The Kerala High Court issued a directive today, in Saiby Jose Kidangoor v. The State Police Chief & Ors. emphasizing the prompt consideration of the final report submitted by the investigating agency within a stipulated period of two months. The Court’s directive comes in response to the investigation’s closure report under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which indicated ‘further action dropped’ against Advocate Saiby Jose Kidangoor.

Advocate Saiby was implicated in a case involving alleged collection of funds from clients under the guise of bribing judges of the High Court. The Ernakulam Central Police Station initiated the case against Advocate Saiby, invoking offences under Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice K. Babu, upon reviewing the final report presented before the court, directed the Special Judge of the Vigilance Court to consider the report within a definitive timeframe.

“The learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner prayed for a direction to the Special Judge to consider the report in a time-bound manner. The special judge shall consider the report in accordance with the law within a period of two months from the date of production of the certified copy of this judgment,” the court order stated, subsequently closing the petition.

Advocate Saiby had approached the High Court seeking the quashing of all further proceedings associated with the FIR registered as Crime No. 362/2023 at the Ernakulam Central Police Station.

Understanding Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code

Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988:Addresses the offence of taking gratification by a public servant other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act. It Involves public servants accepting gratification other than their legal remuneration for performing or abstaining from performing an official act.The offence includes the act of receiving or agreeing to accept gratification, related to official duties, with an intent to perform or not perform an official duty. Punishment includes imprisonment and fines, aiming to deter corrupt practices among public servants and maintain the integrity of public service.Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code:Deals with the offence of cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.Covers acts where individuals deceive others to gain advantage or property by fraudulent means or false representation.Defines cheating as fraudulent or dishonest inducement and addresses acts done with an intent to deceive someone through misrepresentation.Punishmentincludes imprisonment and fines, aiming to prevent fraudulent activities and maintain trust in transactions.

Last week, during the court proceedings, the Public Prosecutor informed the Court about the investigating agency’s submission of a final report, indicating the dropping of charges and subsequent actions against Advocate Saiby.

Senior Advocate S. Sreekumar, along with Advocates K. Anand, Babu S. Nair, M.R. Nandakumar, and Martin Jose P., represented the petitioner in this case.

The Kerala High Court’s directive underscores the need for the Special Judge to expeditiously consider the final report submitted by the investigating agency, ensuring timely and lawful resolution in Advocate Saiby’s case.

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