Allahabad High Court Dismisses Application To Quash Prima Facie Allegations of Criminal Intimidation and Outraging Modesty

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Allahabad High Court, on 17th November 2020, dismissed an application filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. and refused to quash the charge sheet (dated 26 May 2020), and the entire proceedings of the case, Shani alias Sarvendra v. State of U.P. and Another.

Background

The application, under Section 482 of CrPC, was filed to quash the proceedings of the case State vs. Shani alias Sarvendra.  The charges were originally filed under Section 354 and 506 I.P.C, and the matter was pending before the Judicial Magistrate at Bhoginipur, District Kanpur Dehat. The matter was also filed to quash the charge sheet (dated 26.05.2020) filed in the aforesaid case.

As per the complaint, the Accused (Sarvendra) allegedly misbehaved with the victim, a girl. The girl shared the incident with her mother after arrival at her home.

Submissions at the Court

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The Learned Counsel for the Applicants submitted that the allegations against the Accused were false and baseless because while filing the charges the girl said that she narrated the incident to her mother after coming home. However, in her statement recorded (as under Section 164 CrPC) and during the examination of witness (as per Section 161 of CrPC) she has stated that her mother was also with her at the time of the incident.

Further, the Counsel pointed out that the victim’s allegations were based on personal vengeance, as the victim’s brother was implicated recently in a case under Sections 376, 504, and 506 I.P.C. and Sections 3, 2, and 5 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

On the other hand, the learned Additional Government Advocate (A.G.A) counter-argued that the allegations made in the FIR and material collected during the investigation indicated a clear offence committed by the Accused-Applicant. In the statements recorded further, the victim made clear allegations against the Applicant. Thus, there was a prima facie offence. Hence, the charge could not be quashed.

Legal Position

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The Court began its observations by stating that, “the legal position of quashing a criminal proceeding vis a vis quashing a charge-sheet or an FIR is clearly defined, and the latter should be done sparingly and only in exceptional cases”.

When the FIR or the charge-sheet and the material on record did not constitute any prima facie offence, they can be quashed under Section 482 of the CrPC. However, when there was a prima facie offence against the Accused, then the criminal proceedings could not be quashed under the said section.

Decision of the Court

In light of the above observations and with the help of a few remarkable judgments, the Learned Judge Raj Beer Singh, stated that there existed a prima facie offence against the Applicant, and hence the FIR and charge-sheet could not be quashed. In furtherance of the argument of the victim’s Counsel, it was a determination of questions of fact which could be decided only at the trial court. Thus, the Court held that this issue did not fall under the jurisdiction of Section 482. 

The High Court, thus, refused to quash the charge sheet and the proceedings.

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Click here to view the judgment.


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