Sharat Babu Digumarti vs Govt Of Nct Of Delhi

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Case name – Sharat Babu Digumarti vs Govt Of Nct Of Delhi

Case number – CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1222 OF 2016

Forum – Supreme Court of India

Bench – justice Dipak Misra, justice Prafulla C. Pant

Decided on – 14 December, 2016

Relevant Act/Sections – Sections 292 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 67 and section 85 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Section 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Obscene Publications Act, 1925, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

Author of the case brief – Uma Nemlekar

Brief Facts:

• The Appellant was a senior manager(trust and safety) at a company and was charged under sec. 292, 294 IPC r/w 67 of IT Act, 2000. It was alleged that the appellant’s company were in the possession of obscene material and were selling and distributing them. Being aggrieved by the order framing of charge, the appellant moved the High Court in Criminal Revision No. 127 of 2015 and the learned Single Judge by the impugned order declined to interfere on the ground that there is sufficient material showing appellant’s involvement to proceed against him for the commission of the offence punishable under Section 292 IPC. The High Court opined that the accused could not be charged on the aforementioned sections and instead should be charged under section 67 r/w 85 of IT Act. • The appellant moved to the Supreme Court, and the latter ordered the subduing of procedures against the former. However, when an application was placed before the trial court to drop the proceeding, the trial court ordered the proceeding continue solely on section 292 of IPC. A revision petition was put forward to the High Court against the order framing of charge, but the High Court denied to interfere in the issue.

Issue:

whether the appellant who has been discharged under Section 67 of the IT Act could be proceeded under Section 292 IPC.


Analysis/ conclusion:

• TOHO being a special Act and the matter relating to dealing with offences thereunder having been regulated by reason of the provisions thereof, there cannot be any manner of doubt whatsoever that the same shall prevail over the provisions of the Code.” And again:- • The provisions of the Code, thus, for all intent and purport, would apply only to an extent till conflict arises between the provisions of the Code and TOHO and as soon as the area of conflict reaches, TOHO shall prevail over the Code. Ordinarily, thus, although in terms of the Code, the respondent upon completion of investigation and upon obtaining remand of the accused from time to time, was required to file a police report, it was precluded from doing so by reason of the provisions contained in Section 22 of TOHO.” • In view of the aforesaid analysis and the authorities referred to hereinabove, we are of the considered opinion that the High Court has fallen into error that though charge has not been made out under Section 67 of the IT Act, yet the appellant could be proceeded under Section 292 IPC.

Decision:

• Consequently, the appeal is allowed, the orders passed by the High Court and the trial court are set aside and the criminal prosecution lodged against the appellant stands quashed.