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Mohd. Hafiz Vs. State and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1977CriLJ1458
AppellantMohd. Hafiz
RespondentState and ors.
Excerpt:
- - criminal section, thus we are fully satisfied that the warrant of arrest in pursuance of which the petitioner mohd. if the document itself is spurious, as we are satisfied that it is, it is 'non est' and no person can be arrested on the basis of such imaginary order. it is a very serious matter that orders which have the disastrous effect of depriving citizens of their personal liberty, should have been forged. because we feel that it is desirable that cases like this should be investigated by the criminal investigation department of the police......effected, we have carefully scrutinised this document which purports to be an order of warrant of arrest issued by the high court for the arrest of the petitioner. it has some striking features to which we shall presently refer and which leave no room for doubt that this is an entirely faked document. the allegations made by the petitioners are supported by affidavits. we have also examined the deputy registrar (judicial), sri lal ji sahai srivastava and sri t. n, varma, section officer, criminal department (c) section, high court, allahabad today. sri lal ji sahai srivastava, deputy registrar deposed after examining the original document in court that the seal affixed thereon was not a genuine seal of the high court. he pointed out that the high court seal contains the image of the.....
Judgment:

M.N. Shukla, J.

1. These two connected petitions may be conveniently disposed of by a single order inasmuch as they arise out of common facts and circumstances. They have been filed in somewhat extraordinary circumstances and disclose a most curious and deplorable state of affairs. In the annals of crime some rare cases have been known in which convicted accused have succeeded in. securing their release by means of forged orders in their favour but for once we have before us reverse case in which an innocent person has been deprived of his liberty with the aid of a purely forged order. Mohd. Hafiz has filed the habeas corpus petition praying that he is in unlawful custody and should be released forthwith. Hari Mohan Singh has filed a Criminal Misc. Application Under Section 482 of the Cri. P. C. stating that he is in imminent danger of being arrested in pursuance of the same forged order and conserquently his arrest may be restrained.

2. The allegations made in the habeas corpus petition are that the petitioner has been aggrieved by the prejudicial action of the opposite parties who proceeded on the basis of an order in Mukadma No. 376 of 1973, P. S. Kotwali district Ballia, purported to have been passed in State v. Harmohan and Mohd. Hafiz Under Sections 395, 396 and 397, I. P. C. and issued by the High Court as per letter No. 1019/1976-77 stating that the applicant had been convicted under the above sections and sentenced to undergo sixteen years' rigorous imprisonment. The said order appeared to bear a seal of the High Court and was sent to the Station Officer, Police Station Bhognipur, district Kanpur for the arrest of the applicant. The order was dated 4th May, 1977, having an endorsement of the signature of one K. N. Singh. This order was completely forged but the police of police station Bhognipur, district Kanpur Dehat had arrested the applicant in pursuance of that order. It was further stated that the applicant had never been prosecuted or convicted for any of the offences mentioned in the order and his detention in these circumstances was patently unlawful and consequently he was entitled to release by means of a writ of habeas corpus. More or less similar allegations were made in the Criminal Misc. Application of Hari Mohan Singh made Under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In short, it was stated that on the basis of the same forged order the police of police station Bhognipur, district Kanpur Dehat were proceeding to arrest him, that he was absolutely innocent and had not been convicted for any of the offences alleged in the aforesaid order and consequently this Court should in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction pass appropriate orders preventing his arrest.

3. Pursuant to our order passed earlier the petitioner Mohd. Hafiz was produced before us in Court today. The Police also produced before us the original document on the basis of which the petitioner's arrest was effected, We have carefully scrutinised this document which purports to be an order of warrant of arrest issued by the High Court for the arrest of the petitioner. It has some striking features to which we shall presently refer and which leave no room for doubt that this is an entirely faked document. The allegations made by the petitioners are supported by affidavits. We have also examined the Deputy Registrar (Judicial), Sri Lal Ji Sahai Srivastava and Sri T. N, Varma, Section Officer, Criminal Department (C) Section, High Court, Allahabad today. Sri Lal Ji Sahai Srivastava, Deputy Registrar deposed after examining the original document in Court that the seal affixed thereon was not a genuine seal of the High Court. He pointed out that the High Court seal contains the image of the national emblem whereas the circular seal affixed on the said document bears instead the words 'High Court, Allahabad' in English noted in the centre. He stated that the genuine seal of the document was kept exclusively in his custody and was affixed on the relevant documents by his peon. This makes it abundantly clear that the document which purports to be a warrant of arrest issued by the High Court does not bear the seal of the High Court. There are other notable features of this document which conclusively establish that it is spurious. They are amply borne out by the testimony of Sri T. N. Varma, Section Officer, Criminal Department. He deposed that warrants of arrest were very rarely issued by the High Court ; they were issued only in such proceedings as Contempt of Court or Government Appeal or other cases where the High Court exercised original jurisdiction. Even such warrants were issued in English whereas the purported warrant of arrest had been issued in Hindi. Another significant feature of this document is that it bears the seals of the Section Officer (Grade I), Criminal Department, High Court, Allahabad. The aforesaid witness, however, deposed after looking at the said seals that they were not genuine. He pointed out that since before Jan. 1976 there had been only one grade of Section Officers in the Criminal Department, High Court, prior to that there used to be two grades of Section Officers in the High Court, being Grade I and Grade II respectively and there were two seals of the respective Section Offcers. It is clear from the re-examination of Sri T. N. Varma that now there is only one seal of the Section Officer of the Criminal Department of the High Court which bears the designation of Section Officer and there is no such thing as Section Officer, Grade 1. It is significant that according to the statement of this witness the seals on the original document are not identical even with the former seals of the Section Officer, Grade 1, Criminal Department as they existed. These seals bear the name of one B. N. Varma on the document. The witness stated that there was no officer of such name in his office. Further, the document purported to be signed by one K. N. Singh, although there was no person bearing the name of K. N. Singh in the office, as stated by Sri Varma. Sri T. N. Varma categorically stated that the warrant contained in the document in question was never issued by him or under his signature or under his orders, by his office. It may also be noticed that the same kind of seal was also affixed on the envelope in which this document purports to have been sent by registered post. Sri Varma after examining the seal deposed that it was not the seal of the Section Officer, Criminal Department of the High Court. Further, the date 4th May, 1977 was mentioned under the signature of K. N. Singh whereas another date 6th May, 1977 was mentioned in the seal affixed on the document, Sri Varma stated that the letters sent by registered post by the High Court were noted in a register known as the Despatch Register. He placed before us the Despatch Register commencing from 2nd May, 1977 and after examining the same he stated that no letter addressed to the Police Adhikshak Mahodey, Kanpur Dehat was noted in the register. He stated that the envelope sent by registered post was addressed to the Police Adhikshak Mahodey. Kanpur Dehat. Thus, it is clear from the deposition of Sri Varma that no such letter had been addressed by the High Court during this period to the Police Adhikshak, Kanpur Dehat. The same document also mentioned Mukadma No. 376 of 1973. On this point again the testimony of Sri Varma is clinching. He deposed that the criminal proceedings in the High Court were classified as either Criminal Appeal No. or Criminal Revision No. or Criminal Reference No. or Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. and that the High Court did not assign 'Mukadma No.' to any of such proceedings. The witness after looking into the record of Criminal Appeal No. 376 of 1973, Criminal Reference No. 376 of 1973, Criminal Revision No. 376 of 1973 and (Criminal Side) Miscellaneous Case No. 376 of 1973 stated that none of these cases related to the present petitioners.

4. Thus, the original document produced before us is replete with intrinsic evidence of forgery. It was not issued by the High Court and it does not bear the seal of the High Court nor of the Section Officer of the Criminal Department of the High Court. It contains some peculiar features which are never found in the orders issued by the High Court. Thus, for instance, 'Mukadma No.' is never written in the orders issued by the High Court. The document purports to bear the signatures of two persons who appear to be fictitious. As we have already observed, the orders issued by the High Court are in English and not in Hindi. We might also refer to some other bizarre characteristics of this document. At the top of this so called warrant the sender is described as Chief Justice of the High Court through the Registrar Officer Criminal Section, High Court, Allahabad, This form of address is unknown to the communications sent by the High Court in this context. There is no such dignitary as Registrar Officer. Criminal Section, Thus we are fully satisfied that the warrant of arrest in pursuance of which the petitioner Mohd. Hafiz was arrested is a manifestly forged document. It has been stated by the learned Deputy Government Advocate Sri D. N. Misra that there is no warrant of arrest against the petitioner Mohd. Hafiz other than the one contained in the original document produced in this Court. In the circumstances the detention of the petitioner Mohd, Hafiz is wholly illegal and he is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus.

5. For the same reasons we are of the opinion that the petitioner Hari Mohan Singh also cannot be arrested on the basis of that forged warrant of arrest. If the document itself is spurious, as we are satisfied that it is, it is 'non est' and no person can be arrested on the basis of such imaginary order. We strongly feel that the inherent powers of this Court extend to the passing of such orders as may be imperative for preventing injustice which is palpable and apparent. Naturally a large body of such powers, whether they operate in a criminal or civil jurisdiction of a court, are bound to be stated in most general terms and are not amenable to an exhaustive cataloguing. It is obvious that law cannot make a specific provision against all contingencies and it has therefore been held that it is the duty of the court to apply the provisions of law not only to what appears to be regulated by them expressly but to all the cases to which a just application of them may be made and which appear to be comprehended either within the express sense of the law or within the consequences that may be gathered from it. Courts are constituted for the purpose of doing justice according to law and must be deemed to possess, as a necessary corollary and as inherent in their very constitution, all such powers as may be necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in the course of the administration of justice. There will always be cases and circumstances which are not covered by the express provisions of the statute wherein justice has to be done. Therefore, the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure save such inherent powers and it cannot be said that the Court has no power to do the right and undo a wrong because there is no express provision dealing with the matter. In this context we are inclined to quote an observation of Wood-roffe, J. in Hukum Chand Baid v. Kamalanand Singh, 1906 ILR 33 Cal 927 : (though made in the context of a civil case).

For my part I am always slow to believe that the Court's powers are unequal to its desire to order that which it believes to be just.

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a sort of reminder to the High Courts that they are not merely the courts of law but also the courts of justice and as such they possess inherent powers to remove injustice. There cannot be a more flagrant abuse of the process of Court than this that on the basis of a fake order certain authorities may be persuaded to take some action which results in the deprivation of the personal liberty of a citizen. Thus, in our opinion the powers of the Court Under Section 482 of' the Code of Criminal Procedure are wide enough to protect a person's personal liberty when the same has been put in jeopardy owing to the enforcement of a wholly fictitious order, It has been averred that the petitioner Hari Mohan Singh is in imminent danger of being arrested by the police of Bhognipur, district Kanpur because the police authorities want to execute the order contained in the forged document. He is, therefore, entitled to the relief prayed for.

6. These petitions, therefore, deserve to be allowed. We accordingly allow the habeas corpus petition of Mohd, Hafiz who is present in Court. He is set at liberty forthwith. The petition of Hari Mohan Singh made Under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is for the same reasons allowed and we order that the respondent shall not arrest the petitioner Hari Mohan Singh on the basis of the purported warrant of arrest which has been held to be forged.

7. Before parting with the case we cannot refrain from emphasising the gravity of the allegations made in these petitions. It is a very serious matter that orders which have the disastrous effect of depriving citizens of their personal liberty, should have been forged. It is surely a most sinister device, invented by some scheming person with ulterior motive to harass and humiliate the petitioners. It is a dangerous portent and we direct that the Registrar shall send a copy of this judgment to the Inspector General of Police, U. P. because we feel that it is desirable that cases like this should be investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department of the police. The original document produced before us along with the envelope shall be kept in a sealed cover in the custody of the Registrar who shall make it available to the investigating agency when required.


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