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High Courts Not To Enquire If There Is Reliable Evidence While Exercising Section 482 CrPC Jurisdiction : Supreme Court

Mehal Jain
7 Jun 2022 1:30 PM GMT
High Courts Not To Enquire If There Is Reliable Evidence While Exercising Section 482 CrPC Jurisdiction : Supreme Court
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Reiterating that "the Court interferes in criminal proceedings under Cr. P. C. Section 482, in rare and exceptional cases, to give effect to the provisions of the Cr.P.C. or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice", the Supreme Court has stressed that criminal proceedings can be said to be in abuse of the process of court "when the allegations...

Reiterating that "the Court interferes in criminal proceedings under Cr. P. C. Section 482, in rare and exceptional cases, to give effect to the provisions of the Cr.P.C. or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice", the Supreme Court has stressed that criminal proceedings can be said to be in abuse of the process of court "when the allegations in the FIR do not at all disclose any offence or there are materials on record from which the Court can reasonably arrive at a finding that the proceedings are in abuse of the process of the Court"

The Court has added, "While exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the High Court should not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry into whether there is reliable evidence or not. The jurisdiction has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution only when such exercise is justified by the specific provisions of Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. itself."
The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and A. S. Bopanna was hearing an appeal against a September, 2021 decision of the Allahabad High Court allowing the Criminal Miscellaneous Writ Petition before it and quashing the March, 2021 FIR under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 504 and 506 of the IPC.
The bench of Justices Banerjee and Bopanna recorded, "The Criminal Case/FIR has been quashed in exercise of the power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. A copy of the FIR is included in the paperbook. In the FIR it is stated that the accused-respondents fabricated and forged a will of deceased Ram Swaroop, S/o Mathura Prasad and forged the signatures of Ram Swaroop on stolen stamp papers. When this fact came to the knowledge of the complainant and to the knowledge of Sunderpal, he made enquiries from the accused- respondent, Vimlesh Kumar and his brothers, who used abusive language and admitted to having forged the will."
The bench said that at this stage, it is not inclined to look into the correctness of the allegations made in the FIR. However, the bench expressed the view that ex-facie, the allegations in the FIR disclose an offence, and that whether the persons named in the FIR have committed the offence or not has to be decided upon trial in the criminal proceedings.
The bench of Justices Banerjee and Bopanna reiterated, "The Court interferes in criminal proceedings, in exercise of the power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., in rare and exceptional cases, to give effect to the provisions of the Cr.P.C. or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice."
The bench repeated, "While exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the High Court should not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry into whether there is reliable evidence or not. The jurisdiction has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution only when such exercise is justified by the specific provisions of Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. itself"
The bench underlined, "The criminal proceedings can be said to be in abuse of the process of Court, to warrant intervention under Section 482 Cr.P.C., when the allegations in the FIR do not at all disclose any offence or there are materials on record from which the Court can reasonably arrive at a finding that the proceedings are in abuse of the process of the Court."
The bench continued to observe that in this case, it appears that the High Court fell in error in taking an adverse view only because the complainant had not challenged the genuineness of the will by bringing any action in a Court of law and further, the respondents had brought a suit for injunction against the complainant. "There can be no doubt that in the civil suit, the burden would be on the plaintiff relying on a will to establish the genuineness of the will on the basis of which relief/permanent injunction is claimed. However, that does not prevent the accused, who can be defendants in such a civil suit from initiating criminal proceedings on the contention that the will is forged/fabricated", stated the bench.
Declaring that in its considered opinion, the High Court fell in error in quashing the complaint, the bench allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order.
Case Title: JAGMOHAN SINGH v. VIMLESH KUMAR & ORS.
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 546
Code of Criminal Procedure 1973- Section 482 -While exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the High Court should not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry into whether there is reliable evidence or not. The jurisdiction has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution only when such exercise is justified by the specific provisions of Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. itself





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