Topic: Anirrudh Bahal v State of Delhi - Sting Operations legal
Anirrudh Bahal v State of Delhi
Crl.M.C. 2793/2009 - Crl.M.C. 3194/2009 - Bench: Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra - Date of Order: September 24, 2010
The Delhi High Court on 24/09/2010 delivered a judgment on controversial Anirrudh Bahal v State, made sting operations legal
Judgment By: Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra
1. Whether reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment? Yes.
2. To be referred to the reporter or not? Yes.
3. Whether judgment should be reported in Digest? Yes.
1. These two petitions have been preferred by the petitioners with prayer for quashing of charge-sheet qua them and also for quashing of order dated 6th July, 2009 of taking cognizance and issuing summons against them as accused in C.C. No.189 of 2009 arising out of the said charge-sheet and the proceedings thereunder.
2. The petitioners had conducted a sting operation to expose the practice prevalent amongst some of the Members of Parliament of taking money for asking question in the Parliament. This practice was known to public for quite some time but was not brought to notice of the public at large with credible proof. The petitioners took upon themselves the responsibility of exposing such persons with documentary proof and conducted a sting operation. The result of this sting operation was made public by airing the same on TV channels on 12th December 2005 and the entire nation watched some members of Parliament accepting money for asking questions.
After this operation was aired, a committee was constituted by Lok Sabha on 17th December 2005 to enquire into the allegations of conduct of those members of Parliament whose names figured in the operation. The Rajya Sabha also constituted a committee on 18th December 2005 for the same purpose. However, despite the corruption into which some members of Lok Sabha had indulged being publicly aired, no FIR was registered by the police of capital of this country immediately. It was only after about one and a half year of airing of the tapes of sting operation that an FIR was registered at Police Station Parliament Street under Section 12 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act and in this FIR the prime accused were the petitioners herein who had conducted the sting operation.
3. A petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed before this Court by the petitioners for quashing of FIR and this Court dismissed the petition for quashing of this FIR and observed as under:
“8. This Court can quash an FIR only if all the facts stated in it even if considered true, do not disclose commissioning of a cognizable offence. In the instant case, it is the admitted case of the petitioners that there was a cognizable offence committed, although their case is that the offence was not committed by them but it was committed by Members of Parliament. In any event, investigation has to be there in the commission of offence and police is bound to book all those who committed the crime. The protection, as claimed by the petitioners under Section 24 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and under Section 12 can be claimed only during trial and not at the stage of registration of an FIR.
9. It is obligatory on the part of police to investigate into the crime in full and not in a piecemeal manner. The police is directed to book all those persons involved in the offence of taking bribe, their middlemen and to get them punished according to law. The police cannot book only the middlemen and the media persons and leave the real recipients of bribe untouched. If this is done, this would not only violate the principle of equality before law guaranteed under the Constitution of this Country but also would reflect subservient character of criminal justice system. This would also give a cause to the people to behave that giving and taking of bribe is a privilege of Members of Legislature”.