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CBI gets 10 more days to serve notice on retired Naga officer in alleged corruption case

Gauhati High Corut Kohima Bench

DIMAPUR, JUNE 10: As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) attempts to revive a criminal case filed previously in the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court against a former Nagaland Legislator and two former senior Veterinary and Animal Husbandry officials of Nagaland, the Court on Monday granted 10 days’ time to the investigation agency to serve notice upon R Ezung, one of the officials cited in the case.
“Service upon the Respondent No. 1 is not complete as would be seen from the Office Note dated May 22, 2024. The Applicant herein is directed to take fresh steps at the proper address of the Respondent No. 1.
“Ten days’ time is granted to the Applicant to verify and then take appropriate steps against the Respondent No. 1. List the matter after completion of service”, stated an order issued by Justice Devashis Baruah.
As reported previously in Nagaland Page, the Court had on May 26 last year dismissed a case filed by the Bureau against former Legislator Neiba Kronu, R Ezung, the then Secretary of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, and KM Zimik, the then Under Secretary of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, following the CBI’s failure to prosecute the same.
But in November last year, the Bureau filed an interlocutory application. “The petitioner filed this application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, praying for condonation of delay of 150 days in filing the connected IA for restoration of Criminal Appeal No. 3/2021 which has been dismissed by an order dated May 26, 2023 for non-prosecution by the appellant”, stated a Court document.
Since then, the CBI has been taking steps to serve notice upon all the respondents.
To recount, the CBI had filed said Criminal Appeal challenging a judgment passed by Special Judge of CBI, Kohima, on December 5, 2019, whereby the respondents were acquitted for offences under Sections 120B/409 of IPC and Sections 13(2)/13(1)[d] of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
On May 26 last year when the ruling was delivered, the Counsel for Neiba Kronu had submitted that since June 28, 2022, when the Court had directed for preparation of paper book, the Counsel for CBI had remained absent.
“On perusal of the case record, it appears that this case was listed for admission hearing on March 14, 2023, April 17, 2023, May 1, 2023 and May 4, 2023, and on none of these dates, the learned Counsel for the appellant appeared. It also appears from the record that on May 1, 2023 also, the learned Counsel for the respondents made submissions for dismissal of this appeal on the ground of non-prosecution. Today also, the learned Counsel for the appellant is absent”, read an order issued then.
Consequently, both the Counsels for the respondents appealed for dismissal of the case for non-prosecution.
“On specific query made by this Court as to whether a Criminal Appeal may be dismissed for non-prosecution or not, the learned Counsel has produced ruling of the Hon’ble Kerala High Court in the case of KG Keralakumaran Nair vs. State of Kerala and Anr, reported in wherein it was held that the High Court has inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to dismiss an appeal or any other criminal proceeding for default or non-prosecution. It also held that the High Court also has the inherent power to restore any matter dismissed for default or non-prosecution on sufficient reasons being shown.
“This court is in agreement with the observations made in the aforesaid judgment and considering the facts and circumstances of this case, where the respondents were acquitted by the Trial Court and after filing the present appeal the learned Counsel for the appellant has remained absent on several consecutive dates without showing any cause, this Court is of the considered opinion that the conduct of appellant side amounts to abuse of process of Court and this is a fit case to exercise the inherent powers vested under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to prevent the abuse of process of the Court. For reasons stated herein above, this appeal is dismissed for non-prosecution by the appellant”, the order read.
(Page News Service)