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The information given by the co-accused is inadmissible if the same does not lead to any recovery : Madhya Pradesh High Court

It was upheld by Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Arjind Kumar Singh @ A.K. Singh vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh (MISC. CRIMINAL CASE NO.52538 of 2021) that the information given by the co-accused is inadmissible if the same does not lead to any recovery. 

Facts of the case: The petitioner had invoked inherent power of Court conferred under Section 482 CrPC for quashing an FIR registered against him along with some other co-accused persons under Section 420, 467, 468, 471, 201, 120B of IPC.

On 06.11.2014, Inspector Anil Kumar Verma, SHO, P.S.Chorhata received information that two trucks are carrying illegal liquor and the liquor had been loaded from Narmada Distilleries, District Satna and they are going to deliver it somewhere in Allahabad UP. The police departed from the police station. They barricaded the road near the turn of Chorhata bypass and waited for the trucks. After sometime both the trucks came and when the police tried to stop them, their drivers speeded up and tried to run away. They got stopped at toll barrier. On inquiry, drivers of the truck revealed their names as Shivram Yadav and Nanhe Yadav. On search 800 boxes of IMFL (Royal Select Delux Whiskey) and 833 boxes of same IMFL were found. In both the trucks documents for transporting the whiskey showing their transportation to Arunachal Pradesh and Chhandigarh from Narmada Distilleries ,Satna were found. The permit purportedly issued by Assistant District Excise Officer (ADEO), Office In-charge Narmada Distilleries, Satna was found. Suspecting its genuineness, the police inquired about them from Shri Jagdish Gupta (ADEO) posted in Narmada Distilleries and Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Satna. In inquiry and examination it emerged that any of the managerial staff of Narmada Distilleries viz.A.K.Singh, Nanak Singh, Sanjeev Dodi, Gurubaksh Singh and Sanjeev Agrawal had prepared those fake counter foils of original permit and sent them to one Chanchal Tiwari, Indore and then Chanchal Tiwari in connivance with ADEO Shri Jagdish Gupta prepared those fake counter foils/permit and sent them to the transporter to prepare a bilty to transport the seized liquor. Daily diary, Export-Import permit book, Acknowledgment/receipts were seized from the plant of Narmada Distilleries and on comparison some discrepancies were found in the documents showing that fake export permit were printed by the accused persons and issued with fake signatures and seal of the Excise Officer to earn wrongful gain and to cause loss to the State Exchequer. The police also suspected that the accused persons were repeatedly transporting liquor by using the same permit, therefore, the offence was registered and charge-sheet was filed in 2015 against 18 accused persons, which is pending trial.

The petitioner had preferred the petition on the grounds that he had not been named in the FIR. He was not present on the spot. In any manner, he is not associated to both the companies viz. Narmada Distilleries or Silver Oaks Distilleries. Memo of Association of both these companies clearly shows that the petitioner is neither the share holder or Director nor holding any other post in these companies. No documents, as said to be filed with the charge-sheet, bears his signatures. His implication is based only on the disclosure made by the co-accused persons before the police which is totally inadmissible piece of evidence as there was no recovery in pursuance thereto. 

Judgement – The court held that the power under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. is extraordinary in nature and it is a settled proposition of law that this power has to be exercised sparingly. In quashing the proceeding, the High Court has to see whether the allegations made in the complaint, if proved, make out a prima facie offense. It was explained that such power could be exercised where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

The court also stated that the law is well settled that the information given by the co-accused is inadmissible if the same does not lead to any recovery. Thus, it is settled that the information given or disclosure made by the accused, which does not lead to any recovery is not admissible in evidence against other co-accused persons and on the basis of such inadmissible evidence the prosecution of the petitioner is nothing but abuse of process of law, which should not be and cannot be allowed to perpetuate.

Though the powers under Section 482 are extraordinary in nature and have to be used sparingly and cautiously, but in this case where the judge was fully satisfied that non use of such inherent powers would lead to or would cause injustice. Therefore, the petition was allowed and the FIR qua the petitioner and further proceedings pending against the petitioner on the basis of this FIR or the charge-sheet filed pursuant thereto, were quashed.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY: SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

Click here to view the judgment

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