Madurai: The Madras High Court on Saturday quashed summons issued by a judicial magistrate in Kanyakumari district to Deputy Inspector General of Police Y John Nicholson on a private criminal complaint.
While allowing the DIG's petition, Justice S Vimala of the Madurai bench said the magistrate should not have issued the summons since the private complaint by one O Homerlal, had not produced sufficient documentary and oral evidence to prove his allegation that an attempt was made to assault him.
"When a person wields statutory authority, two things were possible. He may misuse the authority. Or some body might try to wreck vengeance against him for having exercised the authority in the right way", the judge said.
When a complaint is laid against a public servant, courts should be vigilant and exercise caution in finding out prima facie whether the complaint is bona fide or mala fide, the Judge said.
Homerlal had accused five persons of attempting to assault him with an iron rod allegedly on the DIG's orders in 2009.
The magistrate did not ascertain about the status of the complaint with the police. "If these kinds of complaints are entertained, then it is possible to implicate anybody", the judge said.
"Criminal prosecution should not be used as an instrument of harassment or for wrecking private vengeance or with an ulterior motive to cause threat. Summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a serious matter. Criminal law cannot be set into motion as a matter of course", the judge said.