“Quashing Criminal Proceedings: Examining the Impact of Non-Compliance with Cr.P.C. Guidelines”


Smt. Saritha Sekhar vs State Of Karnataka

18 May, 2023

Bench: Hon’ble K.Natarajan


This case deals with criminal petitions filed by the petitioners/accused individuals under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) seeking the quashing of criminal proceedings in C.C.No.32748/2014. The case involves allegations of offenses under Sections 498A, 506, 324 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.


The arguments presented by the petitioners’ counsel focus on several points, including the delay in filing the complaint, the lack of an affidavit along with the complaint, and the guidelines outlined in the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Priyanka Srivastava and Another vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others (2015) 6 SCC 287, which they claim were not followed.

The respondent’s counsel opposes the petitions, stating that they have already been dismissed once, and argues that the judgment in Priyanka Srivastava’s case has prospective effect and therefore does not apply to the present case.

Statute Sections Content of Sections
Indian Penal Code 498A Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
  324 Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.
  506 Punishment for criminal intimidation
  34 Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.
Code Of Criminal Procedure 482 Saving of inherent powers of High Court. Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.
Dowry Prohibition Act 3 Penalty for giving or taking dowry
  4 Penalty for demanding dowry directly or indirectly

Judgement and Ratio Decidendi

The court examines the arguments and the records of the case, noting that the complaint was initially filed in 2013 and subsequently referred to the police for investigation, resulting in the registration of an FIR and the filing of a charge sheet. The court acknowledges the delay in filing the complaint and the lack of an explanation for the delay.

The court then considers the applicability of the judgment in Priyanka Srivastava’s case. The petitioners’ counsel argues that the guidelines in the judgment should have retrospective effect unless explicitly stated otherwise by the Supreme Court. They cite other judgments where the court held that unless the court states that a ruling has prospective effect, it is deemed to be applicable retrospectively.

Ultimately, the court agrees with the petitioners’ counsel and holds that the judgment in Priyanka Srivastava’s case should be given retrospective effect. It concludes that the complaint filed without complying with the procedure outlined in Section 154 of the Cr.P.C. and without filing an affidavit is not sustainable under the law.

The court relies on previous Supreme Court judgments and emphasizes that if an initial action is not in accordance with the law, all subsequent proceedings must be set aside. It also highlights the importance of following the correct procedure and states that a complaint must be first filed with the police, and if necessary, referred to the magistrate for further action.

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