Madhuri’s Criminal Revision Petition came for admission before the District Special court in Barwani today.Adv Atul Sreedharan , PUCL Lawyer appearead and argued that the order of the CJM taking cognisance of the case in FIR, Cr. No. 93/2008 was illegal, the CJM seems to have ignored the bar imposed by section 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code that no court shall take cognisance of an offence beyond a period of three years if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding 3 years. It is to be noted that all the offences charged in the present case impose a maximum sentence of three years. Hence the order of the CJM, Barwani dated 20.4.2013 taking cognisance itself is illegal as it hit by the limitation for taking cognisance imposed by section 468(c) of the Cr.PC.
It also needs to be pointed out that sec. 473 Cr.PC provides for extension of limitation in certain situations; however for invoking this provision the CJM ought to have clearly explained and spelt out in the order dated 20.4.2013, the reasons why the CJM was satisfied that the cause of delay has been properly and satisfactorily explained or that it is necessary to condone the delay in the interests of justice. To our knowledge, the order of the CJM neither explains the reason for the delay in filing the closure report (in effect the police final report u/s 173 CrPC) nor explains the reasons for condoning the delay thereby directing taking of cognisance in the `interests of justice’.
The provisions of sections 468 and 473 are mandatory and non-compliance with them vitiates the order of the CJM dated 20.4.2013 taking cognisance. In effect the order of the CJM taking cognisance of the case in FIR, Cr. No. 93/2008 becomes illegal. It follows that the consequent legal proceedings initiated in the case, including remanding Madhuri thereby imprisoning her, are also illegal.
The court posted matter to 14 June , 2013 and requested him to file bail petition which was allowed.
Madhuri will be Released.
Source- telephonic conversation with Kavita Srivastava and the PUCL statement