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Co-Accused Being Not Chargesheeted No Ground To Quash Proceedings Against Accused Who Is Chargesheeted After A Thorough Investigation: Supreme Court

Rashmi Bagri
11 Dec 2021 11:36 AM GMT
Co-Accused Being Not Chargesheeted No Ground To Quash Proceedings Against Accused Who Is Chargesheeted After A Thorough Investigation: Supreme Court
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A bench of Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice M.R. Shah have recently observed in a case dealing with criminal conspiracy to cheat a bank and induce dishonest delivery of property, that "merely because some other persons who might committed the offences, but were not arrayed as accused and were not charge-sheeted cannot be a ground to quash the criminal proceedings against the accused...

A bench of Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice M.R. Shah have recently observed in a case dealing with criminal conspiracy to cheat a bank and induce dishonest delivery of property, that "merely because some other persons who might committed the offences, but were not arrayed as accused and were not charge-sheeted cannot be a ground to quash the criminal proceedings against the accused who is chargesheeted after a thorough investigation."

The case in point is Suvarna Cooperative Bank Ltd. v. State of Karnataka & Anr., where the complainant bank had filed a complaint against the respondents under Section 200 of CrPC before the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore. This was followed by an FIR registered before Chickpet Police Station under Sections dealing with criminal conspiracy (120B), criminal breach of trust by clerk/servant (408), criminal breach of trust by public servant/agent/banker/merchant (409), cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property (420) as a common object (149) and on completing the investigation thoroughly, chargesheet was filed against accused no. 1 (private respondent 1) but not accused no. 2 and 3. The private respondent then approached the High Court to get the criminal proceedings quashed in exercise of High Court's inherent powers under S. 482 of CrPC.

The High Court quashed the criminal proceedings against the private respondent on the ground that the other two accused (accused no. 2 and 3) were not in the PCR and also the officers of drawee bank did not inform the payee's banker about dishonor of one of the cheques within the stipulated time frame given in Clearing house rules and thus, the High Court concluded that chargesheet could not solely be filed against one accused (accused no.1/private respondent) and proceeded to quash the criminal proceedings against the original accused.

An aggrieved and dissatisfied complainant then filed this appeal in the apex court before this bench where after a careful perusal of the impugned judgment passed by High Court and the facts presented, the bench opined that the High Court's quashing of the criminal proceedings against the private accused was unsustainable both in law and on facts. The bench noted that, "During the trial if it is found that other accused persons who committed the offence are not charge-sheeted, the court may array those persons as accused in exercise of powers under S.319, CrPC."

The bench further observed that, "Merely because some of the persons who might have committed the offences are not charge-sheeted, cannot be a ground to quash the proceedings against the accused charge-sheeted for having found prima facie case against him after investigation."

And hence, the appeal was allowed.

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment



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