SC refuses to entertain pleas seeking guidelines to check wrongful prosecution

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to entertain two petitions seeking a uniform compensation code for victims of wrongful prosecution, saying that “this will create a lot of complications”.

The petitions were filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay and Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra.

A bench comprising justices U.U. Lalit and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that the issue fell in the legislative domain, and also pointed out that it would create a lot of complications in the matters pending before the trial courts and high courts.

The bench said, “The nature of relief prayed for is in the realm of laying down guidelines or in the nature of the legislation. It will not be possible for this court to utilise its processes.”

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, representing the petitioners, submitted before the bench that there are no safeguards in case of malicious prosecutions.

The bench observed, “This will create a lot of complicationsa. This involves law making.”

The top court said that if guidelines are framed on this count, trial courts will be bound by them, and pointed out that “in cases of POCSO, or domestic violence, all acquitted will allege wrongful prosecution”.

Justice Bhat observed that the court did not have sufficient data in connection with the number of cases where wrongful prosecutions had taken place.

The bench told the petitioners’ counsel, “How many such wrongful prosecutions have taken place… We don’t have any material apart from the 3-4 anecdotal cases that you have mentioned. Should we use our judicial powers and processes for this?”

Concluding the hearing, the bench said, “It is now left to the concerned agencies or instrumentalities to take appropriate action. We, therefore, see no reason to entertain this petition any longer.”

The petitioners had submitted that cause of action for the instant pleas arose on January 28, 2021, when the Allahabad High Court declared a person named Vishnu Tiwari, who was incarcerated for 20 years, as innocent, after being booked for rape and atrocities under SC/ST Act, due to a land dispute.

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