HC quashes FIR against MP Governor Yadav in MPPEB scam

HC quashes FIR against MP Governor Yadav in MPPEB scam

The Madhya Pradesh High Court today quashed the FIR filed against state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav in connection with the MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam.

A division bench of High Court comprising Chief justices A M Khanwilkar and Rohit Arya quashed the FIR against 88-year-old Yadav.

The bench observed, "While dealing with the primary question of extent of immunity and privilege extended to the Head of a State, during his term of office, which answers the jurisdictional fact, we proceed to quash the impugned FIR against the petitioner (Governor) on that count alone, with liberty to police to proceed in accordance with law, after the petitioner ceases to be the Governor."

"For, the immunity and privilege is only during the term of office. At the same time the immunity and privilege extended to the Governor will not impair or whittle down the powers of the police to investigate the criminal case registered against other accused who cannot claim such privilege and in the process, record statement of the petitioner, if required," the judges further observed.

"We say so because the immunity in Article 361 (2) or 361 (3) does not extend to recording of statement of the Head of a State by the police in connection with investigation of a crime, if it is so essential.

"The police, however, must take all salutary precautions and observe circumspection while recording statement of the petitioner in the course of investigation, so that the majesty of the office of the Governor of the State is not undermined in any manner," the division bench ruled.

Earlier on April 18, the High Court had in an interim order stayed the FIR filed on February 24 against the Governor by the Special Task Force (STF) in connection with the recruitment scam, asking the prosecuting agency not to take any "coercive action" against him. 

The STF had filed the FIR against Yadav, which was possibly the first against any Governor of Madhya Pradesh, alleging his complicity in the forest guard recruitment exam conducted by the MPPEB.

Thereafter, Yadav had petitioned the High Court to quash the FIR against him filed by the STF probing the multi-layered MPPEB scam.

Yadav's counsels Ram Jethmalani, Adarsh Muni Trivedi and Mahendra Pateria had contended in the court that criminal proceedings against the Governor were contrary to provisions of Article 361 (2) and (3) of the Constitution, which grant immunity to the President and Governors while in office.

However, the STF had argued that criminal proceedings are not launched with the registration of the case. Criminal proceedings are considered launched after a charge sheet is put up in court, it had further contended.

On the other hand, the Governor's counsels had argued that criminal proceedings start with registration of an FIR. 

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0