Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of P.N. Deshmukh and Swapna Joshi, JJ. partly allowed an application filed under Section 482 CrPC to quash and set aside FIR registered against the applications under Section 498-A read with Section 34 IPC.

Eleven applications, in this case, included the husband, father-in-law and other relatives of the husband of the non-applicant wife. She had alleged that she was harassed by the applicants in as much as she was abused by them. Specific allegations were levelled against the husband, father-in-law and two others that she was repeatedly asked by her husband to establish physical relations with the other three. The applicants contended that no offence was made out against them even if the allegations in FIR were accepted at face value.

On a bare perusal of FIR, the High Court noted that the wife had made serious allegations against her husband, father-in-law and two others. However, the FIR did not reveal any specific allegation against other relatives particularly her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. Relying on the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, the Court held that continuation of proceedings against applicants except for the husband, father-in-law and two others would be an abuse of process of law. Therefore, the FIR in regard to such other relatives was directed to be quashed. [Chandrahas Jagatnarayan Choube v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 5574, decided on 30-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sureshwar Thakur, J. allowed a bail application owing to the vague and unclear FIR.

The petitioner has requested for the grant of anticipatory bail under Section 438 CrPC wherein he has been accused of offences punishable under Sections 376 and 506 IPC.

The prosecutrix has alleged forced sexual intercourse being subjected to her by the applicant. But what has to be taken into consideration was the date of the incident which was 2016 also she was unclear about the date and month of the act. Plus from the contents of the FIR, the whole narration of the incidence does not seem forced but rather vague and nebulous. The Court also considered the fact that she was married but didn’t disclose the matter to her husband which again acquires an aura of falsity.

Accordingly, due to the weak testimony of the prosecutrix along with the fact that the applicant showed the fullest cooperation in the investigation, the bail application stood allowed. [Madan Lal v. State of Himachal Pradesh,2018 SCC OnLine HP 1702, decided on 28-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Petitioner had prayed for anticipatory bail in FIR registered under Sections 420, 465, 467, 471 and 120-B of the Penal Code before a Single Judge Bench of Arvind Singh Sangwan, J.

Facts of the case are that petitioner had executed a sale deed and sold a house of the complainant on the basis of alleged forged Special Power of Attorney of the complainant. Later, petitioner was granted interim anticipatory bail. Whereas complainant submitted that huge amount was transferred in the account of the petitioner. Petitioner had not accounted for the same and had mis-utilized. On request of the petitioner, matter was referred to Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the High Court which was contested by the complainant by stating that petitioner was not inclined to any amicable settlement pertaining to the FIR. The state opposed grant of bail to petitioner alleging him of committing of a serious offence.

The High Court was of the view that petitioner had forged and fabricated power of attorney related to the property of the complainant. The Court considered the allegations on the petitioner to be of serious offence. Therefore, this petition for grant of anticipatory bail was dismissed. [Gurdeep Singh v. State of Punjab,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1843, decided on 21-11-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of Uday U. Lalit and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of Bombay High Court whereby it had quashed criminal proceedings instituted against the respondent.

According to the FIR for offence under Section 306 IPC, the daughter and son-in-law of the appellant were teachers in a village Zila Parishad School where the respondent was also a teacher. He used to call appellant’s daughter on mobile and harass her. Despite efforts of his son-in-law, the respondent continued to call and harass the appellant’s daughter. There was a verbal altercation between his son-in-law and the respondent after which the son-in-law committed suicide leaving behind a suicide note naming the respondent. The respondent approached the High Court under Section 482 CrPC seeking quashing of the FIR. Observing that prima facie the respondent did not have the intention to aid or instigate the deceased to commit suicide, the High Court quashed the FIR. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant preferred the present appeal by special leave.

The Supreme Court noted that there were definite allegations against the respondent which were supported by statement of witnesses as well as the suicide note written by the deceased. The Court was of the opinion that the High Court was not justified in entering into question whether the respondent had requisite intent to aid, instigate or abate the commission of suicide at the stage where the investigation was yet to be completed. The Court found merit in submissions of the appellant and set aside the judgment impugned. The appeal was allowed and the authorities concerned were directed to complete the investigation.[Narayan Malhari Thorat v. Vinayak Deorao Bhagat,2018 SCC OnLine SC 2571, decided on 28-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of K.N. Phaneendra, J. declared that apart from FIR if there was an absence of other materials on record then the genuineness of the matter shall be adjudicated with regard to it.

It was alleged by the respondent that the petitioners trespassed into their property by forming an unlawful assembly and further threatened and assaulted the workers present there.

In regard to the property in question it was contended by the petitioners that the respondent had undertaken that he would not take up any developmental activity in the property but in spite of that, he was found engaging in one. Also, a false charge was foisted against them by initiating an FIR against them.

Here the Court was of the view that at present there were no other materials to conclusively draw the inference that the allegation made against the petitioners was not true. Had the Court been in a position to do so, it could have only done with other materials put forward before it. Thus as the contents of the FIR constitute the alleged offence hence it cannot be quashed. Further, the genuineness of the allegations shall be tested by examining the parties and materials collected thereto during the investigation. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed but the petitioners were allowed a liberty to approach the Court in case an adverse report was submitted against them without any basis. [Vijayakumar v. State of Karnataka,2018 SCC OnLine Kar 2257, Order dated 19-06-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sanjay Kumar Gupta, J., dismissed a petition filed under Section 561-A of the Jammu & Kashmir CrPC, whereby the petitioner sought quashing of an FIR filed against him for offences under Sections 427 & 379 of the Ranbir Penal Code, 1989.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the petitioner was entitled to get relief under Section 561-A of the CrPC.

The Court observed that from the FIR it was evident that a case for cognizable offences had been made out which calls for an in-depth investigation. Further, the argument of the petitioners that they were pursuing their case before the Court when the offence was committed was rejected by the Court because the records of the Court had no mention of the petitioners on the said date. The Court observed that FIR can be only quashed in order to prevent abuse of process of law or to secure the ends of justice. In cases where an innocent person is subject to unnecessary prosecution or an investigation is initiated without proper materials to make out a prima facie case, an FIR can be quashed. Inherent powers given to the Court under Section 561-A are to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution since this power is vested in the High Courts to do substantial justice.

The Court held that the petitioner had failed to show sufficient grounds which might require the interference of the Court and resultantly, the petition was dismissed.[Pitamber Singh v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 859, order dated 22-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of K.S Mudagal, J. slammed a daughter-in-law for filing a false case of dowry against her mother-in-law and quashed the FIR registered against petitioner mother-in-law.

The instant criminal writ petition was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, (CrPC) praying for quashing of FIR and chargesheet filed against the petitioner and her son by her daughter-in-law (complainant) for offences allegedly committed by them under Sections 498 A and 114 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

The petitioner was not even residing with her son and complainant daughter-in-law and so she could not have harassed the complainant. Complainant had merely stated that cash and gold was given at the time of her marriage – the same did not mean that it was given at petitioner’s behest. The Court also took note of the forum chosen by the complainant remarking that while the petitioner resided in a remote area of Andhra Pradesh, the case was filed against her in Davanagere Women Police Station. 

In view of the above and placing reliance on the dictum of Apex Court in Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand, (2010) 7 SCC 667, the Court observed that proceedings against the petitioner was nothing but abuse of process of the court and continuance of the same would amount to failure of ends of justice. Therefore, the petition was allowed and proceedings against the petitioner were quashed.[Puttalakshmi v. State of Karnataka,2018 SCC OnLine Kar 1820, decided on 09-11-2018] 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: This petition was filed before a Single Judge Bench of Rajbir Sehrawat, J., in order to quash an FIR registered under Sections 120-B, 406, 420 of Penal Code and other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom.

Facts of the case were such that petitioner wanted to receive distributorship from “Bombay Dyeing” from alleged and was assured of the same but since the alleged refused, petitioner filed a complaint about cheating against the alleged. Petitioner was charged for conspiring under the registered FIR. It was contended by petitioner that Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act and Sections 420, 406 of IPC are mutually exclusive thus if the complaint has been filed under Section 138 then FIR under Sections 420 and 406 of Penal Code cannot be lodged for the same cause of action and hence liable to be quashed.

High Court stated that there is no such concept as “same cause of action” or “cause of action” in criminal jurisprudence. Once material against petitioner was found for involvement in a conspiracy then per se FIR cannot be quashed. On the contention of the offences being mutually exclusive, the court was of the view that an accused is liable to be punished from the stage of an attempt to commission of the offence and various offences like this can be charged together. It was discussed that Section 138 has a limited scope of trial and punishment for the offence and if the plea of the offences being exclusive to each other is taken then that would mean that other offences not covered under Section 138 cannot be filed. The Court found no application of Section 300 of Criminal procedure code and Article 20 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the petition was dismissed as no ground to quash the FIR was found. [Sazid Khan v. State of Haryana,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1733, decided on 27-07-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Single judge bench comprising of Birendra Kumar, J. allowed the plea for anticipatory bail of a person apprehending arrest under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act), on the ground of inconsistencies in statements of prosecution.

A police case was registered inter alia for poisoning the cow of a person who was purportedly the informant of offences committed by appellant under Sections 341, 323, 429, 506, 504 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860  as well as Sections 3(i)(x) of the SC/ST Act. The instant appeal was preferred under Section 14-A(2) of the SC/ST Act against trial court’s order refusing appellant’s prayer for grant of anticipatory bail.

The High Court noted that there were inconsistencies in statements made by the informant in first information report (FIR) and that of his daughter as recorded in the case diary. Informant was not the eyewitness of the occurrence alleged. His daughter was examined by the police and her statement recorded in case diary did not contain the name of the appellant. Rather, she had alleged some unknown persons to have poisoned the cow of the informant. Informant’s daughter had not supported other allegations disclosed in the FIR.

In view of the above, the appeal was allowed and anticipatory bail was granted to the appellant in the event of his arrest, subject to the condition of full cooperation in the investigation/trial of the case, failing which trial court would be at liberty to cancel his bail bond.[Brihaspati Sah v. State of Bihar,2018 SCC OnLine Pat 1994, decided on 02-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Sharma, J. allowed a bail application due to full cooperation of the petitioner during the investigations.

A bail petition has been filed under Section 438 CrPC for grant of anticipatory bail with regard to the FIR under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 120-B IPC.

It was stated by the petitioner that the object of bail was to secure the attendance to which he was fully cooperative during the time of investigation and that at this stage nothing was required to be recovered from him.

The Court relied on the Supreme Court decision in the case of Dataram Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 22, whereby relevance was drawn towards participation in the investigation and not absconding when required by the investigating officer. It further held that if the accused was hiding due to the fear of being victimized, the court shall take it into account and act accordingly. Accordingly, the Court allowed the bail petition but warned the petitioner that if he misuses his liberty or violates any of the conditions imposed upon him the bail shall be cancelled.[Narinder Awasthy v. State of H.P.,2018 SCC OnLine HP 1592, decided on 15-11-2018]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Bench comprising of S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, JJ. allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of the Delhi High Court whereby it had dismissed appellant’s writ petition seeking to quash the FIR filed against them.

The case arose out of a property matter between the appellants and the complainant. The parties had entered into an agreement for the development of appellants’ property. However, the said agreement could not be performed due to the statutory ban on new construction in the area. It was the complainant’s case that the appellant was not returning a deposit of Rs 1 crore made at the time of entering into the agreement. Therefore, an FIR under Section 406 IPC was lodged against the appellants. The appellants’ filed a writ petition before the High Court seeking to quash the said FIR; however, the petition was dismissed. Aggrieved thereby the appellants preferred the instant appeal. The complainant opposed the appeal on the ground that the chargesheet had already been filed in the case and therefore the FIR could not be quashed at this belated stage.

The Supreme Court turned down the said contention of the complainant while referring to High Court’s power under Section 482 CrPC. After referring to Joseph Salvaraj A v. State of Gujarat, (2011) 7 SCC 59, the Court observed that “there is nothing in the words of Section 482 which restricts the exercise of the Court’s power to prevent the abuse of process of court or miscarriage of justice only to the stage of the FIR. The power is undoubtedly conferred to prevent abuse of process of any court.” Furthermore, on the facts of the case, the Court held that the money deposited with the appellant could not be said to be an entrustment. In any case, if there was a misappropriation, the remedy was available in a civil court. In the opinion of the Court, the FIR filed under Section 406 IPC was not tenable and therefore it was quashed. The appeal was thus allowed and the judgment impugned was set aside. [Anand Kumar Mohatta v. State (NCT of Delhi),2018 SCC OnLine SC 2447, decided on 15-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: An application was filed before a Single Judge Bench of Rajendra Kumar Srivastava, J., under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing and setting aside of FIR filed under Sections 323, 294, 384, 506, 354, 342 and 355 read with Section 34 IPC.

The present matter occurred as a consequence of a fortress checking programme organized by Railway Board initiated in order to stop the passengers traveling without ticket. During the drive, few people were found ticketless which they justified by stating that they always travel without ticket and they were going to attend a rally organized by Bhartiya Kisan Union in Uchehehra. They were charged with fine in addition to the ticket amount. Later, FIR was filed against the railway checking staff and police alleging them of offences under the above-mentioned provisions.

Petitioner submitted that complaint filed was with malafide intention and false allegation were made suggested by the fact that necessary ingredients for the offences were not found. High Court after perusing the submission made by the parties observed that the petitioner were performing their duty under the fortress checking the drive and had no enmity with the passengers caught without the ticket. In view of the fact that a number of ticket checkers and RPF force were deployed it was found that the petitioner i.e. Chief Ticket Inspector had no necessity to have involved personally. In addition to the above due process was followed by the petitioner by charging the ticketless passengers with fine.

High Court referred to the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335 where guidelines to be exercised during process of Section 482 CrPC was provided and observed that the allegations made under FIR were prima facie absurd and improbable. Therefore, writ petition was allowed and the impugned FIR filed against the petitioner was quashed. [Prabhat Kumar Hazare v. State of M.P.,2018 SCC OnLine MP 814, Order dated 02-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. allowed a petition for quashing of an FIR registered under Section 498-A, 406 and 34 IPC.

The petitioner, who was the complainant in the above said FIR, contended that she had reconciled her disputed with the respondents- her husband and his family– and had started residing with them. She was present in-person before the Court and submitted that if the said FIR continued, it may cause disruption to her family life once again. As such, she approached the Court for quashing the said FIR.

The High Court, on considering the submissions, held that keeping in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and the fact that the complainant herself approached the Court for quashing of the subject FIR in the interest of protecting her family ties, continuation of criminal proceedings would be an exercise in futility; and justice in the case demanded that the dispute between parties be put to an end and peace restored. Furthermore, securing the ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor, the Court held that it would be expedient to quash the subject FIR and the consequent proceedings emanating therefrom. The petition was allowed accordingly. [Pooja Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi),2018 SCC OnLine Del 12040, dated 23-10-2018]

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., 2018 SCC OnLine All 1933, 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]