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Could the court solely consider the charges contained in the FIR and not go further?: Himachal Pradesh High Court.

It is not necessary that the Court solely consider the charges contained in the FIR and not go further, upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICE SANDEEP SHARMA in the case of Rohan Mehta v. State of Himachal Pradesh & others, (CRIMINAL MISC. PETITON (MAIN) U/S 482 CRPC No.34 of 2020).

 

 

Brief facts of the case:

The victim revealed that she was permanant resident of Yamunanagar. The accused was a shopkeeper. During the course of acquiring products they built friendship. After few days the accused suggested victim that he would want to marry her. On this the victim replied that she works overseas and would not desire to return to India. She also remarked that given her history she was happy be overseas. Upon this, Rohan Mehta told her that he has nothing to do with history, as the past has already passed off. However, Rohan Mehta, petitioner told her that he has made lot of money, which is adequate to take care of their requirements and also conveyed to her that he has previously spoken to his family. Without delving into more specifics, which are not essential, it appears that the accused mailed the Air tickets from Dubai to India. The victim returned and planned to get engaged. Consequently on 17.5.2019, they were involved in a hotel at Yamunanagar. On the next day, the entire family decided to visit Chail in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh to celebrate the engagement. Since it was her engagement, as such she had to travel there and in Chail they rented a separate room for Rohan and the victim. On the intervening night on 18th May, 2018, while they were alone in the room, then Rohan told her that the marriage between them is going to solemnize. As such there is no risk in forming physical contact. After that Rohan initiated sexual contact with her. Subsequently, after 2-3 days they returned, but in between things went sour and the engagement came to an end.

The experienced senior counsel for the petitioner has brought the court’s attention to different images, etc. and other documents mentioned in the petition. However, the law is explicit that during the dismissal of the FIR, the court cannot examine additional papers or evaluate the evidence. Only if there is no case presented in the FIR may the FIR be dismissed.

The learned Additional Advocate General, Mr. Nand Lal Thakur, argues that this court cannot go beyond the FIR. According to the learned Additional Assistant Attorney General, the accusations in the FIR constitute probable cause.

Ms. Sanya Kaushal, a skilled legal aid attorney representing the respondent-victim, contended that going beyond the interpretation of the FIR would involve touching on the merits of the case, which the court cannot do under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The arguments of Ms. Sanya Kaushal, the victim’s eloquent attorney, are persuasive. Thus, this Court will solely consider the charges contained in the FIR and will not go further.

JUDGEMENT:

The ratio of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dhruvaram Murlidhar Sonar’s case applies to all four of the current case’s facts and circumstances. Thus, without more discussion, it is a case in which the continuation of proceedings would constitute an abuse of legal procedure.

This Court has inherent rights under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to intervene in this type of situation, and such powers may be utilized at any time, based on the specific facts and circumstances.

Invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the FIR and subsequent proceedings are quashed. Thus, the FIR is dismissed, and all subsequent procedures are similarly dismissed and set aside. The bail bonds are therefore released. Any outstanding applications have been closed.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI

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