The Supreme Court ruled that no person shall be said to have committed an offence of abetment under Section 14C of the Foreigners Act 1946, if he was not aware about the visa status of the foreigners.
An employee of M/s. P.S. Enterprises, namely Adarsh Kumar Singh, had visited the site along with two Chinese citizens representing Bosan Robotics Ltd., China. The allegations are that the appellant facilitated this visit by the two Chinese citizens who were on tourist visas. Thus, First Information Report was registered for violation of Section 7 and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.
The division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Bela M. Trivedi noted that the police, after the investigation, had not found any violation of Section 7 of the Foreigners Act and the said provision was not invoked in the charge sheet.
The court stated that it cannot comprehend and fathom the reasoning given by the trial court in reference to the offence under Section 7 read with Section 14 of the Foreigners Act. The counsel for the respondent has also not been able to justify the observations made by the trial court in framing the charges under Section 7 read with Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.
The court said that on the aspect of violation of Section 14-C, the requirement is that the accused should have abetted the offences under sections 14, 14-A and 14-B of the Foreigners Act.
The court observed that there is no indication or allegation that the appellant was aware and had knowledge that the Chinese citizens had traveled on tourist visas. Prosecution has not been initiated against either Adarsh Kumar Singh or M/s P.S. Enterprises. They are not co-accused. Further, the Chinese citizens were issued a Leave India Notice on 21.04.2019 through Adarsh Kumar Singh. In the absence of any material and evidence, the allegation of abetment against appellant has no basis and foundation.
The court after considering the circumstances quashed the criminal proceedings against the appellant.
Case title: ABINASH DIXIT v/s THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 267 OF 2022