H.L. Anand, J.
(1) This petition, Cr. M(M) 413/83, and two connected petitions, Cr. M(M) 414/83 and Cr. M(M) 539/83, by one Ram Parshad, under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, arising out of three different complaints, filed against the petitioier, one by one Hamid, Cr. M (M) 414/83, and the other two Cr. M(M) 413/83 and Cr. M(M) 539/83, by one Pritam Lal, have really become infructuous in that after protracted hearings of these petitions and scrutiny by me of records of at least 8 other complaints filed by Pritam Lal and Hamid, aforesaid, and certain others, and at the fanged of the hearings. Counsel, who appeared for these two persons, volunteered to withdraw these complaints, as indeed, a criminal revision pending in the Sessions Court against an order by which another complaint of Pritam Lal was dismissed. During the hearing of these petitions and the scrutiny by me of the various complaints a situation was exposed which may perhaps, on further enquiry, turn out to be an organized racket involving an Advocate, two-three professional touts or litigants, and probably some court officials and even a presiding officer or two. It is for this reason that I thought it proper to dispose of these petitions by a detailed order setting out the disclosures made in the course of proceedings and the circumstances which appeared to me to be deserving of a further probe, both by this Court in relation to the conduct of the court officials and/or the judicial officers, as also by the Bar Council of Delhi, in relation to the Advocate concerned, to determine the extent of their complicity in the racket.
(2) Ram Parshad, petitioner in these three petitions is the landlord of a premises on New Rohtak Road. One Onkar Nath Sharma occupies first floor of the, premises as a tenant. The tenant has apparently sublet a part of the premises to Surinder Kumar Sharma and Daksh Kumar Sharma, who are the sons of his sister. Ram Parshad has filed proceedings for their eviction from the premises which are presumably still pending.
(3) According to Ram Parshad, Surinder Kumar Sharma and Daksh Kumar Sharma are closely related to S.P. Sharma, Advocate, and according to the petitioner, these two brothers have involved the petitioner and his son in a number of false criminal cases filed through the aforesaid Advocate by putting up Pritam Lal and Hamid, aforesaid, who are said to be the Advocate's touts, as complainants. Hamid is a rickshaw puller and Pritam Lal describes himself as a social worker.
(4) The three complainants, out of which these petitions arose, have certain common features, while Pritam Lal is the complainant in the two, Hamid is the complainant in the third. S.P. Sharma, Advocate is the common Advocate in all these cases. The alleged incident in all the three cases relates to Mangolpuri, and in each of the complaints at least 8 to 10 persons are arrayed as accused persons, including the petitioner, Ram Parshad. In two of these his son is also made an accused. First 4 or 5 accused persons in each complaint are of Mangolpuri, while the other accused persons including Ram Parshad and his son, have nothing to do with that area or the other accused person? named in the complaints. The incident forming subject matter of the complaints follows more or less a common pattern. One Mohan Lal, who is stated to have since died, is a common witness in these three complaints. All the accused persons were summoned by the learned Magistrate concerned after recording the preliminary evidence, apparently in ordinary routine without closer scrutiny.
(5) Counsel for the petitioners was apparently aware of the racket said to be operating in the District Courts to file false criminal complaints at the instance of disgruntled tenants or landlords against their landlords or tenants, as the case may be, in the name of Pritam Lal, Hamid and certain others adding to the complaints, as accused persons, either some of the known bad characters of the area concerned, or certain fictitious persons, who could not be served and it was alleged that the racket was being operated with a view to put illegal pressure on the landlords and tenants, etc. to submit to the illegal demands in relation to the tenancy premises. Counsel apparently did some investigation on his own and filed Along with Cr.M(M)539/83,a list of 9 further complaints, not involving the petitioner, but involving the said advocate, Pritam Lal, Hamid and certain others and which also allegedly exposed a common pattern and a number of common features. The records of these 9 complaints, in which the accused persons had also been similarly summoned were also requisitioned by me.
(6) A scrutiny of these 9 complaints confirmed the allegation of the Counsel that these were not bona fide complaints but were part of a racket being operated by the said Advocate in collusion with the aforesaid two persons and certain others. One of these 9 complaints is by Pritam Lal, first 4 accused persons are of Mangolpuri. Accused No. 5 is of Tilak Nagar while accused No. 6 and 7 are of Sita Ram Bazar. Mohan Lal and Trilok Chand, Daya Chand and Hamid are cited as witnesses. The second of these is a complaint by Mohan Lal. Here again, first 5 accused are of Mangolpuri while the remaining three accused have nothing to do with that area. Munna Lal and Pyare Lal are the two witnesses in this complaint. The third complaint is by one Prakash Rani wife of Trilok Chand. Here again, 4-5 accused cited are of Mangolpuri while the rest have nothing to do with that area. Mohan Lal and Daya Ram are among the witnesses cited in this complaint. Prakash Rani, complainant in this is the wife of Trilok Chand who is cited as a witness in the other complaint mentioned above. Fifth of the complaints is by Bhagwanti wife of Nand Lal. Here also, one of the accused is of Mangolpuri while all the others are of Ramesh Nagar. Daya Chand and Hamid are among the witnesses cited in this complaint. Brahmanand is a complainant in the sixth one and the pattern of accused is more or less the same. Mohan Lal and Daya Chand are the witnesses cited in this complaint. Hamid is the complainant in the seventh and this also shows a common pattern of accused persons. Daya Chand is among the witnesses cited. The eighth complaint is by Hamid and here again, some of the accused are of Mangolpuri while others are of Rohtak Road and Moti Nagar. The witnesses cited in this complainant are Daya Ram, Madan Lal and Pyare Lal. The ninth complaint is by one Kartar Kaur. Mohan Lal is one of the witnesses in this case. Advocate for the complainant in all these cases is common.
(7) At one of the earlier hearings. Mr. S.P. Sharma, Advocate appeared for the respondents in these three petitions and when the allegations that he was spear-heading a racket were made, I wanted to know how many complaints she had filed in the different courts and asked him to furnish me a list of these cases and also produce his diary which he promised to do on the next hearing but he has since not appeared. On one of the hearings, Pritam Lal respondent in two of these petitions informed the court that he had filed a complaint against S.P. Sharma, Advocate who had been appearing for him in these proceedings, and the complaint was pending investigation before the Bar Council of Delhi. At one stage, Hamid respondent in one of these three petitions filed an affidavit, staling that he had nothing to do with the accused persons who were cited in the complaints filed by him and that he had merely signed these papers at the instance of the aforesaid Advocate. Counsel, who later appeared for Pritam Lal, filed a list of 32 cases which the aforesaid Advocate, Sharma had filed against different persons on more or less the similar pattern and for the same object. He further stated that Pritam Lal did not know the present petitioner Ram Parshad and that the name of Ram Parshad and his son had been added to the complaints at the instance of S.P. Sharma, Advocate. It is in these circumstances that Counsel for respondents offered to withdraw the three complaints out of which these revisions have arisen, as also a revision petition pending in the Sessions Court against the order by which a Magistrate's Court had dismissed the fourth complaint filed by Pritam Lal against Sat Narain and others, and these have since been withdrawn. Of the 12 complaints, including the three out of which the present petitions have arisen and the 9 cases of which the records were requisitioned by me, 10 cases have since been either dismissed or withdrawn, two complaints, one filed by Prakash Rani against Sukh Sagar and others, and the other by Kartar Kaur against Gurdas Mal and others, are still pending in the Court of Shri Nepal Singh.
(8) In the course of hearing of these matters and the scrutiny of the various complaints of which files were sent for by me, it was revealed that out of a total of 32 complaints said to have been filed by S.P Sharma Advocate, 12 were filed in the Court of Shri Nepal Singh, Metropolitan Magistrate or were otherwise dealt with by him, while 9 were filed or otherwise dealt with by Shri Babu Lal, Metropolitan Magistrate. Out of these 32 complaints, mentioned in the list, about 15 are apparently still pending. The records of these cases have not been requisitioned but I would not be surprised if these cases also partake of the common strategy and object. Of the 12 cases of which the records were scrutinised by me, process had been issued by Shri Nepal Singh in 4 complaints and by Shri Babu Lal in three.
(9) On the scrutiny of the records of the three complaints, out of which these petitions have arisen, as indeed, 9 other complaints of which the records were requisitioned by me and scrutinised with the assistance of Counsel for the petitioner and the Counsel, who ultimately appeared for Pritam Lal, I have no doubt in my mind that the fact that S.P. Sharma, Advocate is the Advocate for the complainant in all these cases is not a sheer coincidence in view of the affidavit filed before me by Hamid and categorical statement made by Counsel for Pritam that some of the names in the complaints were added at the instance of the Advocate and that Pritam Lal even did not know these accused persons. It is common knowledge that because of the dilatory civil process, there is an overflow of landlord-tenant disputes into the criminal court system and I have called attention to it while dealing with a number of cases arising out of proceedings under Section 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It appears to me that false criminal cases involving a tenant or a landlord with a view to put illegal pressure either in anticipation of civil proceedings, in addition to it or in substitution of it are not uncommon. There is a widespread feeling that the complaint cases are not given the necessary attention by the Magistracy apparently because the trying courts get a better credit for State cases. The learned Magistrates concerned while issuing process in these cases do not appear to have applied their judicial mind and did not act with the necessary circumspection, otherwise some of the common features of these complaints could have perhaps been clear to the Presiding Officer who dealt with these cases at the initial stages. The possibility of collusion between the Advocate and some of the Court officials and perhaps the Presiding Officers concerned could not be altogether precluded.
(10) Let a copy of this judgment be placed before the Vigilance Committee of this Court for its consideration in relation to the Court officials and the Presiding Officers concerned. A copy of the Judgment be forwarded to the President of the Delhi Bar Council for such action as the Council may consider appropriate in the circumstances in relation to the conduct of the Advocate concerned.
(11) The records of these cases, which were requisitioned, be transmitted to the Courts or the record room concerned.
(12) The three petitions are disposed of as infructuous in view of the withdrawal of the complaints, out of which they arose.