Revision Petition against issue of non­ bailable warrant u/s 50 of Black Money Act dismissed

Revision Petition against issue of non­ bailable warrant u/s 50 of Black Money Act dismissed as NBW do not decide or touch important rights or liabilities of parties.

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3184 (2019) (10) AC

Important case law relied upon by the parties:
Inder Mohan Goswami and Ors Vs. State of Uttaranchal and Ors

Revision Petition against issue of Non Bailable Warrant under Black Money Act 

In the instant case, a revision petition u/s 397 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) was filed before the Sessions Court against the order passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) issuing Non Bailable Warrants against the revisionist.

The case was instituted by the Respondent Income Tax Department had by filing a Criminal Complaint before the Court of ACMM alleging commissioning of an offence by the applicant /revisionist under Section 50 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets and Imposition of Tax) Act, 2015 

Summons were issued against the revisionist by the ACMM but the summons were returned unserved on the address given in the Complaint as the revisionist did not reside at the address given by the complainant in the complaint and had been living abroad for over two years.  

Feeling aggrieved by the impugned order, the Petitioners had filed a revision petition on the grounds that the ACMM vide impugned order had issued Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) against the Revisionist without even considering the procedure laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and failed to even consider that the summons had not  been  duly  served upon the Revisionist and therefore, there was no basis whatsoever for the issuance of the Non Bailable  Warrants in the present case.

It was further submitted that the ACCM in the impugned order had clearly observed that the Revisionist was in London, United Kingdom.  Thus, given that the ACCM was fully aware of this information, summons could not had been served at the address given in India in the Complaint filed.

The revisionist relied upon the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court wherein it had been held that the issuance of non ­bailable warrants involves interference with personal  liberty.  Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious right of  an individual. Therefore, Courts have to be extremely careful before issuing non ­bailable warrants. In complaint cases, at the first instance, the court should direct serving of the summons along with the copy of complaint.  If the accused seem to be avoiding summons, the court, in the second instance should issue bailable warrant. In the third instance, when the court is fully satisfied that accused is avoiding the court’s proceeding intentionally, the non­ bailable warrant should be resorted to.  Personal liberty is paramount, therefore, courts should be cautious at the first and second instance to refrain from issuing non-­bailable warrants.

The Sessions Court observed that the applicant/revisionist   had not approached to it with clean hands inasmuch as affidavit filed with the present revision petition of the  applicant /Revisionist was attested in London and the said affidavit only reveal the Delhi address of the applicant /Revisionist and had not mentioned the address of London.

The Sessions Court opined that apparently the applicant /revisionist intentionally and deliberately did not want to appear in the court  after service of the summons and avoiding intentionally and deliberately the process issued by the Trial court in the complaint case in which the allegation against the applicant/accused were of very serious nature and  it  also appeared that intentionally and deliberately applicant/Revisionist had  not  mentioned  his  address  of London in his affidavit, filed with the Revision Petition.

The Sessions Court stated that the facts in the case law relied upon and in the instant case were altogether different on the ground that the applicant/Revisionist was facing prosecution under the Income Tax Act and as per guidelines of Ministry of External Affairs and the Extradition proceedings had already   been   initiated   against   him. Therefore, the impugned order issuing non  bailable warrant was completely justified and in accordance with law and  there was no  illegality or irregularity in it.

The Sessions Court pointed out that revision against the order was not maintainable as issuance of non ­bailable warrant do not decide or touch the important rights or the liabilities of the parties. Any order which substantially effects  the  rights  of  the  accused, or decides certain rights of the parties only then revision petition is maintainable.

The Court further clarified that issuance of non­bailable warrant against the accused came within the category “interlocutory order” within the meaning of   section 397(2) of Cr.P.C. and against the said order which is purely interlocutory order, revision petition is not maintainable. 

Accordingly, the revision petition was dismissed.

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