“It is not required under all circumstances to issue summons prior to issuance of a search warrant,” Justice Suraj Govindaraj said.
SDPI had sought the quashing of an order passed on August 3, 2020 by the 44th Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge, Bengaluru for issuing warrants to search under Section 93 of CrPC & consequent mahazars carried out in pursuance of the search at various offices.
According to SDPI, the Sessions Court ought to have considered that a notice under Section 91 to produce necessary documents or record statements would have sufficed under the circumstances of the case. Despite its representatives cooperating with Central Crime Branch (CCB) officers, the search was conducted just to defame it, it alleged.
INFORMATION GIVEN BY CCB:
CCB informed the court that the case is now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & that the petitioner’s request for return of seized items has already been turned down by a special court for NIA cases on October 27, 2020 & the same has neither been challenged nor disclosed before this Court.
“There is no mandatory requirement for issuance of notice under Section 91(1) of CrPC before issuance of a search warrant under Section 93 & the search has been carried out in accordance with law,” it added.
The searches were conducted in connection with the East Bengaluru violence case of August 11, wherein provoked by an inflammatory Facebook post on Muhammad that was allegedly shared by the nephew of the Akhanda Srinivas Murthy(A state legislator of the Indian National Congress), a Muslim mobarrived at his house in protest which turned violent. The clashes between the police and the mobs started around the residence of the legislator and spread to the police stations of KG Halli and DJ Halli. The following day, over 100 people were arrested by the police.
It was also alleged that some of the crowds were led by members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), an Islamist fundamentalist political outfit and has led to the arrest of a few of its leaders.