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Saturday, May 24, 2014

No - Quash Sec.482 Cr.P.C. - Section 420/120B IPC - High court misapplied the law and quashed the FIR - Having no title, the accused induced the complainant and extracted a sum of Rs. 5,00,001/- from the complainant with an intention not to transfer the land infavour of complainant - Apex court held that The averments in the complaint would prima facie make out a case for investigation by the authority.The High Court has adopted a strictly hypertechnical approach and such an endeavour may be justified during a trial, but certainly not during the stage of investigation. At any rate it is too premature a stage for the High Court to step in and stall the investigation by declaring that it is a civil transaction wherein no semblance of criminal offence is involved. The appellant, is therefore right in contending that the First Information Report should not have been quashed in this case and the investigation should have been allowed to proceed. We, therefore, allow this appeal and set aside the impugned order.= Mosiruddin Munshi … Appellant(s) versus Md. Siraj and another … Respondent(s) = 2014 (May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41537

No - Quash Sec.482 Cr.P.C. - Section 420/120B IPC - High court misapplied the law and quashed the FIR - Having no title, the accused induced the complainant and extracted a sum of Rs. 5,00,001/- from the complainant with an intention not to transfer the land infavour of complainant - Apex court held that The  averments  in  the complaint would prima facie make out a case for  investigation by  the authority.The High Court has adopted a  strictly  hypertechnical  approach and  such an endeavour may be justified during a  trial, but certainly  not during the  stage  of  investigation.   At  any  rate  it  is  too  premature a stage for  the  High  Court  to  step  in  and  stall  the  investigation by declaring that it is a civil transaction  wherein  no
 semblance of criminal offence is involved. The appellant, is therefore right in contending that  the  First Information Report should not have been quashed in this case  and  the investigation should have been allowed to proceed.  We, therefore, allow this appeal  and  set  aside  the  impugned order.=


Yet again in Mahesh Chaudhary Vs. State of Rajasthan (2009)
      4 SCC 443) this Court stated the law thus :

             “11.      The principle providing for exercise of the power  by
             a High  Court  under  Section  482  of  the  Code  of  Criminal
             Procedure to quash a criminal proceeding  is  well  known.  The
             Court shall ordinarily exercise the  said  jurisdiction,  inter
             alia, in the event the allegations contained in the FIR or  the
             complaint petition even if  on  face  value  are  taken  to  be
             correct in their entirety, does not disclose commission  of  an
             offence.”




      7.    In the present case the complaint does make averments so  as  to
      infer  fraudulent  or  dishonest   inducement  having  been  made   by
      Respondent  No.1  herein  and  accused  No.2  pursuant  to  which  the
      appellant parted with money.  It is the case  of  the  appellant  that
      Respondent No.2 does not  have  title  over  the  property  since  the
      settlement deed was not a registered one and  Respondent  No.1  herein
      and accused No.2  had   entered  into  criminal  conspiracy  and  they
      fraudulently induced the appellant to deliver a sum  of  Rs.5,00,001/-
      with no intention to complete the sale  deal.  The  averments  in  the
      complaint would prima facie make out a case for  investigation by  the
      authority.

9.    The High Court has adopted a  strictly  hypertechnical  approach
      and  such an endeavour may be justified during a  trial, but certainly
      not during the  stage  of  investigation.   At  any  rate  it  is  too
      premature a stage for  the  High  Court  to  step  in  and  stall  the
      investigation by declaring that it is a civil transaction  wherein  no
      semblance of criminal offence is involved.




      10.   The appellant, is therefore right in contending that  the  First
      Information Report should not have been quashed in this case  and  the
      investigation should have been allowed to proceed.




      11.   We, therefore, allow this appeal  and  set  aside  the  impugned
      order.


2014 (May.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41537
T.S. THAKUR, C. NAGAPPAN


                                                                REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                    CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.   1168    OF 2014
              [ Arising out of  SLP (Crl.) No.5529 OF 2011]






   Mosiruddin Munshi                               …     Appellant(s)

                                   versus

   Md. Siraj and another                                   …
   Respondent(s)




                               J U D G M E N T

   C. NAGAPPAN, J.




   1.       Leave granted.  CRMP No.12896 of 2011 seeking impleadment  as  a
   party is dismissed.




   2.       This appeal is preferred against  order  dated  June  29,  2010,
   passed by the High Court of Calcutta in CRR No.1978 of 2006 in FIR No.251
   dated 10.11.2005 on the file of Amherst Street Police Station  registered
   for the alleged offences under Section 420/120B IPC including  the  order
   dated 28.10.2005 in case  No.C/949  of  2005  passed  by  the  Additional
   Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta.



   3.       Briefly the facts  are  as  follows  :   The  appellant  herein/
   complainant  was  looking  for  a  plot  of  land  for  construction   of
   residential house in January 2005 and accused No.2, Masud Alam, a  public
   servant  represented  that  he  could  arrange  for  the  said  plot  and
   introduced the appellant to respondent No.1/accused No.1 who stated  that
   he had a plot of land and the appellant believing the representation made
   by the accused  No.2 entered into an agreement for sale  with  respondent
   No.1 herein/accused No.1 and also paid a sum of Rs.5,00,001/- in    cash.
   The respondent No.1 herein refused  to  hand  over  the  necessary  title
   documents to the appellant which led to issuance of legal notice  by  the
   appellant.  All other methods to compel respondent No.1 to  complete  the
   sale having failed the appellant    filed a complaint  on  28.10.2005  in
   the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate,  Calcutta  against
   respondent No.1 herein/accused No.1 and accused  No.2  for  the  offences
   punishable under Section 420, read with Section  120B  of  the  IPC.  The
   Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate forwarded the complaint  to  the
   officer in-charge of the  Amherst Street   Police  Station  for   causing
   investigation under Section 156(3) of Criminal Procedure Code by treating
   the   complaint   as   First   Information   Report.    Respondent   No.1
   herein/accused No.1 filed application under  Section  482  of  Cr.PC  for
   quashing the said proceedings including the FIR.   Though  the  appellant
   herein/complainant was impleaded as a party no attempt was made to  serve
   notice on him  with the result that the learned single Judge of the  High
   Court quashed the complaint proceedings in the absence of  the  appellant
   herein.  Challenging the said order the appellant herein preferred appeal
   to this Court in Criminal  Appeal  No.852  of  2008  and  this  Court  by
   judgment dated May 09, 2008  allowed the appeal and remitted the case  to
   the High Court for a fresh decision in accordance with  law.   Thereafter
   the High Court heard both the parties and by impugned order  dated  June,
   29, 2010 allowed the  application under Section 482  Cr.P.C  and  quashed
   the complaint proceedings.  Aggrieved by the  same  the  complainant  has
   preferred the present appeal.




   4.       The  learned  counsel  for  the  appellant  contended  that  the
   contents  of  the  complaint   would  disclose  the  commission  of   the
   cognizable offences alleged and the High Court at the  preliminary  stage
   would not be justified in embarking upon  an  inquiry  and  quashing  the
   proceedings and hence the impugned order is liable to be set aside.   Per
   contra the learned counsel for the Respondent No.1/accused No.1 contended
   that the dispute involved in the complaint is of civil nature and none of
   the acts allegedly committed by the Respondent  No.1  gave  rise  to  any
   criminal liability as rightly held by the High Court.  In support of  the
   submission he relied on the following decisions of this Court in  Hridaya
   Ranjan Prasad Verma and others Vs. State of Bihar and  another  (2000)  4
   SCC 168, Murari Lal Gupta Vs. Gopi Singh  (2005)  13  SCC  699  and   Ram
   Biraji Devi and another Vs. Umesh Kumar Singh and another  (2006)  6  SCC
   669.




   5.       The legal position with regard to exercise  of  jurisdiction  by
   the High Court for quashing the First  Information  Report  is  now  well
   settled.  It is not necessary for us  to  delve  deep  thereinto  as  the
   propositions of law have been stated by this  Court  in  R.  Kalyani  Vs.
   Janak C. Mehta (2009) 1 SCC 516  in the following terms :

      “15. Propositions of law which emerge from the said decisions are :




              1) The High Court ordinarily would not exercise  its  inherent
                 jurisdiction  to  quash  a  criminal  proceeding  and,   in
                 particular,  a  first   information   report   unless   the
                 allegations contained therein, even if given face value and
                 taken  to  be  correct  in  their  entirety,  disclosed  no
                 cognizable offence.




              2) For the said purpose the Court, save and  except  in  very
                 exceptional circumstances, would not look to any  document
                 relied upon by the defence.




              3)  Such a power should be exercised very sparingly.  If  the
                 allegations made in the  FIR  disclose  commission  of  an
                 offence, the Court shall not go beyond the same  and  pass
                 an order in favour of the  accused to hold absence of  any
                 mens rea or actus reus.




              4) If the allegation discloses a civil dispute,  the  same  by
                 itself may not be  a  ground  to  hold  that  the  criminal
                 proceedings should not be allowed to continue.




      6.         Yet again in Mahesh Chaudhary Vs. State of Rajasthan (2009)
      4 SCC 443) this Court stated the law thus :

             “11.      The principle providing for exercise of the power  by
             a High  Court  under  Section  482  of  the  Code  of  Criminal
             Procedure to quash a criminal proceeding  is  well  known.  The
             Court shall ordinarily exercise the  said  jurisdiction,  inter
             alia, in the event the allegations contained in the FIR or  the
             complaint petition even if  on  face  value  are  taken  to  be
             correct in their entirety, does not disclose commission  of  an
             offence.”




      7.    In the present case the complaint does make averments so  as  to
      infer  fraudulent  or  dishonest   inducement  having  been  made   by
      Respondent  No.1  herein  and  accused  No.2  pursuant  to  which  the
      appellant parted with money.  It is the case  of  the  appellant  that
      Respondent No.2 does not  have  title  over  the  property  since  the
      settlement deed was not a registered one and  Respondent  No.1  herein
      and accused No.2  had   entered  into  criminal  conspiracy  and  they
      fraudulently induced the appellant to deliver a sum  of  Rs.5,00,001/-
      with no intention to complete the sale  deal.  The  averments  in  the
      complaint would prima facie make out a case for  investigation by  the
      authority.




      8.    In the decisions relied  on  by  the  learned  counsel  for  the
      respondent No.1, cited supra, this Court on the   facts  therein  held
      that the allegations in the complaint read as a whole prima facie  did
      not disclose commission of offences  alleged and quashed the  criminal
      proceedings.  Those decisions do not  apply to  the fact situation  of
      the present case.




      9.    The High Court has adopted a  strictly  hypertechnical  approach
      and  such an endeavour may be justified during a  trial, but certainly
      not during the  stage  of  investigation.   At  any  rate  it  is  too
      premature a stage for  the  High  Court  to  step  in  and  stall  the
      investigation by declaring that it is a civil transaction  wherein  no
      semblance of criminal offence is involved.




      10.   The appellant, is therefore right in contending that  the  First
      Information Report should not have been quashed in this case  and  the
      investigation should have been allowed to proceed.




      11.   We, therefore, allow this appeal  and  set  aside  the  impugned
      order.







                                                              …………………………….J.
                                             (T.S. Thakur)




                                                               ……………………………J.
                                             (C. Nagappan)
      New Delhi;
      May  9, 2014




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