1. The present Criminal Petition is filed under Section - 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to quash the proceedings against the petitioners in Crime No.142 of 2021 of Gachibowli Police Station, Cyberabad Commissionerate.2. The petitioner Nos.2 and 3 herein are accused Nos.3 and 2 and Managing Director and Civil Engineer of petitioner No.1 Company respectively. The offence alleged petitioners are under Sections - 304-II, 188 and 201 read with 109 of IPC and Sections - 184, 190 and 196 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short ‘M.V. Act’).3. Heard Mr. E. Madan Mohan Rao, learned senior counsel for the petitioners and the learned Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of respondent No.1 - State. Despite service of notice, none appears on behalf of respondent No.2 - complainant.4. CASE OF THE PROSECUTION:i) On 23.02.2021 at 16:30 hours, Gunti Yogesh Sagar S/o G. Raju Sagar, aged 19 years, Occ: Student and son of complainant’s brother, was proceeding on Honda Activa Vehicle bearing registration No.TS 07ES 3911 from Sudarshan Nagar to Maseedbanda. Mr. G. Kalyan Sagar was the pillion;ii) when they reached near SMR Vinay Iconia, one RMC (TATA Motors Concrete Mixer) Vehicle bearing registration No.KA 01AF 9596 driven by its driver, accused No.1 in rash and negligent manner came from back side and dashed them from its back. Due to which, Yogesh received injuries. He was shifted to KIMS Hospital, Kondapur for first aid;iii) later, Mr. Yogesh was shifted to Continental Hospital, Nanakramguda for better treatment, where the duty doctor examined him and declared the injured as dead;iv) upon receipt of a complaint lodged by LW.1, paternal uncle of deceased, the police registered a case in Crime No.142 of 2021 under Section 304-A of IPC and took up for investigation;v) during the course of investigation, LW.16, Sub-Inspector of Police examined the relevant witnesses and recorded their statements under Section - 161 of Cr.P.C. and followed the requisite formalities;vi) after conducting initial investigation, the police altered the section of law from Section - 304A of IPC to Section - 304-II of IPC and other sections mentioned above;vii) there is an order vide proceedings No.75/1/T2/DCPTr/ Cyb/2020, dated 07.07.2020 of Commissioner of Police, Gachibowli, restricting the movement of heavy motor vehicles and medium motor vehicles including DCMs, Eicher Vans, Water Tankers, RMC Vehicles, Rocket Lorry, JCB, Earth Movers, Tractors in the limits of Law and Order Police Stations during the Traffic Peak Hours i.e., between 7.30 hours and 11.30 hours and also between 16.00 hours and 22.30 hours;viii) the evidence collected during the course of investigation and the inquiries would reveal that accused No.1 drove the crime vehicle in rash and negligent manner though the crime vehicle is in unsafe condition and ran in no entry area, thereby caused disobedience to the orders promulgated by Public Servant and caused disappearance of evidence of offence committed by accused No.1 by not placing number plate at back side of vehicle with abetment of accused Nos.2 and 3, accused No.1 drove the uninsured crime vehicle dangerously;ix) accused No.2 being In-charge of vehicles of M/s. SMR Builders Pvt. Ltd. allowed accused No.1 to drive unsafe condition vehicle in no entry area;x) accused No.3 being the owner of crime vehicle did not follow the Rules of M.V. Act and allowed accused No.1 to drive the unsafe condition vehicle in no entry area, and thereby accused Nos.2 and 3 abetted accused No.1 in commission of the offence;xi) accused No.4, mother and owner of the victim’s Honda Activa vehicle, allowed the deceased to drive the vehicle though the deceased did not have valid license to drive the vehicle and the vehicle is uninsured to satisfy the provisions of Sections - 3 or 4 of the M.V. Act to drive the vehicle; andxii) thus, accused Nos.1 to 4 were well aware that their acts would cause death of others, and thereby they have committed the aforesaid offences;5. CONTENTIONS OF THE PETITIONERS:i) Mr. E. Madan Mohan Rao, learned senior counsel would submit that, prima facie, there is no evidence connecting the petitioners herein with the alleged offences mentioned above, for the reason that petitioner No.2 (accused No.3) is the Managing Director of petitioner No.1 company and being an Architect looking after the building plans, permissions etc., while petitioner No.3 (accused No.2) is the Engineer of the said company looking after the construction activities and their nature of work would be normally done by sitting in the office. In such a scenario, they cannot have any intention to commit culpable homicide of an unknown person and screen the evidence.ii) Learned senior counsel would further submit that keeping in view the nature of work dealt by petitioner Nos.2 and 3 mentioned above, their monitoring driving of vehicles by drivers may not arise. Nonetheless, accused No.1 is having a valid driving license to drive both, Transport and Non-Transport Vehicles. He would further submit that concept of vicarious liability is unknown to criminal law, and IPC does not provide for vicarious liability upon the Directors of the Company for any offence alleged to be committed by a Company. In support of his contention, the learned senior counsel has relied on the principle laid down in Sunil Bharti Mittal v. Central Bureau of Investigation (2015) 4 SCC 609).iii) Learned Senior Counsel would also submit that there are no specific overt-acts attributed to the petitioners. There was no abetment on the part of petitioners as alleged by the police. The ingredients of Section - 304 (Part-II) of IPC do not attract against the petitioners as alleged by the police, and so also the other provisions. Thus, continuation of proceedings in the aforesaid crime against the petitioners is nothing but abuse of process of Court and cause irreparable loss to them.iv) With the aforesaid submissions, the learned senior counsel sought to quash the proceedings against the petitioners in the aforesaid crime.6. CONTENTIONS ON BEHALF OF PROSECUTION:i) Learned Public Prosecutor would submit that there are specific allegations against each of the accused including the petitioners herein and the same are serious in nature. Any act or omission done on behalf of petitioner No.1 Company, petitioner No.2 being its Managing Director is responsible for such acts and he cannot be escaped. Petitioner No.2, being Managing Director of petitioner No.1 Company and petitioner No.3 being In-charge looking after the construction activities, both of them solely held responsible for any act done on behalf of the Company. There was sheer negligence on the part of petitioners in allowing accused No.1 to drive unfit vehicle in no entry area, that too, without any pre-cautions.ii) Learned Public Prosecutor further submits that the police investigated the case properly and on coming to a conclusion that there was negligent on the part of petitioners, the police made them as accused apart from the driver of crime vehicle. Even, the police also made the mother and owner of the victim vehicle as an accused.iii) He would further submit that the investigation is pending and the police yet to collect some more evidence to conclude the investigation. So far, the evidence collected by the police would reveal that the aforesaid offences attract against the petitioners. The contention of the petitioners that they had no intention to commit culpable homicide of an unknown person and to screen the evidence etc., are all to be investigated by the Investigating Officer during the course of investigation. The petitioners can produce the evidence to that effect before the Investigating Officer as well. The acts of petitioners in allowing the driver to drive a vehicle in no entry area without any precautions will have impact on the society and, therefore, the proceedings cannot be quashed at this stage.iv) With the aforesaid submissions, the learned Public Prosecutor sought to dismiss the present petition.7. FINDING OF THE COURT:i) A perusal of the above stated facts and the contents of the complaint dated 23.02.2021 and remand report would reveal that accused No.1 drove the crime vehicle in rash and negligent manner though the crime vehicle was in unsafe condition, ran the crime vehicle in no-entry area, thereby disobeyed the orders promulgated by public servant. Accused have caused disappearance of evidence of offence committed by not placing number plate at backside of vehicle. Accused No.1 drove the uninsured crime vehicle dangerously. Accused No.2 being in-charge of M/s. SMR Builders Pvt. Ltd., vehicles and Ready Mix Plant including the crime vehicle allowed accused No.1 to drive unsafe condition vehicle in no-entry area. Accused No.3 being owner of crime vehicle did not follow the Rules of M.V. Act and allowed accused No.1 to drive the unsafe condition vehicle in no entry area. Thus, accused Nos.2 and 3 abetted accused No.1 in commission of the offence. Accused No.4 is the mother of the deceased and owner of the Honda Activa vehicle bearing registration No. TS 07 ES 3911, allowed her deceased son to drive the said vehicle, who did not satisfy the provisions of Sections - 3 and 4 of the M.V. Act. Thus, accused No.1 is driver of the crime vehicle, accused No.2 is In-charge in M/s. SMR Builders Private Limited, accused No.3 is the Managing Director of M/s. SMR Builders Pvt. Ltd., and owner of the crime vehicle and accused No.4 is mother of the deceased and owner of the victim vehicle.ii) As stated above, prima facie, there are specific allegations against each of the accused in the complaint as well as remand report. Petitioner No.1 - accused No.3 is owner of the crime vehicle, petitioner No.2 herein is Managing Director of petitioner No.1 and petitioner No.3 - accused No.2 is the In-charge of petitioner No.1 Company.iii) Learned senior counsel for the petitioners has also filed copy of certificate of registration in respect of the crime vehicle. A perusal of the same would reveal that petitioner No.1 herein i.e., SMR Builders Private Limited is owner of the crime vehicle. Thus, there is no dispute that petitioner No.1 is owner of the crime vehicle. There is also no dispute that petitioner No.2 herein is Managing Director of petitioner No.1, while petitioner No.3 herein is its In-charge.iv) Referring to the contents of the complaint and remand report, Mr. E. Madan Mohan Rao, learned Senior Counsel, would submit that the contents of the same lacks the ingredients of Section - 304, Part-II of IPC and other offences alleged against the petitioners herein. There is no vicarious liability on the part of petitioner No.1 company and in criminal law, there is no concept of vicarious liability and, therefore, the proceedings in Crime No.142 of 2021 are liable to be quashed.v) Referring to the contents of development agreements - cum - GPAs, dated 26.02.2014, 06.06.2014, building permits dated 29.04.2014 and 09.09.2017, learned senior counsel would submit that petitioner No.1 is initially a Developer and, therefore, the present proceedings in Crime No.142 of 2021 are not maintainable against the petitioners. Referring to the driving license of accused No.1, learned senior counsel would submit that accused No.1 is having valid driving license to drive the vehicles as on the date of accident.vi) Referring to the settlement deed, dated 24.02.2021, learned senior counsel would submit that petitioner No.1 has entered into a settlement with the father of the deceased and also issued a receipt dated 24.02.2021 executed by father of deceased. He would further submit that both petitioner No.1 Company and father of the deceased have entered into a compromise and pursuant thereof, petitioner No.1 has agreed to pay an amount of Rs.35.00 lakhs of which, an amount of Rs.10.00 lakhs was paid in cash balance by way of cheques.vii) In view of the above rival submissions, it is apt to refer to the relevant provisions of IPC and M.V. Act.PROVISIONS UNDER IPC “304. Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.— Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.”“188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.—Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.Explanation.—It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.Illustration An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section.”“201. Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.—Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear, with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false; if a capital offence.-—shall, if the offence which he knows or believes to have been committed is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with imprisonment for life.—and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with less than ten years’ imprisonment.—and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for any term not extending to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of the imprisonment provided for the offence, or with fine, or with both.Illustration A, knowing that B has murdered Z, assists B to hide the body with the intention of screening B from punishment. A is liable to imprisonment of either description for seven years, and also to fine.”“109. Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment.—Whoever abets any offence shall, if the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence.Explanation.—An act or offence is said to be committed in consequence of abetment, when it is committed in consequence of the instigation, or in pursuance of the conspiracy, or with the aid which constitutes the abetment.Illustrations: (a) A offers a bribe to B, a public servant, as a reward for showing A some favour in the exercise of B’s official functions. B accepts the bribe. A has abetted the offence defined in section 161.(b) A instigates B to give false evidence. B, in consequence of the instigation, commits that offence. A is guilty of abetting that offence, and is liable to the same punishment as B.(c) A and B conspire to poison Z. A in pursuance of the conspiracy, procures the poison and delivers it to B in order that he may administer it to Z. B, in pursuance of the conspiracy, administers the poison to Z in A’s absence and thereby causes Z’s death. Here B is guilty of murder. A is guilty of abetting that offence by conspiracy, and is liable to the punishment for murder.CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE Punishment—Same as for offence abetted— According as offence abetted is cognizable or non-cognizable—According as offence abetted is bailable or non-bailable—Triable by court by which offence abetted is triable— Non-compoundable.”PROVISIONS UNDER M.V. ACT “180. Allowing unauthorised persons to drive vehicles.—Whoever, being the owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle, causes or permits, any other person who does not satisfy the provisions of section 3 or section 4 to drive the vehicle shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”“184. Driving dangerously.—Whoever drives a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the nature, condition and use of the place where the vehicle is driven and the amount of traffic which actually is at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be in the place, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and for any second or subsequent offence if committed within three years of the commission of a previous similar offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.”“190. Using vehicle in unsafe condition.—(1) Any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven in any public place a motor vehicle or trailer while the vehicle or trailer has any defect, which such person knows of or could have discovered by the exercise of ordinary care and which is calculated to render the driving of the vehicle a source of danger to persons and vehicles using such place, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred and fifty rupees or, if as a result of such defect an accident is caused causing bodily injury or damage to property, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.(2) Any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control of noise and air-pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine of one thousand rupees and for any second or subsequent offence with a fine of two thousand rupees.(3) Any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle which violates the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder relating to the carriage of goods which are of dangerous or hazardous nature to human life, shall be punishable for the first offence which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with both, and for any second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with both.”“196. Driving uninsured vehicle.—Whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven in contravention of the provisions of section 146 shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”viii) The Apex Court in Alister Anthony Pareira v. State of Maharashtra (2012) 2 SCC 648) had an occasion to deal with scope and ambit of Sections - 279, 299, 300, 304 and 304 Part-II and also considered the following questions:“(i) Whether indictment on the two charges, namely, the offence punishable under Section 304 Part II IPC and the offence punishable under Section 338 IPC is mutually destructive and legally impermissible? In other words, whether it is permissible to try and convict a person for the offence punishable under Section 304 Part II IPC and the offence punishable under Section 338 IPC for a single act of the same transaction?(ii) Whether by not charging the appellant of `drunken condition' and not putting to him the entire incriminating evidence let in by the prosecution, particularly the evidence relating to appellant's drunken condition, at the time of his examination under Section 313 of the Code, the trial and conviction of the appellant got affected?(iii) Whether prosecution evidence establishes beyond reasonable doubt the commission of the offences by the appellant under Section 304 Part II, IPC, Section 338 IPC and Section 337 IPC?(iv) Whether sentence awarded to the appellant by the High Court for the offence punishable under Section 304 Part II IPC requires any modification?”ix) The Apex Court while discussing the constituent elements of Part I and Part II of Section - 304 IPC, held as under:“26. The above Section is in two parts. Although Section does not specify Part I and Part II but for the sake of convenience, the investigators, the prosecutors, the lawyers, the judges and the authors refer to the first paragraph of the Section as Part I while the second paragraph is referred to as Part II. The constituent elements of Part I and Part II are different and, consequently, the difference in punishment. For punishment under Section 304 Part I, the prosecution must prove: the death of the person in question; that such death was caused by the act of the accused and that the accused intended by such act to cause death or cause such bodily injury as was likely to cause death. As regards punishment for Section 304 Part II, the prosecution has to prove the death of the person in question; that such death was caused by the act of the accused and that he knew that such act of his was likely to cause death. In order to find out that an offence is `culpable homicide not amounting to murder' - since Section 304 does not define this expression - Sections 299 and 300 IPC have to be seen. Section 299 IPC reads as under:"S.-299. - Culpable homicide.--Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide."27. To constitute the offence of culpable homicide as defined in Section 299 the death must be caused by doing an act:(a) with the intention of causing death, or(b) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or(c) with the knowledge that the doer is likely by such act to cause death.28. Section 300 deals with murder and also provides for exceptions. The culpable homicide is murder if the act by which the death is caused is done: (1) with the intention of causing death, (2) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused, or (3) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, or (4) with the knowledge that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid. The exceptions provide that the culpable homicide will not be murder if that act is done with the intention or knowledge in the circumstances and subject to the conditions specified therein. In other words, the culpable homicide is not murder if the act by which death is caused is done in extenuating circumstances and such act is covered by one of the five exceptions set out in the later part of Section 300.”x) Thus, to establish the offence under Section - 304 Part-II of IPC, the prosecution has to prove the death of the person in question; that such death was caused by the act of the accused and that he knew that such act of his was likely to cause death.xi) The Apex Court has also referred to the principle laid down in Empress of India v. Idu Beg [1881 (3) ALL 776], in which meaning of criminal rashness and criminal negligence was explained. Criminal rashness is hazarding a dangerous or wanton act with the knowledge that it is so, and that it may cause injury but without intention to cause injury, or knowledge that it will probably be caused. The criminality lies in running the risk of doing such an act with recklessness or indifference as to the consequences. Criminal negligence is the gross and culpable neglect or failure to exercise that reasonable and proper care and precaution to guard against injury either to the public generally or to an individual in particular, which, having regard to all the circumstances out of which the charge has arisen, it was the imperative duty of the accused person to have adopted. After an elaborate discussion and on consideration of various principle laid down by it in various other judgments, the Apex Court held that indictment of an accused under Section - 304 Part II and Section - 338 of IPC can co-exist in a case of single rash or negligent act. There is no impediment in law for an offender being charged for the offence under Section - 304 Part II of IPC and also under Sections - 337 and 338 of IPC. The two charges under Section -304 Part II of IPC and Section - 338 of IPC can legally co-exist in a case of single rash or negligent act where a rash or negligent act is done with the knowledge of likelihood of its dangerous consequences.xii) In State of Arunachal Pradesh v. Ramchandra Rabidas @ Ratan Rabidas (2019) 10 SCC 75), the Apex Court had an occasion to deal with scope and ambit of provisions of M.V. Act and IPC, and also the aspect that road traffic offences shall be dealt with only under the provisions of the M.V. Act, and held that in cases of road traffic or motor vehicle offences, prosecution under the provisions of IPC is without sanction of law, and recourse to the provisions of the IPC would be unsustainable in law. The Apex Court referring to various provisions of IPC and also M.V. Act, held that M.V. Act is a beneficial legislation, the primary objective being to provide a statutory scheme for compensation of victims of motor vehicle accidents; or, their family members who are rendered helpless and disadvantaged by the untimely death or injuries caused to a member of the family, if the claim is found to be genuine. The Act provides a summary procedure for claiming compensation for the loss sustained in an accident, which is otherwise applicable to suits and other proceedings while prosecuting a claim before a civil Court. The IPC is punitive and deterrent in nature. The principal aim and object is to punish offenders for offences committed under the IPC. It further held that Sections - 304 Part II, 304A, 337 and 338 of IPC fall under Chapter XVI - “Offences Affecting the Human Body”, which makes provision for offences relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing death by negligence by doing any rash or negligent act, and causing hurt or grievous hurt, by endangering the life or personal safety of others. Where the rash or negligent driving results in hurt or grievous hurt being caused to any person, an offence under Sections - 337 or 338 of IPC is committed. Where the rash or negligent driving, results in the death of a person, without the knowledge that the said act will cause death, Section - 304A of IPC would be applicable. When a person drives a vehicle so recklessly, rashly or negligently that it causes the death of a person, and of which he had knowledge as a reasonable man, that such act was dangerous enough to cause death, he may be attributed with the knowledge of the consequence, and may held liable for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is punishable under Section - 304 Part II of IPC.a) The Apex Court further held with respect to Section - 304 Part II of IPC that, the prosecution has to prove that the death of the person was caused by the act of the accused, and that he had knowledge that such act was likely to cause death. To constitute an offence under this Section, the knowledge of the offender as required under Section - 300 of IPC is to be proved and established. Therefore, with the said findings, the Apex Court held that there is no conflict between the provisions of the IPC and the M.V. Act. Both the Statutes operate in entirely different spheres. The offences provided under both the Statutes are separate and distinct from each other. The penal consequences provided under both the statutes are also independent and distinct from each other. The ingredients of offences under the both statutes, as discussed earlier, are different, and an offender can be tried and punished independently under both statutes. The principle that the special law should prevail over the general law, has no application in cases of prosecution of offenders in road accidents under the IPC and M.V. Act.b) It further held that there is no provision under the M.V. Act which separately deals with offences causing death, or grievous hurt, or hurt by a motor vehicle in cases of motor vehicle accidents. Chapter - XIII of the M.V. Act is silent about the act of rash and negligent driving resulting in death, or hurt, or grievous hurt, to persons nor does it prescribe any separate punishment for the same; whereas Sections - 279, 304 Part II, 304A, 337 and 338 of IPC have been specifically framed to deal with such offences. Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 provides, “Where an act or omission constitutes an offence under two or more enactments, then the offender shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished under either or any of those enactments, but shall not be liable to be punished twice for the same offence.” It is well settled that an act or an omission can constitute an offence under the IPC and at the same time, be an offence under any other law. With the said findings, the Apex Court held that there is no bar under the M.V. Act or otherwise, to try and prosecute offences under the IPC for an offence relating to motor vehicle accidents.xiii) In view of the above said law laid down by the Apex Court, to constitute an offence under Section - 304 Part-II of IPC, the requirements are that such death was caused by the act of the accused and that he knew that such act of his was likely to cause death.xiv) As discussed above, the allegations against the petitioners herein are that petitioner No.1 is the owner of crime vehicle, petitioner No.2 is Managing Director of petitioner No.1 Company and petitioner No.3 is employee and In-charge of the Vehicles of petitioner No.1 Company including the crime vehicle. There are specific allegations that the petitioners herein have abetted accused No.1 in committing the aforesaid offences. There is also allegation that the petitioners herein have not placed the number plate at backside of the crime vehicle. They have permitted the crime vehicle to run in no-entry area. They have caused disappearance of the evidence of offence committed by accused No.1 by not placing number plate at back side of vehicle with abetment of accused Nos.2 and 3. Thus, accused No.1 drove the uninsured crime vehicle dangerously. There is also an allegation that the crime vehicle is not having insurance which is mandatory as per the provisions of the M.V. Act. Petitioner No.3 being the In-charge of the vehicles of petitioner No.1 Company allowed accused No.1 to drive the unsafe condition vehicle in no-entry area. Accused No.3 being owner of the crime vehicle did not follow the Rules of M.V. Act and allowed accused No.1 to drive the unsafe condition vehicle in no-entry area. Thus, both of them abetted the commission of offence.xv) A perusal of copy of the settlement deed dated 24.02.2021 filed by the petitioners herein would reveal that petitioner No.1 Company has agreed to pay an amount of Rs.35.00 lakhs towards compensation to the father of the deceased and accordingly, it has paid an amount of Rs.10.00 lakhs in cash and the remaining amount through cheques. In the said deed, there is no mention that the petitioners are not responsible for the accident and that the criminal proceedings against them cannot be proceeded with.xvi) In view of the above, prima facie, there are specific allegations against the petitioners herein. The matter is at crime stage. The Investigating Officer has recorded the statements of respondent No.2, paternal uncle of the deceased, as LW.1; first cousin of the deceased as LW.2; elder brother of deceased as LW.3; maternal uncle of deceased as LW.4; father of deceased as LW.5 and General Manager of petitioner No.1 Company as LW.7. Thus, admittedly, investigation is pending. Investigating Officer has to investigate into the allegations made against the petitioners. There are several factual aspects to be investigated into by the Investigating Officer during the course of investigation. On completion of investigation, if the Investigating Officer comes to a conclusion that the petitioners have not played any role in commission of offence and that they were not responsible for the commission of the said offence, he will drop the charge against them by deleting their names from the charge sheet. Investigating Officer is having power to delete or add any section of law on appreciation of evidence, both oral and documentary. Thus, the petitioners herein now cannot seek quashment of FIR No.142 of 2021 on the ground of contents of complaint lacks the ingredients of offences alleged against them.xvii) The Apex Court in Kamal Shivaji Pokarnekar v. The State of Maharashtra (AIR 2019 SC 847) has categorically held that quashing criminal proceedings was called for only in a case where complaint did not disclose any offence, or was frivolous, vexatious, or oppressive. If allegations set out in complaint did not constitute offence of which cognizance had been taken by Magistrate, it was open to High Court to quash same. It was not necessary that, a meticulous analysis of case should be done before trial to find out whether case would end in conviction or acquittal. If it appeared on a reading of complaint and consideration of allegations therein, in light of the statement made on oath that the ingredients of the offence are disclosed, there would be no justification for High Court to interfere. The defences that might be available, or facts/aspects which when established during trial, might lead to acquittal, were not grounds for quashing complaint at threshold. At that stage, only question relevant was whether averments in complaint spell out ingredients of a criminal offence or not. The Court has to consider whether complaint discloses that prima facie, offences that were alleged against Respondents. Correctness or otherwise of said allegations had to be decided only in trial. At initial stage of issuance of process, it was not open to Courts to stifle proceedings by entering into merits of the contentions made on behalf of Accused. Criminal complaints could not be quashed only on ground that, allegations made therein appear to be of a civil nature. If ingredients of offence alleged against Accused were prima facie made out in complaint, criminal proceeding shall not be interdicted.xviii) In Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited v. The State of Uttar Pradesh (AIR 2021 SC 931), the Apex Court referring to the earlier judgments rendered by it has categorically held that the High Courts in exercise of its inherent powers under Section - 482 of Cr.P.C has to quash the proceedings in criminal cases in rarest of rare cases with extreme caution.xix) In M/s. Neeharika Infrastructure Private Limited v. State of Maharashtra (AIR 2021 SC 1918), a Three-judge Bench of the Apex Court laid certain conclusions, for the purpose of exercising powers by High Courts under Section - 482 of Cr.P.C and also Article - 226 of the Constitution of India, which are as under:“….iv) The power of quashing should be exercised sparingly with circumspection, in the ‘rarest of rare cases’. (The rarest of rare cases standard in its application for quashing under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is not to be confused with the norm which has been formulated in the context of the death penalty, as explained previously by this Court);v) While examining an FIR/complaint, quashing of which is sought, the court cannot embark upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR/complaint;vi) Criminal proceedings ought not to be scuttled at the initial stage;vii) Quashing of a complaint/FIR should be an exception and a rarity than an ordinary rule; viii) Ordinarily, the courts are barred from usurping the jurisdiction of the police, since the two organs of the State operate in two specific spheres of activities. The inherent power of the court is, however, recognise
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d to secure the ends of justice or prevent the above of the process by Section 482 Cr.P.C.ix) The functions of the judiciary and the police are complementary, not overlapping;x) Save in exceptional cases where non-interference would result in miscarriage of justice, the Court and the judicial process should not interfere at the stage of investigation of offences;xi) Extraordinary and inherent powers of the Court do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the Court to act according to its whims or caprice;xii) The first information report is not an encyclopedia which must disclose all facts and details relating to the offence reported. Therefore, when the investigation by the police is in progress, the court should not go into the merits of the allegations in the FIR. Police must be permitted to complete the investigation. It would be premature to pronounce the conclusion based on hazy facts that the complaint/FIR does not deserve to be investigated or that it amounts to abuse of process of law. During or after investigation, if the investigating officer finds that there is no substance in the application made by the complainant, the investigating officer may file an appropriate report/summary before the learned Magistrate which may be considered by the learned Magistrate in accordance with the known procedure;xiii) The power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is very wide, but conferment of wide power requires the court to be cautious. It casts an onerous and more diligent duty on the court;xiv) However, at the same time, the court, if it thinks fit, regard being had to the parameters of quashing and the self-restraint imposed by law, more particularly the parameters laid down by this Court in the cases of R.P. Kapur (supra) and Bhajan Lal (supra), has the jurisdiction to quash the FIR/complaint; andxv) When a prayer for quashing the FIR is made by the alleged accused, the court when it exercises the power under Section 482 Cr.P.C., only has to consider whether or not the allegations in the FIR disclose the commission of a cognizable offence and is not required to consider on merits whether the allegations make out a cognizable offence or not and the court has to permit the investigating agency/police to investigate the allegations in the FIR.”xx) As discussed supra, prima facie, there are specific allegations against the petitioners herein and there are several factual aspects to be investigated into by the Investigating Officer. Therefore, this Court is not inclined to interdict the investigation in the present crime.xxi) With regard to the contentions of petitioners that there is no concept of vicarious liability in Criminal Law and, therefore, petitioners Nos.2 and 3 cannot be prosecuted for the offences alleged against them in the aforesaid crime and relied upon the principle laid down by the Sunil Bharti Mittal (supra). It is relevant to note that in the said decision, the Apex Court discussed about the Corporate Criminal Liability, and the principle that criminal intent of persons controlling company can be imputed to company based on principle of “alterego”. It further held that reverse application of principle is not permissible. When company is the accused, its Directors can be roped in only if (a) there is sufficient incriminating evidence against them coupled with criminal intent, or (b) the statutory regime attracts the doctrine of vicarious liability. In the said decision, CBI registered a crime and on completion of investigation, it has laid charge sheet against the accused therein, whereas, in the present case, the matter is at crime stage. The Investigating Officer has to consider several factual aspects as stated above. Thus, the said decision is inapplicable to the case of the petitioners herein.8. CONCLUSION:i) In view of the above authoritative pronouncement of law, according to this Court, the petitioners failed to make out any ground to quash the proceedings in Crime No.142 of 2021 of Gachibowli Police Station, Cyberabad Commissionerate and, therefore, the petition is liable to be dismissed.ii) The present Criminal Petition is, accordingly, dismissed.As a sequel, miscellaneous petitions, if any, pending in the Criminal Petition shall stand closed.