Read Order: Gurpreet Singh v. State of Punjab

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 18, 2022: While considering a challenge to the order of the Lower Court not providing a period of 30 days under Section 82 of the Cr.P.C. for the accused to appear, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that a clear period of 30 days w.e.f. the date when the proclamation was actually affected up to the date nominated for causing appearance was not afforded to the petitioner and only a period of 26 days  was afforded. Thus, the Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill set aside the impugned order. 

Keeping in view the factual position, as noticed in the order dated January 17, 2022, the Court observed that it was apparent that a clear period of 30 days w.e.f. the date when the proclamation was actually affected up to the date nominated for causing appearance (i.e. August 28, 2017) was not afforded to the petitioner and it was only a period of 26 days, which was afforded. 

The petitioner, in this case, was seeking to set aside an order vide which the petitioner was declared a proclaimed offender. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that in the instant case, the requisite provisions of Section 82 Cr.P.C. were not complied with in letter and spirit inasmuch a clear period of 30 days w.e.f. the date when the proclamation was effected up to the date nominated for causing appearance in the Court as per proclamation notice, was not afforded to the petitioner. 

The said proclamation notice was issued on July 17, 2017, directing the petitioner to cause an appearance on August 28, 2017. 

The Counsel further referred to the statement dated August 2, 2017, of Lambardar and also the report of the serving official (also dated August 2, 2017) as per which it became evident that the proclamation was actually effected on August 2, 2017, i.e. just about 26 days prior to the date (August 28, 2017) nominated for causing the appearance of the petitioner in the Court. 

Also, it was the counsel’s case that the subsequent adjournments by the Court so as to complete the period of 30 days would not cure the defect of not having provided a clear period of 30 days up to the date nominated for causing appearance in the Court as per proclamation notice. 

In order to substantiate the above-stated plea, the Counsel placed reliance upon Ashok Kumar Vs. State of Haryana 2013(4) R.C.R. (Criminal) 550 and a recent judgment dated July 16,2021 of the High Court itself tiled Anita Sharma Vs. State of Punjab. 

Thus, keeping in view the factual position, as noticed in the order dated January 17, 2022, the Court observed that it was apparent that a clear period of 30 days w.e.f. the date when the proclamation was actually affected up to the date nominated for causing appearance (i.e. August 28, 2017) was not afforded to the petitioner and it was only a period of 26 days, which was afforded. 

Thus, bearing in mind the law laid down in the above-cited cases, the Court was of the opinion that the impugned order could not be sustained and was thus set aside. 

The petition was accepted accordingly. 

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