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Executive Magistrates can take action for violation of peace and Tranquility under Cr.P.C: SC

EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATES CAN TAKE ACTION FOR VIOLATION OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY IN PUBLIC ORDER BY THE CITIZENS OF THE LOCALITY UNDER Cr.P.C: SC


Cause Title: Devadassan v. The Second Class Executive Magistrate, Ramanathapuram and Others

Case Number: Criminal Appeal No. 388/2022 (Arising Out of SLP (CRL.) No. 8438/2021)

Quorum: Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice J.K. Maheshwari

Judgment Date: 09/03/2022

Counsel for the Appellant: Shri A. Lakshminarayanan

Counsel for the Respondent: Joseph Aristotle

Author: Pragash B, Advocate, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court



Background of the Case

The first respondent herein and the High Court found the appellant guilty for the breach of the conditions of bond and punished him in exercise of power under Section 122(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The orders impugned indicate that the appellant was indulged in criminal activities, however, the first respondent, after notice and affording opportunity, passed order on 24.02.2021 under Section 117 read with Section 110(e) Cr.P.C. The appellant executed a bond to maintain good behaviour and peace for a period of one year and also undertook to pay Rs. 50,000/- as penalty to the Government in case of breach or else face proceedings under Section 122(1)(b) of CrPC.

Even after execution of bond, he was found involved in murder, registered by Uchipuli Police Station as Crime No. 149/2021 under Sections 147/148/342/302 read with 109/120(B) of IPC. The first respondent vide order dated 13.05.2021 in MC No. 95/2021 (A3) found him guilty for the breach of bond, however, ordered his arrest and sent him to the custody. The said order has been affirmed by the High Court in Crl RC (MD) No. 379/2021 and Crl MP (MD) No. 3829/2021, however, this appeal before the Honourable Supreme Court of India has been filed challenging both the orders.

Findings of the Honourable Court

The Honourable Apex Court observed that there were 8 criminal cases registered against the appellant including simple and grievous hurt, theft and also under the Arms Act. After the report from the second respondent, a show cause notice was issued to the appellant and enquiry was conducted by the first respondent. In furtherance his statement was recorded and the response had also been taken. The first respondent recorded the satisfaction that the appellant might cause breach of peace in locality, however directed him to furnish a bond to the sum of Rs. 50,000 without surety for a period of one year under Section 117 of CrPC. Failing the same the appellant may serve imprisonment under Section 122(1)(a) of CrPC or in breach of conditions, recourse of Section 122(1)(b) of CrPC may be taken. (Para 6)

After execution of the bond, on 31.03.2021, Crime No. 141 of 2021 was registered joining the appellant as co-accused for the offence of murder at Police Station Uchipuli, Ramanathapuram and breached the terms and conditions of the bond. A show cause notice was issued asking the response and also sought appearance of appellant before the first respondent on 07.05.2021. The appellant submitted his explanation and his statement was recorded. The first respondent affording the opportunity passed the order on 13.05.2021 holding the appellant guilty for violation of terms and conditions of the bond and punished under Section 122(1)(b) of CrPC. In pursuance of the order, he is arrested and sent to prison. (Para 7)

Chapter VIII of CrPC confer powers to the Executive Magistrate to take bond for maintaining security and for keeping the peace and good behaviour by the citizens. As per Section 107 of CrPC, on receiving information that any person is likely to commit a breach of peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act, the Executive Magistrate may have power to show cause on violation of the terms of the bond so executed for maintaining peace. As per Section 108 of CrPC, similar power has been given for maintaining the security for good behaviour from persons disseminating seditious matters. Similarly, to take security for good behaviour from suspected persons and habitual offenders, powers under Sections 109 and 110 CrPC have been conferred upon the Executive Magistrate. (Para 7)

The Honourable Supreme Court held that

…In the present case, the order was passed under Sections 111 and 117 CrPC for security. On violation, recourse, specified under Section 122 CrPC is permissible. Therefore, the Legislature introduced the said chapter conferring powers on the authorities to take action for violation of peace and tranquility in public order by the citizens of the locality, otherwise, by following the procedure as prescribed, the action may be taken by the competent authority.” (Para 7)

The Court also observed that nothing was brought on record to show non compliance of Chapter VIII of CrPC. It is a trite law that by following the procedure established by law, the personal liberty of the citizens can be dealt with. The bond executed by the appellant has been violated by him on account of his involvement in a criminal case, registered subsequently and the bond executed has not been questioned. The impugned order of the first respondent sending the appellant to the custody has been assailed. The Honourable Court held that the order passed by the first respondent is after following the procedure, so prescribed and affording due opportunity to the appellant. The High Court has rightly affirmed the said order. (Para 8)

In view of the discussion made hereinabove, we are of the considered view that the orders passed by the High Court and respondent No. 1 do not call for any interference. Therefore, this appeal is bereft of any merit, hence dismissed. (Para 9)


Cases Referred

1. Aldanish v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2018 SCC online Del 12207.

2. Devi v. Executive Magistrate (Mad HC) 2020 SCC online Mad 2706.

3. Prem Chand v. Union of India, (1981) 1 SCC 639.

4. Gopalanachari v. State of Kerala, 1980 (Supp) SCC 649.

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