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Judiciary

Supreme Court Advises High Courts to Consider Surrounding Circumstances When Quashing FIRs, Not Just Allegations [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      10 August, 2023 11:09 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Advises High Courts to Consider Surrounding Circumstances When Quashing FIRs, Not Just Allegations

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said the High Court should try to read in between the lines and look into other attending circumstances emerging from the record of the case, while considering a plea to quash the FIR.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and J B Pardiwala said in frivolous or vexatious proceedings, the High Court has to not just look at the FIR but overall circumstances leading to the registration of the case as well as the materials collected during investigation.

An appeal was filed by ex BSP MLC from Uttar Pradesh and alleged mining mafia Haji Iqbal alias Balla against the Allahabad High Court's order, which declined to quash the FIR lodged against him, his brother and three sons on June 21, 2022 under Sections 376, 323 and 354(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 7 and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 with Women’s Police Station, Mirzapur, District Saharanpur.

The petitioner said after the change of government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, he, along with their family members were falsely implicated in more than 30 criminal cases at the behest of the ruling party. His three residential houses were also demolished.

The allegations in the instant case were made after three years delay with no mention of time, date, place of the incident.

The UP government opposed the plea, saying statements of independent witnesses have been recorded and the investigation has been completed and charge sheet is ready to be filed.

The bench said although the allegations levelled in the FIR do not inspire any confidence, yet the appellants should prefer discharge application before the trial court.

However, the bench said, "We would like to observe something important. Whenever an accused comes before the court invoking either the inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to get the FIR or the criminal proceedings quashed essentially on the ground that such proceedings are manifestly frivolous or vexatious or instituted with the ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance, then in such circumstances the court owes a duty to look into the FIR with care and a little more closely."

The court also found, multiple FIRs were registered over a period of time against the petitioners and others which led to raising of allegation of wreaking vengeance out of private or personal grudge.

[Read Judgment] 



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