(1.)The Peoples' Patriotic Front, New Delhi, acting through its Executive Chairman, Smt. Nirmala Prasad (since then dead) filed a complaint under Sections 109, 120-B, 161, 165A, 409 and 420, IPG, in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, on 3-8-1982 against the following persons: (1) Shri K.K. Biria, Chairman, Hindustan Times Ltd., (2) Shri Kamal Nath, M.P., (3) Shri Harish Jain, Director, Hindustan Monark (P) Ltd., (4) Hindustan Monark (P) Ltd., (5) Directors of Hindustan Monark (P) Ltd., (6) M/s Kuo Oil, Hong Kong, (7) Directors of M/s Kuo Oil, Hong Kong, and (8) Shri P.G. Sethi, the then Union Minister for Petroleum and Chemicals. Smt. Nirmala Prasad was examined on oath on 3-9-1982 and the case was adjourned for remaining evidence. She died on 13-10-1982. On 27-1 1-1982 Shri Jaya Narain moved two applications, one that he be substituted in her place, and two, the concerned file of the Department of Petroleum be summoned. The learned Magistrate was of the view that there was no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which permitted any substitution. The court was, however, competent to continue with the complaint. But he found that no prima facie case was made out, rather, there was no substance in the complaint. He dismissed the complaint and the two applications. Hence, the present revision petition praying that the said order of the Magistrate be set aside and he be directed to proceed further with the inquiry. At the time of arguments, it was further urged that apart from the offences stated in the complaint, offences under Sections 167, 425, 426, 463, 465, 477 and 51 I IPG and breaches of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 were also made out against the accused.
(2.)The petitioner also made an application on 24-2-1983 that the Union of India was a necessary party and notice be issued to the Secretary, Petroleum and Chemicals, Government of India. Even otherwise, in such type of petitions, the State is almost always made a party because the court whose order is under challenge, is not made a party and only the Public Prosecutor can assist the court in an impartial manner. A notice, therefore, was issued to the Union in the first instance and Shri Wadhwa appeared on their behalf.
(3.)The complaint is mainly based upon the Forty seventh Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (herein the Comittee) and a scries of articles written by Shri Arun Shourie in the Indian Express in the month of June, 1982 and subsequent debates in the Parliament. The articles appearing in the Indian Express show how the relevant file was not traceable for a long time. But nothing turns upon it as it was made available to the Committee before it made its report.