Navika Kumar Versus Union of India and Others

Navika Kumar Versus Union of India and Others Case

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


 REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
 WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 286 OF 2022
Navika Kumar …Petitioner
Versus
Union of India and Others …Respondents
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. By way of this petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of
India, the petitioner has prayed for the following substantive reliefs,
(a) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of
certiorari quashing the Impugned FIRs/Complaints described in
paragraph 17 of the present Petition or any other FIR/Criminal
Complaint filed or inquiry or investigation instituted or to be
instituted in the future in relation to the Petitioner arising out of
the same incident/occurrence, i.e., the Newshour Debate
telecasted on Times Now on 26.05.2022;
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(b) Alternatively, issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in
the nature of transfer and club all FIRs including the Impugned
FIRs/Criminal Complaints described in paragraph 17, and any
other FIR/Criminal Complaint filed or inquiry or investigation
instituted or to be instituted in the future in relation to the
Petitioner arising out of same incident/ occurrence, i.e., the
Newshour Debate telecasted on Times Now on 26.05.2022 with
FIR No. 130 of 2022 registered by the Special Cell, Delhi Police
i.e. the first reported FIR in relation to the said
incident/occurrence;
(c) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of
mandamus restraining Respondents and/or any other authority
to take any coercive steps pursuant to the Impugned
FIRs/Criminal Complaints described in paragraph 17 of the
present Petition or any other FIR/Criminal Complaint filed or
inquiry or investigation instituted or to be instituted in the future
in relation to the Petitioner arising out of same incident/
occurrence, i.e., the Newshour Debate telecasted on Times
Now on 26.05.2022;
(d) Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ of appropriate
nature to the effect that no cognizance of any complaint would
be taken by any court nor any FIR registered by the police in
relation to or arising out of the same incident/ occurrence i.e.,
the Newshour Debate Telecasted on Times Now on 26.05.2022.
(e) Allow the Petitioner to amend the present Writ Petition in the
event that any other FIR is registered on the same cause of
action in future
with respect to the various FIRs/criminal complaints filed against the
petitioner in different police stations in different States in relation to the
incident/occurrence – Newshour Debate telecasted on Times Now on
26.05.2002.
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2. The particulars of different FIRs/criminal complaints filed against
the petitioner, of which the reliefs are sought in the present petition, are
as under:
S.
NO.
FIR NO. /
DATE
OFFENCE(S) POLICE
STATION
STATE
1. FIR No: 220
of 2022
Date:
04.06.2022
Sections 153-A,
295-A, 298 and 34
of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Police Station
Narkeldanga,
Kolkata, West
Bengal
West Bengal
2. FIR No: 125
of 2022
Date:
07.06.2022
Sections 153-A,
295-A, 298 and 34
of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Amherst, Police
Station,
Kolkata, West
Bengal
West Bengal
3. FIR No: 0367
of 2022
Date:
11.06.2022
Section 153-A and
Section 295-A of
the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Yavatmal
Urban, Police
Station, District
Yavatmal,
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
4. Case No.
25788251 of
2022
Case
instituted on:
11.06.2022
Sections 120-B,
153A, 153B, 295A,
298 and 505(2) of
the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Court of City
Judge/ JMIC,
Srinagar
Jammu and
Kashmir
5. FIR No. 165
of 2022
Date:
12.06.2022
Section 153-A, 504,
505(2), 506, 295-A
and 34 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860
Police Station
Jorasanko,
Kolkata, West
Bengal
West Bengal
6. FIR No. 197
of 2022
Date:
14.06.2022
Sections 153-A,
295-A, 298 and 34
of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Entally Police
Station,
Kolkata, West
Bengal
West Bengal
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2.1 It is also submitted that apart from the aforesaid FIRs/complaints,
two more FIRs have been filed against the petitioner, details of which are
given below, which are not the part of the present writ petition:
S.
NO.
FIR NO. /
DATE
OFFENCE(S) POLICE
STATION
STATE
1. FIR No: 96 of
2022
Date:
23.06.2022
Sections 120-B,
153-A, 295-A, 298
of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Wagtunge,
Police Station,
Kolkata, West
Bengal
West Bengal
2. FIR No: Not
yet Available
Date: Not yet
Available
Sections 295-A of
the Indian Penal
Code, 1860
Nanlpeth,
Police Station,
Parbhani,
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
3. It is the case on behalf of the petitioner, who at the relevant time
was the anchor who conducted the Newshour Debate telecasted on
Times Now on 26.05.2022, that with respect to the aforesaid
FIRs/criminal complaints in case of another co-accused – Nupur
Sharma, this Court vide order dated 10.08.2022 in Miscellaneous
Application No. 1238/2022 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 239/2022 has
transferred the respective FIRs/complaints to IFSO Unit of Delhi Police
for the purpose of investigation. Therefore, it is the case on behalf of the
petitioner that similar order may be passed in case of the petitioner also
who is the co-accused in the transferred FIRs/complaints as there
cannot be two investigating agencies with respect to same
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FIRs/complaints.
4. Shri Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General of India appearing for
the Union of India and also appearing on behalf of the Government of
NCT of Delhi, State of Maharashtra, and Union Territory of Jammu &
Kashmir and Shri Ravinder Singh, learned counsel appearing on behalf
of the State of West Bengal are not in a position to dispute the above
fact that the same FIRs/complaints in which the petitioner is also a coaccused are transferred to IFSO Unit of Delhi Police.
5. We have heard learned counsel for the respective parties and
considered the order passed by this Court dated 10.08.2022 in
Miscellaneous Application No. 1238/2022 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.
239/2022 by which with respect to the aforesaid FIRs/complaints except
two FIRs arising out of the same incident/occurrence, namely, Newshour
Debate telecasted on times Now on 26.05.2022, the investigation/s
is/are transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi Police. The FIRs/complaints
which are transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi Police, in which the petitioner
is also a co-accused, there cannot be two investigating agencies with
respect to the same FIRs/complaints arising out of the same
incident/occurrence with respect to different co-accused. On the
aforesaid ground as well as on the ground of parity, the FIRs/complaints,
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referred to hereinabove, are also required to be transferred to IFSO unit
of Delhi Police so far as the petitioner is concerned being co-accused.
6. At this stage, it is required to be noted that by the aforesaid order
dated 10.08.2022 in the case of accused Nupur Sharma, this Court has
also passed an order that investigation of any subsequent
FIRs/complaints which are registered in future in respect of the same
incident/occurrence, namely, Newshour Debate telecasted on Times
Now on 26.05.2022 shall also stand transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi
Police.
7. Taking into consideration the order passed by this Court dated
10.08.2022 in the case of accused Nupur Sharma passed in
Miscellaneous Application No. 1238/2022 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.
239/2022, we dispose of the present writ petition with the following
directions:
i) all FIRs/complaints, referred to hereinabove in paragraph 2
and 2.1 are ordered to be transferred to the IFSO unit of Delhi
Police;
ii) first FIR No. 683 dated 28.05.2022 along with FIR No. 140
of 2022 dated 08.06.2022 registered by Delhi Police, IFSO Unit
are to be treated as lead cases and investigated together along
with the other FIRs/complaints, referred to hereinabove, in which
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the petitioner is the co-accused, which are already ordered to be
transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi Police;
iii) IFSO unit of Delhi Police shall be at liberty to collect and
gather any information from the concerned State agencies, if so
required, for the purpose of conducting a thorough investigation
and taking it to its logical conclusion;
iv) no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner
pursuant to the aforesaid FIRs/complaints and for the
FIRs/complaints which may be entertained in future pertaining to
the telecast dated 26.05.2022 on Times Now, for a period of eight
weeks from today so as to enable the petitioner to approach the
concerned Court/Delhi High Court for appropriate relief; and
v) the investigation of any subsequent FIRs/complaints which
are registered in future in respect of the same Newshour Debate
telecasted on Times Now on 26.05.2022 shall also stand
transferred to IFSO unit of Delhi police.
8. As far as the primary prayer in terms of prayer (a) in the writ
petition is concerned, the petitioner shall be at liberty to pursue such
prayer by approaching the High Court of Delhi under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India or Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As
and when such proceedings are instituted by the petitioner, the same
shall be considered in accordance with law and on their own merits. We
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clarify and make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the
merits of the allegations contained in the various FIRs/complaints.
9. The present petition stands disposed of in terms of the above.
…………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; …………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 [KRISHNA MURARI]
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