The Allahabad High Court stayed a First Information Report (FIR) lodged against the Chief Medical Officer, who was accused of issuing a fake COVID positive certificate to an MLA summoned by a lower court (Dr. Hargovind Singh v. State of UP).
A Division Bench comprising Justices Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajit Singh, ordered that no coercive action be taken against the CMO and and came down heavily on the judicial officer who had passed the order to lodge FIR.
“We are sorry to record it. Can we say that the insensitive judicial officer who has directed for lodgement of this First Information Report which is in the teeth of it can not stand to the judicial scrutiny of this Court,” the Court said.
The Court also cautioned judicial officers in Uttar Pradesh not to pass orders which would bring disrepute to the judicial system.
“The learned Registrar General of this Court shall communicate to all the judges of the District Courts throughout the State of UP to be more careful during this pandemic and restrain themselves from passing such orders which may bring disrepute to the judicial system in the State more particularly during this ongoing period of pandemic,” the Court said.
The Court further noted that the Registrar General of the High Court had already issued directions to all the judicial officers throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh to not insist on personal appearance of the accused or parties in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the same an accused MLA was summoned to appear personally.
“He (MLA) sent a report that he had tested corona positive, which was not relied upon by the Trial Judge and considering that report to be false without any basis, instead ordered for registering an FIR against the petitioner/Chief Medical Officer,” the Court observed.
The FIR was lodged against CMO Dr. Hargovind Singh who operates a vaccination center in Uttar Pradesh.
The counsel for petitioner pointed out that FIR was wrongly lodged against the CMO, and moreover, he was not the treating doctor; he had only given the COVID certificate to the accused MLA and the report was on the website of the UP Government which could have been very well verified by the trial judge.
The direction to lodge the FIR was passed without even verifying the COVID report, it was pointed out.
The Court proceeded to record the same before ordering stay on the proceedings against the CMO.
“As we have already stayed the proceedings, the petitioner Dr. Hargovind shall not be coercively dealt with and shall not be arrested during this interregnum period in Case Crime No. 0763 of 2020 under Sections 120-B, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 IPC, PS – Kotwali, Khalilabad, District – Sant Kabir Nagar arising out of impugned First Information Report dated 26.12.2020,” the Court directed.
Petitioner was represented by Advocates Kaushalendra Nath Singh and Romeshwari Prasad.