• Ishaan Vats

Amol v. State of Maharashtra and Others

Updated: Mar 5

Shristhi Jain, Nyayshastram

Introduction

In the case at hand, an FIR was filed against the appellant while he was on duty. The appellant filed the case to quash the FIR against him, as he was carrying all the necessary documents and had completed all the formalities for the same.


The applicant, i.e., Amol, is a District health officer with Zila Parishad, Aurangabad. He had planned an inspection visit to spots to combat COVID-19. He had to hand over an amount of Rs.6,50,000 to his father, who was to collect the amount from the other side of the check post. The applicant was also having the permit to carry liquor and was supposed to hand it over to his father. However, before handing it over to his father, the police stopped him and ceased his belongings, and an FIR was registered against him. Therefore, he approached the court.


Background

The appellant possessed a valid license to carry, purchase, and consume liquor issued by the State Excise department. The father of the Appellant possessed the requisite valid documents. The Appellant's father was an agriculturist and had received a sum of Rs. 6,50,000-/ towards sale proceeds of the agricultural produce. The amount was kept with the appellant for land purchase and was to be handed over by the Appellant to his father. The Appellant's wife on being informed of this informed the police to inquire into the matter. There existed strained marital issues between the Appellant and his wife, and they had filed for a divorce too. When police stopped the appellant’s car, they found a sum of Rs. 6,70,000/- with him and two foreign liquor units. The Police immediately registered an FIR and ceased the appellant’s belongings.


Defendant claimed that the Applicant was in his private car, but he was a class one officer, and he had been provided with a government car. Secondly, he had no license to enter that particular district. The court also considered two previous judgments to add more clarity to the case i.e. State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal and Others[1] and secondly State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswami[2].


The court, in this case, held that they were not inclined to quash the first information report.


Analysis

The case at hand is an example of misuse of the police's power and other prevailing factors leading to the absence of justice. The Appellant had all the necessary documents and all the formalities required for the purpose of his travel were completed. Moreover, his father had also completed all the formalities for the same, but police still confiscated the appellant's belongings. Even after following the required procedure, an FIR was registered against the appellant. The appellant's wife gave the police information that the Appellant was carrying such things and should be asked regarding the details of the same. This could be just because the appellant and the wife were not on good terms with each other, and it arose out of a personal grudge. A sum of Rs. 6,70,000-/ was also confiscated from the appellant and was asked to show the proof of generating such amount. As the appellant was the District health officer, he was going to inspect the spots he had allocated to combat the COVID-19. Defendant argued that the appellant was traveling in his private vehicle even after getting a government vehicle. The defense counsel also argued that the appellant was also not permitted to enter the particular district. The Court paid regard to the reasoning of the case of State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal and Others and did not find the case in hand as a valid case for quashing the first information report. The court did not give any proper justification for their decision; they just relied upon the previous cases without explaining much about the present case.


Conclusion

In my view, the decision taken by the court was not appropriate. Justice T.V. Nalawade and Justice Shrikant D. Kulkarni gave their judgment on the sole basis of the previous judgments cited above.


There was no appropriate reasoning from the respondents that could prove that the appellant was at fault. The bench did not justify the judgment. In my opinion, the Appellant's wife was successful in causing circumstances resulting in the Appellant’s arrest due to the strained relations between them and this resulted in the absence of fairness and justice.

[1] State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal and others AIR 1992 SC 604. [2] State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswami AIR 1997 2SCC 699.

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