Release of 34 crores of JKCA
Jammu Tawi, July 13
Justice Janak Raj Kotwal while dismissing the petition of Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s group regarding release of 34 CCRs (1 CCR is equal to 1 Crore rupees), observed that it is admitted case of both the sides that the amount deposited against the CCRs sought to be released has been allotted by the BCCI to the JKCA for utilization by the latter.
It is admitted on behalf of the BCCI that after the election of the body of the office bearers of the JKCA headed by Imran Ansari, the BCCI for all practical purposes is dealing with the said body. In that it is stated on behalf of the BCCI that it has no objection to release of the amount in favour of the said body provided proper utilization of the amount is safeguarded. In the situation so emerging, court below in releasing the CCRs in favour of the body headed by Imran Ansari cannot be said to have committed any illegality, much less a patent illegality, calling for interference by this Court in exercise of inherent jurisdiction under section 561-A Cr.P.C.
This significant order has been passed in a petition filed by JKCA through M. L. Nehru seeking quashment order dated 19.03.2016 passed by the Special Judge, Anticorruption, CBI Cases, Kashmir, whereby on the application filed by the General Secretary, Iqbal Ahmad and the Treasurer, Sheikh Abdul Rouf, of the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) 34 Cash Credit Receipts (CCRs) seized by the police during investigation in FIR No. 27/2012 of Police Station, Ram Munshi Bagh, Srinagar, have been released in favour of the JKCA through its aforementioned General Secretary. It is admitted case of both the sides that these CCRs relate to the amount provided by the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) to the JKCA for utilisation by the latter for development of cricket in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is not denied that FIR No. 27/2012 (supra) has been registered on a report lodged on behalf of the previous body of the office bearers of the JKCA. The CCRs in question were seized when the case was under investigation by the State Police and were later handed over to the CBI after the investigation of the case was transferred to the said agency.
Justice Janak Raj Kotwal of J&K High Court Srinagar Wing after hearing Adv M. A Chashoo for the petitioner whereas Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi with Adv Parimoksh Seth for the BCCI observed that the petitioner precisely is that the office bearers of the JKCA were elected in an election held on 12.05.2014. In that election, inter alia, Dr. Farooq Abdullah was elected as the President of the Association and Mr. M. L Nehru was elected as General Secretary, through whom this petition is filed. During currency of the tenure of the said body, a parallel body was constituted pursuant to a notice dated 20.07.2015 issued by one of the office bearers of the Association, Rakesh Kumar, Vice Chairman. The said notice and action in furtherance thereto were challenged in a suit before the court of Sub Judge (Excise Magistrate), Jammu and the court vide its order dated 20.07.2015 granted interim injunction against the said notice and action in furtherance thereof, which was confirmed by a further order dated 15.09.2015. In spite of the temporary injunction by the court, a so called meeting was convened in which a parallel body headed by one Imran Ansari was constituted. In yet another civil suit, the court of District Judge, Srinagar by its order dated 01.08.2015 issued temporary injunction that the elected member/office bearers elected in the election held on 12.05.2014 shall not be ousted from their posts. It is contended further that during pendency of these civil matters, someone at the instance of the so called parallel body filed i suit before the court of the Sub Judge, Baramulla which material facts and pendency of aforementioned civil suit was concealed. In that suit the court of learned Sub Judge, Baramulla issued a direction on 18.09015, whereby the communication dated 01.09.201 issued by the General Secretary, herein petitioner was kept in abeyance.
Justice Kotwal further observed that It is clearly discernible from the respective stands and submissions on behalf of the parties that at the time when the application for release of the aforementioned CCRs was filed on behalf of the body headed by Mr. Imran Ansari, the said body was involved in a civil litigation about its constitutionality with the earlier body headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah. Impugned order has been passed by the Special Judge, Anti-Corruption, CBI Cases on 19.03.2016, whereas prior thereto ad interim and interim injunctions dated 15.09.2015 (supra) and 20.07.2015 (supra) were issued by the court of 3rd Civil Subordinate Jammu, which were in favour of the body headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah. Yet another interim injunction was issued by the court of the 1st Additional District Judge, Srinagar on 01.08.2015, which was also in favour of the earlier body. However, another interim injunction dated 18.09.2015 issued by the court of Sub Judge, Baramulla (supra) was in favour of the body headed by Mr. Imran Ansari.
A copy of the application for release of the CCRs on which the impugned order was passed, has been produced by the petitioner as annexure-B to this petition. This application or the impugned order does not indicate that the prior pendency of the civil litigation between the two bodies and issuance of the aforementioned interim injunctions j^/ere disclosed to the court while seeking release of the CCRs in favour of the body headed by Imran Ansari. Special Judge would have done better by issuing notice of the application to the informant on whose report the FIR in question was registered. Issuance of the notice to the informant would have given the Judge opportunity to look into and accord consideration to all aspects of the matter. It is advisable in an application for release of valuable property seized during investigation of a case to issue a notice to the informant, when the subject matter of investigation relates to the said property or its utilization and the application is filed by a person other than the informant.
Justice Janak Raj Kotwal further observed that it is admitted case of both the sides that the amount deposited against the CCRs sought to be released has been allotted by the BCCI to the JKCA for utilization by the latter. It is admitted on behalf of the BCCI that after the election of the body of the office bearers of the JKCA headed by Mr. Imran Ansari, the BCCI for all practical purposes is dealing with the said body. In that it is stated on behalf of the BCCI that it has no objection to release of the amount in favour of the said body provided proper utilization of the amount is safeguarded. In the situation so emerging, court below in releasing the CCRs in favour of the body headed by Mr. Imran Ansari cannot be said to have committed any illegality, much less a patent illegality, calling for interference by this Court in exercise of inherent jurisdiction under section 561-A Cr.P.C.
With these observations High Court dismissed the petition and upheld the order passed by Trial Court, subject, however, to the condition that before seeking encashment of the aforementioned CCRs from the bank(s), the body in whose favour the release has been ordered, shall obtain fresh authorization/permission from the BCCI to utilize the said amount and shall follow the instructions/conditions as may be imposed by the BCCI. JNF