J&K HC | Court refrains from making prima facie decision when the facts and evidence of the matter is incomplete

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: Ali Mohammad Magrey J., dismissed a petition under Section 561A of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking to quash an FIR.

The present case relates to a petition filed for quashing of FIR and all consequential proceedings. The petitioners did not appear for the earlier or the present proceedings. The Court had previously passed an order providing liberty to the Police to submit the final report before the competent court.

The Court before delving into the merits of the case sought to answer the question as to whether the FIR pending before a Police Station can be quashed under section 561A of CrPC filed in this Court. The Bench placed reliance on the decision in State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688 wherein the Supreme Court had stated that “….while exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect to non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impact on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused, the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise.”

High Court stated that keeping in the view of the scope of Section 561A of CrPC it should refrain from making a prima facie decision at the interlocutory stage when entire facts of the case are incomplete and the material evidence is yet to be collected. [Mohd Altaf v. State of Jammu & Kashmir, 2020 SCC OnLine J&K 138, decided on 26-02-2020]

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