CJM (Chief Judicial Magistrate) Banda Bhagwan Das Gupta, misused his powers. High Court quashes FIR CJM got lodged against two electricity department officials, says,CJM auctioned his chair : HC order to affect his career.

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Rajesh Pandey

While quashing an FIR lodged by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Banda against the serving officials of the state’s electricity department, the Allahabad High Court termed this act of CJM as unbecoming of a judge. “CJM Banda virtually auctioned his chair, dignity, and position by making false, motivated, and purposive allegations in the FIR by misusing his powers as CJM Banda. He cannot be permitted to enjoy his position as CJM and behave and act as an ordinary litigant”, the court added.

 

Allowing the writ petition filed by Manoj Kumar Gupta and two others, who are officials of state electricity department, a division bench comprising of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi and Justice Mohd Azhar Husain Idrisi observed that CJM Banda Bhagwan Das Gupta levelled “wild and tailored” allegations of fraud, cheating, fabrication of documents, and extortion of money against the officials “to teach a bitter lesson” to them and to make them “understand the power and position of a CJM”.

 

In this backdrop, the court directed that in future, if any judicial officer or Judge wants to become the first informant in his personal capacity in any FIR, he must take his concerned district judge into confidence and, after having the assent from the district judge only, he can become an informant of any FIR except in the matter of grave and severe nature like murder, suicide, rape or other sexual offences, dowry death and dacoity.

Besides this, while quashing the FIR, the court directed the registrar general of the high court to keep the copy of the judgment in the dossier/service record of Bhagwan Das Gupta, CJM, Banda.

The division bench made these observations while quashing the FIR against the state’s electricity department officials at Banda Kotwali Police Station.

As per the facts of the case, the CJM Bhagwan Das Gupta bought a house in a locality in Lucknow from one Vandana Pathak. After the purchase, when CJM Gupta applied to change the electricity account to his name, he was informed by the SDO of the local electricity substation that there was an outstanding bill of Rs. 166,916 on the electricity connection.

The CJM Gupta filed a complaint in August 2013 before the additional civil judge in Lucknow against the previous owner of the house, her husband, and several electricity department officials for fraud and other charges under various sections of IPC.

However, when no substantial case was found against the electricity department officials later, so the case was dropped. Thereafter, CJM Gupta pursued his case before district consumer forum, Lucknow and also before the Electricity Ombudsman but he lost his case everywhere.

The high court in its decision dated May 21 noted that when CJM Gupta failed to attain his objective at Lucknow, he decided to “cook up a fake story” and by “auctioning his chair and position as C.J.M., Banda,” he managed to lodge the FIR against the petitioners – electricity officials in Banda under section 420 (cheating) and other sections of IPC. The electricity department officials challenged the said FIR in the present petition.

 

 

 

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