The Supreme Court on July 30, 2019, in the case of Anil Khadkiwala v. State (Government of NCT of Delhi), has observed that second application for quashing of the complaint under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, cannot be dismissed as not maintainable merely because of the dismissal of the earlier application.
In this case, an application was filed by the appellant under Section 482, Cr.P.C. to quash the summons issued in a complaint. The said application was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on the ground that earlier petition for the same relief had already been dismissed, and thus the second application is not maintainable.
In the first plea, the contention of the appellant was that he had resigned from the company and therefore he has no liability in the cheque case filed against the company and persons including himself. This application was dismissed without addressing the aforesaid contention. In the second petition, the appellant produced Form 32 issued by the Registrar of Companies to prove his resignation. However, the High Court dismissed the petition on the ground of maintainability.
Noticing these facts, the Bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha observed: “There was a difference between the earlier application and the subsequent one, inasmuch as the statutory Form 32 did not fall for consideration by the Court earlier. The factum of resignation is not in dispute between the parties. The subsequent application, strictly speaking, therefore cannot be said to a repeat application squarely on the same facts and circumstances.”
The Bench also noted that, in Superintendent and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, West Bengal v. Mohan Singh AIR 1975 SC 1002, it was held that a successive application under Section 482, Cr.P.C. under changed circumstances was maintainable and the dismissal of the earlier application was no bar to the same.
Thus, the Bench, setting aside the order passed by the Delhi High Court, said: "The Company, of which the appellant was a Director, is a party respondent in the complaint. The interests of the complainant are therefore adequately protected. In the entirety of the facts and circumstances of the case, we are unable to hold that the second application for quashing of the complaint was not maintainable merely because of the dismissal of the earlier application."