Decided on June 21,2012

Ganesh Ram Tampta Appellant
State of Uttarakhand and Anr. Respondents


Hon'ble Servesh Kumar Gupta, J. - (1.) BY means of this petition, a prayer has been advanced to quash the order of cognizance dated 26.10.2004 passed by Judicial Magistrate, Khatima in criminal case no. 1214 of 2004 titled as 'Kedar Sonker Vs. Ganesh Ram Tampta and others', By the impugned order, the learned Magistrate has summoned petitioners to stand trial for the offence under Section 147, 323, 504, 506 IPC. Petitioners are officials of. Forest Department holding the rank of Forest Range Officer, Forest Guard and Forest Inspector. The background facts as narrated in the petition are that Kedar Sonker was apprehended by the petitioners while he was carrying wooden logs of different dimensions in his tractor trolley from the forest area, protected and guarded by the petitioners. When Kedar Sonker was nabbed by these officials, he unloaded the wooden logs in jungle and fled away from the spot along with his companions. This incident occurred in the intervening night of 7 -8 March, 2003 at about 09 -00 p.m. Petitioner no. 2 Prem Prakash lodged First Information Report in police Station Khatima, which bore crime no. 168 of 2003, against Kedar Sonker, Dharam Singh and his 8 -10 unnamed associates for the offence under Sections 147, 353, 224, 225, 506, 379, 411 IPC read with Section 26 of the Indian Forest Act.
(2.) THE lodging of this report soon came into the notice of Kedar Sonker because he is related to print media, so he lodged a counter report on 08.03.2003 just after 40 minutes of the First Information Report lodged against him. This cross First Information Report was registered as crime no. 168A of 2003 under Section 147, 323, 504, 506, 395 IPC. The contents, as disclosed by Kedar Sonker in the First Information Report, are that on 07.03.2003 at 09.00 p.m. when he went to the Range office of the petitioners to collect the news, Forest Ranger Ganesh Ram Tamta, Sukhveer Singh, Prem Prakash and 7 -8 other officials lashed out over him, hurled abuses and began to beat him. Ganesh Ram Tamta pointed out a rifle upon his temple and at the strength of rifle Rs. 1000/ - was snatched from his pocket. The passers by came to his rescue otherwise he would have been killed. After investigation, police submitted not only final report against the petitioners but also forwarded a report under Section 182 IPC against Kedar Sonker, who in turn, filed a protest petition which was registered as criminal case no. 1214 of 2004. Kedar Sonker was examined under Section 200 Cr.P.C. while his two witnesses Shambhu Kumar and Ras Bihari were examined under Section 202 Cr.P.C. The Magistrate by relying upon the statements of Kedar Sonker and his two witnesses passed the impugned order of cognizance against the petitioners.
(3.) HAVING heard learned counsel for the parties, it is abundantly clear that report lodged by Kedar Sonker was a sheer abuse of process of law against the forest officials, who while performing their duties, did a laudable work. It appears that learned Magistrate did not apply his mind while passing the impugned order of cognizance and has passed the impugned order merely by recording the ex parte statement of complainant and his two witnesses. The law does not confer any right upon a person to impel the court to pass order of cognizance. On the face of record, the First Information Report lodged by Kedar Sonker appears to be false without any substance and as a counter blast of the First Information Report lodged by petitioner no. 2 against him, so this impugned order is not sustainable and liable to be quashed. Accordingly, the petition is allowed. Impugned order of cognizance dated 26.10.2004 as well as entire proceedings of criminal case no. 1214 of 2004 pending in the court of Judicial Magistrate, Khatima, District Udham Singh Nagar are hereby quashed. Magistrate concerned is directed to take appropriate action against upon the report forwarded by the Investigating Officer under Section 182 IPC. Let a copy of this judgment be sent to the court below.;

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