Read Order: Pardeep Dixit v. State of Haryana and another 

Vivek Gupta

Chandigarh, July 7, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that when an accused has been declared a proclaimed offender, a petition against that order under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is not maintainable.

Section 482 CrPC preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court and to secure the ends of justice.

Making the above mentioned observations, a bench of Justice H S Madaan denied relief to a man who had challenged the trial court order declaring him a proclaimed offender.

The case pertains to a petition filed by Pardeep Dixit, a trader from Madhya Pradesh, who stands accused in a criminal complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act filed by M/s Marvel Limited based in Haryana’s Hisar district.

Following the accused’s absence during trial court proceedings, he was declared a proclaimed person by JMIC, Hisar, on May 22, 2018.

The accused moved petition in high court under Section 482 Cr.P.C., praying for quashing of the impugned order declaring him as a proclaimed offender, as well as consequential proceedings arising therefrom, filing faults with the procedure adopted in passing of the order.

Dismissing the petition, Justice Madaan stated that the instant petition is bound to fail for various reasons.

Firstly, the petitioner has been declared as a proclaimed person by the court of competent jurisdiction on account of his failure to appear in the court in response to the process issued by the court and publication of proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C.

Secondly, the petitioner, instead of appearing before the trial court and rendering reasonable and plausible explanation for his absence praying for grant of regular bail, has opted to bypass the trial court and knock at the door of this court by way of filing the present petition, which as per facts and circumstances of the case cannot be accepted, the HC said.

“Thirdly, a Co-ordinate Bench of this Court in Mehnga Singh vs. State of Punjab 2002 (2) RCR (Criminal) 501, has observed that when an accused has been declared as proclaimed offender, a petition against the order under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is not maintainable. The accused should first move the court which declared him proclaimed offender and even an objection against validity of proclamation is required to be raised in the first instance before the court which issued the proclamation and that power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is not to be exercised in favour of a person who is absconder or avoiding service,” the high court order stated.

“Therefore, the present petition is doomed for failure and is dismissed accordingly,” ruled the HC.

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