Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A petition was filed before a Division Bench comprising of Ramesh Sinha and Dinesh Kumar Singh, JJ., for quashing an FIR registered under Sections 409, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 477A, 201, 218 and 120-B/34 IPC and 13(2) Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Facts of the case were that an FIR was filed against petitioner in 2006 and the investigation was pending even after 12 years. Petitioner submitted that a similar petition had been filed by accused where an interim order was passed in his favour, therefore, he is also entitled for the same. Petitioner contended that from perusal of FIR it could not be said that any offence was made out against him. Petitioner also stated the fact that investigation of the case was yet not been completed.

High Court after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions of petitioner directed the investigating officer to complete the investigation and submit police report before the Court. Further, the direction was issued to not arrest the petitioner before the completion of investigation and submission of the report under Section 173(2) Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. [Bharti Singh v. State of U.P., Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 29263 of 2018, order dated 11-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Petitioner had filed a petition before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Gurvinder Singh Gill, J. to quash an FIR registered under Sections 377 and 506 IPC and Sections 3 (which explains what amounts to penetrative sexual assault) and 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and any other consequential proceedings. The petitioner in this petition prayed for quashing of the FIR on the ground that the matter had been compromised between the parties.

For quashing, FIR petitioner submitted the report of the Magistrate before whom their matter was compromised. Both petitioner and victim were minor thus were represented through their respective guardians. It was found through the report that the compromise was agreed upon by all in front of respectable persons of society out of their free will.  It was opined that the compromise was genuine and was voluntarily done without any coercion or undue influence.

Petitioner pleaded to the court to consider the present case though offence was non-compoundable, on the ground that petitioner/accused was in his tender age at the time of the incident. Respondent contended that the offences under Sections 3 and 4 of POCSO are serious in nature and cannot be quashed on the basis of a compromise.

The High Court observed that since accused or petitioners were juveniles they should be given an opportunity to reform and since the matter had already been compromised the FIR and proceeding consequential thereto in question should be quashed. Therefore, FIR was quashed and the petition was allowed. [Sunil Kumar v. State of Punjab,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1542, decided on 05-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Ajay Lamba and Sanjay Harkauli, JJ., disposed of a petition for the issuance of the writ of certiorari, so as to quash the FIR filed under Sections 395 and 397 of the IPC, 1860.

In the present case, the Court took cognizance of the importance of the medico-legal report in cases pertaining to offences under the IPC, 1860, and stated that the precious time of the courts is wasted in making an effort to read the illegible penmanship of the doctors and medical professionals who author the reports, which had previously been observed in the case of Chhabiraj v. State of U.P, Misc. Case No. 6750(B) of 2012. The doctor who had authored the report had scribbled the information pertaining to the injuries in an illegible handwriting, as a result of which the court had to summon him so as to understand the nature of injuries as revealed by the report. Upon receiving the printed form of the report, the court found that the report was made in a negligent and irresponsible manner, which was not useful to understand the location of the injuries, a factor which is pivotal in the adjudication of criminal cases.

The High Court then observed that the conduct of doctors and medical professionals was in complete disregard to the circular that had been passed by the Director of Medical Services. The court reiterated the importance of medico-legal reports in cases pertaining to hurt, homicide or suicide and stated that it plays an enormous role in determining the manner in which the incident played out, the nature of the injuries etc. It is also used to verify the veracity of statements and claims made by witnesses and other ocular evidence provided therein. But the negligent and irresponsible attitude of doctors, as was present in this case, is antithetical to the aim of achieving justice. The court reprimanded the doctor by deducting Rs. 5000/- from his salary. Furthermore, as there was no incriminating evidence on the charges of Sections 395 and 397, and no investigation had been undertaken with respect to other charges, the petition was disposed of in favour of the petitioners. [Fahad v. State of U.P., 2018 SCC OnLine All 1817, order dated 25-09-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ. disposed of a criminal appeal filed by the State of Maharashtra against the judgment of the Bombay High Court whereby an FIR  filed against the respondents was quashed.

The FIR was filed against the respondents, for the transportation and sale of gutkha/pan masala, under Sections 26 and 30 of the Food and Safety Standards Act, 2006 along with Sections 188, 227, 273 and 328 IPC. The respondents filed criminal petitions before the High Court for quashing the FIRs. The High Court allowed the petitions. Aggrieved thereby, the State filed the instant appeal.

The Supreme Court was of the view that the judgment of the High Court could not be sustained. It was unable to agree with the conclusion of the High Court that non-compliance of the provisions of FSS Act cannot be the subject matter of a prosecution under IPC. The High Court was, observed the Supreme Court, clearly wrong in interpreting the scope of Section 188 IPC. The section does not only cover breach of law and order but is attracted even in cases where the Act complained of causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety. Furthermore, the Court did not accept the position that Section 55 of FSS Act was the only provision which can be resorted to for non-compliance of orders passed under the Act as it is a special enactment. Reference was made to State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan, (1988) 4 SCC 655; State of Rajasthan v. Hat Singh, (2003) 2 SCC 152; State (NCT of Delhi) v. Sanjay, (2014) 9 SCC 772. It was observed that there is no bar to a trial or conviction of an offender under two different enactments, but the bar is only to the punishment of the offender twice for the same offence. Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 was also discussed to observe that prosecution under two different acts is permissible if the ingredients of the provisions are satisfied on the same facts. It was held that there is a bar for prosecution under IPC merely because provisions in FSS Act prescribe penalties. Therefore, the finding of the High Court on this point was set aside. Regarding the point as to whether offences under Sections 188, 272, 273 and 328 IPC were made out against the respondents, the matter was remanded back to High Court for reconsideration. The appeal was disposed of in the terms above. [State of Maharashtra v. Sayyed Hassan Sayyed Subhan,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1580, decided on 20-09-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of M. K. Hanjura, J., dealt with a petition where the question before Court was whether government order given by Government of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 226(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Regulations where petitioner was given compulsory retirement could have been given under the circumstances of the instant case or not.

Facts of the case are that an FIR was registered against the petitioner by the Vigilance Organization, Kashmir, alleging the petitioner to have committed criminal misconduct punishable under Section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act read with Sections 161 and 109 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) after which petitioner was suspended. It is this suspension order which is impugned in the instant case. Respondent stated that it is in public interest that the administration work is clean and effective. Thus, it is important that inefficient and corrupt officers are weeded out from the services. On the above ground respondent removed petitioner from his services. Petitioner contended that the committee which was created did not consider the ‘Annual Performance Report’ of the petitioner.

The High Court was of the view that compulsory retirement merely because an FIR is lodged against the petitioner by the Vigilance Organization cannot be sustained. Therefore, impugned order was quashed. [Ahsan-ul-Haq Khan v. State of J&K, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 584, dated 05-09-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of B.R. Gavai and Sarang V. Kotwal, JJ. dismissed an appeal filed against the judgment of the trial court whereby the appellant was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.

The appellant was convicted for the murder of his son. On the fateful day of the incident, wife of the appellant came back home from selling fish and saw that her husband and her son were quarreling as the husband had given the food meant for her, to some other person. Later, the convict and his wife went to sleep on the mezzanine floor of the house while the son was sleeping on the ground floor. The wife woke up on hearing the cries of his son, she ran to the ground floor and saw that her husband was assaulting her son with an iron rod which resulted in death of the son. When the wife tried to stop the appellant, she too was hit by the rod. The appellant threatened her not to tell this to anybody or else she had to face consequences. Subsequently, an FIR was registered and the appellant was convicted by the trial court under Section 302. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred the instant appeal.

The High Court noted that the wife (PW 1) was the star witness in the case. No doubt, in her testimony, she did not fully support the prosecution case. However, the Court observed, that it is a well settled position of law that such part of the evidence of a hostile witness which is found to be trustworthy van always be taken into consideration. In the instant case, PW 1 had supported the prosecution case with regard to earlier incidents of quarrel, she and the appellant going to mezzanine floor. Her evidence of seeing the appellant with iron rod standing near the deceased had gone unchallenged, which was also corroborated by her sister and niece who came running to the house hearing the cries of PW 1. Furthermore, the burden under Section 106 of the Evidence Act shifted on the appellant to prove that how the injuries were sustained by the deceased. The explanation given by the appellant that the deceased fell from the mezzanine floor and thereby sustained injuries were found to be false in light of the evidence of medical expert. In such circumstances, the Court dismissed the appeal. [Babubhai Laxman Bhamaniya v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 2634, dated 09-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of R.K. Gauba, J. dismissed a petition filed under Section 482 CrPC invoking the inherent powers of the Court, seeking the quashing of FIR filed against the petitioner, on the ground of compromise entered into between the parties.

The petitioner was facing prosecution for offences punishable under Section 420 read with Section 511, and Sections 471, 474, 419 and 381 IPC. The allegation against the petitioner was that he was an employee of Kundan Edible Oil Mills. It was stated that the petitioner, in his capacity as the said employee, dishonestly removed a cheque leaf of the said entity against its bank account with HDFC bank. The said cheque was forged and fabricated purporting it to be a cheque issued for the sum of Rs 6 lakhs and was presented to the bank for obtaining payment thereagainst. The cheque, on scrutiny by the Bank, was found to be forged and fabricated. Consequently, an FIR was registered. The petitioner prayed for quashing of FIR and consequent proceedings on the basis of compromise entered into between the petitioner and the respondents.

The High Court noted that during the investigation, the petitioner was unable to account for possession of the cheque which was forged, grave suspicion arising that he knew fully well that it was a forged instrument. Even then, he attempted to use it to commit the offence of cheating by presenting it dishonestly. The Court relied on the Supreme Court decision in Parbatbhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 9 SCC 641 and held that the facts of the case rendered it beyond a dispute that is private in nature. It involved serious economic offence which concerns not only the entity against the account of which the forged cheque was attempted to be encashed but also the bank where the account was maintained. The Court was of the view that this was not a case meriting exercise of inherent powers to bring an end to the prosecution. The petition was, thus, dismissed. [Pawan Gupta v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2018 SCC OnLine Del 11121, dated 23-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

“Classic case of taking revenge by the husband against the wife on being aggrieved by the maintenance petition filed.”

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of N.V. Ramana and M.M. Shantanagoudar, JJ., allowed a petition while setting aside the order passed by Allahabad High Court under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of proceedings.

Appellant 1 was the wife of Respondent 2, in accordance to the facts stated, Appellant 1 was in her final year of MCA and Respondent 2 had completed his MBBS at the time of marriage. Appellant had taken admission in an institute to pursue MBA but after a while she moved back to her parent’s house due to the demand of dowry being placed by Respondent 2. In February, 2008 Respondent 2 while working as an ad-hoc medical officer in M.P. stayed with Appellant 1 at her parent’s house and thereafter moved to U.P. in order to continue as a permanent medical officer. Appellant 1 on giving birth to her first child moved with Respondent 2 but again after some time she returned to her parent’s house due to harassment by Respondent 2.

It was alleged by the Appellant 1 that continuous dowry demands and harassment by Respondent 2 compelled her to go before the Concilliation centre which also proved to be a failed move as the respondent did not change, thereafter, appellant filed a maintenance petition under Section 125 CrPC. Respondent 2 as a counterblast filed an FIR against appellant 1 under Sections 420 and 504 IPC for cheating and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace. Further, appellant filed a petition under Section 482 CrPC which was dismissed by the High Court.

The Supreme Court observed that the primary allegation submitted by the respondent against the appellant was that Appellant 1 had wrongly represented that she had completed her MCA at the time of marriage and merely on the said basis, it cannot be said that appellant had cheated upon the respondent and therefore, Court found that absolutely no offence could be found under Section 420 IPC and the FIR is just a counterblast against the maintenance proceeding against the appellant. The petition is allowed. [Anupriya Pal v. State of U.P.,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1316, Order dated 13-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajbir Sehrawat, J., dealt with an application under Section 439 of CrPC.

The accused was alleged with carrying psychotropic substance with him and FIR was registered against him under Section 22 of NDPS Act, 1985. After being examined by the Chemical Examiner the substance was found to be Alprazolam after which he was kept in custody. Petitioner contended that he had been falsely implicated and denied the presence of any substance with him. His bail application by virtue of Section 37 of NDPS was rejected by Special Judge. Hence, application under Section 439 was filed before this Court.

Petitioner was in custody for one year four months and sixteen days before filing of this petition. Section 37(1)(b)(ii) contains conditions which should be satisfied by Court before granting bail.  According to this section Court requires to prima facie come to satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the offence alleged against him. This section seems contrary to the principle of presumption of innocence in favour of the accused until proved otherwise. The second part of the section seems humanly impossible as the Court is required to record a satisfaction that the accused would, likely, commit the offence after coming out of the custody, or would not commit any offence after coming out of the custody.

Thus, Court observed that though this part of the Section seems unconstitutional, Court does not have the domain in this petition to deal with this issue. But observed that it had to comply with conditions of Section 37(1)(b)(ii) before granting bail, therefore, Court dealt with the issue of Whether the procedure being insisted by the State; for its plea of denying the bail to petitioner; is non-discriminatory, rational, reasonable and fair procedure or not. Court was of the view that State erred in the same and after considering the conditions of Section 37(1)(b)(ii) being fulfilled, bail was granted to the petitioner. [Ankush Kumar v. State of Punjab,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1259, dated 09-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of S.H. Vora, J., allowed a petition against the detention orders passed under Gujarat Prevention of Anti Social Activities Act, 1985.

The petition was directed against order of detention passed by the respondent in exercise of powers conferred under Section 3(2) of the said Act by detaining the petitioner under Section 2 (c) of the same due to registration of offences under Sections 454, 457, 380 and 114 IPC that led to breach of public order.

The petitioner agreed that though it may be a breach of law and order but it failed to have any nexus with maintenance of public order as except statement of witnesses, registration of FIR/s and panchnama, there existed no other corroborating material on record which have had affected even the tempo of the society causing threat to the very existence of normal and routine life of people at large.

Referring to Pushker Mukherjee v. State of W.B., 1969 1 SCC 10, the Court concluded that every act of assault or injury to specific persons does not lead to public disorder and hence subjective satisfaction arrived at by the detaining authority cannot be said to be legal, valid and in accordance with law plus no other relevant penal provisions existed for invoking power under Section 3(2) of the Act. Accordingly, the Court passed release orders for the petitioner. [Vijay Rasikbhai Karsanbhai Thakor v. State of Gujarat,2017 SCC OnLine Guj 2229, order dated 06-09-2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of M.K. Hanjura, J., allowed a petition under Section 561-A of CrPC, 1989 [Jammu & Kashmir], whereby petitioner sought quashing of FIR against him.

The main question that arose for consideration was whether a High Court exercising its inherent powers can quash an FIR without conducting a proper trial.

The Court observed that a High Court is entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would amount to abuse of the process of the Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. Further, the Court referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, wherein the Supreme Court elaborately considered the scope of Section 482 Cr. P.C. In that case, the Supreme Court held that inherent powers can be used by the High Courts to prevent the abuse of process of the Court and to secure the ends of justice.

The Court held that the list of cases where a High Court can exercise inherent powers under both civil and criminal laws is not exhaustive in nature. The Courts have the inherent powers apart from express provisions of law which are necessary for proper discharge of functions and duties imposed upon them by law. The Court concluded by holding that Courts are invested with all such powers as are necessary to do right and to undo a wrong in the course of administration of justice on the principle of “Quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, conceditur et id Sine quo res ipsa esse non protest” (When the law gives the person anything, it gives him that without which it cannot exist). The petition was allowed and the impugned FIR was quashed.[Nisar Ahmad v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 516, order dated 24-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of R.K. Gauba, J. dismissed a petition filed under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR registered under Sections 354-A, 354-D and 509 IPC.

The first informant was a married woman. Her husband was running a bad health and she was constrained to look for gainful employment. With help of the petitioner, she started working in a private company where the petitioner was also employed as a supervisor. In the FIR, the first informant narrated incidents where the petitioner made indecent proposals to her; made unwanted physical contacts and advances with sexual overtures; and passed sexually coloured remarks. Such acts amount to sexual harassment under Section 354-A IPC. The allegations also indicated assault on the person of first informant, knowing fully well that thereby her modesty was being outraged.

The High Court took note of the new criminal law as amended after the public outcry in wake of certain serious crimes involving sexual assaults. The Court was of the view that such offences, as mentioned in the FIR reflect mental depravity, to say the least. The petitioner was trying to take undue advantage of a helpless and hapless woman. Women and girls cannot be allowed to become easy prey for lecherous kind in civilised society. Relying on the Supreme Court decision in Parbatbhai Ahir v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 9 SCC 641, the Court held that the first informant, having done her duty as an awakened citizen, cannot now put a lid on the matter. The case goes beyond her personal grouse. Allowing such charges to be quashed only because the petitioner may have apologised to her would not only trivialize the issue but also set a bad precedent. Having regard to the aforementioned, the Court declined to entertain the prayer in the petition. The petition was, hence, dismissed. [Roshan Lal v. State (NCT of Delhi),2018 SCC OnLine Del 10704, dated 27-07-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ. allowed a criminal petition filed against the judgment of Hyderabad High Court whereby appellants’ petition under Section 482 CrPC was dismissed.

Respondent 2-wife filed a complaint alleging harassment by her husband and his relatives including the appellants herein. The appellants were maternal uncles of the husband. Pursuant to the said complaint, an FIR was filed under Section 498-A IPC. The appellants filed the petition before the High Court for quashing the FIR. However, the High Court, vide the judgment impugned, dismissed the petition of the appellants. Aggrieved thus, the appellants filed the instant appeal.

The Supreme Court perused the charge sheet and found that the appellants were not the immediate family members of the husband. Except for the statement that they support the husband who was harassing the wife, nothing showed their involvement in the offence alleged. The Court referred to Kans Raj v. State of Punjab, (2000) 5 SCC 207 and Kailash Chandra Agarwal v. State of U.P., (2014) 16 SCC 551 and observed that the relatives of the husband should not be roped in on the basis of omnibus allegations unless specific instances of their involvement in the crime are made out. On the facts and circumstances of the present case, the Court held that not even a prima facie case was made out against the appellants. Resultantly, the appeal was allowed; the judgment impugned was set aside; and criminal proceedings qua the appellants, in the matter concerned, were quashed. [K. Subba Rao v. State of Telangana, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1080, dated 21-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: M.M. Shantanagoudar, J., delivered the judgment for N.V. Ramana, J. and himself, and upheld the decision of the Patna High Court answering a death reference in negative and acquitting the Respondent 1.

Respondent 1, along with co-accused, was convicted by the trial court under Sections 396 and 412 IPC. It was alleged that the accused committed dacoity in the house of the informant and his uncle, Madhukant Jha. While committing dacoity, the accused also fired a gunshot due to which Madhukant Jha died. The trial court awarded a death sentence to Respondent 1. The High Court not only answered the death reference in negative, but also acquitted Respondent 1. The matter was before the Supreme Court in appeal.

The Supreme Court perused the record and heard the parties and upheld the decision of the High Court. The Court observed, inter alia, that there was non-reporting of essential facts which were known to the informant in the FIR. Even the name of the material witness was conspicuously missing. Such non-mentioning, according to the Court, created suspicion on the hypothesis portrayed by the prosecution. It was further observed, although the FIR is not an encyclopedia of the crime, absence of certain essential facts, which were conspicuously missing in the FIR, pointed towards suspicion that the crime itself may be staged. On such and other reasons, the Court was of the view that the judgment of the High Court did not warrant any interference. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. [Amar Nath Jha v. Nand Kishore Singh,2018 SCC OnLine SC 786, decided on 03-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: R. Banumathi, J. speaking for herself and Ranjan Gogoi, J. dismissed a criminal appeal filed against the judgment of the Bombay High Court wherein the order of the trial court acquitting the appellants from the charges including Section 302 IPC was reversed.

According to the prosecution, the appellants and the deceased/prosecution witnesses were members of different political parties. On a fateful day, the appellants being armed with deadly weapons like sword, knife, motorcycle chain, etc., came to the house of the deceased; attacked him; and the deceased succumbed to injuries. The trial court rejected the evidence of all the witnesses on one count or another and acquitted the appellants. However, on appeal, the High Court reversed the order of the trial court and convicted the appellants under Sections 147, 148, 302 read with Section 149 IPC. This judgment was challenged by the appellants.

For adjudicating the matter, the Supreme Court carefully considered the record and discussed the witness evidence in detail. Following points of law are discernible from the discussion of the Hon’ble Court:

  • Witness evidence cannot be disbelieved simply because he did not react in a particular manner, each person reacts in his own way.
  • Relationship with the deceased is not, by itself, a ground for affecting the credibility of a witness.
  • FIR is not an encyclopedia which is expected to contain all the details of the prosecution case. It is not be rejected unless there are indications of fabrication in the FIR.

Further, on perusal of the record, the Court found that witness evidence was corroborated by the medical evidence and also by the recovery of weapons from the accused. It was observed that on an appeal against the acquittal, the paramount consideration is to avoid a miscarriage of justice. The Court was of the view that High Court correctly held that the trial court did not appreciate the evidence properly and its findings were perverse; the High Court was right in reversing the order of the trial court. Accordingly, conviction of the appellants was confirmed and the appeals were dismissed. [Motiram Padu Joshi v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine SC 676, decided on 10-07-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Uday U. Lalit, J. speaking for himself and Arun Mishra, J., delivered the judgment of the vacation bench holding that ‘workload’ or ‘work stress’, by itself, is not a ground to prove a charge of abetment to suicide against the employer/superior officer.

The Hon’ble bench was deciding a criminal appeal directed against the judgment of the Bombay High Court, whereby the appellant’s application under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR was dismissed. The deceased was serving in the Office of Deputy Director, Education. He committed suicide. The wife of the deceased alleged that the deceased was suffering mental torture as his senior officers were getting heavy work done from him; he was called at odd hours and even on holidays; his salary for one month was not given; he was threatened that his increment would be stopped; due to work pressure, the deceased used to remain silent; she alleged that the senior officers were responsible for abetting the suicide of the deceased.

Hon’ble Bench of the Supreme Court referred to its earlier decision in Madan Mohan Singh v. State of Gujarat, (2010) 8 SCC 628, wherein it was held that there must be allegations to the effect that the accused had either instigated the deceased in some way to commit suicide or had engaged with some other person in conspiracy to do so or that the accused has in some way aided any act or illegal omission to bring about the suicide. In the instant case, the Court went through the record and did not find any such material which would show that the appellant abetted the commission of suicide. It was observed, as a superior officer, if some work was assigned by the appellant to the deceased, merely on that count, it cannot be said that there was any guilty mind or criminal intent. The exigencies of work may call for certain action on part of a superior including stopping of salary for a month. The action simplicitor could not be said to be a pointer against any such superior officer. Holding that the allegations in the FIR were inadequate and did not satisfy requirements of Section 306 IPC, the Hon’ble Court allowed the appeal and quashed the criminal case lodged against the appellant. [Vaijnath Kondiba Khandke v. State of Maharashtra, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 545, decided on 17-05-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: While deciding upon the present writ petition wherein the petitioner’s appointment in Group- D post was cancelled by the respondents (High Court of Tripura) on the ground of an FIR registered against him, the Division Bench of Ajay Rastogi, C.J., and S. Talapatra,J., held that the FIR once registered has been quashed by the Court under Section 482 of Cr.PC, no inference can be drawn to impute any adverse antecedents which in any manner may deprive an individual from seeking public employment.

As per the facts, the petitioner was duly selected in Group D post. However the petitioner’s selection was cancelled owing to the fact that an FIR was registered against him under Sections 3,4,5,6(2)(4) & 7 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. Th petitioner challenged the FIR and it was subsequently quashed by this Court in exercise of its powers under Section 482 of CrPC. Yet even after the quashment, the respondents refused to consider the petitioner’s appointment on the ground that his conduct does not generate confidence for employment in the service of the High Court. The petitioner argued that there was no misrepresentation on his part and the FIR against him was a result of false implication; and once this Court has quashed the FIR, the petitioner had a clean record again. Therefore there was no ground upon which he could be denied employment. The petitioner via his counsel Raju Datta, contended that the act of the respondents in rejecting the petitioner’s employment, was arbitrary, therefore it demands judicial interference. Counsel for the respondents contended that mere selection and offer of appointment does not confer any vested right and the decision of the authority cannot be said to be per se arbitrary.

Upon perusal of the issue and facts, the Court observed that Rule 9 of High Court of Tripura Services (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Conduct) Rules, 2014 prescribe certain disqualifications for appointment and sub-rule (c) of Rule 9 clearly envisages that if one has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude could be a reason for disqualification for appointment. However in the present case, the FIR was found to be fabricated, hence quashed. Other than the quashed FIR, there is no criminal history of the petitioner which could render him disqualified for public employment. The Court thus directed the respondents to not to draw any adverse inference to implicate the petitioner, and consider his candidature for appointment in Group D post. [Tapas Chakraborty v. High Court of Tripura, 2018 SCC OnLine Tri 57, decided on 10-04-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: FIR in cross cases filed between the contesting parties was quashed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Mahabir Singh Sindhu, J., on the basis of compromise entered into between the parties.

The petitioner and the respondent, both, filed an FIR and cross cases against each other under Section 323 read with Section 34 of IPC in relation to an occurrence of a cross fight between them. In an earlier order passed by the High Court, the parties were directed to appear before the trial Court and get their statements recorded. After recording of such statements, learned Judicial Magistrate submitted his report, the perusal of which revealed that the parties had entered into a compromise in relation to the said incident.

The High Court found that the contents of the report submitted by the learned Judicial Magistrate showed that the said compromise was genuine, voluntary and without coercion or undue influence. The Court also gave due regard to the contention of the parties that since they have reached an amicable compromise between themselves, they should be given an opportunity to live peacefully. The Court observed that the injuries caused in the incident were not on vital parts of the body. None of the parties raised any objection regarding the quashing of FIR/cross-case in question. Hence, the High Court was of the view that it would be in the interest of justice that the parties were allowed to compromise the matter as the continuance of prosecution would be an exercise in futility.

In view of the above, the FIR, its cross version and all other consequential proceedings arising therefrom were quashed. [Dalvinder Singh alias Bindri v. State of Punjab, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 140, order dated 30-1-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: In the order passed by Indermeet Kaur, J., quashed the FIR i.e. FIR No. 0282/2016 registered under Sections 376/366/315/344 of the IPC, 1860 at Sonia Vihar Police Station.

The FIR was quashed on the submission that the FIR registered on 11.08.2016 contained same allegations which were the subject-matter of an earlier FIR i.e. FIR No. 0094/2016 registered at Salon District Police Station, Raebareli under Sections 376/315 of the IPC, which had earlier been quashed on merits by the Bench of Allahabad High Court on 04.07.2016 in Misc. Bench No. 8950 of 2016, as the investigation did not reveal commission of any offence, whereby the Court concluded that the subject-matter of both the FIRs are same, with the only difference being jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the Court held that it is a perfect case where High Court can exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC, 1973 and that the entire scenario is nothing but an abuse of the process of court. Accordingly FIR No.0280/2016 stands quashed. [Anup Kumar v. State, W.P. (CRL) 284/2016, decided on 29.01.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court:  The Single Judge Bench of Hon’ble Justice J.B Pardiawala, while hearing an application seeking to invoke the inherent powers of the Court, passed an order for quashing an FIR for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 504 along with Section 114 of the Penal Code and under Sections 3 and 5 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

The first informant got married to the original accused 1 in whose respect the whole complaint has been filed but he is not before the court, on 08-02-2015, after contacting each other on Facebook a social media platform, which according to the Hon’ble Judge is bound to fail due to the medium of contact between the two parties. The two parties started to have issues among themselves within a period of 2 months of their marriage.

The learned counsel for the first informant submitted that the FIR may be quashed as far as the applicants are concerned. The Hon’ble Court while concluding the judgment stated that the FIR needs to be quashed so far the applicants were concerned, but the investigation in that regard shall proceed in respect of the original accused 1 i.e. the husband. The parties did try to settle the matter earlier so they should once again try to explore that possibility. [Anitaben v. State of Gujarat, 2018 SCC OnLine Guj 94, order dated 24-01-2018]