Settlement of criminal cases will subvert justice: HC

Settlement of criminal cases will subvert justice: HC

Even as controversy over settlement of earlier criminal cases involving Mohammed Nisham, an accused in the murder of a security guard, rages, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has held that if criminal cases against a person repeatedly indulging in different offences are ultimately terminated through out-of-court settlements, it may pave the way for such a person to subvert the course of justice.

The Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Babu Mathew P. Joseph made this observation while dismissing a petition filed by Vijayamma from Kollam challenging the preventive detention order against her son Aneesh, alias Podivava, issued under the Kerala Antisocial Activities (Prevention) Act, 2007 (KAAPA).

Societal existence

The court said that in such inescapable scenario of “societal existence,” such orders terminating prosecution in exercise of its authority under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should not be permitted.

The court said that when a prosecution got terminated by settlement, that did not immediately discharge a person from the conclusions arrived at by the investigating officers.

Probe finding

The finding by the competent investigation officer would still be a material available in the domain of the police and the executive.

Such material would, therefore, be available for the purposes under Section 2(p) (iii) of KAAPA.

Even though a criminal trial did not go on owing to termination of prosecution through settlements, the detaining authority could consider such materials to formulate an opinion in relation to preventive laws, the court said.


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