Under section 482 CrPC, reliability or genuineness of allegations made in FIR/Complaint cannot be scrutinized: Supreme Court of India

While exercising its jurisdiction under section 482 CrPC, a High court cannot embark upon any enquiry regarding the reliability and genuineness of the allegations made in the FIR/complaint. The power conferred on the High Courts by section 482 CrPC is very wide and thus the High Courts should be more cautious while exercising the. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court before Hon’ble Justice M.R. SHAH & Hon’ble Justice B.V. NAGARATHNA in the matter of STATE OF ODISHA vs PRATIMA MOHANTY ETC [CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 1455­1456 OF 2021].

The facts of the matter were that certain public servants occupying crucial positions in   Bhubaneswar Development Authority and in the Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha surreptitiously distributed prime plots in Commercial   Complex   District   Centre,   Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar. Thus an FIR was lodged against the accused. Thus accused approached the High Court with a prayer to quash the criminal proceedings against them in the exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr. P.C and by the impugned common judgment and order the High Court has partly allowed the aforesaid applications and has quashed the criminal proceedings against original accused   No.4, original accused   No.5, and original accused No.3. Aggrieved by the said common judgment the instant appeal is preferred.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court noted that in the instant case, the allegations are an instance of abuse of the powers with a mala fide intention and allotment of the plots to the family members by hatching a criminal conspiracy and to allot the plots to the family members at throwaway price causing loss to the B.D.A. and the public exchequer.

Additionally, the Hon’ble High Court observed “It is trite that the power of quashing should be exercised sparingly and with circumspection and in rare cases.  As per settled proposition of law, while examining an FIR/complaint quashing of which is sought,   the court cannot embark upon any enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness of allegations made in the   FIR/complaint. Quashing of a complaint/FIR should be an exception rather than any ordinary rule.  Normally the criminal proceedings should not be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. when after a thorough investigation the charge sheet has been filed.    At the stage of discharge and/or considering the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. the courts are not required to go into the merits of the allegations and/or evidence in detail as if conducting the mini­trial.  As held by this Court the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. are very wide, but conferment of wide power requires the court to be more cautious.  It casts an onerous and more diligent duty on the Court.

Finally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the instant appeal and quashed the impugned order of the Hon’ble High Court in view of the above.

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Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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