MOHAN M.SHANTANAGOUDAR, J. -
(1.)The judgment dated 22.01.2019 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in CRM-M No.
24691/2009 (O&M), which quashed FIR No. 74 dated 13.4.2008 registered against the Respondent herein for the offences
punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 ("IPC"), has been called into question in this
(2.)The First Information Report ("FIR") against the Respondent was registered under Sections 420, 467, 468 and
471 of the IPC on the allegation that he had forged and fabricated documents submitted in the course of legal
proceedings before the Revenue Courts. The relevant facts for
the purpose of the present appeal are as follows:
2.1 The Respondent's mother, Karamjit Kaur, had filed an application in Tehsil Patti, District Tarn Taran seeking transfer of the subject property in her name on the basis of possession. Vide order dated 28.06.2002, the Tehsildar (Sales) allowed this application, directing conveyance in favour of Karamjit Kaur. Meanwhile, in the year 2005, the Respondent filed a suit for declaration that the subject property was owned by him, which is still pending.
2.2 Later, in the year 2006, the Respondent filed an appeal against the order of the Tehsildar (Sales), claiming that such order was based on an incorrect finding that the application was filed only by his mother, while it had actually been made jointly.
2.3 Furthermore, in parallel mutation proceedings, the Respondent got the subject land mutated in his favour along with his two cousins. In appeal, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate- cum-Collector, Patti declared the mutation as contested, and vide order dated 11.12.2006, mutation was sanctioned in favour of Tarjit Kaur, the elder sister-in-law of the Respondent. The appeal filed by the Respondent against such order was dismissed vide order dated 06.06.2007.
2.4 On 29.08.2007, the SDM-cum-Sales Commissioner, Patti set aside the order of the Tehsildar (Sales) dated 28.06.2002, directing that the transfer of land be entered jointly in the names of the Respondent and his mother. This was done on the basis of a report submitted by the Tehsildar, Patti stating that the initial application for transfer of land had been made jointly by these two persons. In appeal, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Sales Commissioner, Tarn Taran restored the initial order dated 28.06.2002 passed by the Tehsildar (Sales), noting that the Respondent had submitted forged and fabricated documents in connivance with the Tehsil staff in the appeal before the SDM-cum-Sales Commissioner. Thus, the order dated 29.08.2007 was set aside and a direction was issued to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Patti to immediately get an FIR registered against the Respondent.
2.5 In pursuance of the said order, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Patti addressed a communication dated 11.04.2008 to the SHO, Police Station, Patti on the basis of which the FIR in question was registered against the Respondent. The trial commenced after the filing of the chargesheet. During the trial, a petition was filed by the Respondent under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ("CrPC") seeking quashing of the proceedings, which has been allowed vide the impugned order.
(3.)The High Court, while passing the impugned order, principally accepted the ground raised by the Respondent that
the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Sales Commissioner
hearing the appeal had neither held an inquiry, nor had he
directed the subordinate authority to hold any such inquiry
against the accused, in terms of Section 340 read with Section195 of the CrPC. Thus, it was held that the FIR was hit by these provisions, since it had been filed without any inquiry and
without giving any opportunity to the Respondent to be heard,
and was therefore liable to be quashed.