Md. Abul Quashem Vs. The State and others [4 LNJ (2015) 82]

Case No: Criminal Revision No. 722 of 2008

Judge: Mahmudul Hoque,

Court: High Court Division,,

Advocate: Mr. Md. Sagir Anwar,Mr. Amit Talukder,,

Citation: 4 LNJ (2015) 82

Case Year: 2015

Appellant: Md. Abul Quashem

Respondent: The State and others

Subject: Withdrawal of a Case,

Delivery Date: 2013-02-19

HIGH COURT DIVISION
(CRIMINAL REVISIONAL JURISDICTION)
 
A. H. M. Shamsuddin Choudhury, J.
And
Mahmudul Hoque, J

Judgment on
19.02.2013
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Md. Abul Quashem
. . .Petitioner
-Versus-
The State and others
. . .Opposite parties
 

Code of Criminal Procedure (V of 1898)
Section 494
It appears that though section 494 confers on the learned Public Prosecutor, the wide power to withdraw from the prosecution but the court has to exercise its power in relation to the facts and circumstances of the case in furtherance of cause of justice rather than as hindrance to the object of law.        . . . (11)
Code of Criminal Procedure (V of 1898)

Section 494
The consent mentioned in section 494 is not to be given mechanically or that it should not be given merely on the asking of the learned Public Prosecutor but the court is required to exercise its function judicially before giving such consent. The learned Sessions Judge has failed to notice that in the application filed by the  learned Public Prosecutor, no proper reasons have been given and also failed to notice that in the event of discharging the accused there will be no avenue  open for the victims and persons aggrieved to ventilate their grievances.         ... (11)

Penal Code (XLV of 1860)
Section 2
Whenever a criminal offence is committed, the offender becomes liable to punishment by the State not for the purpose of affording compensation or restitution to anyone who may have been injured but as a penalty for the offence and in order to deter the commission of similar offences.     . . . (11)
Code of Criminal Procedure (V of 1898)

Section 494
From the Ministry’s order as well as the petition filed by the Public Prosecutor and the order of withdrawal passed by the Sessions Judge, it appears that the provision of section 494 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has not been followed by the concerned court and there was no consideration and examination of the materials on which the Government decides withdrawal of the case. In that view of the matter we hold that such order of withdrawal can not be supported and maintained.   . . . (12)

Mr. Md. Sagir Anwar
. . . For the petitioner
Mr. Amit Talukder, DAG.
. . . For the Opposite parties

Criminal Revision No. 722 of 2008
 
JUDGMENT
Mahmudul Hoque, J.
 
On an application under Section 439 read with section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure this rule was issued at the instance of the informant-petitioner calling upon the opposite parties to show cause as to why the impugned judgment and order dated 08.11.2006 passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Gaibandha in Sessions Case No. 22 of 2005 arising out of G.R. No.458 of 1999 corresponding to Palashbari P.S. Case No. 15 dated 24.08.1999 should not be set aside and/or such other or further order or orders passed as to this court may seem fit and proper.
 
Facts relevant for disposal of this rule, in short, is that the petitioner as an informant lodged an F.I.R. on 24.08.1999 with Palashbari Police Station against 17 persons alleging interalia that while the people of Ambari village raised a protest, against the order of termination of service of his neighbor Md. Abdul Mannan, Principal of Palashbari Adarsha Degree Collage, the activists of Jamat Shibir became angry and threatened them with the dire consequences, as a result of which on 22.08.1999 at about 1.00 P.M. the activists of Jamat Shibir attacked Hasan Ali, brother of informant and amongst them accused Abdur Rouf gave a Hocky stick blow on the head of Hasan Ali, accused Jalal caught hold of his hand and accused Golam Mostafa dealt a ramda blow on the hand  and other accused also beaten him with lathi causing serious injuries. When the witnesses came forward in aid of him, the accused persons also attacked and injured them and left the place of occurrence exploding bomb. The injured persons were taken to hospital wherein Hasan Ali died at about 10.00 p.m. The police station registered the same as Polashbari P.S. case No.15 dated 24.08.1999 under section 147/ 148/149/323/325/326/302/109/114 of the Penal Code.
 
The police after investigation submitted charge sheet being No. 56 dated 31.05.2000 against all the 17 accused under sections 147/148/149/323/325/326/302/109/114 of the Penal Code. Learned Magistrate upon receipt of the charge sheet sent the case record to the Sessions Judge, Gaibandha wherein the case was registered as Sessions Case No. 22 of 2005 and the learned Sessions Judge upon hearing the parties framed charge on 09.05.2005 against the 17 accused persons under sections 302/ 149/326/114 of the Penal Code and in course of trial prosecution examined 6 P.Ws. who categorically stated in their deposition that the accused opposite parties were involved in the said occurrence. At the midst of the trial, the public prosecutor filed an application on 31.10.2006 praying for withdrawal from the prosecution of the accused opposite parties No.1-8 referring memo dated 19.10.2006 and 30.10.2006 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The informant petitioner filed written objection on 06.11.2006 against the said application filed by the public prosecutor. The learned Sessions Judge, Gaibandha upon hearing allowed the withdrawal of the prosecution case of opposite parties no. 1 to 8 by the impugned order dated 08.11.2006.
 
Being aggrieved by this order of withdrawal the informant moved this court and obtained the present rule.
 
Mr. Md. Sagir Anwar, the learned advocate appearing for the informant-petitioner submits that the learned Sessions Judge, Gaihandha has committed error of law in according permission for withdrawal  from the prosecution of the accused-opposite parties  who are the principal accused against whom the fatal injuries have attributed in the First Information report  and the investigating agencies  after investigation have also found their comp-licity in the offence. Moreover, prosecution witnesses specifically mentioned the names of the accused and deposed stating their complicity in the occurrence. The learned Advocate further submits that in the application for withdrawal from the prosec-ution the learned Public Prosecutor  has not assigned proper and sufficient reasons required by law calling for the withdrawal from the prosecution and the learned Sessions Judge, has accorded permission without application of judicial mind but passed the impugned order as if he was  performing a routine work. He further submits that the withdrawal from the prosecution is subject to consent by the trial Court and when a portion of accused persons are still absconding the trial court ought not to have exercised his discretion  in withdrawal of the case. In support of his contention he referred to the cases of Moezuddin Vs. The State reported in 59 D.L.R. 222, Abdul Hakim Chowdhury vs Ruhul Amin and the State reported in 40 D.L.R. (HED) page- 259 and State Vs. Md. Amir Hamza, reported in 57 D.L.R (AD) 26.
 
Mr. Amit Talukder, the learned Deputy Attorney General, appearing for the State finds it difficult to oppose the rule and  candidly submits that the trial court committed  error  of law in allowing withd-rawal from prosecution against accused persons. He further submits that the application filed by the learned Public Prosecutor  suffers from proper materials which are required   to be made in order to secure the consent of the court but in the instant case the learned Public Prosecutor only communicated the decision of the Government without disclosing any material in support of the application. He also submits that the learned Public Prosecutor is not bound to make any application unless he is satisfied that there is no legal ground for prosecution of the accused persons of the offences for which they are tried.
 
To appreciate the above submissions we like to reproduce the contents of the application filed by the learned Public Prosecutor praying for withdrawal from the prosecution.
 
এ্রমিক নং ২৯/০৭ (ফৌজঃ)
মোকাম বিজ্ঞ জেলা ও দায়রা জজ আদালত, গাইবান্ধা
সুত্রঃ  গণপ্রজাতএী বাংলাদেশ সরকারের স্বরাষ্ট্র মএনালয় এর আইন শাখা-১ এর স্বারক নং স্বঃ মঃ (আইন-১) মাঃ প্রঃ-৮/২০০৬/(সভা-৭)/৬২৮ তারিখ ১৯/১০/০৬ এবং স্বারক নং জেঃ প্রঃ/গাঃ/জে এম/২০০৬/১৩৫১ তারিখ ৩০/১০/২০০৬ ইং ও সেশন মামলা নং ২২/০৫, জি, আর নং ১১৫৮/৯৯ পলাশবাড়ী থানা
বিষয়ঃ ফোঃ কাঃ বিধি ৪৯৪ ধারা মোতাবেক আসামী (১) মোঃ গোলাম মোস্তফা, (২) জালাল, (৩) আঃ রউফ, (৪) শাহ আলম, (৫) আবু বকর, (৬) বাবর আলী, (৭) ফার্রক ও (৮) এ, কে,এম, লুৎফর রহমান গনের নাম প্রত্যাহার প্রসংগে আবেদন
বিনীত নিববেদন এই যে, হয়রানীমূলক ভাবে উপরোও্র ব্যও্রিগনকে অত্র মোকদ্দমায় আসামী করা হইয়াছে হেতু  গণপ্রজাতÇএী বাংলাদেশ সরকারের স্বরাষ্ট্র মÇএনালয় উল্লেখিত সুত্রে উল্লেখিত আসামীদের নাম প্রত্যাহারের সিদ্ধা¿¹ প্রদান করি|যাছেন  তৎকারনে অত্র মামলা হইতে উপরোও্র আসামীগনের নাম ফৌঃ কাঃ বিধির ৪৯৪ ধারা মোতাবেক প্রত্যাহার করিয়া লওয়া আবশ্যক
বিধায় প্রার্থনা অনুগ্রহ পূর্বক উপরোক্ত কারনে ও অবসÛাধীনে ফৌঃ কাঃ বিধির ৪৯৪ ধারা মোতাবেক আসামীগনের নাম প্রত্যাহার করিবার যথাবিহীত আদেশ দানে সুবিচার করিতে হুজুরের মর্জি হয়
এতদ্বসংগে অত্র দরখাসে¹র সংগে গণপ্রজাত¿»ী বাংলাদেশ সরকারের স্বরাষ্ট্র ম¿»নালয়ের প্রেরিত স্বারকের কপি সংযুক্ত করা হইল
পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটর
গাইবান্ধা
৩১/১০/২০০৬ইং
 
The learned Public Prosecutor filed the above quoted application stating only reason that the case is harassing one and as such the Government has decided to withdraw the case from prosecution against the accused persons. No other ground was mentioned in the application for withdrawal from the prosecution of the accused. On perusal of the First Information Report and the Police Report as well as deposition of the prosecution witnesses, we find that the accused-opposite parties were involved in the cause of death of the victims and injuries to other witnesses.
 
The learned Sessions Judge, Gaibandha allowed the prayer observing as follows:-
 
এই নরহত্যার মামলায় এজাহারে সুনির্দিষ্টভাবে উল্লেখ আছে যে এজাহারে উল্লিখিত আসামীগন জামাত ও শিবির চত্র্রের আসামী মোঃ গোলাম মোস¹ফা, জালাল, আঃ রউফ, শাহ আলম, আবু বককর, বাবর আলী, ফারুক ও এ, কে, এম, লুৎফর রহমান এর বিরুদ্ধে মামলা প্রত্যাহারের বিষয়ে সরকার সিদ্ধাগ্রহন করিয়াছে  উক্ত সিদ্ধাটি স্বঃ মঃ (আইন-১) মাঃ প্রঃ- ৮/২০০৬/(সভা-৭)/ ৬২৮ নং স্বারক পত্রের মাধ্যমে স্বরাষ্ট মণালয় বিজ্ঞ জেলা ম্যাজিস্ট্রেটকে অবহিত করিয়াছে উক্ত সিদ্ধা  গ্রহন সংত্র্রা পত্রে উল্লেখ করা হইয়াছে যে উল্লিখিত আসামী গনের বিরুদ্ধে সাক্ষ্য প্রামাণ অপর্যাপ্ত এবং হয়রানী মুলক বিধায় সরকার তাহাদের বিরুদ্ধে মামলা প্রত্যাহারের সিদ্ধা¿¹ গ্রহন করিয়াছে  ফৌজঃ কার্য বিধির ৪৯৪ ধারার বিধান অনুযায়ী বিজ্ঞ পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটর অভিযোগ প্রত্যাহার সংত্র্রা¿¹ দরখাস¹ দাখিলের জন্য একমাত্র উপযুক্ত কর্তৃপক্ষ  মোকদ্দমার যে কোন পর্যায়ে এই ধারার অনুবলে বিজ্ঞ পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটর দরখাস¹ দাখিল করিতে পারেন  স্বরাষ্ট মণালয় অর্থাৎ সরকারের সিদ্ধার অনুবলে বিজ্ঞ পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটর বিবেচ্য এই মোকদ্দমায় দরখাস¹ দাখিল করিয়াছেন  সরকারের সিদ্ধা¹, বিজ্ঞ পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটর দাখিলকৃত দরখাস¹ এবং নথিসÛ সাক্ষীদের জবানবন্দি ও অন্যান্য দালিলিক প্রমানাদি পর্যালোচনায় বিজ্ঞ পাবলিক প্রসিকিউটরের দাখিলকৃত দরখাস¹টির সাথে দ্বিমত পোষন করিবার কোন যৌক্তিক কারণ বিদ্যমান না থাকায় উক্ত দরখাস¹টি মনজুর যোগ্য বলিয়া আমি মনে করি।
আদেশ হয় যে,
আসামী (১) মোঃ গোলাম মোস¹ফা, (২) জালাল, (৩) আঃ রউফ, (৪) শাহ আলম, (৫) আবু বককর, (৬) বাবর আলী, (৭) ফারুক ও (৮) এ, কে, এম লুৎফর রহমানের বিরুদ্ধে অভিযোগ প্রত্যাহার ত্র্রমে অভিযোগের দায় হইতে অব্যাহতি প্রদান করা হইল।
অন্যান্য আসামীদের বিরুদ্ধে মামলাটি যথারীতি পরিচালিত হইবে। আগামী ১৭/০১/২০০৭ইং তারিখ পরবর্তী বিচারের জন্য দিন ধার্য্য হইল।

স্বাক্ষর/ মোহম্মদ সাহাবুদ্দিন
দায়রা জজ, গাইবান্দা
 
The order shows that the basis of according permission for withdrawal from the prosecution is the desire of the Ministry of Home Affairs.  From perusal of the order we find that the learned Sessions Judge, has accorded permission mechanically without application of judicial mind. The court of law can not give its consent for withdrawal from prosecution of the accused persons  who allegedly committed offence like the present one on the ground that the case was harassing one  and evidence are insufficient and the learned Public Prosecutor can not seek withdrawal  without assigning proper reasons .
 
We have gone through the decisions referred by the learned Advocate for the petitioner. It appears that though section 494 confers on the learned Public Prosecutor, the wide power to withdraw from the prosecution but the court has to exercise its power in relation to the facts and circumstances of the case in furtherance of cause of justice rather than as hindrance to the object of law. In those decision it has been held that the consent mentioned in section 494 is not to be given mechanically or that it should not be given merely on the asking of the learned Public Prosecutor but the court is required to exercise its function judicially before giving such consent. The learned Sessions Judge has failed to notice that in the application filed by the  learned Public Prosecutor, no proper reasons have been given and also failed to notice that in the event of discharging the accused there will be no avenue  open for the victims and persons aggrieved to ventilate their grievances. In this connection the case of Moezuddin Vs.  State reported in 59 D.L.R. (HCD)-222 may be referred to wherein their Lordships observed that,
 
“The Additional Sessions Judge consented to the withdrawal from the prosecution of the accused opposite party No.1 merely on the ground that the Ministry of Home Affairs decided to withdraw from the prosecution. The order can not be said to be a legal one and the same is liable to be interfered with”.   Whenever a criminal offence is committed, the offender becomes liable to punishment by the State not for the purpose of affording compensation or restitution to anyone who may have been injured but as a penalty for the offence and in order to deter the commission of similar offences. 
So, from the Ministry’s order as well as the petition filed by the Public Prosecutor and the order of withdrawal passed by the Sessions Judge, it appears that the provision of section 494 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has not been followed by the concerned court and there was no consideration and examination of the materials on which the Government decides withdrawal of the case. In that view of the matter we hold that such order of withdrawal can not be supported and maintained.
 
It also appears that the Government issued the memo for withdrawal from prosecution of the aforementioned accused opposite parties no. 1 to 8, mainly on the ground of insufficient evidence but 6 PWs examined on behalf of prosecution specifically mentioned their names and clearly deposed that the accused opposite parties no. 1 to 8 have complicity and they have taken active part in the occurrence and committed offence. 
 
In the light of the aforesaid decisions and having given our anxious consideration to the materials on record we are of the opinion that the judgment and order of the learned  Sessions Judge, Gaibandha can not be said to be legal and judicious one and the same is liable to be interfered with and liable to be set aside and hence we find merit in this rule.
 
In the result the rule is made absolute. 
 
The impugned order dated 08.11.2006  passed by of the learned Sessions Judge, Gaibandha in Sessions Case No.22 of 2005 according consent and permission to withdraw from the prosecution of the accused persons, the opposite parties No. 1 to 8 is hereby set aside.
 
The order of stay granted at the time of issuance of the rule is hereby vacated. The accused opposite parties no. 1 to 8 namely (1) Md. Golam Mostafa (2) Jalal (3) A. Rouf (4) Shah Alam (5) Abu Bakar (6) Babar Ali (7) Faruque and (8) A.K.M Lutfur Rahman are directed to surrender before the trial court within 10 days from the date of receipt of this Judgment by the trial court. The trial court is directed to proceed with the case in accordance with law and conclude the trial expeditiously considering long pendency of the case without allowing any adjournment.
 
Communicate the Judgment at once to the court concerned.
 
Ed.

Reference: 4 LNJ (2015) 82.