Single Bench of Justice N Anand Venkatesh of Madras High Court while allowing to quash petition u/s 482 CrPC,1973 has recently observed that protesting by sitting on hunger strike does not attract the offence under section 309 IPC,1860.
“Even if the materials available on the record are taken as it is, it does not constitute an offence under Section 309 IPC.”, the Bench further noted.
In the present matter, a protest was made by the petitioner by way of a hunger strike from 15.08.2013 to 24.08.2013 against his detention in Special Camp, Poonamallee. Based on the same, an FIR was registered against him for an offence under section 309 IPC on the ground that there was an attempt to commit suicide. A final report was prepared on completion of an investigation and the Court took cognizance based on that in 2016. Thus, the petitioner approached the present court by way of a petition u/s 482 CrPC,1973 to challenge the proceedings.
The petitioner in the petition raised two grounds. The first ground was that no offence was made out under section 309 IPC even if the allegations were taken as it is. The second ground was that the offence under section 309 IPC was punishable with imprisonment of one year. The Court took cognizance in 2016 irrespective of the FIR being registered in 2013. Thus the same was barred under section 468 CrPC,1973.
The Court also observed that since the Courts below took cognizance nearly after three years without assigning any reasons, instead of taking cognizance within a period of one year since the offence was punishable for a maximum period of one year, the same was barred by law and stood vitiated.
Thus the Bench while quashing the FIR and allowing the Criminal Petition observed that, “No useful purpose will be served in keeping the proceedings pending and the proceedings in C.C.No.21 of 2016 on the file of the learned Judicial Magistrate No.II, Poonamallee”
Case Title: P Chandrakumar v. State By The Inspector of Police
Law Point/Statute Involved: Section 309 of Indian Penal Code,1860 and Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973