2016 ALL SCR (Cri) 628
JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR AND C. NAGAPPANT, JJ.
Sonia Gandhi Vs. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy & Anr.
Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No. 1024 of 2016,Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.1035 of 2016,Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.1038 of 2016
12th February, 2016.
Petitioner Counsel: Ms. TARANNUM CHEEMA, Ms. HIRAL GUPTA, Mr. MANVENDRA SINGH, Mr. SANJAY JAIN Mr. KAPIL SIBAL, Mr. DEVADATT KAMAT, Mr. RAJESH INAMDAR, Mr. JAVEDUR RAHMAN, Mr. GAUTAM TALUKDAR, Mr. HARIN P. RAVAL, Sr. Adv., Mr. ANANDO MUKHERJEE, Ms. DIVYA ANAND, Ms. NIPUN S., Mr. SHIKHAR SAREEN, Mr. PRASHANT KUMAR, M/s. AP & J CHAMBERS, Dr. ABHISHEK M. SINGHVI,Mr. AMIT BHANDARI, Mr. PRASHANT KUMAR, Mr. SHIKHAR SAREEN, Mr. R.S. CHEEMA
Respondent Counsel: Dr. SUBRAMANIAM SWAMY, Caveator-in-person, Dr. ROXNA SWAMY, Mr. YATINDER CHAUDHARY, Mr. ISHKARAN S. BHANDARI
A) Criminal P.C. (1973), S.482 - Quashing of proceedings - Restraint on court to record any firm conclusion - Matter of evidence must be left for trial court. (Para 2)
(B) Criminal P.C. (1973), S.205 - Exemption from personal appearance - Instead of filing application before Magistrate, relief sought from Supreme Court - Considering position of appellants in society which is such that their appearance in trial court will cause more inconvenience than convenience, exemption directed to be allowed - However, it is left open for trial court to require their appearance as and when required. (Para 4)
2. Insofar as the determination rendered by the High Court, in rejecting the prayer for quashing the proceedings against the petitioners is concerned, we find no justification in interfering therewith. Learned counsel for the petitioners, has also drawn our attention, to the discussion in the impugned order, commencing from paragraph 31, and also, the conclusions recorded thereon, more particularly in paragraph 39. We are of the view, that it was not open to the High Court to record any firm conclusions, and the same ought to have been left to the Trial Court, to be rendered after recording evidence in the matter. Accordingly, we hereby expunge all final inferences and conclusions drawn by the High Court, on the various factual aspects in the matter.
4. Having concluded the submissions canvassed before us, learned counsel for the petitioners seeks exemption of the petitioners from personal appearance, before the Trial court. This prayer is sought to be contested by respondent no. 1 - Dr. Subrmaniam Swamy by placing reliance on TGN Kumar v. State of Kerala, 2011 (2) SCC 772 : [2011 ALL MR (Cri) 600 (S.C.)], wherein this Court has opined that the accused should seek exemption from personal appearance from the Trial Court. And that, exemption can be granted on the satisfaction of the concerned Magistrate. Undoubtedly, there is no dispute about the aforesaid proposition. However, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present case, especially keeping in mind the position occupied by the petitioners, we are of the considered view, that the presence of the petitioners during hearing before the Trial court, would cause more inconvenience than convenience. And accordingly, we direct that the petitioners shall be exempted from personal appearance before the Trial Court. Needless to mention, that it shall be open to the Trial court, to require the personal appearance of the petitioners, as and when required.