Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Rahul Chaturvedi, J., noted that a lady soon after coming to know that her husband got married in clandestine way with some other lady, committed suicide.

The deceased during her lifetime, lodged an FIR against the husband and all his family members under Sections 323, 494, 504, 506, 379 of the Penal Code, 1860 with the allegation that her husband was already married with some other lady and having two children from her and without divorcing her, rather without disclosing the said fact, he got married with the deceased.

Further, after enticing the informant, who was married lady again solemnized marriage with the consent of both.

The family members after getting to know the above-stated started misbehaving, torturing and abusing her and made her life miserable, the atrocities crossed all the limits when her husband under the pressure of his family members virtually deserted her and kept a new lady.

After lodging the FIR, the deceased consumed some poisonous substance on the same day.

In view of the above circumstances, the deceased took the extreme step by consuming some poisonous substance and committed suicide.

Analysis and Decision

In the present matter, the husband of the deceased was going to marry third time.

High Court opined that the FIR for all the practical purposes could be considered as her dying declaration as the deceased herself was the author of the FIR. After lodging the FIR, she committed suicide just the next day after its lodging.

“No Indian lady is ready to share her husband at any cost. They are literally possessive about their husband.” 

“It would be biggest jolt for any married woman that her husband is being shared by some other lady or he is going to marry some other lady.”

In view of the above, Bench stated that it would be impossible to expect any sanity from them.

High Court found the husband to be the main culprit, and to be tried for the offence under Section 306 IPC.

Bench directed the trial Court to frame the charge as early as possible and initiate the trial of the accused persons. [Sushil Kumar v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 279, decided on 7-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Revisionist :- Shailesh Kumar Tripathi

Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.

Hot Off The PressNews

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a 13 years old girl was raped by the in-charge of police station in the Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh when she went to register an FIR about her gang rape.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to human rights violations of the victim. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a report within four weeks.

According to the media report, the officer concerned has been placed under suspension and an FIR has been registered against him. The relevant sections of the POCSO Act have been applied. Other police officers posted at the police station have also been removed from the duty and a DIG level officer will be investigating the case.


National Human Rights Commission

[Press Release dt. 4-5-2022]

Case Briefs

The National Human Rights Commission, India has taken a suo-motu cognizance of a media report of the incident where a dalit man was allegedly forced to rub his nose in his own spit in front of a village Sarpanch and locals in Kendrapada district of Odisha.

The Commission has issued notice to the Odisha Chief Secretary calling for a report within six weeks including status of investigation of the case, which has been reportedly registered by the police, as well as the status of statutory relief paid to the victims.

Examining the contents of the news report, the Commission has observed that the issues raised are of a very serious nature and the right to dignity of the victims have been grossly violated.

As per the media report, the incident occurred when the Sarpanch of Tikhiri village in Bhubaneswar visited the victim’s house seeking donations for a temple. The man reportedly said that he had already donated an amount, which made the Sarpanch angry. He further allegedly abused him and his wife in front of locals. An FIR has been reportedly registered under various sections of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Protection of the Scheduled Castes & the Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989.


National Human Rights Commission

[Press Release dt. 22-4-2022]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Vibha Kankanwadi, J., expressed that Child marriages are hazardous to the social fabric of this Country.

The applicant was apprehending his arrest for the offence punishable under Sections 376 of the Penal Code, 1860 read with Sections 9, 10, 11 of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from the Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

Analysis and Decision

High Court observed that the informant was 17 years old at the time of lodging the FIR.

According to the informant, at the time of settlement of marriage, her paternal uncle, mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law were present. Except for brother-in-law, all the persons referred to above are accused persons in this case.

The applicant appeared to be aged 27 years at that time whereas the informant would be aged around 16 years at the time of marriage. Though the applicant stated that at the time of the marriage, it was posed to him that the informant was 18 years of age.

The Bench stated that since the applicant was married to the informant, and she had not resisted or whatever sexual intercourse between them was with consent or voluntary.

Child marriages will have to be stopped and no person can be allowed to take advantage of any such situation.

Court added that the persons cannot be allowed to go away by putting a defence that they had taken the precaution and in fact what was represented, was different at the time of settlement of marriage.

Lastly, the Bench held that when the offences alleged against the applicant involves a social problem, this Court was not inclined to use the extraordinary discretionary relief under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in favour of the applicant. [Trimbak v. State of Maharashtra, Anticipatory Bail Application No. 203 of 2022, decided on 12-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Rahul R. Karpe, Advocate for the applicant

Mr.A.M. Phule, A.P.P. for Respondent No.1 – State. Mr.S.S. Gangakhedkar Advocate h/f. Mr. S.D. Munde Advocate for Respondent No.2

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Atul Sreedharan, J. allowed a petition which was filed for quashing of Crime which was registered for an offence under Section 420 of IPC.

The FIR was filed by Sunita Singh daughter of late Vishwanath Singh, Villa Mohidpur, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh wherein she stated that she and her brother (current petitioner) had equal share in the property of her late father and in this respect her brother had given her some cheques after taking her signature on some paper. She deposited the seven cheques but all the seven cheques had been dishonoured due to closure of account. Thus, her case was that her brother cheated her of total of 64 lakhs.

Counsel for the State has read out from the 161 statement of the complainant and contended that in addition to what was stated in the FIR she suffered the loss of her Chequebook against which she has given stop payment instructions to her Bank and thereafter she says, that she suspects that perhaps, it is her brother i.e., the petitioner no.1 and her sister-in-law, the petitioner no.2 who may have taken away these chequebooks with the intent of defrauding her. it was brought to the notice of the Court that she does not say that any of the cheques from the said chequebook have been used by anyone on account of which she suffered a loss. The second set of allegations in the 161 statement was conspicuous by its absence in the FIR and appears to have been introduced in the police statement as an afterthought so as to implicate the petitioners for theft.

Counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the petitioner 1 and the petitioner 2 were related to each other. Father of the petitioner 1 and the respondent 2 had two wives. From the first wife, a son (Jai Prakash Singh) was born. The second wife was Saraswati Singh, from whom the petitioner 1 and the respondent 2 were born. There was a partition in 2006 by which 50% of the share in the father’s property went to Jai Prakash Singh and 25% went to the petitioner 1 Shree Prakash Singh and the remaining 25% went to second wife, the mother of the petitioner 1 and the respondent 2, Saraswati Singh. Subsequently in 2009, there was an MOU between Shree Parkash Singh (the petitioner 1) and Sunita Singh (the respondent 2). As per which Shree Prakash Singh got 60% share in the property of Saraswati Singh and 40% of the share went to Sunita Singh.

Only point to be considered by this Court was whether the dishonour of the cheques could have only given a cause of action to register an FIR for an offence u/s. 420 IPC or whether the cause of action was only for the filing of an offence u/s. 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act?

The Court stated it is a well settled principle of law that the general law will not prevail over the Special Law as enshrined in the maxim generalia specialibus non derogant. The Court was of the opinion that relief available to respondent 2 may be under the civil law by way of a suit for specific performance, rather than to contort and strain the facts to bring it under the purview of the criminal process. Under the circumstances, the registration of this case was ex-facie malicious and deserves to be quashed.

It was also noted that husband of respondent 2 is a senior police officer in the Indian Police Service belonging to the Madhya Pradesh Cadre and that the possibility of the FIR having been filed under his influence cannot be discounted. The Court in this aspect observed that where the police is reluctant to register the FIR if a poor man approaches the police station with a genuine grievance, the registration of an FIR in a case like the one at hand is rather unthinkable to which Senior Counsel Shri Mrigendra Singh retorted by saying that this Court should rescue itself because of bias.

The Court took great umbrage to the conduct of the senior counsel who has cast aspersions on the neutrality of the Court without adequate cause however it refused to recuse itself and condemned his conduct in strongest possible terms. The Court ordered before the Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council with a request to take the strictest possible action against the senior counsel for his intemperate and unpardonable conduct.

The petition was allowed and the FIR was quashed.[Prakash Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine MP 670, decided on 07-04-2022]


For petitioners: Mr Surendra Singh Sr. Adv, Mr Simon Benjamin, Mr Sivam Singh

For respondents: Mr A.S. Pathak Govt. Adv., Mr Mrigendra Singh Sr. Adv., Ms Guncha Rasool


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Chandra Dhari Singh, J., decides a bail matter wherein a woman was alleged to have committed suicide due to harassment and dowry demands by in-laws.

Factual Matrix


A bail application was filed under Section 438 read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 on behalf of the applicant seeking anticipatory bail for offences punishable under Section 498A/304B/34 of the Penal Code, 1860.

The prosecution stated that the complainant who was the father of the deceased had lodged an FIR against 5 accused persons (in-laws of the deceased) including the applicant. Further, the complainant alleged that his daughter got married to the brother-in-law of the applicant. Soon after which, the accused family members including the applicant started to harass and physically torture the deceased on the pretext of dowry demands.

Specific allegations against the accused persons, wherein they were being held responsible for the death of the complainant’s daughter were also raised.

On being aggrieved of being beaten by the in-laws and thrown out of the matrimonial house, the complainant’s daughter committed suicide by hanging on the ceiling fan with a piece of cloth.

Analysis, Law and Decision


The applicant was the relative of the deceased, being the brother-in-law of the husband of the deceased, was living separately from the matrimonial home of the deceased.

The Bench noted that, there was a general allegation against the applicant in the FIR and no specific allegations were made against him regarding the demand of dowry. Also, there were no criminal antecedents of the applicant.

Hence, High Court opined that, no useful purpose would be served in taking the applicant in custody.

Since all the relevant materials have been collected by the police, and after completion of the investigation, charge-sheet had already been filed before the Court below, this Court found that there was no necessity for custodial interrogation of the applicant.

Therefore, anticipatory bail was granted to the applicant. [Vinay Saharan v. State (Govt of NCT of Delhi), 2022 SCC OnLine Del 897, decided on 30-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Ms. Rebecca M. John, Sr. Advocate with Mr. Ankit Ranat and Ms. Megha Bahl, Advocates

For the Respondent:

Ms. Kusum Dhalla, APP with Insp. Rajiv, P.S. Mangolpuri. Complainant in person

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: Cheekati Manavendranath Roy J. partly allowed the petition by quashing FIR for the offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner is the sole accused in a case under Sections 323, 306 r/w 116 Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC was registered against him. The prosecution story is that on 15-05-2020 at about 5.30 A.M., when the de facto complainant was collecting aaseelu at the High School ground from the vegetable vendors, the petitioner questioned the de facto complainant as to why he is collecting excess rate of aaseelu and when the de facto complainant replied that he is collecting the aaseelu at the rate fixed by the concerned authorities, the petitioner beat the de facto complainant in front of the public in the market and insulted him. Therefore, having felt insult, the de facto complainant consumed the ant poison by mixing the same in water with an intention to commit suicide but was rescued and subsequently survived after medical treatment.  A case under Sections 323, 306 r/w 116 IPC was registered. Hence, instant criminal Petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was filed seeking to quash F.I.R.

Counsel for petitioner Mr. P Rajesh Babu submitted that that the facts of the case do not constitute any offence punishable under Section 306 IPC as there is no allegation that the petitioner has instigated or abetted the de facto complainant to commit any suicide. So, he would submit the prosecution of the petitioner under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is not maintainable and no such offence is constituted in the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Public Prosecutor submitted that when the de facto complainant has consumed ant poison with an intention to commit suicide on account of the fact the petitioner beat him in front of the public and insulted him and as he survived because of the medical treatment provided to him, an offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is made out from the facts of the case and the petitioner is liable for prosecution for the said offence. Therefore, he would pray for dismissal of the Criminal Petition.

The Court observed that it is a well settled law that in order to constitute an offence punishable under Section 306 IPC, the necessary ingredients contemplated under Section 107 IPC  regarding intentional instigation said to have been given by the petitioner to the de facto complainant to commit suicide or intentional aid said to have been given by the petitioner to him to commit suicide shall be established. There is absolutely no allegation as can be seen from the facts of the prosecution case that the petitioner has either instigated or aided him to commit suicide. Hence, prima facie no offence punishable under Section 306 IPC itself is made out from the facts of the case. Consequently, no offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is also made out from the facts of the case.

The Court further observed that if the de facto complainant feels insulted as he was beaten in front of the public in the market and if he takes any hasty decision to commit suicide, the petitioner cannot be held responsible for any such decision taken by the de facto complainant to commit suicide.

The Court stated that the facts of the case clearly show that the petitioner has beaten the de facto complainant. So, it prima facie constitutes an offence punishable under Section 323 IPC. So, the entire F.I.R cannot be quashed and it can be quashed only in respect of the offence registered under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC.

The Court held “the Criminal Petition is partly allowed quashing the F.I.R for the offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC. As regards the offence punishable under Section 323 is concerned, the F.I.R holds good and the law has to take its own course in respect of the said offence.”[Vegulla Leela Krishna v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine AP 393, decided on 01-02-2022]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Sarang V. Kotwal, J., on noting that the husband and wife cannot live together and there were constant quarrels between them, granted bail to the husband who was accused under the provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act and Penal Code, 1860.

The Bench remarked that,

Applicant’s custody will not really solve the issue. Even for the purpose of investigation his custodial interrogation is not necessary. He can be asked to co-operate with the investigating agency.

The applicant sought anticipatory bail for the offences registered under Sections 498-A, 323, 504, 406, 506(2) of the Penal Code, 1860 and under Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Background

The applicant’s wife had lodged an FIR, wherein she submitted that the applicant’s family wanted gold coins each for their family members, but the informant and her family refused to give those. After the marriage, the in-laws uses to talk about their demands and used to cause harassment to the informant. Her sister-in-law and father-in-law used to instigate the applicant and thereafter the applicant used to insult and humiliate the informant.

There are allegations that the Applicant had inflicted some wounds on himself to show that the informant had assaulted him.

Due to the above, the informant left and started residing with her sister. Later the applicant demanded to see his child and made the false allegation to the police.

In view of the above said, the FIR was lodged.

Analysis, Law and Discussion

High noted that the FIR shows how the applicant and the informant just cannot live together. There were constant quarrels between them.

There are complaints filed by the Applicant and the informant against each other. 

Therefore, Bench held that the applicant’s custody would not really solve the issue as there are allegations and counter-allegations, which can only be decided during the trial.

Order

  • Applicant to be released on bail on his furnishing PR bond in the sum of Rs 30,000 with one or two sureties in the like amount.
  • Applicant shall attend the Police Station concerned as and when called and shall cooperate with the investigation.
  • Application stood disposed of.

[Shivek Ramesh Dhar v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 220, decided on 14-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Resham I. Sahni, Advocate for the applicant

A.A. Takalkar, APP for the State/Respondent

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed its anguish at how provisions such as Sections 354A/506 of Penal Code, 1860 are falsely invoked at the drop of a hat to register one’s displeasure at the conduct of another individual.

Instant petition was filed under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 CrPC seeking the quashing of an FIR registered under Sections 354A/506 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court expressed that Supreme Court has time and again laid down the parameters that must be adhered to by a High Court while exercising its inherent power under Section 482 CrPC to quash an FIR. Along with the parameters, it has been consistently observed by the Supreme Court that the inherent power in a matter of quashment of FIR has to be exercised sparingly and with caution, and only when such exercise if justified by the test laid down in the provision itself.

Supreme Court in the decision of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, provided a precise, clearly defined set of inflexible guidelines laying down instances where such an inherent power could be exercised for quashing of an FIR.

Hence,

“…quashing of criminal proceedings is called for only in a case where the complaint does not disclose any offence, or is frivolous, vexatious, or oppressive.”

 In the present matter, the content of the FIR looked sketchy and were void of any specifics regarding the offences which were allegedly committed.

Adding to the above, Court found that on a reading of the Status report also nothing regarding the offences was revealed.

As per the Status report,

“…the Petitioner and his wife were habitual complainants and have filed multiple complaints against the construction that would take place in the neighbourhood, and therefore, it is evident that the instant FIR was maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the Petitioner, and with a view to spite him and his wife due to a private and personal grudge.”

 High Court expressed its anguish at how provisions such as Section 354A/506 IPC are falsely invoked at the drop of a hat to register one’s displeasure at the conduct of another individual. This merely trivialises the offence of sexual harassment.

Therefore, Bench found the present matter fit for exercising its inherent power to quash the FIR. [Dr Karunakar Patra v. State,    2022 SCC OnLine Del 245, decided on 24-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the petitioner: Kumar Piyush Pushkar, Advocate

For the respondent: Chirag Khurana, Advocate,

Ashsish Aggarwal, ASC for the State,

Madhusudhan Bhayana Advocate for the Complainant/Respondent 2

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Rajeev Singh, J., reiterated that under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an FIR i.e. First Information Report can be quashed in view of the settlement terms.

Application under Section 482 CrPC was filed with a request that the matter may be referred to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the Court in relation to FIR under Sections 323, 354, 498A, 504 of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and also quashed the entire proceeding in relation to the said FIR.

In the present case, the investigation was started and mediation was also initiated before the court below, but applicant No.1 was not satisfied with the mediation proceeding initiated before the court below, hence, the present application was filed and with the consent of counsel for the applicant as well as counsel for the opposite party 4, the matter was sent to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court on 31.07.2020.

The matter was successfully concluded, and a settlement agreement was executed between the parties and OP 4 joined her matrimonial home on 7-3-2021 and started enjoying her life with her husband and children.

In the case of Ram Lal Yadav v. State of U.P., 1989 SCC OnLine All 73  the provision of anticipatory bail, under Section 438 Cr.P.C. was not existing, therefore, there was a dilemma to get the remedy of pre-arrest during the investigation, then it was clarified by this Court that High Court has no inherent powers, under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to interfere with the arrest of accused persons during the course of investigation, but it was clarified that High Court can always issue a writ of mandamus, under Article 226 of the Constitution restraining the police officer for misusing his legal power in relation to arrest and FIR can be quashed, under Section 482 Cr.P.C., which is covered under the principle laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the Case of Bhajan Lal and the present case law laid down the by the Supreme Court in the cases as discussed.

Analysis and Decision

High Court stated that, as in the decision of Ram Lal Yadav v. State of U.P.,1989 SCC OnLine All 73, this Court held that Investigating Officer cannot be restrained from arresting the accused of a cognizable offence. Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal [1992 Supp (1) SCC 335: 1992 SCC (Cri) 426] and  Ram Lal Yadav v. State of U.P., 1989 SCC OnLine All 73 already held that FIR and its consequential proceedings can be quashed under Section 482 CrPC.

Therefore, in the present matter, Bench opined that impugned FIR and its consequential proceedings are liable to be quashed in terms of the settlement agreement of parties before the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court.

Hence, in view of the above discussion, the present application was allowed and FIR was quashed. [Ishwar Singhal v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 28, decided on 11-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Applicant:- Durgesh Kumar Singh
Counsel for Opposite Party:- G.A., Vinod Kumar

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Sreenivas Harish Kumar J. dismissed the petition being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are such that the 1st petitioner is the husband of 2nd respondent. On certain allegations that the petitioners subjected the 2nd respondent to harassment in connection with demand for dowry, FIR was registered in relation to offences punishable under sections 323, 504, 506 and 498-A of IPC and sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act r/w section 34 of IPC. Investigation was taken up and charge sheet was been filed. This instant petition was filed under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing the charge sheet.

Counsel for the petitioner Mr. Arjun Rego submitted that if the entire charge sheet which is based on statements of witnesses is considered, it can be said that no offence against the petitioners is made out.

The Court observed that though under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. charge sheet can be quashed, the said jurisdiction cannot be invoked for quashing the charge sheet by appreciating the evidence. It is a settled principle that while deciding the petition under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., evidence cannot be appreciated as it lies within the domain of the Trial Court.

The Court held “I do not find any ground to entertain this petition. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed.” [Pradeep Moparthy v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 2860 of 2021, decided on 15-12-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances

For respondent: Mr. Rohith BJ

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: Sashikant Mishra J. allowed the criminal petition and quashed the FIR and the criminal proceeding due to inordinate delay on the part of investigating authorities.

The facts of the case are such that an FIR was lodged against the present petitioner on by the then Tahasildar, Chhendipada before the Officer-in- Charge, Chhendipada Police Station leading to registration of case for the alleged commission of offence under Sections 447/379/188/294/535/506 of Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC. The said case is presently pending in the Court of J.M.F.C., Chhendipada. Final Report was submitted in the case after more than 15 years. The inaction of the investigating agency complied with inordinate delay was cited as a ground by the petitioner for quashment of the FIR and the consequential criminal proceedings in the present application filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

Counsel for the petitioner M/s. Anirudha Das, A Das,S.C. Mishra, A. Das and A. Sahoo submitted that that continuance of the case without Final Form being submitted for as long as 15 years by itself is an abuse of the process of Court. It is further argued that the petitioner is presently aged about 72 years and has been going through tremendous mental strain and anxiety because of pendency of the criminal case and the uncertainty attached to it. Since right to speedy trial is also a part of fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, it was contended that inaction of the investigating agency for an inordinately long period of time directly violates such right, for which the proceedings need to be quashed.

Counsel for respondents Mr. P. K. Maharaj admitting that the Final Form was not filed for as long as 15 years, however, contends that no time limit being prescribed for conclusion of a criminal proceeding, mere delay in submission of Final Form or Final Report, as the case may be, cannot be a ground to quash the Proceedings.

The Court observed that this is a case of a man against whom an FIR was lodged and investigation continued for as long as 15 years to ultimately end in a Final Report being filed. One can only imagine the stress that the petitioner would have undergone during all these years with the “Sword of Damocles” hanging over his head.

The Court further observed that pendency of a criminal proceeding, irrespective of the nature of the offence alleged, are sufficient to cause concern, anxiety and apprehension in the mind of the accused not to speak of the expenses that he may have to incur in defending himself. What is a matter of greater concern to note is that there is no explanation whatsoever from the side of the investigating agency as to the reasons for non-completion of investigation for all these years.

The Court also took note of the fact that save and except the offence under Section 506, all the other offences alleged to have been committed by the accused namely, Sections 447/379/188/294/353 of IPC, are punishable with imprisonment for terms ranging from one year to three years at the most. So even if a Final Form had been submitted, the concerned Magistrate would have been hard put to take cognizance keeping in view the provisions under Section 468 of Cr.P.C. However, that is besides the point. The crux of the matter is inordinate delay in completion of the investigation.

The Court held that the inaction of the investigating agency to conclude the investigation for as long as 15 years, that too, without offering even a semblance of explanation is a direct affront to the cherished principle of right to speedy trial ingrained in the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The Court held this is a fit case to exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. to put an end to the fiasco, once for all, moreso, as the investigation has ended in Final Report True being submitted.

The Court also observed that the higher police authorities should take note of such inaction on the part of the investigating officer (s) and pass appropriate orders to be followed by all concerned so as to prevent the same from recurring in future.[Binod Bihari Shetty v. State of Orissa, CrlMC No. 112 of 2020, decided on 03-01-2022]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Stating that, Rape is an act against society, Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., held that simply entering into a compromise allegation of rape will not lose its gravity.

The instant petition was filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for quashing and cancelling the FIR under Sections 376, 323 and 506 of Penal Code, 1860.

Information was received from PCR wherein it was reported that Complainant was not telling anything about the complaint but was asking for urgent police assistance and on reaching the place of the incident she said that she had a scuffle with her male friend (petitioner herein) who tried to assault her.

Complainant later disclosed the act of sexual assault having been committed upon her by the accused (petitioner herein) in his ICD Patparganj Office when she had gone to talk to him regarding their marriage.

Petitioner was a customs officer and met the complainant through the website Jeevansathi.com. He concealed the fact regarding his first love marriage and that his first wife committed suicide for which case was going on this Court.

After a few meetings and conversations, the complainant asked him to proceed with marriage talks, he called her to Faridabad and took the complainant to Vivanta by Taj Hotel and that night petitioner/accused raped her against her will.

Petitioner/accused also told the complainant that he would marry her in Arya Samaj Mandir, but later on, he made excuses that the mandir was closed and also told her to return to Ayodhaya. Later, he stopped picking her phone calls.

In March 2021, petitioner/accused reached Bhopal and put vermilion on the complainant and said that now they were husband and wife, but he did not let her meet his family. Further, in April, petitioner/accused raped her in a car. Complainant again lodged a complaint against petitioner/accused in NCW which finally reached Mahila Thana, Faridabad. In June, petitioner/accused came to that police station and again he made a promise to marry the complainant and accordingly she withdrew her complaint.

Again after a few days, the petitioner/accused molested the complainant and started fingering inside her private parts forcible after which the complainant lodged a PCR call but the petitioner/accused gave threats of dire consequences and ran away from the spot.

In view of the above, FIR was registered, and an investigation went underway.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court noted that the petitioner was a Government Servant, working as Superintendent with Customs & CGST Department, Govt. of India, holding a Gazetted post. Being a Government Servant was expected to maintain high moral rectitude and a decent standard of conduct in his personal/private life and not bring discredit to his service by his misdemeanours.

The charges of rape are of grave concern and cannot be treated in a casual manner.

The Bench observed that whether the High Courts, while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC should quash an offence under Section 376 IPC came for consideration before the Supreme Court in a number of cases.

Supreme Court has, time and again, directed that the High Court should not exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C to quash an offence of rape on the ground that the parties have entered a compromise.

 Catena of decisions were referred, such as:

In the present matter, the parties compromised amicably and respondent 2 filed an affidavit stating that she and the petitioner married each other and that she had no objection if the present FIR was quashed as she did not wish to pursue any proceedings.

“…by simply entering into a compromise, charges cannot be said to have been mitigated or that the allegations leveled by the respondent 2 regarding the alleged offence lost its gravity by any means. Act of rape is not an act against individual, but this is an offence against the society.”

In view of the legal position enumerated in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303 along with other cases referred above, the criminal proceedings from FIR registered with allegations of rape cannot be quashed in exercise of powers vested in this Court under Section 482 CrPC on the basis of settlement and subsequent marriage as it would not waive off the offence alleged by the complainant.

Therefore, petition was dismissed. [Swatantara Kumar Jaysawal v. State, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 30, decided on 3-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Mr. Manoj Chaudhary and Mr. Sachin Anand, Adv.

Petitioner in person.

For the Respondents:

Mr Rajesh Mahajan, ASC with Ms Jyoti Babbar, Adv.

Mr Lalit Valecha, Adv. for R-2

R-2 in person.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Chander Bhusan Barowalia J. disposed of the petition and quashed the FIR/complaint.

The facts of the case are such that marriage between Mukesh Sharma (son of petitioners 1 and 2 and brother of petitioner 3) and respondent No. 2/wife was solemnized on according to the Hindu rites and ceremonies and out of their wedlock one son namely, Master Kartik, was begotten. However, immediately after the marriage, differences arose between them and the wife has lodged a complaint against her husband and his family members, wherein allegations of harassment for bringing less dowry and maltreatment have been leveled. Consequently, F.I.R was registered under Sections 498A, 406, 120B and 506 Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC. However, the parties settled their dispute amicably, vide Compromise Deed, as per terms of the Compromise Deed, they do not want to continue with the present case. Hence, the present petition was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure i.e CrPC for quashing the F.I.R.

Counsel for petitioner Mr. Ashok Kumar Thakur submitted that the parties have compromised the matter vide compromise deed, no purpose would be served by keeping the proceedings alive, therefore, the FIR, along with consequent proceedings arising out of the same, may be quashed and set aside.

Counsel for respondent Mr. C N Singh and Mr. Devender Sharma submitted that parties have settled their dispute amicably, the present petition may be allowed.

The Court relied on judgment Jitendra Raghuvanshi v. Babita Raghuvanshi, (2013) 4 SCC 58 wherein it was observed that “Even if the offences are non compoundable, If they relate to matrimonial disputes and the court is satisfied that the parties have settled the same amicably and without any pressure, we hold that for the purpose of securing ends of justice, Section 320 of the Code would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing of FIR, complaint or the subsequent criminal proceedings.”

The Court thus observed that even if, the trial is allowed to be continued, as the parties have compromised the matter, there are bleak chances of conviction to secure the ends of justice. Thus, taking into consideration the law as discussed hereinabove and the compromise arrived at between the parties vide Compromise Deed, placed on record, I find that the interest of justice would be met, in case, the proceedings are quashed, as the parties have compromised the matter and do not want to proceed further with the case in order to live peacefully.

The Court heldpresent is a fit case to exercise jurisdiction vested in this Court, under Section 482 of the Code and, therefore, the present petition is allowed and F.I.R No. 105, dated 01.06.2013, under Sections 498A, 406, 120B and 506 of IPC, registered at Police Station Dehra, District Kangra, H.P., is ordered to be quashed.”

[Parkash Chand v. State of H P, 2021 SCC OnLine HP 7918, decided on 15-11-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Dr Y.K. Srivastava, J., while examining the ambit and scope of Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 explained that,

“…broad principles which have been laid down for exercise of powers under Section 319 of the Code underline the object of the enactment that the real perpetrator of the offence should not get away unpunished and in a situation where the investigating agency for any reason does not array any culprit as an accused the court would not be powerless in calling the accused to face trial.”

Instant criminal revision had been filed seeking to set aside the decision passed by Additional Sessions Judge under Sections 307, 504 of Penal Code 1860 arising out of a case on the application of OP 2 filed under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Ambit and Scope of Magistrates’ powers

Scope and the ambit of the powers of the Magistrate under Section 319 of the Code were considered in the Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 3 SCC 92. Referring to the object of the provision it was held that the object of the provision was that the real culprit should not get away unpunished and in a situation where the investigating agency for any reason does not array one of the real culprits as an accused, the court is not powerless in calling the said accused to face trial.

Further, with regard to the degree of satisfaction required for invoking the powers under Section 319 of the Code, it was held that the test that has to be applied is one which is more than prima facie case as exercised at the time of framing of charge, but short of satisfaction to an extent that the evidence, is goes unrebutted, would lead to conviction.

The question as to what situations power under the Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 can be exercised in respect of persons not named in the FIR or named in FIR, but not charge-sheeted or discharged was also considered, and it was held that a person whose name does not appear even in the FIR or the charge-sheet or whose name appears on the FIR and not in the charge sheet, can still be summoned by the Court provided the conditions under the said Section stand fulfilled.

Elaborating further, power to proceed against persons named in FIR with specific allegations against them, but not charge-sheeted, was reiterated in Rajesh v. State of Haryana, (2019) 6 SCC 368 and it was held that persons named in the FIR but not implicated in charge- sheet can be summoned to face trial, provided during the trial some evidence surfaces against the proposed accused.

The court below had taken note of the fact that the revisionist was not only named in the F.I.R. but was also assigned a role in the incident.

Upon considering the settled legal position with regard to exercise of powers under Section 319, the court below passed the order summoning the revisionist.

Moving further, the Bench expressed that Section 319 (1) of the Code envisages that where, in the course of any inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, it appears from the evidence that any person not being the accused has committed any offence for which such person could be tried together with the accused, the Court may proceed against such person for the offence which he appears to have committed.

High Court held that power under Section 319 of the Code to summon even those persons who are not named in the charge-sheet to appear and face trial, being unquestionable and the object of the provision being not to allow a person who deserves to be tried to go scot-free by being not arraigned in the trial inspite of possibility of his complicity which can be gathered from the evidence during the course of trial, the order passed under Section 319 of the Code summoning the revisionist does not contain any material error so as to warrant inference.

Applicant’s counsel stated that it would not dispute the aforementioned legal position with regard to the exercise of powers under Section 319 of the Code and stated that the applicant would submit to the jurisdiction of the court below and seek bail.

In view of the above discussion, the revision stood dismissed. [Mishri Lal v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine All 839, decided on 4-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Revisionist: Kamal Dev Rai

Counsel for Opposite Party: G.A.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: G.R. Swaminathan, J., dealt with an interesting matter where the petitioner who was administrator of a WhatsApp group approached the Court for relief.

The instant petition was filed to quash the impugned FIR as far as the petitioner was concerned. Petitioner had formed a ‘WhatsApp Group’ in the name and style of “Karur Lawyers” and was the administrator.

It was stated that in the above-said group certain highly offensive messages were posted by one Pachaiyappan and on reading those messages it was clear that the said messages would cause ill-feeling between two communities.

Therefore, the second respondent who was a practising lawyer lodged information before the first respondent.

The above-stated led to the registration of the FIR for the offences under Sections 153A and 294(b) of the Penal Code, 1860.

Why was the present criminal original petition filed?

The instant petition was filed contending that the petitioner was only a group administrator, and he was in no way responsible and cannot be implicated as an accused.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench stated that since the forensic report was still awaited, it would be pre-mature to entertain the present petition. However, the first respondent shall bear in mind the decision of the Bombay High Court in Kishore v. State of Maharashtra, (2005) 12 SCC 569.

High Court expressed that if the petitioner had played the role of a group administrator alone and nothing else, then while filing final report, the petitioner’s name shall be deleted. Though, if some other material was also gathered by the first respondent so as to implicate the petitioner, then of course the petitioner will have to challenge the case on merits.

In view of the above discussion, the present petition was disposed of. [R. Rajendran v. Inspector of Police, Crl. OP (MD) No. 8010 of 2021, decided on 15-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner: Mr T. Lajapathi Roy

For R-1: Mr E. Antony Sahaya Prabahar, Additional Public Prosecutor.

For R-2: Mr G. Thalaimutharasu, for Mrs S. Prabha.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Mukta Gupta, J., decided whether a settlement of parties wherein an accused and his family members who subjected his wife to harassment due to which the wife committed suicide can be accepted or not?

By the present petition, 5 petitioners sought quashing of an FIR under Sections 498A, 304B, 34 Penal Code, 1860 on the ground that the parties have settled.

In the above-noted FIR, respondent 2 had stated that his daughter got married to petitioner 1 who was unemployed and this his parents used to bear the expenses. After the marriage, the in-laws of his daughter started demanding dowry though nothing was demanded at the time of the marriage and respondent 2 had performed the marriage as per his capacity.

Later the daughter was harassed by her husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and two nieces.

One day, respondent 2 got a phone call that his daughter had committed suicide.

During the pendency of the investigation, petitioners and respondent 2 entered into a memorandum of understanding and as per the terms of the settlement, the parties entered into a settlement without any coercion and without any transfer of money.

Even respondent 2 agreed that he had no claim and grievance against the petitioners and will cooperate in the quashing petition preferred before this Court as also make sincere efforts in getting the petitioners released on bail and that no grudges were left between the parties.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court cited the Supreme Court decision in Parbatbhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 9 SCC 641, wherein it was clearly held that where serious and grave offences are involved, the quashing of FIR cannot be allowed on the basis of the compromise. Broad principles were also laid down in respect of the inherent power of the High Court to quash the first information report or the criminal proceedings.

Bench held that in the present case, a woman committed suicide within five months of her marriage due to harassment caused by the husband and his family members and the offences punishable under Section 304-B IPC were not only grave and heinous but an offence against the society actuated by the social evil of demand od dowry, therefore needs deterrence nad cannot be quashed on the basis of settlement arrived between the accused and complainant.

In view of the above discussion, the petition was dismissed. [Dalbir Singh v. State GNCT of Delhi, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 5449, decided on 17-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Vikrant Chowdhary, Pradeep Chowdhary, Advocates (through VC)

For the Respondent: Kamna Vohra, ASC for the State with Inspector Hari Singh, P.S. Tilak Nagar

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: While stating that, Jug Suraiya, Bachi Karkaria, E.P.Unny and G.Sampath … if any one of them, or for that matter any satirist or cartoonist had authored this judgement, they would have proposed a momentous amendment to the Constitution of India to incorporate sub-clause (l) in Article 51-A, G.R. Swaminathan, J., expressed that to Article 51-A, the hypothetical author would have added one more fundamental duty – duty to laugh.

Bench expressed that the correlative right to be funny can be mined in Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India (the use of crypto vocabulary to be forgiven).

Being funny is one thing and poking fun at another is different altogether.

Expressing further, the Court stated:

“Laugh at what?” is a serious question. This is because we have holy cows grazing all over from Varanasi to Vadipatty. One dare not poke fun at them. There is however no single catalogue of holy cows. It varies from person to person and from region to region. A real cow, even if terribly underfed and emaciated, shall be holy in Yogi’s terrain. In West Bengal, Tagore is such an iconic figure that Khushwant Singh learnt the lesson at some cost. Coming to my own Tamil Desh, the all-time iconoclast “Periyar” Shri. E.V.Ramasamy is a super-holy cow. In today’s Kerala, Marx and Lenin are beyond the bounds of criticism or satire. Chhatrapati Shivaji and Veer Savarkar enjoy a similar immunity in Maharashtra. But all over India, there is one ultimate holy cow and that is “national security”.

Background and Analysis

In the present matter, the petitioner went on a sightseeing pleasure trip with his daughter and son-in-law and further put out the photographs taken on his Facebook page. He gave the caption,

“Trip to Sirumalai for shooting practice”

Revolutionaries, whether real or phoney, are not usually credited with any sense of humour (or at least this is the stereotype).

Petitioner tried to be funny and perhaps it was his maiden attempt to humour.

Though the Vadipatty Police did not find it to be a joke and they thought the petitioner was making preparations to wage war against the State. Hence a case was registered against the petitioner for the offences under Sections 120B, 122, 505(1)(b) and 507 of the Penal Code, 1860. They even arrested the petitioner and produced him before the jurisdictional magistrate for remanding him to custody.

Mercifully, the Judicial Magistrate had the good sense to refuse the remand and he passed a detailed rejection order by keeping in mind the decision of Madras High Court in State v. Nakeeran Gopal, 2019 SCC OnLine Mad 42.

High Court stated that it wishes other magistrates in the State of Tamil Nadu to act likewise.

The police and the prosecution will seek remand in every case. It is for the magistrate to satisfy herself that the arrestee deserves to be remanded. Requests for remand must be decided on the touchstone of Section 41 of Cr.PC and Article 21 of the Constitution.

Further, the Court stated that thanks to the judicious conduct so well exhibited by the Judicial Magistrate the petitioner escaped incarceration by a whisker.

Decision and Conclusion

The Bench stated that for an act to constitute a crime, there are four stages:

i) intention,

ii) preparation,

iii) attempt and

iv) accomplishment

To wage war would require several steps and crossing of stages.

There has to be mobilisation of men as well as accumulation of arms and ammunition. That would require a concerted effort.

Court noted that except for giving the title mentioned above to the photographs amateurishly taken on the occasion of his trip to Sirumalai Hills, the petitioner did nothing else. No weapon or prescribed material was recovered from the petitioner.

Petitioner neither intended to wage war nor did he commit any act towards preparation therefor.

Bench opined that any normal and reasonable person coming across the Facebook post would have laughed it off.

“Invocation of Section 507 IPC makes me laugh.”

High Court stated that Section 507 IPC can be invoked only if the person sending the communication had concealed his identity. The communication must be anonymous.

In the present matter, the petitioner had posted the photographs along with the caption on his Facebook page. He had not concealed his identity. There was nothing anonymous about the act in question.

None of the ingredients set out in Sections 122, 505(1) (b) and Section 507 are present in the instant case.

Section 120 B of IPC cannot be invoked for two reasons:

 Firstly, the petitioner is the sole accused. To constitute the offence of conspiracy, there must be a meeting of two or more minds. One cannot conspire with oneself.

Secondly, conspiracy is hatched to commit an offence mentioned in the Section. When the ingredients of the primary offences have been shown to be non-existent, the prosecution cannot hang on to Section 120B IPC alone.

High Court held that the very registration of the impugned FIR was absurd and an abuse of legal process and the same stood quashed. [Mathivanan v. Inspector of Police, 2021 SCC OnLine Mad 6458, decided on 17-12-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner: Mr. Henri Tiphagne

For Respondents: Mr. T. Senthil Kumar, Additional Public Prosecutor.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed that,

“…it is unfortunate that institutions that are supposed to protect the life and liberty of common citizens are quick to shirk their responsibilities.”

Background

Petitioner filed an FIR disclosing an allegation of sexual assault against her that has taken place from 2008 to 2019 at various places.

In view of the above, the petitioner registered a complaint regarding the crime of fraud, forgery and conspiracy towards forging marriage certificates, committing rape, getting an abortion done by the accused who forced the petitioner to ingest poisonous products and attempted murder.

When the petitioner used to live with her parents, one of the accused forcefully initiated a physical relationship with her, initially on account of their familiar relationship, the petitioner did not take any legal action against him. However, despite knowing that the petitioner was his sister, the accused tortured her physically, mentally and ruined her entire career.

Accused even raped the petitioner when the mother of the accused went to live at the petitioner’s Kanpur residence.

It is stated that when the Petitioner insisted on registering a police complaint against the accused and his family, then accused, and brother of accused, with the help of their sister, poured kerosene on the Petitioner and set her on fire. However, on realizing that the said act could lead to the petitioner’s death, they put off the fire.

Further, it was stated accused persons threatened the Petitioner and told her that she would have to remain as mistress/wife of the accused forever and would have to satisfy his lust.

In view of the above circumstances, the petitioner was unable to register a complaint. Later in the year 2011, when petitioner started living alone, accused started telling people that she was his wife. Further, he consistently raped the petitioner and threatened her with a revolver and a knife. On petitioner becoming pregnant, she was forcible made to ingest abortion pills and her foetus was aborted.

Accused took the petitioner to Arya Samaj Mandir and forged documents to showcase that he and the petitioner were married.

He used to keep the petitioner as a hostage at their rented house to satisfy his lust. In the year 2013, the petitioner again got pregnant, and Ajay forcefully made the petitioner abort the child by giving her medicines.

In the year 2013, when the petitioner father came to know of the above-stated, he died of shock and during that time, Ajay with the help of his wife took the petitioner to Kanpur and raped her while his wife made a video of the same.

Petitioner believed that her life is in complete danger and which is why she approached the Police Station GTB Enclave for registration of an FIR under the appropriate provisions of the Penal Code, 1860 against the four accused.

Since the Police denied registering the complaint, she moved to the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate by way of an application under Section 156 (3) CrPC.

Metropolitan Magistrate directed the SHO to file an action report as a result of which petitioner was taken for a medical examination. After this, an FIR under Sections 354, 376, 506 IPC was registered.

The case was registered vide ‘Zero FIR’ and the investigation had been transferred to Police Station Indrapuram, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Despite the admission that one incidence had occurred within the jurisdiction of GTB Enclave, Respondents 2 and 3 transferred the case to Respondents 4 and 5. It was stated that subsequently, the Petitioner moved an application before the Metropolitan Magistrate concerned on 12-09-2019 referring to the applicability of Section 178(d) CrPC seeking action for intentional non-registration of FIR and also calling for an explanation for unlawful transfer of the investigation despite having jurisdiction over the matter.

Further, despite another application preferred by the petitioner seeking preservation of evidence and recording of the statement of the prosecutrix, Police Station GTB did not make any endeavour to collect the evidence, preserve it or take the statement of the petitioner, and rather chose to transfer the matter to respondents 2 and 5.

Metropolitan Magistrate vide Order dated 12-09-2019 called for the report from DCP Shahdara seeking an explanation for the transfer of the investigation despite admission that one incident had taken place within the jurisdiction of Police Station GTB Enclave. Further, t was submitted by DCP Shahdara that during the medical examination, the Petitioner had disclosed that the sexual intercourse had taken place in Indrapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P., and that an FIR had already been registered at Police Station Indrapuram on 12.09.2019 under Sections 354, 376, 506 IPC.

Petitioner approached this court since her grievance have remained unsolved and she has been subjected to a lot of threats from the accused.

Analysis, Law and Decision

What constitutes ‘Zero FIR’?

As per Section 154 CrPC, if any information relating to the commission of any cognizable offence is received by a Police Station, the police is duty-bound to register the FIR.

However, if the crime does not occur within the jurisdiction of the said police station, then the registration of the ‘Zero FIR’, same has to be transferred to the Police Station concerned where the offence has indeed been committed.

Hence, the place of crime and jurisdiction of the police station becomes irrelevant when a cognizable offence is disclosed, and the police station is obligated to instantly transfer the pertinent documents over to the police station vested with the jurisdiction which numbers the FIR and begins the investigation.

Difference between FIR and Zero FIR

The bench noted that the only difference between FIR and Zero FIR is that an FIR is registered where the incident had occurred within the jurisdiction of a particular Police Station, and a Zero FIR can be lodged at any Police Station irrespective of where the incident has taken place.

Motive of Zero FIR is to provide quick redressal to the victim so that timely action can be taken after registration of the FIR.

In the present matter, one of the incidents of forceful sexual assaults had taken place in the GTB Enclave area.

The Police Station GTB Enclave was obligated to register an FIR and not a “Zero FIR”, and not delve into whether the Petitioner resided in the city or what was the specific time, date and place of the alleged incident.

High Court remarked that,

By embarking on the journey of trying to get the investigation transferred to Ghaziabad, U.P., Police Station GTB Enclave has displayed a failure in dispensation of their obligation to take into account the seriousness and gravity of the offence that has been disclosed by the Petitioner in the complaint.

“…mere disclosure that one of the incidents had taken place within the vicinity of Police Station GTB Enclave was sufficient for an FIR to be registered at that Police Station, and not a Zero FIR as was done in the instance case.”

Under Section 482 CrPC, the High Court has inherent power to take the necessary action as sought for in the present petition and direct for the registration of the FIR at PS GTB Enclave.

High Court directed respondents to register a regular FIR instead of a zero FIR and conduct an investigation. [X v. State, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 5158, decided on 30-11-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Mr R.N. Dubey, Mr Vinay Sharma, Advocates

For the Respondents: Ms Richa Kapoor, ASC for the State with Ms Shivani Sharma and Ms Surabhi Katyal, Advocates Inspector Arun Kumar, SHO/P.S. GTB Enclave.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A. M. Badar, J., granted bail to the person arrested on the basis of forcefully extracted confession made during police custody. Expressing dismay over the audacity of the SHO to resort to third degree treatment to extract confession and mentioning the same in the FIR, the Bench reminded the officials concerned that the accused too have basic human rights and that should be protected at all cost.

The applicant had approached the Court for seeking bail in connection with offence punishable under Sections 30(a) as well as 41 of the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016 as he was allegedly in passion of about 835 litres of illicit liquor. The applicant had fairly stated that he has one criminal antecedent. The applicant contended that there was no iota of evidence against the applicant except confessional statement of the co-accused made in the FIR to police.

The Bench noticed that the FIR itself reflected sorry State of affairs in handling human rights by Bihar Police as the SHO had claimed that in raid effected on the basis of secret information, he apprehended the main accused, one Rajan Singh from the spot of the incident and from his premises, 835 litres of illicit liquor came to be seized. The Bench expressed,

“What hurts this Court after perusal of the FIR is recital in the FIR made by Prashant Kumar, Station House Officer to the effect that after taking over custody of main accused Rajan Singh, he had subjected said Rajan Singh to third degree treatment and made strict interrogation from him by using force.”

Noticeably, recitals in the FIR suggested that the main accused was subjected to torture, not while apprehending him but after taking his custody. The Bench stated, this is a matter of serious concern which requires cognizance by none else than the Director General of Police, Bihar State in the light of observations of the Supreme Court in catena of Judgment.

Opining that lesser said would be better in the instant case, the Bench referred to the case of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal, (1997) 1 SCC 416, wherein the Supreme Court had observed, “experience shows that worst violations of human rights take place during the course of investigation, when the police with a view to secure evidence or confession often resorts to third degree methods including torture and adopts techniques of screening arrest by either not recording the arrest or describing the deprivation of liberty merely as a prolonged interrogation” to remind the officials concerned of the human rights of the accused in custody of the Police.

Since the FIR suggested that after using full force, confession of main accused came to be extracted by the SHO, who had audacity to narrate the same in the FIR itself, the Bench rejected the confession as sections 24, 25 and 26 of the Evidence Act makes it clear that confession by an accused to police is of no consequence and it cannot even be looked out by the Court. Similarly, except the alleged confession, there was nothing to infer complicity of the applicant as nothing had been recovered from him. Expressing dismay over the inhuman and unlawful actions of the police, the Bench remarked,

“Giving third degree treatment to the apprehended accused and that too for extracting confession is the worst crime in a civilized society which can be committed by a Police officer and that is how the Judiciary is witnessing large number of custodial deaths caused by men in uniform.”

Considering the nature of the evidence against the applicant, the Bench opined that there was no other alternative but to release him on bail during pendency of the trial. Accordingly, the application was allowed and the applicant was directed to be released on bail on executing a bond of Rs. 15000. [Sanjay Singh v. State of Bihar, Criminal Miscellaneous No.54765 of 2021, decided on 26-11-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance:

For the Petitioner/s: Mr.Gautam Kumar Yadav, Advocate

For the Opposite Party/s: Mr.Rana Randhir Singh, APP