The Jharkhand High Court has reiterated that both civil case and criminal proceeding can be initiated simultaneously with a rider that some sense of "criminality" is involved in the allegations.
The observation was made while hearing a quashing plea for alleged offence of Cheating while a suit for recovery of money on the same set of facts was pending.
While allowing the petition, Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi:
"There is no dispute with regard to the fact that civil case and criminal proceeding can go simultaneously, if criminality is involved. In the judgment relied by the Mr. Anurag Kashyap, learned counsel for opposite party no.2 in the case of M. Krishnan (supra), there are serious allegations of forgery of the documents which was the subject matter in that case and in that premises, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that there are serious allegations of forgery of documents and, therefore, both the cases can go simultaneously. In the case in hand, for recovery of the amount in question, complaint case as well as money suit have been filed."
The complainant had earlier lodged a complaint case alleging that the Petitioner, being brother in law of complainant's daughter, demanded dowry. It was further alleged that the complainant had already deposited money in Petitioner's bank account before marriage, but the same conducted continued even after the marriage.
The Petitioner informed the Court that the amount in question was also the subject matter in a case filed under Section 498-A of IPC and the trial court had in that case held that the complainant has miserably failed to prove its case.
Now, the complainant had sent legal notices to the petitioner for return of money and filed a criminal case for forgery and cheating.
The Court after hearing both sides and perusal of evidence was of view that for the same allegations, two cases are going on, which are not permissible in view of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the case of Kolla Veera Raghav Rao v. Gorantla Venkateswara Rao where it was held that no one can be tried and convicted for the same offence or even for a different offence but on the same facts.
Accordingly, the entire criminal proceeding pending in the court of learned Judicial Magistrate was quashed.
Case Title : Sheo Shankar Prasad @ Shiv Shankar Prasad and anr v The State of Jharkhand
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Jha) 74