A frivolous criminal proceeding that was initiated for vengeance must be quashed: High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

The court will not entertain frivolous or vague complaints that have been filed maliciously with the motive for vengeance and they will be quashed. This was held in the judgement passed by a single member bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir consisting of Justice Rajnesh Oswal in the case of Subash Chander & others v Gian Chand [CRMC No. 460/2015] pronounced on 23rd August 2021.

The respondent, Gian Chand filed criminal a complaint against Subash Chander and the other petitioners for rioting, criminal trespass, wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation, which are punishable under Sections 147, 447, 341, 323, 506 and 34 of the Ranbir Penal Code respectively. The present petition was filed by the petitioners under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. to quash the complaint filed by the respondent. The petitioners alleged that the respondent and his son, who were neighbours of the petitioners, had badly beaten up the petitioner no. 2 on the 8th of April 2014 over some dispute. As a result of this, petitioner no. 2 lodged an FIR against the respondent and his son on 17th July 2014. Later on when the respondent’s son wished to begin a new job where he had to submit a character certificate, the respondent approached the petitioners explaining the situation and requesting for a compromise so that the FIR could be withdrawn.

The petitioners had refused the respondent’s advances and it was alleged that the complaint filed by the respondent was false, fabricated and made only to extract revenge on the petitioners for not withdrawing the FIR. As per the complaint filed by the respondent, the petitioners while ploughing their land, broke through the boundary wall and started ploughing the respondent’s land as well, then started abusing the respondent with foul language, slapped the respondent and tried to suffocate him. The court noted that no evidence or additional information was submitted by the respondents and out of the five people mentioned in the complaint; it was never mentioned who was allegedly ploughing the field, who allegedly broke the boundary wall and who had allegedly abused and assaulted the respondents. The case of State of Haryana v Bhajan Lal [1992 Supp (1) SCC 335] was cited, where the Supreme Court had held that proceedings that were maliciously instituted with a motive of vengeance would be quashed by the Court.

Justice Rajnesh Oswal came to the conclusion that “The case of the petitioners squarely fall in the category of cases mentioned at serial No. 7 of the judgment Bhajan Lal’s case as this Court is of the considered view that a false and frivolous vague complaint has been filed by the respondent just to wreck vengeance with an ulterior motive to harass the petitioners who figure as witnesses in the challan pending against them, as such, the impugned complaint is required to be quashed”.

Click here for the judgement

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