Calcutta High Court Gouranga Chandra Sarkar And Anr.-vs-State Of West Bengal on 15 December, 2005
Equivalent citations:(2006) 1 CALLT 553 HC
Author: A K Bhattacharya
Bench: A K Bhattacharya
Arun Kumar Bhattacharya, J.
1. In the present application under Section 482 Cr. PC the petitioners who are parents-in-law of deceased housewife have prayed for quashing the proceeding being G.R. Case No. 398 of 1997 arising out of Alipurduar P.S. Case No. 141 of 1997 dated 01.06.1997 under Sections 498A/494/306 IPC, against them.
2. The circumstances leading to the above application are that a complaint was lodged by one Tushar Kanti Banerjee at Alipurduar P.S. alleging that Munmun Pal, daughter of Sri Ramendra Pal was married with the petitioner’s son Goutam Sarkar @ Laltu about twenty-one years back and in that wedlock two children, aged about sixteen years and thirteen years, were born. The said Goutam fell in love with maidservant Mani and ultimately married her. Both of them started torture upon Munmun whose dead body was recovered from the roof. It was suspected that over the issue of said second marriage, there was a quarrel between Munmun and her husband and thereafter her husband and second wife i.e. maidservant tortured her physically and mentally and she was driven to commit suicide. Though the petitioners are not named in the FIR nor is there any whisper about their involvement in the case, the police was trying to secure their arrest, for which they obtained anticipatory bail from the High Court on 15.07.97. They used to reside separately and did not maintain any relation even with their son due to his illegal activities and illicit relation with the maidservant. On the date of incident on 30.05.97 they were in the house of their daughter at Guwahati, Assam and they boarded the train there on 01.06.97 at 7.00 a.m. The forwarding report dated 02.06.97 of Goutam Sarkar speaks of seizure of a suicidal note of the victim lady by police that she committed suicide due to torture by her husband and maidservant Mani which thus does not indicate of any involvement of the petitioners with the alleged offence.
3. Mr. Sandip Kundu, learned Counsel for the petitioners, on referring to the FIR, order of anticipatory bail granted by this Court, forwarding report of Goutam Sarkar and two train tickets contended that though his clients are not named in the FIR nor is there any material indicating their involvement with the alleged offence and on the date of incident on 30.05.1997, they were at the house of their daughter at Guwahati. Assam wherefrom they boarded train on the following date i.e. 01.06.97, the police tried to secure arrest, for which they have been compelled bring the present proceeding. Mr. Barin Roy, learned Counsel for the State, on the other hand, on referring to the charge sheet and final order after trial challenged the maintainability of the present proceeding contending that though the petitioners were not named in the FIR, during investigation their names transpired for which they including their son and his alleged second wife Mani were charge-sheeted, but the trial ended in acquittal of the present petitioners, and so when no proceeding is now pending against them,-the question of quashing the same does not arise.
4. With all my concurrence with the above contention of Mr. Roy, I may plough a lonely furrow.
5. Quashing of proceeding to prevent abuse of the process of the Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice may be done where: (1) it appears that there is a legal bar against the institution or continuance of criminal proceeding in respect of the offence alleged e.g. absence of requisite sanction, or (2) the allegations in the FIR or the complaint even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence alleged, or (3) the allegations made against the accused person do constitute an offence alleged but there is either no legal evidence adduced in support of the case or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge. In this connection, reference may be made to the case of H.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab reported In and State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal . It is to
be borne in mind that the power to quash an FIR by this Court can be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of the rare cases. At this stage the Court cannot inquire about reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR nor it can inquire whether the allegations are likely to be established or not, as was held in the case of M. Narayandas v. State of Karnataka reported in 2004 SCC (Cr.) 118 at 123, In State of H.P. v. Pirthi Chand it was observed: “Great care
should be taken by the High Court before embarking to scrutinize the FIR/charge sheet/complaint. In deciding whether the case is rarest of the rare cases to scuttle the prosecution in its inception, it first has to get into the grip of the matter, whether the allegations constitute the offence. It must be remembered that FIR is only an initiation to move the machinery and to investigate into a cognizable offence. After the investigation is concluded and the charge sheet is laid, the prosecution produces the statements of the witnesses recorded under Section 161 of the Code in support of the charge sheet. At that stage it is not the function of the Court to weigh the pros and cons of the prosecution case or to consider necessity of strict compliance of the provisions which are considered mandatory and its effect of non-compliance…. If it reaches a conclusion that no cognizable offence is made out no further act could be done except to quash the charge-sheet…”. The observation of the Apex Court in J.P. Sharma v. Vinod Kumar Jain reported in 1986 Cr. LJ 917(SC) may also profitably be reproduced as follows: ‘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….
We are not concerned with the truth or otherwise of the allegations made in the complaint that would be investigated at the time of trial. In that view of the matter we are unable to sustain the order under appeal. We make it quite clear that we are not expressing any opinion on the merit of the charge and the complaint would be investigated in accordance with law and the accused persons would be entitled to prove before the Court that no charge has been made out against them and they should be acquitted of the charges. But, at this stage under inherent power of Section 482, Cr. PC in our opinion, in the background and circumstances of this case the Court should not have used the extraordinary power.”
6. In the present case, though the petitioners were not named in the FIR, their involvement transpired during investigation, but the trial ultimately ended in their acquittal, and such, since they were found to be involved with the alleged offence as indicated by submission of charge sheet against them also and as no proceeding is now pending against them, the question of quashing the proceeding is out of the way.
Accordingly, the present application being devoid of any merit be dismissed.
Let a copy of this order be sent down at once to the learned Court below.