A sessions court here has dismissed a man’s plea against a magisterial court order declaring him a proclaimed offender for evading his trial in a 1997 gambling case.
Additional sessions judge Gurdeep Singh dismissed east Delhi resident Shankar Lal’s plea, saying “the absence of the accused from the court is deliberate and intentional”.
“As the accused is avoiding to appear and evading the warrants of arrest, the metropolitan magistrate is fully justified in issuing the process under Section 82 CrPC (to declare an absconding person as a proclaimed offender),” he said.
Singh also noted that Lal, by continuously evading his appearance before the magisterial court on 21 successive dates in the past three years, has made the case against him as the second oldest pending before the magistrate.
Singh also dismissed the plea of Lal’s sister, who had come to the sessions court, challenging the magisterial court’s notice seeking her explanation as to how she failed to ensure her brother’s presence before the court despite standing surety for him during grant of bail to him.
Lal’s sister had also contended that his brother could not have been declared a proclaimed offender without serving her the notice, which was never given to her and she was not given the opportunity to produce the accused. But her plea was summarily rejected.
Seelampur resident Lal was chargesheeted under the Gambling Act on May 8, 1997, and a notice was issued to him on January 21, 1998.
For grant of bail to him, his sister Pushpa stood surety for him, assuring the court that she would ensure his presence before it to face the trial.
Lal, however, remained absent and was declared a proclaimed offender in 2005, after which he was arrested but granted bail again. Meanwhile, his statement was recorded and the case was listed for final arguments on July 14, 2007.
But Lal missed 21 successive court dates on one ground or the other after 2008 till March this year, after which the magisterial court declared him a proclaimed offender again.
While dismissing Lal’s plea, ASJ Singh took note of the fact that the affidavit in support of the revision petition was sworn in by Lal and his sister Pushpa before the oath commissioner at Karkardooma court.
This implied that they are available in Delhi and have knowledge of proceedings and that Lal was in a position to come to the court, noted Singh.