In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court of India, comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan, declined to club multiple First Information Reports (FIRs) filed against the petitioner, Amandeep Singh Sran, involving offenses under both the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and various state enactments aimed at safeguarding investors. The Court observed that the invocation of state enactments designated for investor protection made it challenging to consolidate the FIRs, as each state had established specialized courts to address these offenses. Attempting to club the FIRs would potentially undermine the jurisdiction of these specialized courts, established specifically to address offenses under respective state laws related to investor protection.
The petitioner, represented by Senior Advocate J.S. Attri, sought consolidation of FIRs filed in multiple states throughout the country before an appropriate Investigating Agency/Court in the State of Delhi. Citing the precedent of Radhey Shyam v. State of Haryana, where 48 FIRs were consolidated to avoid multiplicity of proceedings, the petitioner sought a similar approach. Amandeep Singh Sran faced a total of 30 FIRs spread across various states, including Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
However, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) VikramjitBanerjee, representing the respondent, referred to the recent judgment In Balasaheb Keshawrao Bhapkar v. State of Maharashtra, emphasizing the petitioner’s ability to approach the jurisdictional High Courts within each state for relief and consolidation of FIRs, instead of seeking consolidation at the national level.
The petitioner also drew attention to cases like Pawan Khera’sand Mohammad Zubair’s, where the Supreme Court had clubbed FIRs related to a single offense across different locations. However, the Court distinguished these cases from the present scenario, highlighting that those instances involved a single common offense across multiple FIRs lodged throughout the country, unlike the complexity of the varied offenses in the petitioner’s case.
Upon careful consideration, the Court noted that replicating the order in Radhey Shyam’s case was not feasible in the current scenario. The earlier order had been issued under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and had the consent of the concerned states, which differed from the circumstances surrounding Amandeep Singh Sran’s case.
Consequently, the Supreme Court declined to exercise jurisdiction under Article 142 in the present case. However, it granted liberty to the petitioner to approach each jurisdictional High Court individually to seek the consolidation of FIRs pending against the petitioner within each specific state. Additionally, the petitioner was permitted to seek any other interim or final remedies available under the law.
In the case titled *Amandeep Singh Sran v. State of Delhi*, the Court’s order, bearing citation 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1012, established a precedent where the consolidation of FIRs involving offenses under varied state enactments necessitates individual state-wise consideration rather than a blanket national consolidation, respecting the specialized courts’ jurisdiction established by each state.
While refusing to club the FIRs on a national level, the Court’s decision highlights the importance of approaching jurisdictional High Courts for relief and consolidation of FIRs within each respective state, ensuring adherence to the specialized courts’ authority designated for specific state laws related to investor protection.