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Police file 'Chapter Case' against H.H. Dr. Jayant Athavale, who for the past 2 years hasn't left his room due to illness

January 26, 2010

Magh Shuddha Ekadashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5111

‘Chapter’ case filed even against two Trustees of Sanatan Sanstha and Editor of ‘Sanatan Prabhat’

The Police has filed Chapter case against H. H. Dr. Athavale who can not leave his room due to his illness and and against one of the Trustees of Sanatan Sanstha, Mr. Nitin Sahakari who was abroad on work at the time when the incident happened ! - Editor SP

Ponda (Goa): The Ponda police have filed ‘Chapter’ case with the Sub-divisional Magistrate against H. H. Dr. Jayant Athavale, Mr. Veerendra Marathe, the Managing Trustee, Mr. Nitin Sahakari, the Trustee and Mr. Pruthviraj Hazare, the group editor of Sanatan periodicals on the grounds of disturbing public peace. As per the information given by the Ponda Police, the sub-divisional Magistrate has issued a ‘show cause’ notice to them under the clause 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Accordingly, on 22nd January, Mr. Veerendra Marathe, Mr. Nitin Sahakari and Mr. Prithviraj Hazare attended the Court on behalf of Sanatan and Vasant Bhat, Vinod Nageshkar, Hanumant Naik and Shekhar Naik on behalf of the Complainants. The next hearing will be held on 26th February.

In the notice issued by the Sub-divisional Magistrate, it has been mentioned that according to the information furnished by the police, Mr. Veerendra Marathe, Mr. Nitin Sahakari,  Mr. Pruthviraj Hazare and H. H. Dr. Jayant Athavale have disturbed the peace and social harmony and it is necessary to conduct further inquiry in the matter. Peace and social harmony can be disturbed if you take part in violent activities. Under the clause 107 of Criminal Procedure Code show cause as to why a bond of Rs. 10,000/- for a period of six months should not be taken from you to maintain peace.

The Ponda police have thus filed a ‘Chapter’ case against Mr. Veerendra Marathe, the Managing Trustee and Mr. Pruthviraj Hazare, the group editor of Sanatan periodicals, hearing of which has been fixed for 26th February 2010 after these accused attended the Court on 22nd January. Out of the above accused, Mr. Nitin Sahakari is working with Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hong Kong as an engineer and was out of the country during the period 24.10.2009 to 10.01.2010 whereas H. H. Dr. Jayant Athavale has not even left his room for the past 2-1/2 years owing to his ill health.

In view of the above, the seekers have a lot of questions, such as, have the police prepared the report which has been furnished to the Sub-divisional Magistrate without verifying the facts? If so, how can the police furnish such false reports? In such case, can one take action against the police for furnishing such wrong information? Some well wishers of the Sanstha are asking how the police take legal action against the Sanstha when the Ashram and seekers are being attacked.

What is a ‘Chapter’ case?

In some situations, the nature of the complaint lodged by the two parties is such that one party openly does injustice to the other party by taking advantage of the lacunae in law. The party which faces such injustice, naturally, goes to the police station to lodge a complaint against the party doing injustice. Such complaints are registered by the police as ‘incognizable’. This gives protection to the party that does injustice, under the law. The aggrieved party continues to lodge complaints about the offences taking place against them with the police. At such time, it becomes difficult for the police to take side of the party doing injustice. In such situation, the police sometimes, furnish a report to the sub-divisional Magistrate, under clause 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) either against both the parties or sometimes against the aggrieved party (Plaintiff), for filing a ‘Chapter’ case. The police request the sub-divisional Magistrate to take action against the concerned party under clause 107 of CrPC i.e. police file ‘chapter’ case against that party.

Thereafter, the sub-divisional Magistrate issues a notice under clause 111 of CrPC to both the parties (if the report is against only one party then to that party) that the party has committed a crime of causing disturbance to the social peace and harmony and why surety of one year or for a less period should not be taken from that party to maintain the social peace and harmony. The concerned party has to give a reply in writing. The party can refuse to give such surety in its reply stating that no such crime to disturb social peace and harmony has been committed by them. In that case, the sub-divisional Magistrate can set the issue for inquiry. The Government (Police) furnishes evidence in support of their report and the aggrieved party is given a chance to furnish evidence in defense. The sub-divisional Magistrate then passes his verdict after the hearing. In the verdict if the Government’s evidence is accepted, the accused party is directed to give a bond assuring that no action would be taken by them that would disturb the social peace and harmony for a period of one year or six months or the case against the accused party is cancelled and he is set free. If, however, the party that has been issued such notice agrees to give a bond, as mentioned in the notice, the case is then and there solved.

Many times such cases are filed by the police with the sub-divisional Magistrate; but it takes a lot of time to pass the final verdict. Therefore, many times when the case is presented for final verdict, the sub-divisional Magistrate disposes of such case as the Government (police furnishing the report) remain absent due to various reasons or due to lack of adequate evidence. Of course, if there is enough evidence against the party against whom the police have filed a case, the sub-divisional Magistrate issues an order to take a surety bond from the party that the party would not do any such thing that would disturb social peace and harmony for 1 years or six months.

- Advocate Mr. Ramdas Kesarkar, Honorary Legal Adviser of Sanatan Sanstha

Source: Daily Sanatan Prabhat

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