Karnataka High Court Quashes Abetment To Suicide Case Against Former Minister KJ George & Two IPS Officers

first_imgNews UpdatesKarnataka High Court Quashes Abetment To Suicide Case Against Former Minister KJ George & Two IPS Officers Mustafa Plumber6 Nov 2020 1:08 AMShare This – xThe Karnataka High Court has quashed the criminal proceedings initiated against former State Minister KJ Geroge and two IPS officers, in a case of abetting the Deputy Superintend of Police (DySP) MK Ganapathy to commit suicide by hanging, on July 7, 2016 in a hotel room. The matter was pending before a Special MP/MLA Court. Single Bench of Justice John Michael Cunha allowed the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Karnataka High Court has quashed the criminal proceedings initiated against former State Minister KJ Geroge and two IPS officers, in a case of abetting the Deputy Superintend of Police (DySP) MK Ganapathy to commit suicide by hanging, on July 7, 2016 in a hotel room. The matter was pending before a Special MP/MLA Court. Single Bench of Justice John Michael Cunha allowed the petition filed by KJ George, Former Minister of Urban Planning & Development and IPS officers Pronab Mohanty and Ashit Mohan Prasad, challenging the order of Summons passed by the Special Court on August 28. The Special Court had rejected the ‘B Summary’ report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and had taken cognizance of the alleged offence, punishable under section 306 r/w section 34 of IPC. Justice Cunha, while quashing the order of the special court, observed: “The evidence collected by the investigating agency, even if accepted in its entirety, does not disclose mens rea or instigation or conspiracy by the petitioners making out the ingredients of the offence under section 306 r/w 34 of IPC. In the absence of any material to make out the ingredients of the above offence, there was absolutely no reason or justification for the Special Court to reject the well-founded report filed by CBI and to take cognizance of the alleged offence and issue summons to the petitioners.” Reliance was placed on the Supreme Court’s verdict in M/s. Pepsifoods Ltd. & Another v. Special Judicial Magistrate & Ors, (1998) 5 SCC 749, where it was held that the Magistrate has to carefully scrutinise the evidence brought on record and may even himself put questions to the complainant and his witnesses to elicit answers to find out the truthfulness of the allegations or otherwise and then examine if any offence is prima facie committed by all or any of the accused. In view thereof the Bench held, “Since the material on record does not prima-facie disclose commission of the offence by the petitioners, the action initiated against the petitioners/accused Nos.1 to 3 being wholly illegal, perverse and amounting to abuse of process of court deserves to be quashed.” Ganapathy had spoken about the harassment meted out to him by the then Home minister George and two IPS officers in an interview with a local TV channel at Madikeri, before taking the extreme step. Considering this aspect, the Court said, “Though in the lengthy interview, he has named a large number of cases dealt by him, a reading of the transcript shows that he was mentally disturbed and completely disoriented. He rambled from one incomplete idea to the next, jumping from one topic to another, as a result, final product appear to be incoherent, disjoined, meaningless and absurd and as such, this statement, in my view, could not have been made the basis to incriminate the accused.” The Court further held that in view of the overwhelming evidence, the observation of the Special Judge that there is no prima-facie case to show that the deceased was suffering from any mental depression is nothing but perverse and ignoring the obvious. The deceased was suffering from Neurotic disorder, loss of memory and depression. The Court observed that the CBI had collected 42 documents and had examined 108 witnesses to come to a conclusion that that there was no foul play in Gangapathy’s death and it was a clear case of suicide. As observed in the order, “The CBI recorded its further opinion that the deceased was depressed due to various family problems. He was taking treatment for depression and neuro related problems and there is no evidence to show that accused Nos.1 to 3 instigated, provoked or compelled him to commit suicide and accordingly filed a closure report under section 173 Cr.P.C.” How Case Came To Be Transferred to CBI. The father of the deceased M.K. Kushalappa lodged a report before Madikeri police and a case was registered as UDR No.9/2016. In the said complaint, he alleged that while the deceased was earlier working at Bengaluru, his wife and children were residing in Mangaluru; during that period, he was ignored by his wife; she was ill-treating him even after returning to Mangaluru. He further alleged that deceased was suffering from depression inspite of his promotion and posting at Mangaluru, he was not leading peaceful life and therefore, he committed suicide. Regarding the same incident, the son of the deceased filed a complaint before Kushalnagar police. The same was not registered in view of pendency of UDR No.9/2016. Aggrieved by non-registration of the complaint, the son filed a private complaint before a Magistrate Court. The Magistrate referred the complaint for investigation under section 156(3) Cr.P.C. and accordingly FIR in Cr.No.89/2016 was registered in Madikeri police station. DG and IGP, Karnataka entrusted the investigation to CID. In the mean-while, the father and one of the brothers of the deceased filed a petition before the High Court seeking direction to entrust the investigation to CBI. These petitions were dismissed. The appeals preferred against the order of the Single Judge were also dismissed by the High Court. The father and brother of the deceased carried the matter to Supreme Court contending that they apprehended foul play in the matter and that it could be a case of murder, even though the complainants earlier learnt it to be a suicide. The Supreme Court directed the investigation to be handed over to CBI.Case Details: Cause Title: Pronab Mohanty v. CBICase No: Crl. Petition No. 4319/2020 Coram: Justice John Michael Cunha Appearance: Senior Advocate BV Acharya, a/w Advocate Irfana Nazeer (for petitioner); SPP Prasanna Kumar for R1; Advocate Murthy D. Naik for R3 to R6Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Next Storylast_img read more

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