Motivated FIRs against political rivals across states: SC

© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over spurt in motivated FIRs against political rivals in many states, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain the Chhattisgarh government’s appeal challenging the state high court’s decision to stay the FIR lodged against former CM Raman Singh and BJP leader Sambit Patra for their tweets on toolkit controversy.

Concern of the CJI N V Ramana-led bench over lodging of politically motivated FIRs assume greater importance as just a few weeks back the CJI had reprimanded police officers for cosying up to the ruling dispensation and aiding in lodging of cases against political rivals. The CJI had said that because of this the very same officers faced music when regimes changed.

In the case in hand, the Congress government headed by Bhupesh Baghel through senior advocate A M Singhvi told a bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli that the HC in its interim order has given final relief to the two accused by terming the FIR as “manifestly mala fide and lodged with a political grudge”.

CJI Ramana led bench said, “We come across many cases of politically motivated FIRs lodged against political rivals in many states and as the Supreme Court we cannot take up petitions challenging the efficacy and correctness of the decision behind the lodging of FIRs. The HCs must deal with the issues raised by petitions challenging the motive and legality of the FIRs. Chhattisgarh government should await the final decision of the HC in this case.”

Singhvi said that the HC has given resounding views while passing the interim order staying the investigations into the FIR against Singh and Patra. “What is left to be decided by the HC? It has already given out its mind,” Singhvi complained. While refusing to entertain the special leave petition, the bench said the HC would decide the petition filed by Singh and Patra on its own merit.

On August 26, while granting interim protection from arrest to top Chhattisgarh police officer Gurjinder Pal Singh much to the annoyance of the Baghel government, the SC had said police officers must refrain from cosying up to regimes and register cases against political rivals of the ruling dispensation.

CJI Ramana-led bench had warned that the moment the regime changed, the police officers, who had become close to the previous regime, faced the music.

“It is a disturbing feature across the country. To be in the good books of politicians in power, they commit harakiri. First, they actively register cases against political opponents at the beck and call of those at the helm of power. They face the music at the hands of other police officers when the previously targeted politicians come to power… This is a clear misuse of the system. The police officers have to apportion blame on themselves for this sorry state of affairs,” the CJI-led bench had said.

In staying the FIR against Raman Singh and Sambit Patra on June 14, the Chhattisgarh HC had said, “The petitioners have made out a strong case for grant of stay as continuation of investigation on the basis of FIR dated May 19 will be nothing but an abuse of process of law… Considering the facts of the case and perusal of FIR, prima facie, No case is made out against the petitioner and criminal proceedings is manifestly attended against the petitioner with malafides or with political grudge”, the order said.

“It is not in dispute that the petitioner is a political person. The FIR was lodged by the police on May 19 on the basis of a complaint received on May 18, without examining the truthfulness of the complaint. If we see the face value of the FIR,.. by the Tweet of the petitioner, congressmen are aggravated which clearly indicates that no public peace or tranquillity is being adversely affected and it is purely political rivalry between two political parties”, the order had said.

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