Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: Birendra Kumar, J. allowed a petition since the entire factual position of the case, made out a case of a civil dispute only and because of that the criminal proceedings were to be quashed.

An application was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing of the order of summoning the petitioner to face trial for the offence under Section 420 of the Penal Code. The petitioner challenged this on the grounds that a bare perusal of the complaint petition would show that the case was purely of civil dispute and the complainant had deliberately attempted to give it a color of a criminal offence.

The complainant had entered into an agreement with the petitioner to purchase plots. The petitioner received the total consideration money and gave the receipt of the same and promised to execute sale deed after the marriage of her daughter. Thereafter, petitioner went to Delhi and when the complainant tried to contact the petitioner she tried to evade execution of the sale deed. Ultimately, a legal notice was sent to the petitioner. The petitioner informed the complainant that the plot was also the subject matter of the suit for partition, wherein half share of the petitioner was admitted.

The petitioner had filed a petition before the trial court in the partition suit aforesaid, praying therein for permission to sell the suit property and permission to execute sale deed but the trial judge restrained both the parties to not to transfer the suit land without permission of the court. The said partition suit was dismissed later for non-prosecution and the request of the opposite party to execute the sale deed was finally turned down by the petitioner. Hence, the counsel for the complainant alleged that even after no judicial order was in existence, restraining the parties to the suit from executing the sale deed, the petitioner did not execute the sale deed, as such committed criminal breach of trust and misappropriation. In furtherance to such fraudulent behavior, the petitioner entered into an agreement dated to transfer the aforesaid plot in favor of Arvind Kumar, her cousin brother which was proof of her fraudulent and dishonest intention while entering into an agreement with the complainant.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that from the narration of the facts, it was evident that the act lacked the culpable intention of the petitioner at the time of making an initial promise and even thereafter. Hence, offence under Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code was apparently not made out.

The Court held that an agreement to sale did not create a title in favor of the intended purchaser, nor it extinguishes the title of the intended vendor, rather it created a right enforceable in law at the instance of the aggrieved party. It was not in dispute that the opposite party had not brought any proceeding to enforce his civil right. The most important ingredient to prove the charge under Section 420 of the Penal Code is the culpable intention at the time of making an initial promise. The culpable intention of the petitioner was evidently not there for the reason that the petitioner has got title over plot No. 3388, which has an area of 84 Kathas. Thus, only for the reason, that petitioner had entered into an agreement to sale with some other prior to the agreement with the complainant would not make the petitioner guilty of having a dishonest and fraudulent intention at the inception. Moreover, the petitioner fairly admitted the agreement to sell with the complainant and the factum of partition suit brought by her sister in the same year as well as judicial order of the court, prohibiting the parties from transferring the suit property. Therefore, judicial order was there in the way of performance of the agreement by the petitioner, till the dismissal of the suit in the year, 2011. Hence, the same cannot be allowed to be given a color of criminal prosecution, which would apparently result in a miscarriage of justice. Hence,

In view of the above-noted facts, the instant petition was allowed and the impugned order and entire criminal proceeding stood quashed.[Meena Sahi v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1649, decided on 23-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: R. Narayana Pisharadi, J. quashed the proceedings under Kerala Police Act, 2011 against the petitioner by invoking the power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The facts of the case were that the Sub Inspector found petitioner making obscene gestures having sexual flavors, degrading the dignity of the women who were passing through the road. The Sub Inspector arrested the petitioner from the spot. The report was thus made after investigation, on which the petition was filed to quash the present application.

Sri. P. Rahul, learned counsel for the petitioner after completion of the investigation urged for the quashing of the proceedings on the ground that there was a lacuna in the investigation process and the police officer who detected the offence himself conducted the investigation thereby causing the prejudice to the petitioner. It was submitted that no woman was questioned by the police and civil police were cited as the witness to prove the incident. It was further submitted that the final report does not reveal the petitioner has committed any act punishable under Section 119(1)(a) of the Kerala Police Act, 2011.

Sheeba K.K., Public Prosecutor opposed the quashing of the petition on the ground that the offence alleged involves public interest and thus should not be quashed.

The Court held that the grounds alleged by the petitioner for quashing the present petition were not fatal to the prosecution case against the petitioner as there was no mandate that the act was to be done against the particular woman. Although on the ground that in the statement made in FIR and final report there was no disclosure by the two civil police officer of what was the obscene or sexual gesture or act performed by the petitioner which was necessary as the petitioner cannot be made guessing what is the specific allegation against him, the court decided to quash the proceedings. The court further directed  that complaint or the first information report, as the case may be, shall contain recital as to the specific gesture or act performed by the accused, which according to the prosecution, was degrading to the dignity of women and which would attract the offence under Section 119(1)(a) of the Act.[Arun v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1623, decided on 22-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Chander Bhusan Barowalia, J. allowed a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for quashing of FIR registered for offences under Sections 498-A and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860, on the ground that parties had entered into a compromise.

In the present case, the petitioner-husband and respondent-wife were married according to Hindu rites. After five years of their marriage, the wife left her matrimonial home and went to live with her parents in Shimla. She later filed an FIR under Sections 498-A and 502 of IPC against the husband. However, the parties later entered into a compromise and in order to maintain their cordial relation, they did not want to pursue cases against each other. Thus, the present petition was filed by the husband under Section 482 of CrPC requesting the court to quash the FIR filed against him along with the cases based upon it.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, R. L. Verma, contended that as the parties have compromised the matter, no purpose would be served by keeping the matter alive, hence the FIR, along with the subsequent proceedings should be quashed by the Court.

Learned counsel for the respondent, Dinesh Bhatia, prayed that the petition may be allowed in view of the compromise arrived between the parties.

The Court relied upon the judgment in Jitendra Raghuvanshi v. Babita Raghuvanshi, (2013) 4 SCC 58 where it was held that even in non-compoundable offences pertaining to matrimonial disputes, if Court is satisfied that parties have settled the disputes amicably and without any pressure, then for purpose of securing ends of justice, FIR/complaint or subsequent criminal proceedings in respect of offences can be quashed.

In view of the above, the petition was allowed and FIR against petitioner, along with its subsequent proceedings, was quashed.[Dharmender Mathur v. State of H.P., 2019 SCC OnLine HP 585, decided on 08-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. was hearing an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which sought quashing of Family Court’s order whereby applicant-husband was directed to pay maintenance to his wife (2nd respondent herein).

At the outset, this Court called for a report from the Family Court, in the present matter. The said report stated that the applicant, till date had not complied with Family Court’s order to pay maintenance. At this juncture, learned counsel for the applicant Mr Dineshwar Prasad Singh submitted that he may be permitted to withdraw the application.

The Court opined that the applicant could not be allowed to simply withdraw the application, when his mala fide conduct stood exposed. It was observed that strict order was required to ensure payment of maintenance to the 2nd respondent, moreso, when there was a judicial order to that effect. The Court, under its inherent power under Section 482 CrPC is also required to pass an order for securing the ends of justice.

Accordingly, the application was disposed of as withdrawn, directing the Family Court to take all coercive measures against the applicant for ensuring compliance of its order directing payment of maintenance.[Sanjay Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 601, Order dated 03-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Bench of Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. allowed the quashing of the criminal case owing to the amicable compromise between the parties.

The petitioners have approached this Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for the alleged offence under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The petitioner has been alleged for demanding dowry from the opposite party for a motorcycle along with the fact that he assaulted the opposite party. It has also been alleged that he was in an illicit relationship with another woman. He has contended that there was an application filed for restitution of conjugal rights in view of the amicable settlement between the parties under which the petitioner would pay monthly maintenance to the opposite party and her son. Hence when a compromise on mutual terms has been arrived upon between the parties the criminal case shall not be followed upon.

Accordingly, having considered the facts of the case the Court was of the view that the court by using its inherent powers in order to reach the ends of justice simply when it was in the interest of both the parties shall allow for the above application.[Dhananjay Paswan v. State Of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 11, decided on 03-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. quashed a criminal complaint as its jurisdiction purely fell within the ambit of a Civil Court.

The petitioners have approached this Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to quash a complaint filed for cheating under Section 420 IPC.

The complainant has alleged that despite having received the money consideration for the supply of 390 bags of Masoor the same was not delivered to the complainant. The petitioners through their counsel Sandeep Kumar and Rohit Raj have submitted that the above dispute relates to a financial transaction arising out of a commercial agreement between the parties and subsequent institution of a criminal case was an abuse of the process of the Court when a remedy has been given under the common civil law.

The Court was of the view that this does not call for any interference as an offence under Section 420 IPC cannot be instituted when the case was purely of a civil nature. Also, failure of payment or non-performance falls under the competent jurisdiction of the civil Court. Thus the application stood allowed. [Raj Kumar Gupta v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 10, decided on 03-01-2019]