'Order Sheet Written By Someone Else, Judicial Magistrate Just Put Signature' : Jharkhand High Court Quashes Warrant Issued Recklessly

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Jharkhand High Court recently chastised a Judicial Magistrate for mechanically passing orders for an arrest warrant and a proclamation under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

After examining the records, the High Court found that the order-sheet for the non-bailable arrest warrant was written by "someone else" and the Judicial Magistrate "has just put his signature mechanically without application of mind." The court noted that the record did not show the Magistrate's satisfaction that the petitioner was evading arrest. The court observed that the order appeared to have been issued mechanically, without proper application of mind. Consequently, the arrest warrant was was quashed.

Similarly, the court found that the proclamation issued later failed to meet the legal requirements. The court underscored that for a proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C. to be valid, there must be a recorded satisfaction that the accused is absconding or concealing themselves to evade arrest. Additionally, the order must specify the time and place for the accused's appearance, which was not done in this case. Therefore, the proclamation was also quashed.

The court directed the Magistrate to issue a fresh order in accordance with the law. Furthermore, the Registrar General was instructed to inform the Principal District Judge, Jamshedpur, to ensure that judicial officers avoid issuing orders recklessly. The court suggested additional training for the concerned Judicial Magistrate to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

"The Registrar General of this Court is directed to send a copy of this Order to the Principal District Judge, Jamshedpur with a direction to impress upon the Judicial Magistrate concerned, not to pass orders in such reckless manner, without application of mind and unnecessarily enhance the burden upon this Court and if necessary recommend the training of the judicial officer concerned on the Sundays and Holidays in Judicial Academy, Jharkhand, in online mode," the judgment passed by Justice Anil Kumar Chaudhary observed.

The case involves the petitioner, accused under Section 376(2)(n) of the Indian Penal Code, who sought to overturn the orders dated March 28, 2024, and May 3, 2024. The former order directed the issuance of an arrest warrant, while the latter involved a proclamation declaring the petitioner an absconder.

The petitioner's counsel argued that the arrest warrant was issued without any recorded satisfaction that the petitioner was evading arrest. Furthermore, the proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C. was issued without following the due process of law, specifically lacking the necessary satisfaction that the petitioner was absconding and without specifying the time and place for appearance.

The Additional Public Prosecutor opposed the petition, defending the Magistrate's actions. The prosecutor contended that the issuance of the arrest warrant and the proclamation were based on sufficient materials indicating that the petitioner was deliberately evading arrest.

Upon reviewing the case records, the High Court found significant procedural lapses in the orders issued by the Magistrate.

Case Title : Abhishek Kumar v. The State of Jharkhand ( 19th June 2024)