Non-Mentioning Of Reasons For Withdrawal Of Earlier Complaint Not a Ground To Quash Second Complaint: SC [Read Judgment]

Non-Mentioning Of Reasons For Withdrawal Of Earlier Complaint Not a Ground To Quash Second Complaint: SC [Read Judgment]

Mentioning of reasons for withdrawal of an earlier complaint is also not a condition precedent for maintaining a second complaint.”

The Supreme Court has held that mentioning of reasons for withdrawal of an earlier complaint is not a condition precedent for maintaining a second complaint.

The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee made this observation in V. Ravi Kumar vs. State, while setting aside the High court order that quashed a complaint.

In this case, the Madras High Court had quashed the complaint observing that the complainant had, without assigning any reason, withdrawn the first complaint and launched prosecution by filing a fresh complaint; that the complaint arose out of a commercial transaction; and that the complainant would have to approach the Civil Court for recovering dues if at all arising out of commercial transaction.

The Bench observed that there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code or any other statute which debars a complainant from making a second complaint on the same allegations, when the first complaint did not lead to conviction, acquittal or discharge. Referring to Jatinder Singh and Others v. Ranjit Kaur, the bench said that it is only when a complaint is dismissed on merits after an inquiry that a second complaint cannot be made on the same facts.

Reverting to the facts of this case, the bench said: “Maybe, the first complaint was withdrawn without assigning any reason. However, that in itself is no ground to quash a second complaint.”

The bench further observed that if dismissal of the complaint was not on merit, but on default of the complainant, moving the Magistrate again with a second complaint on the same facts is maintainable. “The failure to mention the first complaint in the subsequent one is also inconsequential as held, in effect, in Jatinder Singh (supra). Mentioning of reasons for withdrawal of an earlier complaint is also not a condition precedent for maintaining a second complaint.” the court added.

This is not a case of breach of contract simplicitor

As regards another ground for quashing complaint by invoking Vesa Holding (P) Ltd. vs. State of Kerala, the bench observed that in the said case it was found that there was nothing to show that at the very inception there was any intention on behalf of the accused persons to cheat, which was a condition precedent for an offence under Section 420 IPC.

“The language and tenor of Vesa Holdings (P) Ltd. (supra), particularly, the observation that breach of contract would give rise to an offence of cheating only in those cases where there was any deception played at the very inception, is to be understood in the context of the facts of that case and accordingly construed. The phrase “in those cases where there was any deception played at the very inception” cannot be read out of context. This is not a case of breach of contract simplicitor but there are serious allegations of forgery of documents, use of blank letterhead, papers and cheque leaves of the appellant.”, the court said.