The Allahabad High Court Friday refused to quash a First Information Report (FIR) and subsequent criminal proceedings against the then 12-members proctorial team of Aligarh Muslim University in a case involving the alleged wrongful confinement and abuse of a man who was forced to remove the BJP flag from his car while driving on campus.
Justice JJ Munir observed that the complainant was allegedly abused and then had words spoken to in his ear, with the intent to create enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.
This is a matter, Justice Munir said, to be determined by the trial court, particularly when the presence of each one of the petitioners at the scene of occurrence is not in dispute.
“The allegation of statements attributed to the accused, being incorrectly recorded by the Investigating Officer, is also not a matter which the Court can go into in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code”, the high court said.
The court also refused to watch the video recordings sought to be placed by the petitioners to buttress their argument that the complainant/driver was not abused, but simply made to remove the flag. It said that it was beyond the accepted scope of the court’s jurisdiction to test the worth of these allegations.
The petitioners sought to argue that the University was within its rights to prohibit the use of flags on vehicles entering the campus. The court, however, said the prosecution was not about the legality or otherwise of the flag flying on the vehicle, or the legality of the University rules, prohibiting flags of national political parties flying on vehicles entering their campus. It was about the manner in which the flag was caused to be removed and the words that were uttered by the proctorial team, as claimed by the complainant.
The petition averred that the proctorial team members were not named in the FIR, which came to be lodged belatedly after an inordinate and unexplained delay of almost 28 hours i.e. on October 23, 2019, at 7.39 P.M. despite the fact that the alleged occurrence took place at 3.40 P.M. on October 22, 2019, thereby raising a strong shadow of doubt towards the entire prosecution case.
The plea also alleged that the Investigating Officer completely ignored the fact that as per the RTO records the vehicle was registered in the name of Vijay Singh, an AMU student and grandson of a BJP MLA, Thakur Dalveer Singh. Vijay Singh was, therefore, not even eligible or competent to display the party flag on his vehicle. It went on to state that the criminal proceeding was a product of malice and the outcome of an “ego clash and air of supremacy” of the sitting MLA from the ruling party dispensation,
The UP Government opposed the petition and said that the offence was serious as it could have led to serious law and order problems.