JUDGMENT Case Note:
Penal Code - Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B and Criminal Procedure Code- Section 482--Inherent powers--Exercise of--Court empowered to prevent abuse of process of court--Held, wide powers to be exercised with care & caution sparingly The court is empowered to make such orders as may be necessary to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. This is a very wide powers and for this reason it has to be used with care and caution and with necessary circumspection. Wider care and caution and with necessary circumspection. Wider the power, more sparingly it has to be used.
(b) Penal Code - Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 & 120B and Criminal Procedure Code--Taking consizance of offence--Court to accept FIR on its face value and see if allegations make out offence--Petitioner prays for finding that daughter has been adopted and there in no fraud in mutation--Held, it cannot be done at this stage This Court has to accept the F.I.R. on its face value and has to see if any offence is made out from the allegations made therein. If in case, no offence is made out, then alone this Court can intervene and quash the F.I.R.; otherwise, the investigation has to take its own course. The petitioner wants me to enter into the merits of the case and give a finding at this stage that the petitioner had been adopted by Ram Lal as a daughter and hence she had genuinely got the mutation entered and had no intention to defraud any body. In my opinion, this cannot be done at this stage.
Petition Accepted JUDGMENT R.S. Verma, J.
1. Heard learned Counsel for the parties finally at the admission stage itself.
2. Devendra Kumar lodged a criminal complaint in the court of Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hanumangarh on 7.12.1993 with the averments that the petitioner's father Ramlal had a brother Jaymal Ram. Sharda Devi is daughter of aforesaid Jaymal Ram. Jaymal Ram was in indigent circumstances and hence Ramlal got Sharda Devi educated at various institutions. Because of indigence of Jaymal Ram. Ramlal got Sharda Devi married. Ramlal died on 18.11.91. Sharda Devi and her other closed relatives, taking advantage of the fact that Sharda Devi was got educated by Ramlal and her marriage was also got performed by Ramlal laid a claim that Sharda Devi was daughter or Ramlal and on this basis got a fraudulent mutation entered with a view to deprive the real heirs of Ramlal from his agricultural land. The details of the fraudulent act have been detailed in the complaint.
3. The learned Magistrate instead of taking cognizance upon the complaint sent the same to S.H.O., Hanumangarh Town for investigating the offence under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The S.H.O. Hanumangarh Town registered F.I.R. No. 543/93 for offences under sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B, I.P.C. and commenced investigation. Aggrieved, Sharda Devi has come to this Court with a prayer that the F.I.R. registered against her and the other co-accused persons should be quashed and no further investigation may be allowed in the case. According to Sharda Devi she has been adopted by Ramlal as a daughter and it was as a consequence of this adoption that Sharda Devi was got educated by Ramlal and her marriage was also got performed by Ramlal.
4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner in support of the aforesaid contention has produced before me for perusal following documents:
1. Photo-stat copy of a certificate issued by Head Master, Baby Happy Balika Uchha Prathmik Vidhyalay, Sri Ganganagar dated 2.7.92, in which name of father of Sharda Devi has been entered as Ramlal,
2. Photo-stat copy of certificate issued by Dean, Faculty of Science, Banasthali Vidyapith (Raj.) on 22.1.94 wherein name of Sharda's father has been shown as Ramlal,
3. Photo-stat copy of marks-sheet bearing No. 012458 pertaining to secondary Examination, 1974, wherein name of Sharda's father has been shown as Ramlal,
4. Photo-stat coy of certificate issued by Rajasthan University, Pre-University Examination (Science), 1975 wherein Sharda's father has been shown as Ramlal.
It is contended that Devendra Kumar has falsely alleged that Sharda Devi was not a daughter of Ramlal. It has been contended that Devendra Kumar has falsely alleged that Sharda Devi with any fraudulent intention got the mutation entered. It is submitted that if investigation is allowed to proceed, it will result in grave miscarriage of justice. It is also submitted that investigating officer is not prepared to take relevant documents on record which is causing grave injustice to the petitioner and other co-accused persons.
5. The learned P.P. submits that this Court should not stiffle the investigation by quashing the F.I.R. and the investigation should be allowed to proceed. There is no evidence at this stage that Sharda Devi had been adopted by Ramlal as claimed by the petitioner.
6. I have considered the rival contentions. Section 482, Cr. P.C. reads as follows:
82. Saving of inherent powers of High Court. -Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.
The court is empowered to make such orders as may be necessary to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. This is a very wide power and for this reason it has to be used with care and caution and with necessary circumspection. Wider the power, more sparingly it has to be used. The parameters of the powers of this Court in quashing an F.I.R. or for that matter a complaint have been laid down in Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar and Anr. 1985 SCC (Cri) 180 wherein the apex Court observed as follows:
It is well settled by a long course of decisions of this Court that for the purpose of exercising its power under Section 482 Cr PC to quash a FIR or a complaint the High Court would have to proceed entirely on the basis of the allegations made in the complaint or the documents accompanying the same peruse. It has no jurisdiction to examine the correctness or otherwise of the allegations.
In J.P. Sharma v. Vinod Kumar Jain and Ors. , following observations were made:
The grounds upon which the High Court Judge seems to have quashed the complaint in the instant case was the subsequent report by the CBI which had not yet been proved and considered in the background of the allegations made and secondly that some of the parties alleged to be in the conspiracy were not made parties. These are no grounds for quashing the criminal proceedings where on prima facie being satisfied the Magistrate had taken cognizance. Taking all the allegations in complaint to be true, without adding or subtracting anything, at this stage it cannot be said that no prima facie case for trial had been made out. That is the limit of the power to be exercised by the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The High Court in the instant case has exceeded that jurisdiction. The question at this stage is, not whether there was any truth in the allegations made but the question is whether on the basis of the allegations a cognizable offence or offences had been alleged to have been committed. The facts subsequently found out to prove the truth or otherwise on the allegation is not a ground on the basis of which the complaint can be quashed. The truth or otherwise of the allegation made in the complaint would be investigated at the time of the trial.
(emphasis supplied.) In State of Punjab v. Dharam Singh and Ors. 1987 SCC (Cri) 621 it was observed:
The order of the High Court cannot be sustained because the police authorities are enjoined by law to register a case and conduct investigation whenever information is laid regarding the commission of cognizable offences. As such the quashing of a first information report will amount to restraining the police authorities from performing the duties enjoined upon them by law. The High Court has not been unaware of this position because it has stated in its order as follows:
In so far as the legal position is concerned it is well established that the first information report which sets into motion the investigational process can be quashed only in a case where the facts as alleged in the report, even if taken to be true, do not prima facie constitute an offence, meaning thereby that the first information report must disclose prima facie that a cognizable offence has been committed.
In my opinion, this Court has to accept the F.I.R. on its face value and has to see if any offence is made out from the allegations made therein. If in case, no offence is made out, then alone this Court can intervene and quash the F.I.R.; otherwise, the investigation has to take Us own course. The petitioner wants me to enter into the merits of the case and give a finding at this stage that the petitioner had been adopted by Ram Lal as a daughter and hence she had genuinely got the mutation entered and had no intention to defraud any body. In my opinion, this cannot be done at this stage. The petitioner can very well produce all the documents and all the relevant evidence before the Investigating Officer to satisfy him that the averments in the complaint are false and that she had, in fact been adopted by Ram Lal as his daughter and it was in the capacity of heir of Ram Lal that she got the mutation entered. However, this is to be done during the course of investigation. The apprehension that the Investigating Officer will not hear the petitioner and will not take the relevant material or evidence on record, is, to say the least unfounded. Every Investigating Officer is expected to act with impartiality and objectivity. Investigation means collection of evidence and collection of evidence does not mean only collection of evidence in favour of the complainant but it also means collection of such evidence which may go show that actually no offence is made out. Hence, I need not express any opinion about merits of the case. The petitioner would be free to produce the entire material evidence before the Investigating Officer and show that the F.I.R is without basis. In case Investigating Officer does not care to take such material on record, the petitioner can approach the higher police officers who exercise all the powers of the S.H.O. under the law.
8. A copy of this order may be sent to the Director General of Police, Rajasthan, Jaipur to issue necessary instructions to all the Investigating Officers so that such apprehensions in genuine cases may be allayed and the Investigating officers may not act in a partisan or one sided manner.