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Karnataka HC Quashes the F.I.R, States Civil Case Was Given Colour of Criminal Case

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On 08.09.2021, the Karnataka High Court had quashed an F.I.R on the grounds that the complainant was trying to give a civil case colour of a criminal case.

Brief Facts of the Case

The Petitioner filed the petition for quashing the F.I.R filed under sections 420, 120B, 504 and 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The F.I.R was filed against the offence of cheating as the petitioner was approached by one of the accused persons for the execution of the deed in his favour, thus, he had handed over the original documents of the property to him. When the petitioner failed to get the sale deed in his favour, he sought to return original documents and the petitioner failed to return the said documents. Suspecting the foul play, he had applied for an Encumbrance Certificate and found that a sale deed was registered in the name of the petitioner. He further alleges that the said property was later sold to another party. Being aware of the aforesaid transactions, he approached the petitioner and the petitioner assured that the complainant would receive the amount he was entitled to, but he had not paid the said amount. When he approached the petitioner for the amount, he was said to have threatened him with dire consequences by showing a gun. Thus, the said F.I.R. came into existence.  

Arguments by the Petitioner

The learned counsel of the Petitioner contended that there was no connection between the parties to the case and there was no document showing that the cash was paid to the accused. Further, it was added that the Petitioner was a bona fide purchaser of the property from the accused person. Subsequently, he had sold the property to a third person and there was no privity of contract between the petitioner and the complainant. In addition, it was contended that the case was of a civil nature, however, to harass the petitioner the said complaint was filed. It was highlighted that the complainant instead of filing the suit for specific performance of the contract had filed a false complaint. It was finally contended that if the Police were permitted to investigate the case, it was nothing but the abuse of the process of law. Hence, he had prayed for quashing the F.I.R. 

Arguments by the Respondents 

The learned counsel of the respondent submitted that the petitioner had received the original documents of the property and money, however, had executed the sale deed in his favour. Thus, the said F.I.R came into existence for the offence of cheating. It was requested to investigate the matter. 

Court’s Observation

The Karnataka High Court Observed that the case was of civil nature and the complainant was trying to give the colour of a criminal case. The accused needed to approach the civil court for specific performance of contract directing accused persons to execute the sale deed in his favour by cancelling the sale deed of the petitioner. 

Court’s Decision 

The court had, thus, allowed the petition and quashed the F.I.R. against the Petitioner. It was remarked that if the Police would be permitted to investigate the case, it was nothing but the abuse of the process of law. The complainant had to approach the Civil Court for appropriate relief. 

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