Complaint is not an encyclopedia; other material can be looked into to make out a prima facie case

Karnataka High Court: While deciding a criminal petition filed under Section 439 of CrPC, a Single Judge Bench of Budihal R.B., J. held that even if the specific overt act is not alleged against the accused in the complaint itself, a prima facie case can be made out against him considering all other prima facie material along with the complaint.

The background of the case was set in the dispute relating to construction of a house. In connection with the same dispute the petitioner is alleged to have assaulted the daughter of the complainant that resulted in her death.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the complaint averments only go to show that the petitioner assaulted the deceased on her cheek/neck and she fell down unconscious. He submitted that there was no prima facie case against the petitioner that he was the main cause for the death of the deceased. Hence, he prayed that the petitioner be enlarged on bail.

The High Court perused the petition, the FIR, the complaint, and the charge-sheet produced. The Court was of the opinion that it was no doubt true that there was no mention in the complaint about the petitioner assaulting the deceased with a stone, however, a complaint is not an encyclopedia. The eyewitness in her statement had categorically stated that the petitioner assaulted the deceased with a stone. The Court also perused the medical opinion given by the doctor as to the cause of death of the deceased; and held that the material on record goes on to make out a prima facie case against the accused. Accordingly, the Court declined to exercise discretion in favor of the petitioner and the petition was rejected. [Balaraj v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 2451, order dated 9.10.2017]

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