M L BHATT Vs. M K PANDITA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: DELHI)
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(1.)Heard Mr. Sushil Kumar, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner and the respondent-in-person. On the basis of an allegations made by the petitioner, an fir was registered being no. 3/1997, and that FIR made some allegations against the respondent of commission of offence under section 420/120-B, IPC, in relation to certain allotment of land in Delhi. While the matter was under investigation, the respondent having invoked jurisdiction of the high Court under Article 226 of the constitution in Cri. W. P. No. 969/1999, the division bench of Delhi High Court on a detailed examination of the entire materials including the statement recorded in course of investigation quashed the FIR on a conclusion that the allegations in the FIR do not constitute an offence. On examining the impugned judgment, we have no manner of doubt that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction and the parameters prescribed in a catena of decisions where a court could be justified in quashing the FIR. At this stage, the High Court would be entitled to only examine the allegations made in the FIR and would not be entitled to appreciate by way of shifting the materials collected in course of investigation including the statement recorded under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. We are told that in the meantime the investigation is complete and challan has been filed. The accused has always the remedy at the time of framing of charge to pray for discharge if the materials on the basis of which the challan has been filed can be said to be insufficient to frame a charge. But by no means, the court would be justified in quashing an FIR by appreciating and shifting the materials collected during the investigation. In the aforesaid premises, we set aside the impugned order of the Delhi high Court and direct that the criminal proceedings pending before the appropriate court, may be proceeded with. We reiterate that the accused respondent has the right to make application for being discharged, if he is of the opinion that the materials collected, in fact, do not make out the offence for which the challan has been filed.
(2.)In course of arguments, the respondent-in-person made several submissions alleging that since the informant-complainant is a retired judge of Allahabad High court, he is apprehending that he will not get justice before the magistrate. We do not see any justification of the aforesaid grievance, as in our view notwithstanding the status of the complainant, the magistrate would examine the records and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law.
(3.)The special leave petition stands disposed of accordingly.
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