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An Accused Can’t Readily Move Quashing Plea if Sessions Court Granted Pre-Arrest Bail on Condition to Cooperate in Criminal Investigation: Karnataka HC

The Karnataka High Court has said that an accused who has secured anticipatory bail orders by a jurisdictional Sessions Judge, wherein a condition is put for the accused to cooperate in the investigation process, cannot ordinarily approach the High Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings.

This was seen in the case VIJAYKUMAR v. STATE OF KARNATAKA (CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3163 OF 2021 C/W CRIMINAL PETITION NO.4322 OF 2021) and the judgment was presided over by the Coram of Justice Krishna S Dixit.

Facts of the case-

In the present case, the petitioners are accused of offences under Sections 504, 506, 406 and 420 r/w 34 of IPC. They had challenged the criminal proceedings on the ground that there is no prima facie case to undertake investigation and that criminal law cannot be set in motion casually.

Judgement-            

The High Court has held that setting the criminal proceedings in motion is a serious matter. However, it added that quashing criminal proceedings is also serious in nature and thus, the Court has to strike a “golden balance” between these two contrasting principles of criminal jurisprudence.

The court further noted that “A bare reading of the F.I.R., in this case, brings about cognizable offences punishable under several sections of IPC. What has to be kept in mind is the prima facie offence arising from the contents of the F.I.R., taken at the face value. This court cannot weigh the evidentiary material justifying the investigation, which essentially belongs to the domain of Investigating Officer according to the Lalitha Kumari case.

Following this, the bench noted that an FIR is just a mere instrument that sets the criminal law in motion and that the court, in the exercise of limited jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC, cannot undertake an enquiry in the matter.

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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.

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