Summons to be ensured to have been served, and appearance therein avoided intentionally before starting criminal proceedings

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of S.P. Garg, J., dismissed a criminal leave petition before it, preferred by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for leave to appeal against an acquittal.

The arguments advanced by the petitioner were that the trial court did not appreciate the evidence before it in correct perspective. Further, that the investigating agency had issued summons and were duly served on the respondent by speed post which the respondent had ignored. The petitioner further argued that the trial court had failed to consider the statutory presumption of service of summons sent by speed post as prescribed under Section 27 of the General Clause Act, coupled with Section 114 of the Evidence Act. Further, it was alleged that the respondent was avoiding appearing as he was involved in a serious case under Section 135 of the Customs Act.

The Court upon appreciation of evidence noted that the petitioner had not attempted to deliver the summons to the respondent directly at any point. Also they relied exclusively on tracking reports to make the case, while to who the summons was being delivered was not clear at any point. The impugned judgment also had recorded that the summons were delivered as per tracking reports on 14.09.2016, while the date of appearance mentioned therein was 13.09.2016. The Court reiterated that before initiating criminal proceedings against the respondent, the investigating agency was duty bound to ensure that the summons had been duly served and that he had deliberately or intentionally avoided appearing. Petition dismissed. [Directorate of Revenue Intelligence v. Raju Arora, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 7070, decided on 05.02.2018]

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