Punjab and Haryana high court situated in Chandigarh has extraordinary power under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code where the abuse of process of law can be prevented and similar is the case if there is any manifest error in the process being adopted.

PO order Quashed by High Court Chandigarh
PO order Quashed by High Court Chandigarh

Here is one such case of a proclaimed offender where the process was not properly followed. Hence, the PO order was set aside and remanded back to the trial court.

Facts of the Case

  1. Former INLD MLA from Megan, Balbir Singh alias was declared PO (proclaimed offender) by Rohtak Court as he failed to appear before it.
  2. As per requirement, the proclamation must be pasted at a conspicuous place of town or village where the person lives so it is easily readable by the people.
  3. The same proclamation needs to be the part of the court order for declaring the person as a PO.
  4. The court ordered the petitioner to be present before the trial court in the murder case, if not being given bail. Rest, the petitioner has been arrested.
  5. The incident relates back to Kalanaur grain market on May 5, 2011 where firing led to death of one individual and injuries to another.
  6. Balbir Singh did not join the investigation, thereafter he was declared a proclaimed offender. Only after the matter reached the Supreme Court, he surrendered before the court.

Let us read Section 82 of the Criminal Code Procedure:

Section 82 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 states that:

 (1) If any Court has reason to believe (whether after taking evidence or not) that any person against whom a warrant has been issued by it has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed, such Court may publish a written proclamation requiring him to appear at a specified place and at a specified time not less than thirty days from the date of publishing such proclamation.

(2) The proclamation shall be published as follows:-

(i) (a) it shall be publicly read in some conspicuous place of the town or village in which such person ordinarily resides;

(b) it shall be affixed to some conspicuous part of the house or homestead in which such person ordinarily resides or to some conspicuous place of such town or village;

(c) a copy thereof shall be affixed to some conspicuous part of the Court- house;

(ii) the Court may also, if it thinks fit, direct a copy of the proclamation to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in the place in which such person ordinarily resides.

(3) A statement in writing by the Court issuing the proclamation to the effect that the proclamation was duly published on a specified day, in the manner specified in clause (i) of sub- section (2), shall be conclusive evidence that the requirements of this section have been complied with, and that the proclamation was published on such day.

Further, under section 70 of the Criminal Procedure Code, police can arrest the proclaimed offender from anywhere, and even enter the house of the offender. The proclaimed offender can be arrested by anyone but he must be handed over to police immediately. The SSP of a district is required to keep a list of all the proclaimed offenders, and update it regularly.

Usually in practice, courts record statement to that effect, proclamation was duly published on a specified day in the manner prescribed under clause (i) or subsection (2) of Section 82, will be conclusive evidence that the procedure was followed. Here, in this case, it was missing in the court record.

So, if you are thinking of challenging Proclaimed Offenders’ proceedings before the High Court in Chandigarh, you must consult best/top/expert criminal Punjab and Haryana high court advocate/lawyer for your criminal case. It may be free or paid, depends.

For more information, dial 9988817966. This post has been written by Advocate Satish Mishra.