There cannot be anything precious than personal liberty and reputation of a person, the Allahabad High Court observed while staying a show cause notice issued by Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Bahraich to one Noor Alam under Section 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Noor Alam @ Noor Alam Khan v. State of UP).
Single judge Justice Mohd. Faiz Alam Khan, stayed the notice, which had some strong observations against Alam.
"It is to be understood by one and all that there cannot be anything precious than the personal liberty as well as the reputation of a person," the order said.
The Court said that the notice was an example of sheer non-application of mind by the SDM as there was no basis to reach conclusions the Magistrate had made against the petitioner.
"It is not clear as to how the Magistrate has got the knowledge that the applicant is a habitual offender, indulging in 'marpeet', theft and in rioting and public is living in fear due to him. It is also not clear as to why by involving in a private dispute of criminal nature the public tranquility could be disturbed by the applicant, thus in view of above facts and circumstances this Court is not having any hesitation in observing that the instant case is an example of sheer non application of mind by the Magistrate concerned."
The Court also pointed out that in the notice sent by the SDM, it was not clear as to how by involving himself in a private dispute of criminal nature, public tranquility could be disturbed by the applicant/accused.
The counsel for petitioner, Noor Alam submitted that on the basis of single case under Sections 323, 504 and 506 of Indian Penal Code, the Magistrate had invoked the provisions of Section 111 CrPC.
It was further submitted that the SDM had also directed Alam to show cause as to why he be not directed to furnish sureties of the amount of Rs.50,000 and personal bond to keep peace for the next three years
On the other hand, Additional Government Advocate (AGA) submitted that SDM concerned had only issued a notice and simply a direction has been given to the applicant to appear before the Magistrate for the purpose of filing sureties and personal bond.
Therefore, the applicant "could not be deemed to have adversely affected by the same as it is a matter of law, order and peace."
The Court said that there cannot be any doubt in the proposition that summoning of a person by any criminal court is a very serious matter.
Reliance was placed on Madhu Limaye Vs. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Monghyr and others where it was observed that "since the person to be proceeded against has to show cause, it is but natural that he must know the grounds for apprehending a breach of the peace or disturbance of the public tranquility at his hands."
Accordingly the proceedings before the lower court was stayed and AGA was directed to filed a counter affidavit in the matter.
The matter will be heard again on September 8.