Pendency of Arbitration proceedings cannot be a ground to quash the charge sheet U/S.482 CrPC: High Court of Karnataka

It is an allegation that during the pendency of the arbitration appeal, the incident of criminal trespass was taken place and caused the mischief. When such being the averments made in the complaint and when the parties have entered into the joint development agreement and payment was made and so also when the specific allegations are made that they have illegally entered into the property and caused the loss by dismantling the POTA cabin, the Court has to look into the averments in the complaint in order to invoke Section 482 of Cr.P.C. MRS.G.CHITRA POORNIMA and Ors V. STATE BY INDIRANAGAR POLICE STATION And Ors [CRIMINAL PETITION No.1244 OF 2020] in the High Court of Karnataka single bench consisting of JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH.

Facts are that the petitioner’s husband is the owner of the property, he had executed a GPA in the respondent’s favor to proceed with joint development and construction of a Mall. Disputes arose with respect to the land between the parties, which led to arbitration proceedings. Petitioner has filed petition U/S.482 of Cr.P.C r/w Arti 226 of Constitution to quash the FIR for the offense punishable U/S 427, 506, 120B, 420, 435, 447 r/w 34 of IPC, which was filed by the respondent.

The counsel for the petitioner contended there was a delay in lodging the complaint. The arbitration award was also challenged after several years. It is a clear case of civil dispute between the parties. he relied upon the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Dalip Kaur and others v. Jagnar Singh and another.

The counsel for the respondent contended that the civil dispute has not yet reached its finality and is pending before the City Civil Court. The issue involved between the parties is not covered by the arbitration. The complaint, wherein a specific allegation is made that a criminal offence and prima face criminal culpability of the petitioners has been made out in the complaint.

The Court made reference to the Apex court judgement in  Sau. Kamal Shivaji Pokarnekar v. The State of Maharashtra and Others, wherein it was observed that, “on perusal of the complaint if it discloses the prima face offences that are alleged against the respondents, there cannot be any quashing of the proceedings. The correctness or otherwise of the said allegations has to be decided only in the trail.”

The Court also made reference to the Apex court judgement in Priti Saraf and another v. State of NCT of Delhi and another, wherein it was observed that, “mere pending of Arbitration proceedings cannot be a ground to quash the charge sheet and set aside the order of High Court in quashing the charge sheet.”

Considering the law and the facts of the case the court held that, the petitioner had in the present case, sought the quashing of the FIR and the Investigating Officer has to probe the crime as per the procedure established under the Code of Criminal Procedure. There is no merit in the petition to invoke Section 482 of Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings. Thus dismissing the petition.

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