji and others) have actually stolen the question papers, made photocopies and gave it to him and therefore, it cannot be an offence under the provisions of IPC.

He further argued that he neither paid any money nor took the examination and was apprehended on November 25,2018,the date of examination, when he came to the examination hall at a school in Somwarpet taluk of Kodagu district.

He added that he was not arrested by the police together with the other accused persons and in fact he had no knowledge about the leakage of the question paper.

On the other hand, the police argued that all the accused persons were arrested a day prior to the examination, when the main accused were training the candidates who were about to take the examination scheduled on November 25.2018 and they were produced before the magistrate.

The police added that though investigation has been completed and charge sheet has also been filed and further investigation is also being done and they will file additional charge sheet under Section 173(8) of CrPC.

After going through the materials on record, Justice K Natarajan has noted that a day prior to the examination,the main accused have trained the candidates by providing a copy of the leaked question paper and all the accused were arrested by the police in a hall belonging to accused no 1, which was obtained on rental/commission basis.

The judge also noted that the dispute regarding actual date of arrest can be taken by the petitioner during trial and added that since the entire case stands on documentary evidence, without going into trial, the high court itself cannot embark upon a mini trial based on oral submissions.

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