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Chetan Anand Vs. State of Punjab [1993] INSC 449 (15 October 1993)

KULDIP SINGH (J) KULDIP SINGH (J) RAMASWAMY, K. CITATION: 1994 SCC (1) 463 JT 1993 (6) 114 1993 SCALE (4)261

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by KULDIP SINGH, J.- The Director, Information and Publicity, Punjab, lodged a First Information Report against the appellant under Sections 406 and 420 Indian Penal Code. The allegations against him are that the Punjab Government, at the request of the appellant, gave a guarantee to the Central Bank of India, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bombay regarding the repayment of principal sum of Rs 10 lakhs, to be advanced by the said bank to the appellant, along with the interest, commissions, costs, charges and expenses + From the Judgment and Order dated August 16, 1979 of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Crl. Misc. No. 3939-M of 1979 464 which may be recoverable by the said bank from the appellant. On the basis of the said guarantee, it is alleged that the bank advanced Rs 10 lakhs to the appellant on July 4, 1968 for the production of his film "HEER RANJHA". It was further alleged that as per the agreement executed by the appellant with the Punjab Government it was stipulated that the entire amount of income, from the said film, received or realised by him or his agents, shall be deposited in a joint account, to be opened in the joint names of the appellant and the Punjab Government as a trust for the repayment of the above-said loan. The appellant also undertook that the amount deposited in the joint account shall be utilised in the repayment of amount of installments of the loan to the bank and that he shall not be entitled to withdraw the same. It is alleged that the appellant screened the film "HEER RANJHA" through Sant Theatre, Jullundur for eight weeks in the year 1970 and the proceeds realised were never deposited in the joint account nor the same were utilised towards the repayment of the loan raised from the Central Bank. It is alleged that the amount realised from the sale of said picture was a trust in the hands of the appellant for the repayment of loan of the Central Bank. He did not deposit the amount in the joint account and as Such misappropriated the entire proceeds of the picture thereby committing the offences under Sections 406 and 420 IPC. The challan was presented against the appellant in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jullundur. Various objections were raised before the learned Magistrate on behalf of the appellant but the Magistrate rejected the same and directed the summoning of the appellant as an accused.

2. A petition under Section 482 read with Section 397 of Criminal Procedure Code, praying that the First Information Report and the proceedings before the trial court against the appellant be quashed, was filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court by its order dated August 16, 1979 dismissed the application in limine. This appeal by way of special leave is against the order of the High Court.

3. We have been adjourning the hearing of this appeal from time to time to enable the appellant to settle the matter amicably with the Punjab Government. The learned counsel have informed us that there seems to be no possibility of settlement.

4. We have heard learned counsel for the parties. We have been taken through the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate and various other documents on the record. We see no ground to interfere with the order of the Magistrate as upheld by the High Court. Since the criminal proceedings are pending against the appellant, we refrain from going into the merits of the allegations contained in the First Information Report. Suffice it to say that it is not a fit case to quash the criminal proceedings at this stage.

5. We, therefore, dismiss the appeal.

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