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O.P. Achuthankutty & Others v/s The State of Kerala, Represented by Station House Officer, Thrissur East Police Station Through The Public Prosecutor, High Court of Kerala & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- OP INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29253DL2015FTC285049

Company & Directors' Information:- EAST INDIA CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U61100TN1942PLC000704

Company & Directors' Information:- A T C (EAST INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090MH2000PTC126349

Company & Directors' Information:- ON THE HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U70101WB2000PTC091842

Company & Directors' Information:- C D HOUSE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC068483

Company & Directors' Information:- H. H. HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U45201DL1981PTC012646

Company & Directors' Information:- M C B HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52335DL1999PTC099967

Company & Directors' Information:- CO-OP PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U70109WB1944PTC011810

Company & Directors' Information:- A K HOUSE PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U70109WB1953PTC021083

    Crl. MC. No. 2922 of 2019 (E)

    Decided On, 11 November 2019

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. NARAYANA PISHARADI

    For the Petitioners: C. Unnikrishnan (Kollam), Advocate. For the Respondents: R2, S. Manu, V. Sreeja, PP.



Judgment Text

1. This is a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Code') for quashing the proceedings against the petitioners in the case registered as Crime No.799/2018 of Thrissur East police station.

2. The offences alleged against the petitioners are punishable under Sections 406, 420, 465, 468, 474 and 477A read with 34 I.P.C and 120B I.P.C. The petitioners 1 to 7 are the directors of the companies by name Punarjani Securities Limited, Aswini Hospital Limited and Aswini Health Care Limited. The 8th petitioner is said to be the Chief Accountant of Aswini Hospital at Thrissur. The case against the petitioners was instituted on the basis of the complaint made by the second respondent, who is a shareholder of the aforesaid companies.

3. The crux of the allegations against the accused in the case is that, pursuant to a conspiracy hatched by them, they have forged documents and misappropriated a total amount of Rs.5,57,99,135/- which belonged to the companies, of which they were the directors, and that they used the money for their personal purposes.

4. The prayer for quashing Annexur-A1 first information report in the case is made on the ground that the matter has been settled between the petitioners and the second respondent/de facto complainant.

5. Heard learned counsel for the petitioners and the second respondent and also the learned Public Prosecutor.

6. I have perused the affidavit filed by the second respondent, who has entered appearance through counsel. It is stated in the affidavit filed by him that the issue has been completely settled between him and the petitioners through mediators and that he has no intention to continue the prosecution of the case and also that he has no objection to quash the proceedings in the case.

7. If the allegations raised against the petitioners in the complaint filed by the second respondent are true, it would mean that the petitioners have misappropriated huge amount which belonged to the companies of which they are the directors and they have cheated the shareholders. The investigation of the case is in progress. Whether the allegations in the complaint filed by the second respondent are true or not could be found out only on completing the investigation. At this stage of the case, merely on the basis of the settlement of the matter between the petitioners and the second respondent, who is only one of the shareholders of the companies, the proceedings against the petitioners cannot be quashed. It is significant that it is not a matter which involves the interest of the second respondent alone. It is a matter which involves the interest of all the shareholders of the companies of which petitioners 1 to 7 are the directors.

8. The inherent power of this Court under Section 482 of the Code should be sparingly used. Only when the Court comes to the conclusion that there would be manifest injustice or there would be abuse of the process of the Court if such power is not exercised, the Court may quash the proceedings. In economic offences, interest of the society is also involved. If the prosecution against the economic offenders are not allowed to continue, the entire community is aggrieved (See Central Bureau of Investigation v. Manider Singh : AIR 2015 SC 3657).

9. In cases of financial fraud involving huge amount of money, this Court should be slow to terminate the criminal proceedings at an early stage on the basis of the settlement between the accused and the person who has given information regarding the offences. In these circumstances, I find that this is not a fit case in which the power of this Court under Section 482 of the Code can be exercised to quash the proceedings against the petitioners on t

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he basis of any settlement or compromise. 10. Consequently, the petition is dismissed. It is made clear that, the merit of the allegations raised against the petitioners in the complaint filed by the second respondent, has not been considered in this order and what is considered is only whether the proceedings initiated against the petitioners could be terminated on the basis of the settlement between the parties.
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