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Ravi Kapoor @ Jeetendra vs State Of Himachal Pradesh And … on 20 May, 2019

1

INTHEHIGHCOURTOFHIMACHALPRADESH,SHIMLA

Cr.MMONo.:87of2018

.

Reservedon:29.04.2019

DateofDecision:20.05.2019

RaviKapoor@Jeetendra…..Petitioner.

Vs.

StateofHimachalPradeshandanother…..Respondents.

Coram:

TheHon’bleMr.JusticeAjayMohanGoel,Judge

Whetherapprovedforreporting?1Yes.

Forthepetitioner:M/sD.P.Singh,JaneshMahajan,Sonam
GuptaandAnuragTandon,Advocates.

Fortherespondents:M/sDineshThakurSanjeevSood,

AdditionalAdvocateGenerals,withMr.
R.P.Singh,DeputyAdvocateGeneral,for
respondentNo.1.

Mr.RajivRai,Advocate,for’X’.

AjayMohanGoel,Judge:

BywayofthispetitionfiledunderSection482ofthe

CodeofCriminalProcedure,1973,thepetitionerhas,interalia,prayed

forquashingofFIRNo.1/2018,registeredunderSection354IPCagainst

thepetitioneratWomenPoliceStation,Shimlaaswellasother

proceedingsemanatingtherefrom.

1

WhetherthereportersofthelocalpapersmaybeallowedtoseetheJudgment?

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2

.

2.Beforeproceedingfurther,Iwillatthisstagereferto

thecontentsoftheFIR.TheallegationscontainedinthesaidFIRare

thatthepetitioner/accusedwasthesonofthe’X’s’father’ssister.Hewas

aprofessionalActor.’X’sawtheaccusedinfamilygatheringsonceor

twiceayearsinceshewasayoungchild.Theyrarelyinteractedwitheach

otherdirectlyandneverwithoutotherrelatives/parents.InJanuary,

1971,when’X’wasabout18yearsold,accusedarrangedwithherfather

tohaveherjoinonthesetofhismovie.Accusedhadneverspokentoher

abouttheshootingofthefilmnorshehadbeeninvitedpersonallyto

attendthesame.Thesearrangementsweremadebytheaccusedwithout

‘X’beingawareofthesame.AccusedarrivedatherhouseinaCarwitha

driverandtwomalefilmindustrycolleagues.Shejoinedtheaccusedin

theCarandtheydrovefromNewDelhitoShimla.AtShimla,thegroup

wentdirectlytoahotel.Theretheaccusedtook’X’toaroom,whichhad

twoseparatebeds.Beingtiredfromthejourney,shewenttosleepinone

ofthebeds,whichwaspushedagainsttheWalll.Later,whileshewas

sleeping,accusedreturnedtotheroom.Hejoinedthetwobedstogether

andthereinheassaultedherwiththeintenttooutragehermodesty,as

narratedintheFIR.Asper’X’,theaccusedhadconsumedalcohol.

Thereafter,accusedleftheraloneandbothofthemwenttosleepsilently

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3

intheroomthatnight.Further,asper’X’,nextmorningtheaccused

askedhisdrivertobuysomeclothesforherandtakehertoNewDelhi.

.

3.QuashingoftheFIRhasbeensought,interalia,onthe

groundsthataspertheFIR,theallegedincidentdatesbacktothemonth

ofJanuary,1971andasthereisaninordinatedelayinfilingtheFIRand

furtherasnoexplanationisthereforsuchaninordinatedelayin

registrationoftheimpugnedFIR,thesamedeservestobequashedand

setaside,becauseinordinatedelayinregistrationofFIRraisesgrave

doubtaboutthetruthfulnessofallegations,asitlosestheadvantageof

spontaneityanddangercreepsinoftheintroductionofcolouredversion,

exaggeratedaccountorconcoctedstoryasaresultofdeliberationsand

consultations.

4.Accordingtothepetitioner,FIRhasbeenregistered

withanobliquemotivetoharasshim.Thepetitionerhasallegedmala

fidesbehindlodgingofthecomplaintagainsthimby’X’.Onoath,ithas

beenmentionedinthepetitionthathisfamilyrunsabigmediahouse

anddaughterof’X’hadauditionedinthesameand’X’wasenragedasto

whyherdaughterwasnotadjustedforaroleforwhichshehad

auditioned.Asperthepetitioner,themannerinwhichtheincidentstood

narratedinFIRsmacksofmalafide.Thedateoftheallegedincidentis

notmentionedintheFIRnoritismentionedthereinastoinwhichhotel

theallegedincidenttookplace.TheFIRdoesnotmentionthenamesof

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twomaleactors,whoallegedlyaccompaniedthepetitionerand’X’inthe

Car.Noexplanationisofferedby’X’fordelayof47yearsinlodgingthe

.

FIRandthereafterthesuddentourgegettheFIRregisteredthrougha

lawyerbysendingacopyfromUnitedStates.Thereisnomentionofthe

movieduringtheshootingofwhichtheallegedincidenttookplace.

PetitionerbeingoneofthebusiestActorsoftheFilmIndustryintheyear

1971,wasalwaysmadetostayeitherinasuiteormostpremiumroomin

ahotelwhilehisstaffwasgivenseparateaccommodationandthewhole

narrationofroomhavingtwoseparatesinglebedsandpetitionersharing

theroomwiththecomplainantwasfalse.Hehadnotimetotravelto

ShimlabyCarandtherouteusuallytakenbyhimwasaflightfrom

MumbaitoDelhiandthenfurtherflightfromDelhitoChandigarhand

thenChandigarhtoShimlabyroad.

5.Petitioner’sfurthercaseisthatSection468oftheCode

ofCriminalProcedureprescribeslimitationforoffencespunishableupto

threeyears.AspertheunamendedSectionIPC,asitexistedin1971,Section354

oftheIndianPenalCodewasabailableoffenceandthesamewas

punishablewithamaximumsentenceuptotwoyearsorwithfineorwith

both.Limitationperiodfortakingcognizanceonacomplaintunder

Section354oftheIndianPenalCodewasthreeyears.AstheFIRhas

beenlodgedafteralapseof47years,thereisaclearbarontheCourtsto

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takecognizanceoftheallegedofficeandthereforealso,theFIRdeserves

tobequashedandsetaside.

.

Theseareprimarilythegroundsonwhichthe

petitionerhassoughtquashingoftheFIR.

6.Stateand’X’haveopposedthepetition.Learned

AdditionalAdvocateGeneralhasarguedthatastheFIRstands

registered,themattershouldbeallowedtobeinvestigatedbythePolice.

7.’X’hasresistedthepetitiononthegroundthatitwas

incorrectthatFIRwasbarredbylimitation,asthereisnotimelimitfor

lodgingofanFIRprescribedinSectiontheCriminalProcedureCode.Asper’X’,

theissueisnotbarredbylimitation,becausesinceFIRstandslodged,

nowitisforthePolicetocarryoutfurtherinvestigationandthelimitation

willeitheraccruefromthedatewhenFIRwaslodgedorfromtheday

when,postinvestigation,uponthereporttobesubmittedbythePolice

underSection173oftheCriminalProcedureCode,theappropriateCourt

oflawwouldtakecognizanceoftheoffence.Asper’X’,sincetheFIRhas

beenlodged,therefore,thepresentpetitionisnotmaintainableanditis

mandatorythatinvestigationbecarriedoutontheallegationscontained

intheFIR.Ontheissueofallegedvaguenessintheallegationssolevelled

intheFIR,thecontentionof’X’isthattheFIRcannotbequashedonthe

groundofallegedvaguenessintheallegations,becauseitisthejobofthe

Policetomakeoutacaseandprosecutethepetitioneranditisnotfor

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theinformanttogivemoredetailsthanmentionedintheFIR.Asper’X’,

hercircumstancesweresuchthatitwasnotonlyherhonour,butthe

.

honourofthefamilywhichwasatstake.Initially,shewasextremely

reluctanttodisclosethesaidfacttothePoliceanditwasonlywiththe

effluxoftimewhenshewasabletogetoverofthetraumathatshe

thoughtoflodgingtheFIR.Ithasalsobeenarguedonbehalfof’X’that

afterthedeathofherhusbandandparents,whenshebecamenormal,

shefirsttimenarratedtheincidenttoherdaughteron27thJanuary,

2018andthereafter,thecomplaintwasmade.

8.

Ihaveheardlearnedcounselforthepartiesata

considerablelengthandhavealsogonethroughthepleadingsofthe

parties,includingthedocumentsplacedonrecord.

9.Thecaseofthepetitioneristhatheisareputed

VeteranActorandisaggrievedbyregistrationofafalseandfrivolousFIR

againsthimunderSection354oftheIndianPenalCode,1860,i.e.,FIR

No.1/2018,dated16.02.2018,registeredatWomenPoliceStation,

Shimla,whereinfalseandfrivolousallegationsstandlevelledagainsthim

bythecomplainant(referredtoas’X’)(hiscousinsister)onthebasisof

anallegedincidentwhichallegedlytookplace47yearsback.

10.FIRinissueisbaseduponinformationreceivedon

15.02.2018frominformant/victim.Thecomplaintwassentby’X’from

UnitedStatesofAmericabywayofaCourierandaperusaloftheFirst

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InformationReportdemonstratesthatacopyofthecomplaintearlier

stoodreceivedon08.02.2018bypostthroughtheofficeof

.

SuperintendentofPolice,Shimla.Theallegations,astheyfindmentionin

FIR,havebeenenumeratedbymehereinabove.Itisapparentfromthe

contentsoftheFIRthatasper’X’,theallegedincidentisofJanuary,

1971.Onthebasisofthecomplaint,theFIRstandsregisteredagainst

thepetitionerunderSection354oftheIndianPenalCode.

11.Section354oftheIndianPenalCodeprovidesas

under:

“354.Assaultorcriminalforcetowoman

withintenttooutragehermodesty.­Whoever
assaultsorusescriminalforcetoanywoman,
intendingtooutrageorknowingittobelikelythat

hewilltherebyoutragehermodesty,shallbe
punishedwithimprisonmentofeitherdescription

foratermwhichshallnotbelessthanoneyearbut
whichmayextendtogiveyears,andshallalsobe

liabletofine.”

TheSection,asitstandstoday,wassubstitutedbytheSectionCriminalLaw

(Amendment)Act,2013,whichcameintoforcew.e.f.03.02.2013.Before

thesaidsubstitution,Section354providedasunder:

“354.Assaultorcriminalforcetowomanwith
intenttooutragehermodesty.­Whoeverassaultsor
usescriminalforcetoanywoman,intendingto

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outrageorknowingittobelikelythathewill
therebyoutragehermodesty,shallbepunished
withimprisonmentofeitherdescriptionforaterm

.

whichmayextendtotwoyears,orwithfine,or
withboth.

12.ChapterXXXVIoftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,

1973dealswithlimitationfortakingcognizanceofcertainoffences.

Section468ofthesamereadsasunder:

“468.Bartotakingcognizanceafterlapseof
theperiodoflimitation.­(1)Exceptasotherwise

providedelsewhereinthisCode,noCourt,shall

takecognizanceofanoffenceofthecategory
specifiedinsub­section(2),aftertheexpiryofthe
periodoflimitation.

(2)Theperiodoflimitationshallbe­

(a)sixmonths,iftheoffenceispunishablewith
fineonly;

(b)oneyear,iftheoffenceispunishablewith

imprisonmentforatermnotexceedingoneyear;

(c)threeyears,iftheoffenceispunishablewith

imprisonmentforatermexceedingoneyearbut
notexceedingthreeyears.

(3)Forthepurposesofthissection,the
periodoflimitation,inrelationtooffenceswhich
maybetriedtogether,shallbedeterminedwith
referencetotheoffencewhichispunishablewith

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themoreseverepunishmentor,asthecasemay
be,themostseverepunishment.”

.

13.Section469,interalia,providesthatperiodof

limitation,inrelationtoanoffender,shallcommenceonthedateofthe

offence,orwherethecommissionoftheoffencewasnotknowntothe

personaggrievedbytheoffenceortoanypoliceofficer,thefirstdayon

whichsuchoffencecomestotheknowledgeofsuchpersonortoany

policeofficer,whicheverisearlierorwhereitisnotknownbywhomthe

offencewascommitted,thefirstdayonwhichtheidentityoftheoffender

isknowntothepersonaggrievedbytheoffenceortothepoliceofficer

makinginvestigationintotheoffence,whicheverisearlier.

14.BeforeitssubstitutionbytheActof2013,anoffence

underSection354oftheIndianPenalCodewaspunishablewith

imprisonmentforatermwhichcouldextendtotwoyears,orwithfine,or

withboth.IntermsoftheprovisionsofSection468oftheCodeof

CriminalProcedure,noCourtshalltakecognizanceofanoffenceafterthe

expiryoftheperiodoflimitationofthreeyears,iftheoffenceis

punishablewithimprisonmentforatermexceedingoneyearbutnot

exceedingthreeyears.

15.ThoughregistrationofFIRismandatoryunderSection

154oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,iftheinformationdiscloses

commissionofacognizableoffenceandinsuchasituation,no

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preliminaryinquiryispermissible,however,stillthefactofthematter

remainsthatthereisaspecificbarunderSection468(2)(c)oftheCodeof

.

CriminalProcedurethatnoCourtshalltakecognizanceofanoffence

aftertheexpiryoftheperiodoflimitationofthreeyears,iftheoffenceis

punishablewithimprisonmentforatermexceedingoneyearbutnot

exceedingthreeyears.

16.Hon’bleSupremeCourtinStateofHaryanaand

othersVs.BhajanLalandothers,1992Supp.(1)SupremeCourt

Cases335hasgivencertainillustrations,wherein,theHighCourteither

inexerciseoftheextraordinarypowersunderSectionArticle226ofthe

ConstitutionofIndiaortheinherentpowersunderSection482ofthe

CodeofCriminalProcedure,canorderthequashingofFirstInformation

Report.Thesamereadasunder:

“(1)Wheretheallegationsmadeinthe

firstinformationreportorthecomplaint,evenif

thayaretakenattheirfacevalueandaccepted
intheirentiretydonotprimafacieconstituteany

offenceormakeoutacaseagainsttheaccused.

(2)Wheretheallegationsinthefirst
informationreportandothermaterials,ifany,
accompanyingtheFIRdonotdisclosea
cognizableoffence,justifyinganinvestigationby
policeofficersunderSection156(1)oftheCode

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exceptunderanorderofaMagistratewithinthe
purviewofSection155(2)oftheCode.

(3)Wheretheuncontrovertedallegations

.

madeintheFIRorcomplaintandtheevidence
collectedinsupportofthesamedonotdisclose
thecommissionofanyoffenceandmakeouta

caseagainsttheaccused.

(4)Where,theallegationsintheFIRdo
notconstituteacognizableoffencebutconstitute

onlyanon­cognizableoffence,noinvestigationis
permittedbyapoliceofficerwithoutanorderof
aMagistrateascontemplatedunderSection

155(2)oftheCode.

(5)Wheretheallegationsmadeinthe
FIRorcomplaintaresoabsurdandinherently
improbableonthebasisofwhichnoprudent

personcaneverreachajustconclusionthat
thereissufficientgroundforproceedingagainst

theaccused.

(6)Wherethereisanexpresslegalbar
engraftedinanyoftheprovisionsSectionoftheCodero

theconcernedAct(underwhichacriminal
proceedingisinstituted)totheinstitutionand
continuanceoftheproceedingsand/orwhere
thereisaspecificprovisioninSectiontheCodeorth
concernedAct,providingefficaciousredressfor
thegrievanceoftheaggrievedparty.

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(7)Whereacriminalproceedingis
manifestlyattendedwithmalafideand/or
wheretheproceedingismaliciouslyinstituted

.

withanulteriormotiveforwreakingvengeance
ontheaccusedandwithaviewtospitehim
duetoprivateandpersonalgrudge.

17.Theillustrations/guidelinessolaiddownbythe

Hon’bleSupremeCourt,interalia,providethatanFIRcanbequashedby

theHighCourtwheretheallegationsmadeintheFIRorcomplaintareso

absurdandinherentlyimprobableonthebasisofwhichnoprudent

personcaneverreachajustconclusionthatthereissufficientgroundfor

proceedingagainsttheaccusedandalsowhereacriminalproceedingis

manifestlyattendedwithmalafideand/orwheretheproceedingsis

maliciouslyinstitutedwithanulteriormotiveforwreakingvengeanceon

theaccusedandwithaviewtospitehimduetoprivateandpersonal

grudge.

18.Asalreadymentionedabove,thepetitionerhasalleged

malafidesbehindlodgingofthecomplaintagainsthimby’X’.Onoath,it

hasbeenmentionedinthepetitionthatthepetitioner’sfamilyrunsabig

mediahouseanddaughterof’X’hadauditionedinthesameand

complainantwasenragedastowhyherdaughtercouldnotbeadjusted

forsomeroleforwhichshehadauditioned.Itisfurthermentionedinthe

petitionthathadtherebeenanyelementoftruthfulnessinthe

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allegations,then’X’wouldnothaveallowedherdaughtertoauditionwith

thefamilyofthepetitioner.

.

19.Inthesynopsissubmittedonbehalfof’X’dated

29.04.2019,thefactumofthedaughterofthecomplainanthaving

auditionedforaroleforBalajiMotionPicturesLimited,whichisstatedto

beownedbythefamilyofthepetitioner,hasnotbeendenied.But,itis

mentionedthereinthatthoughthedaughterof’X’initiallyauditionedfor

theroleofaNRIgirl,however,lateron,whenshewascontactedbyBalaji

MotionPicturesforafilm,shedeclinedtoauditionforthefilm,because

thescriptwasextremelyexplicit.Itisalsomentionedinthesynopsisthat

whenherdaughterauditionedwithBalajiMotionPicturesLimited,she

wasnotawareabouttheincidentinissueandwhen’X’cametoknow

thatherdaughterwasauditioningforBalajiMotionPicturesLimited,she

hadcautionedhertobecareful.

20.Thus,onethingwhichisevidentfromtherecordsis

thatthedaughterof’X’didauditionforBalajiMotionPicturesLimited,

whichisownedbythefamilyofthepetitionerandthoughthe’X’statesin

thesynopsisthatshehadwarnedherdaughtertobecarefulduringthis

time,however,itisnotclearastowhatkindofwarningwasgivenby’X’

toherdaughter,becauseitisnothercasethatsheaskedherdaughter

nottoauditionfortheBalajiMotionPicturesLimited.

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21.Thislendscredibilitytothecontentionofthepetitioner

thatlodgingoftheFIRwasanactofmalafideandwasaresultofthe

.

daughterof’X’havingbeenrejectedbyamediahouseownedbythe

petitioner’sfamily.ThecomplainthasbeenfiledfromtheUnitedStatesof

America.’X’isstatedtobeintheUnitedStatesofAmerica.Shewantsthe

Policetocarryoutinvestigationonthebasisofallegationscontainedin

thecomplaintwhicharecryptic,vagueandstale.

22.Besidesthis,aperusalofthecontentsofFIR

demonstratesthatsamearevagueandleadtoonlyoneconclusionthat

theallegationswhichhavebeenmadethereinaresoabsurdand

inherentlyimprobable,onthebasisofwhich,noprudentpersoncanever

reachajustconclusionthatthereissufficientgroundforproceeding

againsttheaccused.

23.Thereisnomentionastoonthesetoftheshootingof

whichfilm,’X’metthepetitioner,whichledtotheoccurrenceofthe

allegedincident.’X’hasnotstatedastowhowerethetwomaleFilm

Industrycolleagueswhotravelledalongwiththepetitionerand’X’from

DelhitoShimlainaCar.Itisnotmentionedthereinthatinwhichhotel,

thepetitionerand’X’purportedlystayed.

24.Itisnotmentionedastowhichmoviewasbeingshotin

Shimla.Itishardtobelievethatif’X’wassubjectedtoassaultwiththe

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intenttooutragehermodesty,whydidshenotraiseanynoise.Thedate

onwhichtheallegedincidenttookplaceinShimlaisnotmentioned.

.

25.TheeventswhichstandnarratedintheFIRpost

occurrenceoftheallegedincidentarealsoquiteunbelievableandno

prudentpersoncanevenreachtoajustconclusiononthebasisofthe

allegationsmadeintheFIRthattherearesufficientgroundsfor

proceedingagainstthepetitioner.Thereisnocogentexplanation

whatsoevercomingforthfrom’X’astowhythecomplaintwasfiledat

suchabelatedstage.Thereasonsgivenintheresponse/synopsisdonot

inspireconfidence,becauseitishardtobelievethatitisonlyafterthe

deathofherhusbandandparents,’X’becamenormalsoastobeina

positiontomakethecomplaint.ThisCourtfailstounderstandthatwhat

‘X’intendstoconveybystatingthefollowinginhersynopsis:

“(17)Thatthehusbandofthecomplainantdied

on26thofJune,2009,thenthefatherofthecomplainant

diedonJune,2016andthenmotherofthecomplainant
diedon19thofNovember,2017.Thenafterbecoming
normal,thecomplainantfirsttimenarratedthedreadful

incidenttoherdaughteronJanuary27,2018andthen
thecomplaintwashasbeenmade.”

Bethatasitmay,asalreadysubmittedabove,saidexplanationdoesnot

inspireanyconfidencewhatsoever.

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26.NoCourtcanprobablyproceedwiththetrialofthe

caseinthepresentmatter,asadmittedly,intheyear1971,whenthe

.

offencewasallegedtohavebeencommitted,themaximumpunishment

forcommissionoftheoffencewasimprisonmentuptotwoyears.

27.Learnedcounselfor’X’byplacingrelianceonthe

judgmentofHon’bleSupremeCourtinSarahMathewVs.Instituteof

CardioVascularDiseasesbyitsDirectorDr.K.M.Cherianand

others,(2014)2SupremeCourtCases62,arguedthattherewasno

delayinlodgingtheFIR,aslimitationhastobeconstruedasfromthe

datewhentheFIRislodged.HefurtherarguedthatasandwhenCourtof

competentjurisdictionshalltakecognizanceoftheoffence,intermsof

Section190oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,itisonthesaiddatethat

ithastobeseenwhetherthematteriswithinlimitationasfromthedate

oflodgingoftheFIR.Inmyconsideredview,saidargumentistotally

misconceivedandaresultofwronginterpretationofthejudgmentofthe

Hon’bleSupremeCourt.InSarahMathew’scase,thefiveJudgesBench

oftheHon’bleSupremeCourtwasdealingwiththequestionwhetherfor

thepurposeofcomputingtheperiodoflimitationunderSection468of

theCodeofCriminalProcedure,therelevantdateisthedateoffilingthe

complaintorthedateofinstitutionoftheprosecutionorwhetherthe

relevantdateisthedateonwhichtheMagistratetakescognizanceofthe

offence.Whileansweringthisquestion,Hon’bleSupremeCourtheldthat

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forthepurposeofcomputingtheperiodoflimitationunderSection468of

theCodeofCriminalProcedure,therelevantdateisthedateoffilingof

.

thecomplaintorthedateofissuanceofprosecutionandnotthedateon

whichtheMagistratetakescognizance.Inthepresentcase,thedateof

filingofthecomplaintis08.02.2018,asthedateofreceiptofinformation

whichfindsmentionintheFIRis08.02.2018.Limitationforthepurpose

ofSection468oftheCodeofCriminalProcedurehastobeseenasfrom

thesaiddatevis­a­vistheallegeddateofcommissionoftheoffence.Itis

nottobeseenfromthedateofreceiptofinformationbythePolicevis­a­

visthedateonwhichcognizancemaybetakenbytheMagistrate

concernedintermsofSection190oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure.Itis

amatterofrecordthatasfromthedateofallegedincidentwhichasper

thevictimtookplaceinJanuary,1971,thecomplaintisalsonotwithin

limitationforthepurposeofSection468oftheCodeofCriminal

Procedure,asdateoffilingofthecomplaintisbeyondthreeyearsasfrom

theyearandmonthwhentheallegedoffencewascommitted.

28.Hon’bleSupremeCourtinKishanSinghVs.Gurpal

Singh,(2010)8SCC775withregardtotheeffectofdelayinlodgingFIR

hasheldasunder:

“22.Incaseswherethereisadelayin
lodgingaFIR,theCourthastolookforaplausible
explanationforsuchdelay.Inabsenceofsuchan

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explanation,thedelaymaybefatal.Thereasonfor
quashingsuchproceedingsmaynotbemerelythat
theallegationswereanafterthoughtorhadgiven

.

acolouredversionofevents.Insuchcasesthe
courtshouldcarefullyexaminethefactsbeforeit
forthereasonthatafrustratedlitigantwhofailed

tosucceedbeforetheCivilCourtmayinitiate
criminalproceedingsjusttoharasstheotherside
withmalafideintentionsortheulteriormotiveof

wreakingvengeanceontheotherparty.Chagrined
andfrustratedlitigantsshouldnotbepermittedto
giveventtotheirfrustrationsbycheaplyinvoking

thejurisdictionofthecriminalcourt.Thecourt

proceedingsoughtnottobepermittedtodegenerate
intoaweaponofharassmentandpersecution.In
suchacase,whereanFIRislodgedclearlywitha

viewtospitetheotherpartybecauseofaprivate
andpersonalgrudgeandtoenmeshtheotherparty

inlongandarduouscriminalproceedings,thecourt

maytakeaviewthatitamountstoanabuseofthe
processoflawinthefactsandcircumstancesofthe

case.(vide:ChandrapalSinghOrs.Vs.Maharaj
SinghAnr.,AIR1982SC1238;StateofHaryana
Ors.Vs.Ch.BhajanLalOrs.,AIR1992SC
604;G.SagarSuriAnr.Vs.StateofU.P.Ors.,
AIR2000SC754;andGorigePentaiahVs.Stateof
A.P.Ors.,(2008)12SCC531).

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29.Similarly,inJaiPrakashSinghVs.StateofBihar,

(2012)4SCC379,Hon’bleSupremeCourthasheldasunder:

.

“12.TheFIRincriminalcaseisavitaland

valuablepieceofevidencethoughmaynotbe
substantivepieceofevidence.Theobjectofinsisting

uponpromptlodgingoftheFIRinrespectofthe
commissionofanoffenceistoobtainearly
informationregardingthecircumstancesinwhich

thecrimewascommitted,thenamesofactual
culpritsandthepartplayedbythemaswellasthe
namesofeye­witnessespresentatthesceneof

occurrence.IfthereisadelayinlodgingtheFIR,it

loosestheadvantageofspontaneity,dangercreeps
inoftheintroductionofcolouredversion,
exaggeratedaccountorconcoctedstoryasaresult

oflargenumberofconsultations/deliberations.
Undoubtedly,thepromptnessinlodgingtheFIRis

anassuranceregardingtruthoftheinformant’s
version.ApromptlylodgedFIRreflectsthefirst

handaccountofwhathasactuallyhappened,and
whowasresponsiblefortheoffenceinquestion.

30.RelyinguponthejudgmentofJaiPrakashSingh

(supra),inManojKumarSharmaandothersVs.Stateof

Chhattisgarhandanother,(2016)9SCC1,Hon’bleSupremeCourt

hasheldthatdelayinlodgingFIRoftenresultsinembellishment,which

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isacreatureofanafterthoughtandonaccountofdelay,FIRnotonly

getsbereftofadvantageofspontaneity,dangeralsocreepsinofthe

.

introductionofacolouredversionorexaggeratedstory.Itfurtherheld

thatextraordinarydelayinlodgingFIRraisesgravedoubtaboutthe

truthfulnessofallegationsmadetherein.

31.Whileexplainingthescopeofexerciseofpowersunder

Section482oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,Hon’bleSupremeCourtin

ZanduPharmaceuticalWorksLtd.andothersVs.Mohd.Sharaful

Haqueandanother,(2005)1SupremeCourtCases122hasheldas

under:

“10.Indealingwiththelastcase,itis
importanttobearinmindthedistinctionbetweena

casewherethereisnolegalevidenceorwhere
thereisevidencewhichisclearlyinconsistentwith
theaccusationsmade,andacasewherethereis

legalevidencewhich,onappreciation,mayormay

notsupporttheaccusations.Whenexercising
jurisdictionunderSection482oftheCode,theHigh

Courtwouldnotordinarilyembarkuponanenquiry
whethertheevidenceinquestionisreliableornot
orwhetheronareasonableappreciationofit
accusationwouldnotbesustained.Thatisthe
functionofthetrialJudge.Judicialprocessshould
notbeaninstrumentofoppression,or,needless
harassment.Courtshouldbecircumspectand

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
21

judiciousinexercisingdiscretionandshouldtake
allrelevantfactsandcircumstancesinto
considerationbeforeissuingprocess,lestitwould

.

beaninstrumentinthehandsofaprivate
complainanttounleashvendettatoharassany
personneedlessly.Atthesametimethesectionis

notaninstrumenthandedovertoanaccusedto
short­circuitaprosecutionandbringaboutits
suddendeath.Thescopeofexerciseofpower

underSection482oftheCodeandthecategoriesof
caseswheretheHighCourtmayexerciseitspower
underitrelatingtocognizableoffencestoprevent

abuseofprocessofanycourtorotherwiseto

securetheendsofjusticeweresetoutinsome
detailbythisCourtinSectionStateofHaryanav.Bhajan
Lal(1992Supp(1)335).Anoteofcautionwas,

however,addedthatthepowershouldbeexercised
sparinglyandthattooinrarestofrarecases.The

illustrativecategoriesindicatedbythisCourtareas

follows:

“(1)Wheretheallegationsmadeinthefirst

informationreportorthecomplaint,eveniftheyare
takenattheirfacevalueandacceptedintheir
entiretydonotprimafacieconstituteanyoffence
ormakeoutacaseagainsttheaccused.

(2)Wheretheallegationsinthefirstinformation
reportandothermaterials,ifany,accompanying
theFIRdonotdiscloseacognizableoffence,

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
22

justifyinganinvestigationbypoliceofficersunder
Section156(1)oftheCodeexceptunderanorderof
aMagistratewithinthepurviewofSection155(2)

.

oftheCode.

(3)Wheretheuncontrovertedallegationsmadein

theFIRorcomplaintandtheevidencecollectedin
supportofthesamedonotdisclosethe
commissionofanyoffenceandmakeoutacase
againsttheaccused.(4)Wheretheallegationsin

constitute
rto
theFIRdonotconstituteacognizableoffencebut
onlyanon­cognizable
investigationispermittedbyapoliceofficer
offence,no

withoutanorderofaMagistrateascontemplated
underSection155(2)oftheCode.(5)Wherethe
allegationsmadeintheFIRorcomplaintareso

absurdandinherentlyimprobableonthebasisof
whichnoprudentpersoncaneverreachajust
conclusionthatthereissufficientgroundfor

proceedingagainsttheaccused.

(6)Wherethereisanexpresslegalbarengraftedin
anyoftheprovisionsoftheCodeortheAct

concerned(underwhichacriminalproceedingis
instituted)totheinstitutionandcontinuanceofthe
proceedingsand/orwherethereisaspecific
provisionintheCodeorActconcerned,providing
efficaciousredressforthegrievanceofthe
aggrievedparty.

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
23

(7)Whereacriminalproceedingismanifestly
attendedwithmalafideand/orwherethe
proceedingismaliciouslyinstitutedwithanulterior

.

motiveforwreakingvengeanceontheaccusedand
withaviewtospitehimduetoprivateand
personalgrudge.”

Asnotedabove,thepowerspossessedbytheHigh
CourtunderSection482oftheCodeareverywide
andtheveryplenitudeofthepowerrequiresgreat

cautioninitsexercise.Courtmustbecarefultosee
thatitsdecisioninexerciseofthispowerisbased

onsoundprinciples.Theinherentpowershouldnot

beexercisedtostiflealegitimateprosecution.The
HighCourtbeingthehighestcourtofaState
shouldnormallyrefrainfromgivingaprimafacie

decisioninacasewheretheentirefactsare
incompleteandhazy,moresowhentheevidence
hasnotbeencollectedandproducedbeforethe

Courtandtheissuesinvolved,whetherfactualor

legal,areofmagnitudeandcannotbeseenintheir
trueperspectivewithoutsufficientmaterial.Of

course,nohard­and­fastrulecanbelaiddownin
regardtocasesinwhichtheHighCourtwill
exerciseitsextraordinaryjurisdictionofquashing
theproceedingatanystage.(See:SectionJanataDalv.H.
S.Chowdhary(1992(4)SCC305),andSectionRaghubir
Saran(Dr.)v.StateofBihar(AIR1964SC1).It
wouldnotbeproperfortheHighCourttoanalyse

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
24

thecaseofthecomplainantinthelightofall
probabilitiesinordertodeterminewhethera
convictionwouldbesustainableandonsuch

.

premisesarriveataconclusionthatthe
proceedingsaretobequashed.Itwouldbe
erroneoustoassessthematerialbeforeitand

concludethatthecomplaintcannotbeproceeded
with.Inaproceedinginstitutedoncomplaint,
exerciseoftheinherentpowerstoquashthe

proceedingsiscalledforonlyinacasewherethe
complaintdoesnotdiscloseanyoffenceoris
frivolous,vexatiousoroppressive.Iftheallegations

setoutinthecomplaintdonotconstitutethe

offenceofwhichcognizancehasbeentakenbythe
Magistrate,itisopentotheHighCourttoquash
thesameinexerciseoftheinherentpowersunder

Section482oftheCode.Itisnot,however,
necessarythatthereshouldbemeticulous

analysisofthecasebeforethetrialtofindout

whetherthecasewouldendinconvictionor
acquittal.Thecomplainthastobereadasawhole.

Ifitappearsthatonconsiderationofthe
allegationsinthelightofthestatementmadeon
oathofthecomplainantthattheingredientsofthe
offenceoroffencesaredisclosedandthereisno
materialtoshowthatthecomplaintismalafide,
frivolousorvexatious,inthateventtherewouldbe
nojustificationforinterferencebytheHighCourt.

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
25

Whenaninformationislodgedatthepolicestation
andanoffenceisregistered,thenthemalafidesof
theinformantwouldbeofsecondaryimportance.It

.

isthematerialcollectedduringtheinvestigation
andevidenceledincourtwhichdecidesthefateof
theaccusedperson.Theallegationsofmalafides

againsttheinformantareofnoconsequenceand
cannotbythemselvesbethebasisforquashing
theproceedings.(See:Dhanalakshmiv.R.

PrasannaKumar(1990SuppSCC686),Stateof
Biharv.P.P.Sharma(AIR1996SC309),Rupan
DeolBajajv.KanwarPalSinghGill(1995(6)SCC

194),StateofKeralav.O.C.Kuttan(AIR1999SC

1044),StateofU.P.v.O.P.Sharma(1996(7)SCC

705),SectionRashmiKumarv.MaheshKumarBhada
(1997(2)SCC397),SectionSatvinderKaurv.State(Govt.

ofNCTofDelhi)(AIR1996SC2983)andSectionRajesh
Bajajv.StateNCTofDelhi(1999(3)SCC259.

Inthisjudgment,Hon’bleSupremeCourthasfurtherheldthatthough

Section473oftheCodeofCriminalProcedureprovidesforextensionof

periodoflimitationincertaincases,however,saidpowercanbeexercised

onlywhentheCourtissatisfiedonthefactsandinthecircumstancesof

thecasethatthedelayhasbeenproperlyexplainedorthatitisnecessary

todosointheinterestofjustice.

32.Therefore,inthesecircumstances,whereadmittedly

theFIRhasbeenlodgedaftermorethanfourdecadesasfromtheyear

21/05/201921:57:18:::HCHP
26

whentheallegedincidenttookplaceandasadmittedlythepunishment

forcommittingtheoffenceallegedagainstthepetitionerasintheyear

.

1971wasamaximumoftwoyearsimprisonmentandfurtherasunder

Section468oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973,noCourtshalltake

cognizanceofanoffenceaftertheexpiryofperiodoflimitationofthree

years,ifoffenceispunishablewithimprisonmentfortermexceedingone

yearbutnotexceedingthreeyears,thispetitiondeservestobeallowed

andtheFIRinissuedeservestobequashedandsetaside.Inaddition,I

havealreadyheldabovethatevenotherwise,theallegationsmentionedin

theFIRdonotinspireanyconfidenceandnoprudentperson,onthe

basisofallegationsmadeintheFIR,canreachtoajustconclusionthat

therearesufficientgroundsforproceedingagainstthepetitioner.

33.Inviewofthediscussionheldhereinabove,thispetition

isallowedandFIRNo.1/2018,dated16.02.2018,registeredunder

Section354oftheIndianPenalCodeatWomenPoliceStation,Shimlais

orderedtobequashedandsetaside.Petitionstandsdisposedof,soalso

pendingmiscellaneousapplications,ifany.

(AjayMohanGoel)
Judge
May20,2019
(bhupender)

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