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Court restates the law on permissibility on quashing of criminal proceedings: Telangana High Court

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Telangana through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. LAKSHMAN in the case of Prudhvi Nallamanikaluva v. State of Telangana (CRIMINAL PETITION No.2687 OF 2020).

Facts:

The present application sought to quash proceedings pending against the petitioners wherein they were accused of the offences alleged under Sections 498-A, 406 and 420 read with Section 34 of Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Petitioners Counsel submitted that petitioner 1 and daughter of respondent 2 — de facto complainant married in the USA and registered their marriage. Petitioner 2 is the father of petitioner 1. Petitioner 3 is the mother of petitioner 1. It has been stated that the de facto complainant implicated the petitioners herein in this false case due to matrimonial disputes between his daughter and accused 1. 

Arguments and Judgement:

The counsel stated that the punishment prescribed for the offences alleged against the petitioners is seven years and below seven years and the police without following the procedure laid down under Section 41-A of CrPC, is trying to apprehend the petitioners. In the said course of action, the police have been calling petitioners 2 and 3 who are other aged parents of petitioner 1-accused 1, suffering from various old-age ailments.

In view of the above, petitioners sought to quash the same.

In Supreme Court’s decision of Kamal Shivaji Pokarnekar v. State of Maharashtra, it was held that:

“…quashing of criminal proceedings is called for only in a case where the complaint does not disclose any offence, or is frivolous, vexatious, or oppressive. If the allegations set out in the complaint do not constitute the offence of which cognizance has been taken by the Magistrate, it is open to the High Court to quash the same.”

“It was further held in the very same judgment that on perusal of the complaint, if discloses prima facie offences that are alleged against the respondents, it is sufficient. The correctness or otherwise of the said allegations has to be decided only in the trial. At the initial stage of issuance of process, it is not open to the Courts to stifle the proceedings by entering into the merits of the contentions made on behalf of the accused.”

Bench stated that in the present case, certain aspects need to be investigated by the investigating officer. Court disposed of the criminal petition directing the Station House Officer to follow the procedure laid down under Section 41-A of the CrPC and also the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar.

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Judgement reviewed by – Arvind Roshan

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