Ram Babu Vs. State of
M.P. & Ors.  INSC 920 (8 May 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.962 OF 2009
(Arising out of SLP(Crl) No. 831 of 2007) Ram Babu ..........Appellant Versus
State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. ........Respondent
is a petition for special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution
from the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Bench
at Gwalior, in M.Cr.C. No.2216 of 2006, dated 2.11.2006. We grant special leave
and dispose of this appeal.
the judgment and the order impugned, High Court under Section 482 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure has quashed the complaint as also the summons issued to
the accused persons (Respondents Nos. 2 and 3) by the Judicial Magistrate,
First Class, Gohad, District Bhind.
trial arose out of a private complaint filed by the complainant against the
accused persons for offences under Section 420, 467, 471, 323, 506B and 120-B
of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(5) of the Scheduled Caste Scheduled
Tribes Prohibition of Atrocities Act (herein after called the "S.C.S.T.
Act"). The learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Gohad, has taken
cognizance and has issued summons against the accused persons.
order to appreciate the stance of the complaint, it is necessary to understand
the backdrop of the complaint. On 25.4.2006, the appellant made a complaint,
inter-alia alleging that his sons, namely, Devendra Pratap and Munendra Pratap
produced petroleum products from polythene, and they demonstrated their
invention at different levels by participating in various Science Competitions
and also received recognition and reward from various organisations. On
5.12.2005, accused Sanjay Singh and Jayendra Singh requested the complainant's
sons to hand over the photos of the Model for production of Petrol from
Polythene to them, so that they can get it published in newspapers. The
complainant's sons conceded to their request, but to their surprise, accused
Sanjay Singh and Jayendra Singh got the invention published in their own name
and affixed their own photographs, for taking direct or indirect benefits, by
committing forgery. It is further alleged in the complaint, that, the newspaper
reporters, Shyam Vajpai and Karan Singh of "Dainik Swadesh" and
"Nav Bharat", respectively, conspired with the accused and published
the news on the basis of forged documents, without inquiring whether the same
are genuine or not.
is further stated, that, when the complainant's sons asked the accused for
return of the photos of the model, the accused persons abused and used names
like CHAMRA etc. and also threatened to kill them. The appellant filed
complaint with regard to cheating before the Senior Police Officers and also
before the other Government agencies, but that did not yield any result. It is
further stated that on the request made by them under Right to Information Act,
2005, from the concerned authorities they have been informed that the accused
Sanjay Singh and Jayendra Singh did not make any model and did not participate
in any competition and it was also revealed that, the accused persons have
received prize money of Rs.10,000/- from the State Government on the basis of
false information. Therefore, it is alleged in the complaint that the accused
persons in criminal conspiracy with each other cheated the complainant and his
Learned Judicial Magistrate after taking cognizance of the complaint against
accused Sanjay Singh, Jayendra Singh and Rajendra Singh, Shyam Vajpai and Karan
Singh (Respondents Nos. 2 and 3) under IPC and S.C.S.T Act, has issued summons
through arrest warrants. Aggrieved by the order so passed, respondents nos. 2
and 3 had approached the High Court by filing a petition under Section 482 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure.
was argued before the High Court by the Learned Counsel for the respondents No.
2 & 3 that the allegations made by the complainant in the complaint filed,
do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying any investigation nor does it
disclose any offence either under the provisions of I.P.C. or S.C.S.T Act and,
therefore, the learned Magistrate was not correct in taking cognizance of the
complaint filed against respondents nos. 2 and
3. Per Contra, it was
argued by the learned counsel for the complainant that the learned Magistrate
being prima facie convinced that the complaint filed and other materials
produced does disclose cognizable offence against the accused persons, has
taken cognizance of the complaint and has issued summons and, therefore, there
is no error in the order passed by the learned Magistrate.
High Court after referring to the contentions canvassed by learned counsel for
the parties, by its cryptic order has observed, that, considering the facts and
circumstances of the case pleaded by the parties, the impugned order passed by
the learned Magistrate is an abuse of the process of the court, so far as it
relates to taking cognizance against the petitioners (Respondents Nos. 2 and 3
herein) and, accordingly, has quashed the proceedings.
issue involved in this case is, whether the High Court was justified in
exercising its inherent power under Section 482, Cr.P.C. to set aside the proceedings
taken against respondents nos. 2 and 3 by the learned Magistrate for the offences
alleged both under the provisions of IPC and S.C.S.T. Act.
Learned Counsel for the appellant would submit, that the allegations made in
the complaint and the materials annexed, shows the involvement of the
respondents herein, for forgery and criminal conspiracy and also committing
atrocities on the appellant and his sons under Section 3(2)(5) of Atrocities
Act. It is also contended that there is a prima facie case against the
respondents and therefore, the High Court was not justified in exercising its
inherent power under Section 482, Cr.P.C. and could not have quashed the
proceedings pending before the Judicial Magistrate.
question at this stage, is, not whether there was any truth in the allegations
made, but the question is whether on the basis of the allegations, a cognizable
offence or offences had been alleged to have been committed by the accused
the case of Municipal Corpn. of Delhi v. Ram Kishan Rohtagi, (1983) 1 SCC 1,
this Court has clearly laid down that taking the allegations and the complaint
as these were, without adding or subtracting anything, if no offence was made
out, then only the High Court would be justified in quashing the proceedings in
exercise of its powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, this Court
"We also give a
note of caution to the effect that the power of quashing a criminal proceeding
should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the
rarest of rare cases; that the court will not be justified in embarking upon an
enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations
made in the first information report or the complaint and that the
extraordinary or inherent powers do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the
court to act according to its whim or caprice."
view has also been reiterated by this Court in the case of Rupan Deol Bajaj v.
K. P. S. Gill (1995) 6 SCC 194. Also in the case of State of Maharashtra v.
Ishwar Piraji Kalpatri, (1996) 1 SCC 542, this Court has taken the view that
the court should not, except in extraordinary circumstances, exercise its
jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC so as to quash the prosecution proceedings
after they have been launched.
the present case it has to be borne in mind that learned Judicial Magistrate
has taken cognizance of the complaint under the S.C.S.T. Act as well as under
the Indian Penal Code.
ground upon which the learned Judge seems to have quashed the order passed by
the learned Magistrate against respondents nos. 2 and 3, is that the order so
passed is an abuse of the process of the court. To arrive at this conclusion,
the learned Judge has not even taken pains to look into the complaint and other
materials produced before the learned Magistrate by the complainant.
in our opinion, in the factual matrix of this case, the court should not have
exercised its extraordinary power and inherent jurisdiction under Section 482
of the Code of Criminal Procedure and quashed the proceedings initiated by
learned Magistrate. Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order passed by the
High Court. We now direct the learned Magistrate to complete the pending proceedings
as expeditiously as possible and at any rate, within nine (9) months from the
production of certified copy of this Court's order by either of the parties. We
hasten to add, any observations made by us in the course of this order, is only
for the purpose of disposal of this appeal and the observations made by us
shall not be taken as an expression of any opinion on the merits of the case.
appeal is disposed of. No order as to costs.
[ H.L. DATTU ]