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Accused Can't Ordinarily Move Quashing Plea If Sessions Court Granted Pre-Arrest Bail On Condition To Cooperate In Criminal Investigation: Karnataka HC

Mustafa Plumber
13 Sep 2022 10:32 AM GMT
Accused Cant Ordinarily Move Quashing Plea If Sessions Court Granted Pre-Arrest Bail On Condition To Cooperate In Criminal Investigation: Karnataka HC
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The Karnataka High Court has said that an accused who has secured anticipatory bail orders at the hands of jurisdictional Sessions Judge, wherein a condition is stipulated for the accused to cooperate in the investigation process, cannot readily approach the High Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings. A single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while dismissing...

The Karnataka High Court has said that an accused who has secured anticipatory bail orders at the hands of jurisdictional Sessions Judge, wherein a condition is stipulated for the accused to cooperate in the investigation process, cannot readily approach the High Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings.

A single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit while dismissing two petitions filed by Vijaykumar and Abubekar said,

"Petitioners have secured anticipatory bail orders at the hands of jurisdictional Sessions Judge wherein a condition is stipulated for the accused to cooperate in the investigation process. That being the position, petitioners cannot readily come before this Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings. It is for the Investigating Agency to look into the matter and take a call as to its investigation worthiness."

The petitioners are arraigned as accused for offences under Sections 504, 506, 406 and 420 r/w 34 of IPC. They had challenged that the criminal proceedings on the ground that there is no prima facie case to undertake investigation and that criminal law cannot be set in motion casually.

Findings

The bench agreed that setting the criminal law in motion is a serious matter. However, it added that quashing of criminal proceedings is also a serious matter and hence, the Court has to strike a "golden balance" between these two competing principles of criminal jurisprudence.

"A bare perusal of the F.I.R. in question brings about cognizable offences punishable under several sections of IPC. What one has to look at is the prima facie offence arising from the contents of the F.I.R., taken with face value. This court cannot weigh the evidentiary material justifying investigation, which essentially belongs to the domain of Investigating Officer vide Lalitha Kumari supra."

The bench then opined that a FIR is only a skeletal instrument that sets the criminal law in motion and that the court, in exercise of limited jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC, cannot undertake a roving enquiry in the matter. It "need not bother about the bone, blood & flesh of such an instrument, the same having been left to the wisdom of Investigating Agency." 

However, it clarified that the Police cannot keep the FIR unacted upon for an indefinite period of time. "A decision as to investigation worthiness has to be taken at the earliest. Delay, if any, brooked in such a decision making would facilitate vanishing away of the evidentiary material which would affect the administration of criminal justice," the bench concluded.

Case Title: VIJAYKUMAR v. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3163 OF 2021 C/W CRIMINAL PETITION NO.4322 OF 2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 360

Date of Order: 1ST DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2022

Appearance: Advocate MALLE GOWDA H P for petitioner; K NAGESHWARAPPA, HCGP FOR R1; S RAJASHEKAR, ADVOCATE FOR R2

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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