Rejection of Quashing u/s 482 Cr.P.C cannot be a ground for dismissing Discharge Application u/s 239 crpc

Summary

 

  • Parents-In-Laws filed discharge application under Crpc 239, Magistrate dismissed it without citing specific reasons or finding
  • Revisional Court upheld the dismissal order of Trial court. Aggrieved by this Parents-in-law moved to HC
  • Honorable Jharkhand HC stated that “The revisional court was also supposed to discuss materials available on record and thereafter to come a conclusion. Mere mentioning that ample materials have been collected by the Investigating Officer in support of allegations levelled against the petitioners amounts to an order containing no reasons.
  • High Court also said that “Merely because the petitioners had also moved u/s 482 Cr.P.C. challenging the order of cognizance and rejection of the said case cannot be a ground for not considering the present application as the stage in which the present application has been preferred is quite different and distinct as the order passed in the discharge application is under consideration by this Court.
  • Therefore Dismissal of discharge order by Judicial Magistrate u/s 239 Cr.P.C., are hereby quashed and set aside and the matter is remanded back to the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi to pass a fresh order in accordance with law on the discharge application of the petitioners.

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI

Cr.M.P. No. 1634 of 2015
1. Gayatri Devi, wife of Janardhan Singh @ Janardhan Pd. Singh
2. Janardhan Singh @ Janardhan Pd. Singh…. Petitioners

Versus

1. State of Jharkhand
2. Sheela Toppo, Investigating Officer, Mahila Thana, Ranchi
3. Prerna, wife of Dr. Pankaj Kumar and daughter of Upendra Prasad Singh… Opposite Parties

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RONGON MUKHOPADHYAY

For the Petitioners : Mr. Amit Kumar Das, Advocate
For the State : Mr. Sekhar Sinha, APP
For the O.P. No. 3 : Mr. Manoj Tondon, Advocate

C.A.V. On 21.01.2016 Delivered on 18.04. 2016

In this application, the petitioners have prayed for quashing the entire criminal proceedings in connection with Mahila P.S. Case No. 10
of 2011 corresponding to G.R. No. 2401 of 2011 including the order dated 25.03.2014 passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi, whereby and whereunder, the application for discharge filed by the petitioners have been rejected. A further prayer has been made for quashing of the order dated 01.06.2015 passed by the learned Judicial Commissioner, Ranchi in Cr. Rev. No. 83 of 2014, whereby the order dated 25.03.2014, which has been passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate in a discharge petition filed u/s 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) has been affirmed.

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An F.I.R. was instituted by the opposite party No. 3 in which it was alleged that her marriage with Pankaj Kumar was solemnized in the month of May, 2005 and after her marriage the petitioners and the other in- laws of her husband started making demand of Rs. 5 Lakhs. On refusal, the informant was abused and assaulted. It has been alleged that at the time of marriage a Demand Draft of Rs. 7 Lakhs, cash of Rs. 4 Lakhs, 450 gms of Gold and other household articles were given apart from transferring 2 decimals of land in Bihar Sharief (Bihar) in the name of petitioner No. 1. It is alleged that on fulfillment of demand of Rs. 1 Lakh, the informant was taken to Bangalore, where she became pregnant and on account of the accused persons her pregnancy was terminated. It is alleged that the informant was almost compelled to commit suicide at the instance of the accused persons. Allegation has also been made that the brother-in-law of the informant had committed suicide in April, 2010 by consuming poison in presence of the petitioners. It has also been stated that when the informant returned to her parental house at Ranchi, she was assaulted by her husband and brother-in-law Anil Singh. Attempts were made to get the matter settled but on refusal by the father of the informant to fulfill the demand he was assaulted causing grievous injuries on his head. Based on the aforesaid allegations, Mahila P.S. Case No. 10 of 2011 was instituted. After investigation charge-sheet was submitted pursuant to which cognizance was taken u/s 498A/34 of the Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.) and u/s 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act vide order dated 25.06.2012.

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The petitioners had filed an application for discharge which was rejected on 25.03.2014 by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi and which was affirmed up to the revisional Court in its order dated 01.06.2015.

Heard Mr. Amit Kumar Das, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and Mr. Shekhar Sinha, learned APP appearing for the State as also Mr. Manoj Tondon, learned counsel for the opposite party No. 3.

It has been submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioners that earlier to the present F.I.R., a complaint was registered at Bypanhalli P.S., Bangalore by the informant. It has been submitted that an application for divorce was filed by the son of the petitioners in which attempts for mediation were made which also failed. The informant had subsequently filed an application for transfer of the matrimonial suit before the Hon’ble Supreme Court and pursuant to an order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the matrimonial suit was transferred to Ranchi. Learned counsel further submits that the petitioners are the parents-in-law of the informant and the Court at Ranchi does not have the territorial jurisdiction to try the offence as none of the incident admittedly is said to have taken place at Ranchi. It has further been submitted that neither the order dated 25.03.2014 nor the order passed by the revisional Court dated 01.06.2014 considered the aspect of territorial jurisdiction at Ranchi.

Learned A.P.P. appearing for the State on the other hand has submitted that allegation of demand of dowry has been well established and he has referred to paragraph-19 of the Case Diary in order to substantiate the allegation of demand of dowry.

Mr. Manoj Tondon, learned counsel appearing for opposite party No. 3 has submitted that the issue which has been raised by the petitioners with respect to territorial jurisdiction has already been considered by this Court in Cr.M.P. No. 902 of 2012, wherein the petitioners were also parties. It has been submitted that at the time of consideration of discharge application, the learned court below is not permitted to conduct a roving enquiry and only a prima facie satisfaction has to be recorded, if the involvement of the accused has been found to be present.

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In the discharge application which was preferred by the petitioners, the learned Judicial Magistrate vide his order dated 25.03.2014 rejected the same and had directed the accused persons to make themselves present physically at the time of framing of charge. The said order does not suggest as to the materials which have been found against the petitioners and merely reference has been made about certain paragraphs of the case diary. In the revisional order dated 01.06.2015, no finding has been given either with respect to the territorial jurisdiction of the case or with respect to the order which was under challenge before the revisional court. The revisional court was also supposed to discuss materials available on record and thereafter to come a conclusion. Mere mentioning that ample materials have been collected by the Investigating Officer in support of allegations levelled against the petitioners amounts to an order containing no reasons.

Merely because the petitioners had also moved u/s 482 Cr.P.C. challenging the order of cognizance and rejection of the said case cannot be a ground for not considering the present application as the stage in which the present application has been preferred is quite different and distinct as the order passed in the discharge application is under consideration by this Court.

Accordingly in view of what has been stated above, this application is allowed and the order dated 25.03.2014 passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi as well as the order dated 01.06.2015 passed by the learned Judicial Commissioner, Ranchi in Cr. Rev. No. 83 of 2014, affirming the order dated 25.03.2014 which has been passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate in a discharge petition filed u/s 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), are hereby quashed and set aside and the matter is remanded back to the learned Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi to pass a fresh order in accordance with law on the discharge application of the petitioners.

(RONGON MUKHOPADHYAY, J.) MK

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