Delhi HC issues notice in challenge to provisions barring victims from prosecuting wrong-doer under certain Acts
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Delhi HC issues notice in challenge to provisions barring victims from prosecuting wrong-doer under certain Acts

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in a petition challenging the constitutional validity of various provisions of certain statutes which bar the victims of offences prosecutable under these statutes from prosecuting the wrong-doer.

The provisions under challenge are as follows:

  • Section 26 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
  • Section 109 of Insurance Act, 1938
  • Section 236 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
  • Section 28 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007
  • Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
  • Section 22 of the Depositories Act,  1996
  • Section 47 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949
  • Section 51 of the National Housing Bank Act, 1987
  • Section 26 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956

The above-mentioned provisions bar the court concerned from taking cognizance of a complaint made to it for the violation of the concerned law unless the complaint is made by a person/authority specified in the Act.

Notice to the Central Government was issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar in a petition by NGO, India Awake for Transparency.

It is the petitioner’s case that there should be no fetters on the right of a victim to prosecute the wrong-doer for violation of any of the statutes mentioned above.

The present situation, the petitioner asserts, takes away the right of the victim to initiate the prosecution the wrong-doer and instead, leaves them at the mercy of a designated agency.

The petitioner contends that there is no reason to deny the “right of prosecution” to victims who are “fully prepared to shoulder the said burden without leaning on the State agency”.

The petitioner thus seeks a direction to declare the above-mentioned provisions as unconstitutional and void for being oppressive, excessive, illegal and ultra vires the Constitution.

The petitioners were represented by Advocates Arnav Dash and Shailesh Poddar.

The matter would be heard next in March 2020.

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