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Madras HC dismisses petition of suspended TN Special DGP facing sexual harassment charges

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Chennai, Oct 28 (ILNS) The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Rajesh Das, the suspended Special DGP, facing sexual harassment charges filed by a woman IPS officer.

A single-judge bench of Justice P. Velmurugan passed this order on the Special DGP’s petition. The petition had sought the setting aside of the order dated October 4, 2021 of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram.

The police registered a case against the petitioner and another under section 354(A) (2), 341, 506(i) IPC and Section 4 of Tamilnadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act. After completing the investigation, laid a charge sheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate has taken the petition and after hearing the parties and perusing the materials, dismissed the petition. Challenging the said order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the petitioner filed the Revision Case, before this Court. The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the respondent police filed FIR as well as the charge sheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the case as per law. The stand taken by the respondent before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Villupuram was based on the circular issued by the Court dated May 6, 2010, and the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram has issued a notification dated July 5, 2010, under section 14(1) of Cr. P.C and assumed jurisdiction for all CBCID matters in the district of Villupuram.

The Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that it was brought notice of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram that the powers and jurisdiction of the Judicial Magistrate having local jurisdiction, cannot be usurped by any circular or any notification issued in pursuance of circular as per the law laid down in Karuupa Gounder & Others Vs. D.Sekar reported in 2012 (3) CTC.

Further, he submitted that the alleged offences have taken place between Namakkal and Ulundurpet and the alleged offence was occurred and completed in Ulundurpet. Likewise, the second part of the alleged offence occurred and was completed in Chengalpet Toll. FIR as well as final report ought to have been filed either before the Judicial Magistrate, Namakkal or Ulundurpet or Chengalpet and under no circumstances, it could be filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram and as such, the entire proceedings are vitiated.

He further submitted that the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram without considering the contents put forth on merit, dismissed the petition by an order dated October 4, 2021, which is not in accordance with the law. Therefore, he has filed the Revision Case, before this Court.

The State Public Prosecutor submitted that in all the cases which were investigated by the CBCID, charge sheet would be filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of the respective districts and as per the order of the Court dated May 6, 2010, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Villupuram has been designated to exercise all or any of the powers of the Magistrate of First Class, under Section 14(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 to deal with the cases registered under CBCID cases. The place of occurrence falls under the jurisdiction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram.

The Court noted, “Since the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram is a designated Court for the cases registered by the Crime Branch, CBCID Villupuram, the Chief Judicial Magistrate has got the jurisdiction to take the cognizance of the cases filed by the respondent police. The Citations referred to by the counsel for the petitioner is not applicable to the case at hand. The said R.O.C is still in force. Therefore, the contention raised by the counsel for the petitioner is not legally tenable.

Further, the said notification was published in the Gazette and from the date of publication, in all the cases registered by the Crime Branch (CBCID) in Tamilnadu, they filed the charge sheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in the respective districts and the Chief Judicial Magistrate alone try the cases and dispose of the same in accordance with the law.”

Considering the facts and circumstances of the said case, the Court does not find any perversity in the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram. The petitioner at any point in time, on earlier occasions, has not challenged the power of CBCID to investigate the matter. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Villupuram has got jurisdiction to proceed with the case and the said ROC is not violating any statutory provisions. However, no prejudice would be caused to the petitioner.

Under these circumstances, the Court found that there is no merit in the revision and the same is liable to be dismissed./ILNS/SNG/

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