MOHD. SAFI Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
LAWS(UTN)-2013-12-2
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
Decided on December 04,2013

Mohd. Safi Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) This matter is before this Full Bench on a reference by a Division Bench of this Court, headed by Hon'ble the Chief Justice and another Hon'ble Judge of this Court. The reference relates to a provision in the U.P. Police Regulations (hereinafter referred to as "Police Regulations"), which is also presently in force in the State of Uttarakhand. The provision of law relates to a "history-sheet" and as to how a history-sheet is to be opened in a particular given case. Whereas the earlier Division Bench of this Court had held that the opening of a history-sheet was wrong in that particular case, as the Division Bench was of the opinion that the concerned person (i.e. petitioner) was not a habitual criminal or abettors of such criminals, as there were no criminal case against him, the present Division Bench headed by Hon'ble the Chief Justice, has referred to a provision in the Police Regulations i.e. Regulation 228 of the U.P. Police Regulations, which says that history-sheet can be opened not only when a person who is a habitual criminal or abettors of such criminal, but also in a case where he is "likely to become" such. This aspect has not been considered by the earlier bench. For the ready reference of this Court Regulation 228 of the U.P. Police Regulation is quoted hereunder: "228. Part V consists of history sheets. These are the personal records of criminals under surveillance. History-sheets should be opened only for persons who are or likely to become habitual criminal or abettors of such criminals. There will be two classes of history-sheets: (1) Class A history-sheets for dacoits, burglars, cattle-thieves railway-goods wagon thieves, and abettors thereof. (2) Criminal B history-sheets for confirmed and professional criminals who commit crimes other than dacoity, burglary, cattle-theft, and theft from railway goods wagons, e.g., professional cheats and other experts for whom criminal personal files are maintained by the Criminal Investigation Department, poisoners, cattle poisoners, railway passenger thieves, bicycle thieves, expert pick-pocket, forgers, coiners, cocaine and opium smugglers, hired ruffians and goondas, telegraph wire-cutters, habitual illicit distillers and abettors thereof. History-sheets of both classes will be maintained in similar form but those for class B will be distinguished by a red bar marked at the top of the first page. No history-sheet of class-B may be converted into a history-sheet of class-A, though should be the subject of a history-sheet of class B be found to be also addicted to dacoity, burglary, cattle- theft or theft from railway goods wagons. A class, as well as B class, surveillance may under paragraph 238 be applied to him. In the event of class A history-sheet man becoming addicted to miscellaneous crime his history-sheet may be converted into a class B history-sheet with the sanction of the Superintendent."
(2.) The reference made by the Division Bench is as follows:- "Mr. M.C. Kandpal, Senior Advocate assisted by Mr. S.S. Chaudhary, Advocate for the petitioner. Mr. A.S. Gill, Government Advocate assisted by Mr. V.P. Bahuguna, Brief Holder for the State of Uttarakhand / respondents. Learned counsel for the petitioner has brought to our notice judgment of a Division Bench, where, amongst others, it has been held, after considering Regulation 228 of U.P. Police Regulations contained in Chapter XX, that a history-sheet can be opened only against persons, who were involved in dacoity, burglary, theft or relating to abetment thereof; whereas a plain reading of Regulation shows that the same can also be opened against persons, who are likely to become habitual criminal or abettors of such criminals. We, accordingly, feel that the matter requires to be considered by a larger Bench. We, accordingly, refer the matter to the larger Bench."
(3.) Hence what has now fallen for our determination is whether in the light of the observations made by the Division Bench and in the light of the provision contained in the Regulation 228 and other provisions of the U.P. Police Regulations, where a history-sheet can be opened not only in a case where a person is considered to be a confirmed criminal but also where he is "likely to become" one, what are the considerations before the Police Authorities before they come to the determination that a person is "likely to become" a habitual criminal or abettors of such criminal, as this particular aspect i.e. the likelihood of a person becoming a habitual criminal ar abettor was not determined earlier by this Court. What are the parameters and what are the considerations thereupon to be followed in such cases by the police?;


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