14 March 2023 4:00 AM GMT
The Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri recently quashed criminal proceedings under section 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) and section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of IPC against a DSP, Government Railway Police, on the ground that allegations made against the petitioner did not depict any cognizable offence under the...
The Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri recently quashed criminal proceedings under section 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) and section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of IPC against a DSP, Government Railway Police, on the ground that allegations made against the petitioner did not depict any cognizable offence under the said provisions.
The single judge bench of Justice Rai Chattopadhyay observed:
“Peculiarly enough in this case the complaint discloses alleged acts of biasness, not affording opportunity of hearing to the complainant by the present petitioner and at the worst, of assault and intimidating him and subjecting him to wrongful confinement…None of these acts would ever fall within the purview of the ingredients of the offence alleged against the accused person/ petitioner. There are no allegations of inducement or inducement for the purpose of deception of the complainant, or any culpability of intention of the present petitioner to fraudulently misappropriate any of the entrusted properties of the complainant.”
The complainant lodged a complaint against three persons including the petitioner alleging that a departmental enquiry has been conducted against him on vexatious allegations. He further alleged that the petitioner being the enquiry officer in the said departmental proceedings, repeatedly humiliated him being aided by the other accused person and persuaded the other accused person to lie in the enquiry against him.
The complainant also alleged that the petitioner intimidated the complainant with threats of false implication of him in the case and did not allow his counsel to defend him. Allegations were also made in the complaint that the complainant was wrongfully restrained and subjected to assault by all the accused persons.
The Trial Court examined the complainant under Section 200 CrPC and issued summons vide order dated May 30, 2022 against the accused persons under sections 406 and 420 IPC after taking the cognizance of the offence and finding that a prima facie case has been made out against the accused persons including the present petitioner.
Aggrieved by the impugned order of the trial court approached the High Court under Section 482 CrPC setting aside the impugned order of the trial court.
The court observed:
“The complainant may even be aggrieved, though has not been able to lay the foundation of any offence or culpability of the present petitioner in this case. A person may be aggrieved at his emotional level by the behaviour or conduct of any other person, but not every such action would amount to be culpable or criminal unless satisfied to be so, on the anvil of the settled provisions of law justifying necessary ingredients of the offence alleged against that person.”
The court further noted that there was no association or bearing of the alleged acts as mentioned in the complaint with ingredients of the offence alleged against the petitioner.
The court held that the finding of the trial court that a prime facie case having been made out against the petitioner, suffers from brazen perfunctory and negligent discourse of the power vested in the Trial Court by law.
“It is not only an wide power but an enormous responsibility too for the Trial Court to weigh the prima facie chartering of the offence, through the compliant, for which the said Court is the key to induct the entire state machinery to prove the guilt of the offender, on the substratum of the narratives of the complaint sketching the offence, prima facie. Its failure to do so shall not only prejudice the petitioner but also jeopardize the rule of law.”, the court said.
The court quashed and set aside the complaint and subsequent proceedings against the petitioner on the ground that continuance of the same would only amount to gross abuse of the process of law and the court as well.
Case Title: Abhijit Saha v. State & Anr.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 65
Coram: Justice Rai Chattopadhyay
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