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Magistrate While Holding Inquiry U/s 202 CrPC Required To Take A Broad View And a Prima Facie Case: SC [Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
31 Jan 2020 3:58 PM GMT
Magistrate While Holding Inquiry U/s 202 CrPC Required To Take A Broad View And a Prima Facie Case: SC [Read Judgment]
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The Supreme Court has observed that while holding the inquiry under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate is required to consider whether even a prima facie case is made out or not and whether the criminal proceedings initiated are an abuse of process of law or the Court or not and/or whether the dispute is purely of civil nature or not and/or whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute or not.

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah was considering an appeal against a High Court order which refused to quash criminal proceedings in a complaint case.

Taking note of the allegations in the complaint as they are, the bench opine that initiation of criminal proceedings against the accused is nothing but an abuse of process of law and the Court. A purely civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute, it said, while observing that none of the ingredients of Sections 32, 341 and 379 of the IPC, are satisfied.

Relying on National Bank of Oman vs. Barakara Abdul Aziz, (2013) 2 SCC 488, it was contended that,.at the time of inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C. and at the time of taking cognizance, the Trial Court is required to hold a limited inquiry to satisfy itself whether there is any prima facie case. The bench observed:

"It cannot be disputed that while holding the inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C. the Magistrate is required to take a broad view and a prima facie case. However, even while conducting/holding an inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate is required to consider whether even a prima facie case is made out or not and whether the criminal proceedings initiated are an abuse of process of law or the Court or not and/or whether the dispute is purely of a civil nature or not and/or whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute or not. As observed hereinabove, the dispute between the parties can be said to be purely of a civil nature. Therefore, this is a fit case to quash and set aside the impugned criminal proceedings. " 
Case name: Govind Prasad Kejriwal vs. State of Bihar
Case no.: Cri. Appeal 168 of 2020
Coram: Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah 

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