The Karnataka High Court has quashed criminal proceedings pending against a man holding that the FIR lodged by the complainant was 45 days after the alleged incident of assault and no plausible explanation was given for the delayed filing of FIR.
A single judge bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar allowed the petition filed by B.Durga Ram and quashed the proceedings initiated against him for offences punishable under sections 323, 504, 506, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
The FIR was lodged by the 2nd respondent alleging that one Tulasa Ram – accused No.1 was due a sum of Rs.66,00,000/- and he had lodged the FIR against the accused No.1 before the Halasoor Gate Police Station.
When the respondent No.2 (Babu Lal) and accused No.1 met at Prakash Café as to settle the matter, at that point of time, the accused No.1 and petitioner –accused No.2 herein, abused the 2nd respondent in filthy language and gave threat to his life and also assaulted him with their hands.
The police after investigation, submitted the chargesheet against the petitioner and others. The Magistrate after accepting the chargesheet, took cognizance for the aforesaid offences and issued summons to the petitioner – accused.
The alleged incident had taken place 45 days prior to lodging of the FIR. However, there is no plausible explanation offered in the FIR for the delay in lodging the FIR. Further, in the absence of any statement of the employees or customers in the Prakash Café, recorded under Section 161 of IPC, the chargesheet filed by the police in the absence of any corroborative material is without any substance.
Respondent opposed the plea:
The chargesheet material clearly discloses the commission of the aforesaid offences alleged against the petitioner and the same does not warrant any interference by this Court.
The bench relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of State of AP vs. M.Madhusudhan Rao, reported in (2008) 15 SCC 582 and said, "The FIR was lodged alleging that one and half months back the petitioner and other accused abused him in filthy language and assaulted him. In the absence of any plausible explanation offered by the 2nd respondent – informant, the FIR lodged against the petitioner – accused is with malice and without any probable cause."
As regards the sections invoked against the petitioner the court said,
"To constitute the commission of the offence punishable under Section 323 of IPC, the police have not placed any material that the respondent No.2 sustained any simple injuries due to the alleged assault made by the petitioner – accused. To constitute the commission of offence punishable under Section 504 and 506 of IPC, the intention of insult must be of such a degree to provoke breach of public peace or commission of any other offence. In the present case, the abusive language alleged to have been used by the petitioner – accused has not caused breach of public peace or commission of any other offences."
Following which it held,
"It would be an abuse of process of law, if the criminal proceedings are allowed to be continued against the petitioners, since the probability of conviction of the petitioner – accused No.2 is remote and bleak."
Accordingly it allowed the petition.
Case Title: B.DURGA RAM v. The State By BENGALURU CITY CENTRAL P.S.
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2072 OF 2017
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 224
Date of Order: 02ND DAY OF JUNE, 2022
Appearance: Advocate CHANDRAHASA RAI B for petitioner; HCGP S. VISHWAMURTHY for R1