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Extortion Complaint Against Bengaluru ACP: Karnataka High Court Quashes The Prosecution Case For Being 'Malicious' And 'Vengeful'

Mustafa Plumber
21 Sep 2021 4:05 PM GMT
Extortion Complaint Against Bengaluru ACP: Karnataka High Court Quashes The Prosecution Case For Being Malicious And Vengeful
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The Karnataka High Court recently quashed an extortion case registered against an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The court while doing so noted that, "The Criminal proceedings are manifest with malafides and the entire proceedings are maliciously instituted with ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance on the accused with a view to spite him due to the personal and...

The Karnataka High Court recently quashed an extortion case registered against an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The court while doing so noted that, "The Criminal proceedings are manifest with malafides and the entire proceedings are maliciously instituted with ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance on the accused with a view to spite him due to the personal and private grudge."

A single-judge bench of Justice HP Sandesh allowed the petition filed by Prabhu Shankar, it quashed the FIR dated 12.05.2020 registered under Section 384 read with Section 34 of IPC and the proceedings which are pending before the Additional CMM Court, Nrupathunga Road, Bengaluru City.

The court observed, "When criminal proceedings are manifest with malafides and has been initiated maliciously with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance with a view to spite him due to the personal and private grudge, it is the duty cast upon the court to prevent the abuse of process which leads to miscarriage of justice. Hence, it is appropriate to invoke Section 482 of Cr.P.C."

Case Background:

The petitioner was working as Assistant Commissioner of Police, in the Central Crime Branch ('CCB' for short), Bengaluru City. He was a Supervisory Officer of the Economic Offences Wing in the CCB. A case is registered against this petitioner, based on the statement dated 07.05.2020 of one Adil Azeez, who is respondent No.3 herein and was a distributor of cigarettes.

It was alleged that certain money had been paid by the said Adil Azeez to this petitioner and two other Inspectors of Police in the CCB. In this background, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime-II, who is one of the heads of the second respondent, was issued with an order on 06.05.2020 by the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) to enquire into certain allegations said to have been carried in some daily newspaper.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime-II in the course of his enquiry, recorded the statement of the third respondent, who is an accused in the crime registered in K.R.Puram Police Station. On the basis of the statement, the second respondent writes a letter to the Police Inspector, Cottonpet Police Station dated 12.05.2020 annexing the statement of the third respondent, with a request to take appropriate legal action. Based on the same, present Crime No.64/2020 for the offence punishable under Section 384 read with Section 34 of IPC has been registered.

Submissions of the Petitioner:

The accused, who was subjected to investigation, has given a statement as a counterblast to the investigation process and to get away from the arm of the law by implicating the police officers, who are investigating the case. If this were to be permitted, then every accused would make allegations against the Investigating Officer and the criminal process will have to be set into motion against all of them.

Further, in order to constitute an offence of extortion under Section 384 of IPC, the necessary ingredients would be to intentionally put any person in fear of any inquiry to that person or to any other and dishonestly induce the person so put in fear to deliver any property. In the absence of these fundamental and necessary ingredients, the offence under Section 384 of IPC cannot be made out.

In the present case, a plain reading of the statement does not indicate any ingredients of the offence under Section 384 of IPC. Hence, the very registration of the case for the offence punishable under Section 384 of IPC is bad in law.

It was also said, "The manner in which the complaints have been filed and registered and the manner in which the petitioner was arrested and subjected to detention leaves no doubt that the criminal proceedings are manifest with malafides and the entire proceedings are maliciously instituted with ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance on the accused with a view to spite him due to the grudge held against him by the complainants."

There is a violation of provisions of Section 154 of Cr.P.C. and there is no ingredients of offence under Section 384 of IPC and case has been registered only at the instance of the Deputy Commissioner, who directed the Police Officer to register the case and case has been registered without any material and hence, it requires the interference of this Court. The prosecution and complainant strongly opposed the petition.

Court Findings:

The court went through the statement of the complainant (respondent 3) and other documents before it and noted, nowhere in the statement at Annexure-A, an allegation is made against this petitioner that he demanded and accepted money or caused any threat to the complainant."

It added, "The statement of respondent No.3 does not disclose commission of any cognizable offence and none of the ingredients of offence under Section 384 of IPC. No doubt, the offence under Section 384 of IPC is a cognizable and non-bailable offence, but the statement does not disclose commission of cognizable offence."

Further, the court observed, "Having considered the material on record, it is a fit case to exercise the powers under Section 482 of Cr.P.C." It added, "The Criminal proceedings are manifest with malafides and the entire proceedings are maliciously instituted with ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance on the accused with a view to spite him due to the personal and private grudge."

The court also noted, "It is nothing but an infight between the officers of the department and due to vengeance, the criminal prosecution is instituted which is a serious matter."

It concluded by saying, "I have already pointed out that the none of the ingredients of the offence under Section 383 of IPC has been made out in the statement of respondent No.3 and therefore, the question of proceeding against the petitioner for the offence under Section 384 of IPC is nothing but an abuse of process which leads to miscarriage of justice. Hence, it is appropriate to exercise the powers under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings.

Case Title: Prabhu Shankar And State Of Karnataka

Case No: Criminal Petition No.2389/2020

Date Of Order: 8th Day Of September, 2021

Appearance: Senior Advocate A.S.Ponnanna, A/W Advocate Leela P.Devadiga, Adv Prateek Chandramouli & Adv Arnav Bagalwadi For Petitioner

Special Public Prosecutor V.M.Sheelvant, For R1 & R2;

Senior Advocate Ravi B. Naik, A/W Advocate Vijetha R. Naik, For R3.

Click Here To Read/ Download Order



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