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Twist in the tale of a bizarre legal tussle

Nagaland News

HC delivers a verdict ~ that punishes none

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 21: A bizarre legal tussle that traces its origin to a case reported in October 2016 was finally buried recently via a verdict ~ that punished no one, as desired by both parties involved ~ delivered by the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court.
The ruling was given on November 18 by Justice Songkhupchung Serto in a case filed by a resident of Kohima, Krovielhoupe Koza against the State of Nagaland and Sehuto Nakhro, a resident of Thenyizu Village, Phek.

As per Court document, on October 24, 2016, the petitioner Krovielhoupe Koza had reported a case at North Police Station, Kohima, stating that some of his belongings have been stolen from his house by unknown persons.
An FIR was registered and on the same day, one person, Sehuto Nakro was arrested “on suspicion”.
However, at the request of the accused person’s uncle Mhaseto Nakro, the FIR was withdrawn on October 25, 2016.
Then the plot twists: the uncle, Mhaseto Nakro, approached the District Child Protection Officer of Kohima and alleged that his nephew was tortured while in custody on false allegations made by the petitioner.
Consequently, an FIR was filed at Women Police Station, Kohima, against the petitioner and the Investigating Officer (IO). After investigation, a charge-sheet was submitted on November 20, 2016.
Another twist in the tale: on the day the charge hearing was held, the petitioner (Krovielhoupe Koza) and the co-accused (IO) had submitted an application praying for their discharge based on the plea that there has been a compromise between them and the complainants in the FIR.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Kohima, after considering their pleas, concluded that the charge against the IO under Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act was not maintainable since the victim had attained 22 years, “therefore, he can be charged only under Section 351 IPC”.
Further, the CJM concluded that in view of the compromise between the parties and the fact that the offence under Section 351 IPC is compoundable, the accused (IO) could be discharged.
“However, in the case of the petitioner, since the offences charged against him were not compoundable, he (the CJM) concluded that the trial will have to go on”, stated the Court order.
Aggrieved by the CJM’s ruling, the petitioner had gone to the High Court, praying for quashing the proceedings of GR case No.215/2016 pending before the CJM, Kohima.
During the hearing, the Counsel for the petitioner argued that since there has been a compromise between the parties, no purpose would be served by going ahead with the trial, and therefore, sought that the proceedings of the GR case may be quashed.

He also submitted that the offences charged against the petitioner were punishable with 6 months which may extend to 2 years only and they were not offences related to maintenance of public order.
In return, the respective Counsellors for the two respondents submitted that since there was a compromise between the parties, they have no objection in quashing the proceeding of the GR case pending before the CJM, Kohima.
Therefore, the Court ruled that even if it takes up the trial, it would only be for namesake ~ “in other words, a lame prosecution”. It observed that it would be in the best interest of the parties involved if the proceeding of the GR case is quashed.
“Accordingly, the prayer of the petitioner is allowed and the proceeding of the GR case mentioned above which is pending before the Court of the learned CJM Kohima is quashed”, it ruled.
(Page News Service)