Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Rajnesh Oswal, J., dismissed the petition seeking quashment of the criminal challan for the offences under sections 448 and 427 RPC pending before the Trial Court. The Bench expressed,
“…the respondent 3, being the husband of the purchaser of the property has every right to look after and protect the property of his wife and it cannot be said that the respondent 3 is absolutely stranger and has got no locus standi to lodge FIR.”
The brief facts of the case were that respondent 3 and his wife were raising claim over the plot of the petitioner. It was submitted that the wife of respondent 3 filed a suit for permanent prohibitory injunction with regard to her plot against the petitioner and the Trial Court had directed the parties to maintain status quo.
The allegation against the petitioner was that in order to grab the property of the wife of respondent 3, he had trespassed into the plot of the land and broke the boundary wall, gate and room causing loss of 30,000. Pursuant to which a case was registered against him under Sections 448 and 427 RPC. The petitioner assailed the charges on mainly three grounds; civil dispute had been converted into a criminal dispute, plea of alibi and no locus standi of respondent 3.
Contesting the argument of the petitioner that he was not present on the date of occurrence on the spot and was rather present in his office at J&K Bank Branch, Rangreth, the respondent submitted that false ground had been put forth by the petitioner with regard to his absence on the spot on the date of occurrence as he had manipulated the record being the Senior Officer of the Bank. The respondent contended in a contempt petition filed for violating the Trial Court’s order to maintain status co, the petitioner had not made a plea of alibi.
Noticing that it was not the case of the petitioner that one act/transaction had given rise to civil as well as criminal dispute rather, it was evident that during the pendency of the suit between the contesting parties, the petitioner had been alleged to have committed the offence of trespass, the Bench rejected the petitioner’s contention that civil dispute had been converted into a criminal dispute for being without substance.
The second contention raised by the petitioner was that he was not present on spot at the date of occurrence. Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Rajendra Singh v. State of U.P., (2007) 7 SCC 378, the Bench stated,
“The petitioner can no doubt raise the plea of alibi but the same is required to be proved like any other fact and cannot be considered as a gospel truth and relied upon by this Court while adjudicating upon the petition under section 482 CrPC.”
Lastly, rejecting the third contention that respondent 3 had no locus standi to lodge the FIR, the Bench stated that the contention was misconceived as respondent 3 being the husband of the purchaser of the property had every right to look after and protect the property of his wife and it could not be said that the respondent 3 was absolutely stranger and had no locus standi to lodge FIR. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed. [Sheikh Nasser Ahmed v. State of J&K, 2021 SCC OnLine J&K 518, decided on 28-07-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner: Ajay K. Gandotra, Advocate and Sugandha Sawhney, Advocate
For the State of J&K: Aseem Sawhney, AAG, L. K. Sharma, Sr. Advocate with Mohit Kumar, Advocate