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Teeja Devi @ Triza Devi v/s State of Rajasthan & Others

    Criminal Appeal No. 2398 of 2014

    Decided On, 12 November 2014

    At, Supreme Court of India


    For the Appellant: H.D. Thanvi, Sarad Kumar Singhania, Advocates. For the Respondents: Shiv Mangal Sharma, AAG, Akshat Anand, Anjali Chauhan, Ruchi Kohli, Aishwarya Bhati, Anshuman, Advocates.

Judgment Text

Shiva Kirti Singh, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. Heard Mr. H.D. Thanvi, learned counsel for the appellant, Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, learned counsel for the accused respondents and Mr. Shiv Mangal Shama for the State of Rajasthan.

3. The accused approached the High Court through an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for the sake of brevity CrPC) and sought quashing of FIR No. 7 of 2012, PS Kalandri, District Sirohi, registered for offences under Sections 420, 465,

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467, 468 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 3(1)(x) of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The High Court noticed the facts alleged in the complaint filed by the appellant in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Sirohi which showed that the complainant belonged to a Scheduled Tribe and allegedly she was cheated by the accused persons who fraudulently represented to her that her thumb impression was being taken for creating a mortgage deed but later she came to know that they had dishonestly prepared an agreement for sale of her lands. After noticing that the complaint of the appellant was forwarded to the police for instituting FIR and investigation and that the accused were seeking quashing of the FIR, the High Court took into consideration a report described as a factual report submitted by the Investigating Officer and by placing reliance solely upon such report obtained from the IO, the High Court passed the order under appeal and quashed the FIR and all related proceedings.4. In view of the nature of the proposed order this Court has purposely avoided to go into the factual details and controversy between the parties.5. This would prevent prejudice to the appellant as well as to the accused persons in future because after hearing the parties we are of the firm view that the order of the High Court is not in accordance with law and in the facts of the case no interference should have been made with the investigation by the Police by quashing the FIR.6. It has been rightly submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that ordinarily power under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. should not be used to quash an FIR because that amounts to interfering with the statutory power of the police to investigate a cognizable offence in accordance with the provisions of Cr.P.C.. As per law settled by a catena of judgments, if the allegations made in the FIR prima facie disclose a cognizable offence, interference with the investigation is not proper and it can be done only in rarest of rare cases where the court is satisfied that the prosecution is malicious and vexatious.7. In support of the aforesaid proposition learned counsel for the State of Rajasthan placed reliance upon paragraphs 15 and 16 of judgment of this Court in the case of State of Karnataka v. Pastor P. Raju, 2006(3) R.C.R.(Criminal) 859 : 2006(6) SCC 728.8. The proposition of law indicated above has been consistently followed in large number of cases and learned counsel for the accused fairly submitted that the impugned order of the High Court can be sustained only in view of the factual report submitted by the Investigating Officer to the High Court. Since the report showed that after some investigation the allegations were found to be incorrect, the High Court accepted the view of the Investigating Officer and held that the FIR appears to be only a counter blast to the civil action initiated by the accused against the complainant for specific performance of an agreement for sale.9. Learned counsel for the accused also pointed out that there was some delay in lodging the complaint and that created further suspicion in the mind of the High Court, leading to an inference recorded in the order that permitting the investigation to continue is unwarranted as the same would amount to gross abuse of the process of Court.10. We have no hesitation in holding that in the facts of the case, the High Court was not justified in interfering with the Police investigation and quashing the FIR. This is not at all a rare case. Without thorough investigation, it is not possible or proper to hold whether allegations made by the complainant are true or not. Hence the investigation should have been allowed to continue so that on filing of the report under Section 173 CrPC the affected party could pursue its remedy against the report in accordance with law. Keeping in view the fact that the criminal case was at the stage of investigation by the Police the High Court was not justified in holding that the investigation of the impugned FIR is totally unwarranted and that the same would amount to gross abuse of the process of court.11. In view of the above discussion, the impugned order of the High Court under appeal is set aside. The appeal stands allowed. We make it clear that the Police will proceed to complete the investigation fairly with some expedition and submit the required report to the learned Magistrate who shall act in accordance with law without being influenced against either of the parties on account of impugned order of the High Court or this order.

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