“A second FIR based on the same allegations cannot be registered, when the first FIR has been quashed on merits,” ruled Kerala High Court while recently dismissing a petition.
V. S. Achuthanandan, the former Chief Minister of Kerala, approached the Court against the order of the Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, Thiruvananthapuram, dismissing the complaint filed by the petitioner against respondents under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The petitioner in the complaint had alleged that a main sewerage pumping line of the Kerala Water Authority which was initially laid diagonally through the property of respondent Avruthi Mall Management Co. Ltd. was shifted to a part of this property, which effectuated construction over a larger area. It was contended that this shift enabled all respondents to gain an undue pecuniary advantage by reducing the Government property into their possession.
The court in its observation noted that before the above said complaint was filed, another public-spirited citizen had filed an FIR before the Lok Ayukta on the same ground. It was observed that the action of the accused will not attract the provisions of the Act since the Respondent Company had not gained any pecuniary advantage from shifting the sewerage line from the shift.
The court had held that the FIR did not disclosed commission of any offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and thus quashed the FIR and other proceedings accordingly.
Advocate S Chandrasekharan Nair, appearing for the petitioner, argued that it was inappropriate to reject the present FIR without conducting even preliminary enquiry.
To the above stated argument, Justice VG Arun stated that both the complaints were substantially the same, except for additional details mentioned in the second FIR. If the petitioner’s plea was allowed, then it would result in the registration of a second FIR on the same facts. Henceforth, it was held that the Court was justified in rejecting the plea.
Thus, the petition was dismissed.