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

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

Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge bench comprising of John Michael Cunha, J. decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 CrPC, wherein the Court declined to quash the charge-sheet filed against the petitioner under Sections 417, 201, 504 and 506 of IPC.

The petitioner was accused of offences under the above-mentioned sections. It was alleged that he had regular sexual relation for more than six years with the complainant on the pretext of marrying her. However, the petitioner breached the promise and married someone else and hence, the complainant was constrained to initiate criminal action against him. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the criminal prosecution initiated against the petitioner was ulteriorly motivated. Further, the charge-sheet does not make out any offence against the petitioner. He prayed that the charge-sheet filed against the petitioner may be quashed.

The High Court, after perusing the record and considering the submissions made on behalf of the parties, found that prima facie material was available in proof of the allegations made against the petitioner. The material collected in evidence by the prosecution make out the ingredients of the offences alleged against the petitioner. The contentions raised by the counsel for the petitioner had to be considered during course of the trial. The Court held it to be a settled law that the inherent powers under Section 482 should not be exercised to stifle a legitimate prosecution. From the material available on record it could not be said that the prosecution initiated against the petitioner was either false, vexatious or an abuse of the process of court.

In such circumstances, the Court declined to grant relief as prayed for by the petitioner and the petition was accordingly dismissed. [Kiran v. State of Karnataka, Crl. Petition No. 102483 of 2017, dated 16.04.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: While deciding the issue that whether it would be proper to quash the criminal proceedings against the petitioner in an offence of abduction and gang rape especially when prima facie materials on record concerning his complicity in the crime have been collected during course of investigation, but the co-accused persons have been acquitted of all the charges on the ground that the victim and other independent witnesses have not supported the prosecution case, the Bench of S.K. Sahoo, J., dismissing the petition, held that a Court cannot quash the criminal proceedings against the petitioner forming an assumption on the ground that the co-accused persons have been acquitted as the victim did not support the prosecution case.

As per the facts, the petitioner and other co- accused persons was charged under Sections 363/366/376(2) (g) read with Section 34 IPC and Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, for abducting and gang raping a married woman. The victim however turned a hostile witness, as a result of which the co- accused persons were acquitted. Arupananda Das, Addl. Government Advocate for the State put forth before the Court that during course of investigation and from the statements of the victim, prima facie case was found against the petitioner and accordingly, charge sheet was submitted. Thus merely because the victim did not support the prosecution case during trial in respect of the co-accused persons, the same cannot be a ground to quash the criminal proceeding against the petitioner.

Perusing the facts of the case, the Court observed that it is a case of abduction and gang rape of a married lady, and even though the victim turned hostile during the trial of the co- accused persons, it cannot be said that she will do the same during the trial of the petitioner. The Court noted that if the accused against whom accusation of abduction and gang rape is there remains absconding, and watches the criminal proceeding in respect of the co-accused persons and after such proceeding ended in acquittal, he comes out of his shell feeling that in view of the acquittal of the co-accused persons, the prosecution case against him will become weak and if the Court accepts his plea on the basis of the evidence adduced in the trial of the co-accused persons and quashes the proceeding against him, then it would be a travesty of justice. Thus it cannot be said that the continuance of the criminal proceeding against the petitioner would be an abuse of process. The Court thereby refused to invoke the inherent power under Section 482 of CrPC. [Ajay Kumar Sethi v. State of Orissa, 2018 SCC OnLine Ori 275, decided on 09-04-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Sharma, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 CrPC, wherein the criminal proceedings pending against the appellants were quashed in the light of settlement between the parties.

The appellants were accused under Sections 147, 149, 323, 506, 452, 427, and 382 IPC. The case arose out of scuffle between appellants and the respondents. Parties to the case submitted before the Court that they have amicably compromised the matter and the concerned FIR and proceedings arising therefrom may be quashed.

The question before the Court was whether it can quash criminal proceedings in light of settlement between the parties. The Court referred to various decisions of the Supreme Court and observed that inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of CrPC are different from power to compound offence under Section 320. Under Section 482, the High Court has inherent power to quash criminal proceedings if the parties have settled the matter, even in those cases which are not compoundable. However, such power is to be exercised sparingly and with great caution. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, wherein the parties have amicably settled the matter among themselves and such compromise being found genuine, the Court held that it was a fit case where the FIR and proceedings arising therefrom, were liable to be quashed.

Hence, the petition was allowed and the FIR and criminal proceedings arising therefrom pending adjudication before the trial court, were quashed. [Rajesh Thakur v. Hem Chand, 2018 SCC OnLine HP 336, dated 27.3.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Chander Bhusan Barowalia, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 CrPC, wherein the proceedings against the petitioner were quashed in light of compromise between the parties.

The petitioner was involved in a road accident in pursuance of which a criminal case was filed against him under Sections 279, 337 and 201 IPC along with Section 187 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The petitioner submitted that there was a compromise between himself and the respondents. The parties did not wish to pursue the case further; and in light of the compromise between the parties, no purpose would be served by keeping the proceedings against the petitioner alive and hence the FIR against him may be quashed.

The High Court referred to a few Supreme Court decisions to discuss the law on the subject and observed that in B.S. Joshi v. State of Haryana, (2003) 4 SCC 675, the SC held that if for the purpose of securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 of CrPC would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. It is well settled that the powers under Section 482 have no limits. Of course, where there is more power, it becomes necessary to exercise utmost care and caution while invoking such powers. The High Court also observed that even in non-compoundable offences, if the Court is satisfied that the parties have settled the dispute amicably, then for the purpose of securing justice, the FIR may be quashed.

In the instant matter, the Court was of the view that parties had amicably settled the dispute in terms of the compromise, and thus the petition was allowed and the FIR against the petitioner was quashed. [Deepak Khurana v. State of H.P., 2018 SCC OnLine HP 145, order dated 9.2.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The petitioner preferred a criminal miscellaneous petition under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR No. 322/2016 for the offences under Sections 115 and 108 IPC.

Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that taking advantage of an official position and being a politically powerful person, Respondent 2 has lodged the FIR with a limited object of putting undue pressure upon the present petitioner. Learned counsel for the petitioner has also raised the issue of criminal antecedents of Respondent 2, which according to him, reflected that Respondent 2 himself was not on the right side of law.

Learned Public Prosecutor assured the Court that appropriate, proper, fair and impartial investigation has to be made in this case and all the stands taken by the petitioner, respondent-complaint has to be considered at the time of investigation and before completing the same, no indulgence ought to be granted by this Court under the inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC at this stage.

Learned Public Prosecutor also stated that the scope of Section 482 CrPC has to be strictly looked into, in terms of the original criminal jurisprudence emanating out of the precedent law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in State of Haryana v.  Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, whereby it has been held that the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. can be invoked where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are absurd and inherently improbable. He also cited the case of Gurumukh Das v. State of Rajasthan, 2016 0 Supreme (Raj) 1086, wherein the Rajasthan High Court had held that it was the statutory right of the police to investigate, where FIR disclosed commission of offence, and in such cases, FIR should not be quashed.

The High Court opined that on a bare reading of the FIR, it was apparent that it was not a case where any indulgence could be granted to the petitioner, as the wordings of the FIR, prima facie, clearly constituted an offence, and therefore, there was no reason to by-pass the settled procedure of investigation and trial in this case. The High Court, taking note of the fact that the petitioner himself had a case under Section 302 IPC registered against him on the basis on an overall assessment of the facts as well as the record of the case, held that the case did not call for any interference under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court under Section 482 CrPC.

Consequently dismissing the miscellaneous petition the Court directed a free, fair and impartial investigation to be made in the matter, thereby, concluding the case to be unfit for invocation of inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC. [Hari Ram v. State of Rajasthan,  2017 SCC OnLine Raj 2400, decided on 5.7.2017]

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Medical Camp was held on 8.11.2014 at Pendri, Sakri conducted under the National Family Planning Programme for sterilization of women. The petitioner was posted as a Surgical Specialist at District Hospital, Bilaspur. The camp at the venue was to be conducted in three rooms of which one was converted into a room for operating the patients and the petitioner was one of the doctor allotted duty for performing operations.

After the operations, the patients were taken into the recovery room and provided particular tablets, and instructed in respect of the medicines to be taken and all the patients were discharged. However, after all the patients reached their respective home and immediately after consuming the tablets which were provided for recovery, started getting unwell and in due course of time 12 of the ladies who underwent sterilization operation on the said date died and a few had to go through long process of medication.

In this regard, an FIR was lodged in which petitioner was named as accused and accordingly, charge-sheet was filed under Sections 304-II, 308 and 34  IPC and the matter was put to trial before the Sessions Court i.e. the Court of Special Judge, SC &ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Bilaspur. The petitioner has sought the quashment of proceedings against him in Trial Court under Section 482 CrPC before the Court.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that there was no ingredient whatsoever available which are required for making out an offence under Section 304-II or, for that matter, Section 308  IPC. It was further contended that the petitioner was just made a scapegoat in the entire episode without there being any material whatsoever to implicate him. Though the post-mortem report showed that the deceased/s died due to septicaemia but the same was not confirmed from the biological report, the counsel submitted. It was also the contention of the petitioner that the ladies got unwell not after the surgery, but after consuming the medicines given to them stating that the FIR was filed against the petitioner after the hue and cry caused by media over the issue. The legal ground taken by the petitioner was that it was mandatory for the authorities to have obtained previous sanction before initiating criminal prosecution against a public servant particularly in connection with an offence which is alleged to have occurred in discharge of its official duties.

Counsel for the State took the Court through the statements which were recorded during the course of investigation where they have categorically stated in respect of the unhygienic, unhealthy and unsafe conditions under which the ladies had undergone the operation and further submitted that the nature of the act committed by the petitioner was so serious that its gravity alone is to be taken as sufficient ground for rejection of the present petition.

The Court observed that S. 197 CrPC clearly indicates that the provision is mandatorily applicable to all those persons who is or was a public servant at the time of commission of the offence and referred to State of Orissa v. Ganesh Chandra Jew,  (2004) 8 SCC 40. The Court concluded that he entire prosecution initiated by the State is bad in law on account of the non-compliance of the mandatory requirement under Section 197 CrPC was bad in law stating that letting the petitioner undergo the trauma of trial at this point would be miscarriage of justice and abuse of process of law. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the proceedings against doctor  quashed. [Dr. R.K. Gupta v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2017 SCC OnLine Chh 198, decided on 15.02.2017]