Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Section 174 and 482 - Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Section 304-A, II, 300, 299, 304, 72 - School Tour - Amusement Park - Drowned In Swimming Pool - Culpable Homicide - Case of prosecution is that children studying in classes 6th to 8th standards in Sri were taken to Amusement Park - One of students aged about 11 years drowned in swimming pool inside said amusement park - Deceased was rushed to Hospital and doctors declared him as brought dead – Held, In present case, there is an unfortunate and untimely death of a young boy aged about 11 years - This boy went on a school tour to an amusement park along with his schoolmates, and he is said to have fallen into a swimming pool and drowned to death - Petitioners who are Correspondent and Principal of school are sought to be charged for an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder - Admittedly, Petitioners were not present in scene of occurrence and not a single witness speaks about involvement of Petitioners in alleged crime - It is not even case of prosecution that lack of care on part of Petitioners resulted in death of boy - Therefore, on given facts, even an offence under Section 304-A, IPC has not been made out against Petitioners - This Court finds that there are absolutely no materials to proceed further against Petitioners, and continuation of criminal proceedings against Petitioners will be an abuse of process of Court which requires interference of this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, Cr.P.C - Petition allowed.
Catch Words :Cases Referred:
Advocate Appeared :For the Appellant : A. Padmanabhan, S.B. ViswanathanFor the Respondents : C. Raghavan
N. Anand Venkatesh, J.
1. This petition has been filed challenging the proceedings pending before the Court below in SC No. 25 of 2017.
2. The case of the prosecution is that on 21.02.2015, children studying in classes 6th to 8th standards in Sri Lakshmi Higher Secondary School, were taken to Queensland Amusement Park. One of the students Master E. Prabhakaran, aged about 11 years drowned in the swimming pool inside the said amusement park. The deceased was rushed to Saveetha Hospital and the doctors declared him as brought dead.
3. The Respondent police registered an FIR in Crime No. 395 of 2015 under Section 174, Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as "Cr.P.C."). In the course of investigation, A1 to A3 who are the General Manager, the Executive Manager and the person in-charge of the swimming pool, respectively, working for the amusement park, were added as accused, and the FIR was altered for an offence under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as "IPC"). On completion of the investigation, Final Report was filed as against five accused persons and the Petitioners are ranked as A4 and A5 in the Final Report. The Final Report was filed against the accused persons for an offence under Section 304-II, IPC.
4. The 1st Petitioner is the Correspondent and the 2nd Petitioner is the Principal of Sri Lakshmi Higher Secondary School. They have been roped in as accused persons on the ground that they failed in their responsibilities and duties by not taking proper care of the child, and the same has resulted in the unfortunate death of the child.
5. The learned Judicial Magistrate-I, Poonamallee took cognizance of the Final Report in P.R.C. No. 17 of 2016 and the case was committed to the file of the 3rd Additional District and Sessions Court, Tiruvallur and it was taken on file in S.C. No. 25 of 2017. This proceeding has now been made a subject matter of challenge in the present petition by the Petitioners who have been arrayed as A4 and A5.
6. Mr. A. Padmanabhan, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the Petitioners submitted that totally 29 witnesses were examined by the prosecution and not even a single witness has spoken anything against the Petitioners, and the court below has taken cognizance of the offence without there being any materials against the Petitioners. The learned senior counsel further submitted that the prosecution has proceeded against the Petitioners as if they have committed a culpable homicide not amounting to murder and even the basic ingredients under