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Bargari sacrilege cases: CBI judge upholds Punjab's right to closure report

ANI | Updated: Oct 05, 2019 22:45 IST

Mohali (Punjab) [India], Oct 5 (ANI): A Special CBI court here on Saturday upheld Punjab government's right to the closure report in Bargari sacrilege cases, finding "sufficient reason" to its satisfaction to supply a certified copy of the report along with all the attached documents to the state.
CBI Special Judge Nirbhow Singh allowed the revision petition filed by the state government against the July 23 order passed by a Special Judicial Magistrate, who had dismissed Punjab government's application for supply of closure report, read a statement from the office of the Advocate General (AG).
The judge has directed the Special Magistrate to supply the documents to the state, according to Advocate General Atul Nanda, who had constituted a team of two Special Public Prosecutors, Rajesh Salwan and Sanjeev Batra (both District Attorneys) to argue the revision petition in the court. Along with the special public prosecutors, AIG, Crime, Sarabjeet Singh was also present on behalf of the state, the statement added.
Accepting the state's contention that it was entitled to copies of the closure report and attached documents, the court noted that as per the relevant sections of the Punjab Civil and Criminal Courts Preparation and Supply of Copies of Record Rules, 1965, "the party to a criminal case is entitled to copy of challan and similarly even a stranger to a criminal case is entitled to the same in case sufficient reason is shown to the satisfaction of the Court."
While allowing the revision petition, the court observed that as per the Rule 4(4), copies required for official purpose by public officers of the central government or any state government shall be supplied free of cost, if the application for the supply of copy is endorsed by the head of the department of the concerned government.
The judge also noted that "it is not the case of CBI that the closure report or the documents attached thereto are confidential or classified documents and neither any application was filed before the trial court under Section 173(6) CrPC for not giving any part of documents to the complainant or the accused of the case being against the public interest."
"As per Rule 3(2), even a stranger is entitled to copy of the challan in case sufficient reason is shown to the satisfaction of the Court. The word 'stranger' is not defined in the rules and the dictionary meaning of the word 'stranger' is a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar. In view of the facts as stated above the status of State of Punjab, in any case, is better than that of a stranger," the judge ruled.
The prosecution's case was that the three FIRs in the sacrilege cases were initially registered by the Punjab Police but the investigation was later handed over by the state to CBI, which re-registered the cases.
It was submitted that the CBI having filed a joint closure report in the three cases, the state requires the certified copy of the joint report along with the copies of documents attached thereto for its official use.
As per the statement, it was further submitted by the prosecution that only the investigation was transferred and the CBI had been informing the stage of investigation to the state from time to time.
Further, the prosecution argued that later on, a resolution was passed by the Punjab Legislative Assembly vide which the investigation was taken back from the CBI and accordingly, on September 6, 2018, a notification was issued by the state, withdrawing the consent to the CBI to investigate the case.
Further, the prosecution contended that as per Article 246 of the Constitution, "the State is well within its right to investigate the cases and once the consent has been withdrawn, the State has right to get a copy of the Closure Report. In addition, as per High Court Rules and Orders, a party to criminal proceedings can get copies of the challan and document attached thereto and since the FIRs were registered by the State of Punjab, therefore, the State of Punjab is a necessary party in the present case."
They also submitted that as per the Police Act, 1861, "the superintendence of Police throughout a general Police District shall vest in and shall be exercised by the State Government to which such District is subordinate."
They submitted that as per the Punjab Civil and Criminal Courts Preparations and Supply of Copy of Records Rules, 1965, any party to a civil or criminal case is entitled to copies of the challan. (ANI)