The Allahabad High Court last week was hearing a case wherein a show-cause notice had been served to a man under the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act, 1970 in a matrimonial dispute. The High Court sought response from Uttar Pradesh Government on the ‘misuse’ of this law.
The Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Piyush Agrawal was hearing the Criminal Writ plea of Shiv Prasad Gupta, against whom a case had been registered under:
- Section 498-A
- Section 354
- Section 323
- Section 504
- Section 506
- Section 120-B
...of the IPC
& Sections 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act by his wife.
On this ground, a show-cause notice dated under section 3(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act, 1970 had been issued by the Additional District Magistrate, Sonbhadra.
Allahabad High Court
Noting that Section 2(b) of the Act, 1970 defines the word “Goondas“, the court remarked,
Prima facie, it appears that none of the ingredients of section 2(b) of the Act, 1970 is present in the impugned notice. Thus, prima facie, the notice appears to be issued without jurisdiction.
The Court also observed,
We are constrained to observe that now, the authorities have started issuing notices under the Act, 1970 in matters relating to the matrimonial dispute, which, prima facie, appear to be a mischievous act on the part of the authorities.
The court thus directed the respondents to file their personal affidavits narrating the reasons for initiating proceedings under the provisions of the Act, 1970 in matters where the first information report arising out of matrimonial dispute has been lodged.
Further, The State of Uttar Pradesh has been directed to file an affidavit indicating the steps taken to rule out the repetition of such misuse of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act, 1970 by the District Magistrates/Additional District Magistrates/Police in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
The matter has now been listed for hearing on September 9, 2021.
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