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Merits of the allegations cannot be examined while dealing with an application for quashing of the FIR under section 482 of the CrPC: Bombay High Court

For an FIR to be quashed under Section 482 of the CrPC, it is necessary to show that the FIR was lodged with mala fides or malice. For this, the court will examine the allegations/averments made in the FIR at their face value and will not deliberate upon the merits of the allegations. This remarkable judgment was passed by the Bombay High Court in the matter of AMOL S/O MAROTIRAO TALWADKAR V THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA and ANR. [CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO. 569 OF 2019] by Honourable Justice Ravindra V.Ghuge and Justice B.U.Debadwar.

Through this criminal application, the applicant prayed to quash F.I.R. filed under sections 353, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The applicant here is an Advocate by profession, practicing at Udgir and Latur. And respondent No.2 here was a Head of Flying Squad which was constituted for the purposes of detection of crimes under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The facts of the case are respondent no.2 along with his colleagues was on duty and redirected a trailer to Udgir Bus Depot since the driver did not show RTO Papers. The applicant then reached there and demanded that no legal action should be taken against the driver in a threatening voice. When respondent no.2 refused to leave the trailer without registering a case for breach of provisions of the M.V. Act, the applicant became furious, called one Alim Shaikh, who then collected a mob and hurled abuses on the respondents and facilitated the trailer driver to run away.

After some time, associates of respondent no.2 found the trailer driver who refused to sign Challan The applicant had prevented and used criminal force to deter the respondent a public servant, from discharging his duty and hence the Regional Transport Officer, Latur, and the Transport Commissioner, Mumbai sought the sanction for lodging FIR against the applicant.

The Court observed that “The incident took place when respondent no.2 was discharging his lawful duty.  It is pertinent to note that the trailer owner willingly compounded all the offences under the M.V. Act, committed by his driver, and paid a fine amount of Rs.39,950/- without raising any protest. Additionally, FIR throws light on the act done by the applicant for defending the trailer driver. The FIR clearly demonstrates the role played by the applicant.”

The Bench clearly stated that the act of the rude and threatening act of the applicant clearly depicted his intention. It was observed that “In such circumstances, it cannot be said that the averments made in the FIR do not constitute any of the offences, for which the applicant is charged. The aspect of delay, on which much stress was given by the Advocate for the applicant, cannot be considered while dealing with the application for quashing the FIR. That aspect would be dealt with at the time of trial. The averments in the FIR are not only sufficient to make out the case under section 353 but also under section 506 of the IPC.

Court also discussed the scope and ambit of section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure and stated that “In the case at hand, the allegations/averments made in the FIR at their face value, prima facie, constitute offence under sections 353 and 506 of the IPC. The arguments advanced by the learned Advocate for the applicant are based upon merits. As ruled by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the merits of the allegations cannot be examined while dealing with the application for quashing of the FIR under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. Therefore, on the basis of the arguments relating to the merits, the FIR, which prima facie makes out a case under section 353 and 506 of the IPC cannot be quashed. Absolutely nothing is brought on record showing that the FIR came to be lodged with mala fides or malice.

Thus, the Bench after examining the FIR in its entirety was satisfied that averments made in FIR constituted ingredients necessary for offence under sections 353 and 506 of the IPC and thence the FIR cannot be quashed.

Hence, the Court dismissed the application and vacated the interim relief.

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