Limitation U/s 468 CrPC To Be Calculated From The Alleged Date Of Commission Of The Offence: HP HC Quashes Sexual Harassment Case Against Actor Jeetendra [Read Judgment]
"No Court can probably proceed with the trial of the case in the present matter, as admittedly, in the year 1971, when the offence was alleged to have been committed."
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has quashed the FIR lodged against Actor Jeetendra on the complaint by his cousin alleging sexual harassment by him in the year 1971.
Pursuant to a complaint by the woman, the police had registered FIR against the Actor under Section 354 IPC, He approached the High court contending that the alleged incident dates back to the month of January, 1971 and that the FIR has been registered with an oblique motive to harass him.
No Court can probably proceed with the trial of the case in the present matter, as admittedly, in the year 1971, when the offence was alleged to have been committed, the maximum punishment for commission of the offence was imprisonment up to two years, said Justice Ajay Mohan Goel while allowing the actors plea. Referring to the allegations made in the complaint which was sent to the police station via e-mail from USA, the court further observed:
"A perusal of the contents of FIR demonstrates that same are vague and lead to only one conclusion that the allegations which have been made therein are so absurd and inherently improbable, on the basis of which, no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused"
The court observed that the limitation for the purpose of Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has to be seen as from the said date vis-à-vis the alleged date of commission of the offence. The court observed:
"It is not to be seen from the date of receipt of information by the Police vis-à-vis the date on which cognizance may be taken by the Magistrate concerned in terms of Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is a matter of record that as from the date of alleged incident which as per the victim took place in January, 1971, the complaint is also not within limitation for the purpose of Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as date of filing of the complaint is beyond three years as from the year and month when the alleged offence was committed." …
…where admittedly the FIR has been lodged after more than four decades as from the year hen the alleged incident took place and as admittedly the punishment for committing the offence alleged against the petitioner as in the year 1971 was a maximum of two years imprisonment and further as under Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, no Court shall take cognizance of an offence after the expiry of period of limitation of three years, if offence is punishable with imprisonment for term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years, this petition deserves to be allowed and the FIR in issue deserves to be quashed and set aside.