Order declaring accused as Proclaimed Person got set aside by Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court

Proclaimed Person-Section 82 Crpc

The judgment rendered in the case of Rajan Katna versus Wazir Chand Rakesh Kumar and another, heard in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh, revolves around the petitioner’s plea to quash the impugned order dated 19.02.2024, wherein he was declared a proclaimed person in a complaint case. The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Harpreet Singh Brar presided over the case.

The petitioner, Rajan Katna, through his counsel, Mr. Anoop Verma, contested that despite being on bail, his bail was canceled due to his non-appearance as he was suffering from dengue fever. Subsequently, non-bailable warrants were issued against him, and a fine was imposed on his surety. The petitioner moved several applications seeking relief, including the recall of warrants, all of which were dismissed. Eventually, the trial court issued a proclamation against him under Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), and subsequently declared him a proclaimed person on 19.02.2024.

The petitioner argued that the non-bailable warrants were never served, implying that the trial court’s finding of intentional evasion was erroneous. Additionally, it was contended that the trial court failed to follow the mandate of Section 82 of Cr.P.C., which requires specific conditions to be met before issuing a proclamation against an absconder.

Upon examining the facts and the legal arguments presented, the Hon’ble Judge emphasized the importance of balancing personal liberty with the interests of maintaining law and order, ensuring that legal procedures are fair and just, in accordance with Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The judgment highlighted precedents where the courts ruled that satisfaction must be recorded before issuing process under Section 82 of Cr.P.C., and any deviation renders the proclamation and subsequent proceedings null and void. It was observed that the petitioner had expressed his willingness to appear before the trial court on all dates.

Considering the circumstances, the Hon’ble Judge allowed the petition without issuing notice to the respondents to save time and litigation expenses. The impugned order declaring the petitioner as a proclaimed person was set aside. The petitioner was directed to appear before the trial court within 15 days and was granted bail upon furnishing appropriate bonds and sureties, along with a penalty of Rs. 5,000 to be deposited with the District Legal Services Authority, Hoshiarpur, for wasting court time.

In summary, the judgment underscores the necessity of adhering to legal procedures and ensuring fairness in criminal proceedings, ultimately providing relief to the petitioner while emphasizing the importance of respecting due process.