Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: The Bench of T.V. Anil Kumar, J., while pronouncing an order quashed the criminal proceedings stating them to be of a civil dispute.

The facts of the case as presented in the present case are that, the prosecution case as against the petitioner is that, he after having obtained a mobile post-paid connection in his name, failed to discharge his liability for user charges for a period of 5 months. Allegation was that petitioner incurred a monetary liability of Rs 97,678 and after making a part payment of Rs 10, 580 he kept the balance in arrears. According to the prosecution, the default amounts to an offence of cheating punishable under Section 420 IPC.

Petitioner’s case is made out in the following manner, that the transaction in question is based on an agreement between the parties which turns the alleged liability to be purely of civil nature, due to which the petitioner sought consequential criminal proceedings to be quashed.

High Court on marshalling the materials on record, concluded by stating that, the transaction involved between the parties is of a civil dispute as a purported liability of the petitioner seems to have been arisen from breach of promise or agreement.

“Mere breach of trust or agreement will not by itself amount to a criminal offence under Section 420 IPC.”

Therefore, as the legal proposition does not match the materials on record as well as the allegations, the criminal proceedings require to be quashed in view of the above stated. [Abdul Hakkem v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 974, Order dated 08-03-2019] 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The writ petition was filed before a Division Bench of Abhinava Upadhya and Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, JJ. where order passed by the Tehsildar, Kairana was challenged.

Petitioner alleged that there was a road accident in front of his house due to which two respondents entered into a dispute with the petitioner in consequence of which FIR was filed against the respondents. Later, a complaint before Tehsildar was filed by the respondents against petitioner alleging that petitioner was involved in the construction of the road on land not belonging to him. Accordingly, Tehsildar had issued a direction to SHO, Kairana to check if the alleged road was constructed. Petitioner had submitted that the above complaint was just to harass him.

Petitioner’s main contention was that Tehsildar, an executive authority could not have passed the above order and in case of any grievance by the respondent the correct forum to be approached was the Court of Civil Jurisdiction.

High Court observed that the dispute raised in this petition was of civil nature and Tehsildar had no jurisdiction to issue a direction to the SHO to interfere with the right of petitioner. Therefore, the impugned order was quashed. [Jagmal Singh v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 109, Order dated 29-01-2019]

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]