HC Quashes Criminal Case Against Former UP Lokayukta N K Mehrotra

LUCKNOW || The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has quashed the criminal complaint filed by activist Nutan Thakur against ex Lokayukta N K Mehrotra before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Lucknow. The order was passed by the bench of Justice Pankaj Bhatia.

A complaint had been filed against Nutan’s husband IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, in which then Lokayukta Mehrotra had made many recommendations against Amitabh.

In her complaint filed on 03 September 2015, Nutan had said that Mehrotra had made this enquiry against the rules and prepared a completely false report against her husband, which is a criminal offence in IPC. CJM Lucknow started hearing the matter, which was challenged by the ombudsman.

The High Court said in its order that hearing of the complaint case by the CJM came under the category of taking cognisance of the case, while under section 197 CrPC a magistrate cannot take cognisance of an offence against a public servant without previous prosecution sanction, hence hearing of the case by CJM without prosecution sanction was prima-facie incorrect.

The Court also said that as per section 17(1) of UP Lokayukta Act, no action could be taken against Sri Mehrotra for the report prepared by him in good faith.

At the same time, the Court dismissed the plea of Mehrotra’s counsel Anupam Mehrotra that as a habitual litigant, Nutan did not have the right to file this complaint saying that this cannot be a reason for denying her legal rights.

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