Krishna Lal Chawla vs State Of U.P. on 8 March, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Krishna Lal Chawla vs State Of U.P. on 8 March, 2021

Author: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar

Bench: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, Vineet Saran

                                                   1



                                                                    REPORTABLE


                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                               CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                               CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 283 OF 2021
                             (arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No. 6432/2020)



           KRISHNA LAL CHAWLA & ORS.                             …APPELLANT(S)

                                                  VERSUS

           STATE OF U.P. & ANR.                                  …RESPONDENT(S)




                                           JUDGMENT

MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal arises out of final order and judgement of the

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad (hereinafter, ‘High Court’)

dated 28.09.2020, dismissing the Miscellaneous Petition No.

2561 of 2020 filed by Appellants herein praying for quashing of
Signature Not Verified

the following orders:

Digitally signed by
GULSHAN KUMAR
ARORA
Date: 2021.03.08
16:07:42 IST
Reason:

2

(i) Order dated 4.04.2019 of Learned Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Meerut (hereinafter, ‘Magistrate’) in Complaint Case

No. 2943/2018, issuing summons against the Appellants;

(ii) Order dated 13.01.2020 of the Ld. Additional District and

Sessions Judge, Meerut (hereinafter, ‘Sessions Judge’) in

Criminal Revision No.202/2019, dismissing the Appellants’

revision application against the aforesaid summoning order.

3. The brief facts leading to this appeal are as follows:

3.1 The Appellants and Respondent No. 2 are neighbours. The

genesis of the proceedings before us lies in a physical altercation

that took place between the Appellants, and the Respondent No.

2 and his wife on 5.08.2012. While the occurrence of such an

altercation is an admitted fact between the parties, the details

thereof form the crux of this prolonged litigation.

3.2 On 5.08.2012, the Respondent No. 2 filed a Non­Cognizable

Report (NCR) No. 158/2012 against the Appellants alleging

offences under Sections 323, 504 and 506, Indian Penal Code,

1860 (hereinafter, ‘IPC’). It was his case that the Appellants came

to his house, beat him and his wife with iron rods, and

threatened to kill them.

3

3.3 The son of Appellant No. 1 also filed information on

5.08.2012, which was registered as Non­Cognizable Report (NCR)

No. 160/2012 with the Daurala Police Station, alleging offences

under Sections 323, 504 and 506, IPC against the Respondent

No. 2 and his wife. This Report counter­alleged that the

Respondent No. 2 and his wife came to the Appellants’ house,

beat them up with wooden sticks and iron rods, and threatened

to kill their family.

3.4 It seems that even prior to the alleged occurrences, there

were disputes between the parties in 2006. A mutual settlement

took place on 6.02.2006 by which Respondent No. 2 agreed to

pay a penalty of Rs. 3,000/­ to the Appellant No. 1.

Subsequently, in another dispute, on 21.12.2013 the Special

Chief Judicial Magistrate imposed a penalty of Rs. 1,500/­ on

Appellant No. 4. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the

parties have been at loggerheads from 2006 onwards. It appears

that they have been fighting litigations on one pretext or the

other since 2006. Though they were agriculturists and
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neighbours, peace did not prevail between them, which resulted

in a number of cases being lodged by them against each other.

3.5 The Appellants filed an application under Section 155(2) of

the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter, ‘CrPC’) before

the Magistrate on 27.04.2017, almost 5 years after the alleged

incident, seeking permission for the police to investigate NCR No.

160/2012. The learned Magistrate directed that NCR No.

160/2012 filed by the Appellants be registered as FIR in Crime

No. 283/2017. Investigation was conducted, and on 17.09.2017

a charge sheet was filed against the Respondent No. 2 and his

wife under Sections 323, 325, 504 and 506 of the IPC.

Subsequently, the Magistrate framed charges against Respondent

No. 2 and his wife. There is nothing on record to show that even

a single witness has been examined till date, though charges

were framed by the Magistrate long back. Thus, there has been

considerable delay in these proceedings, during both the

investigation and trial stages.

3.6 Being unsatisfied with the allegations made and charge sheet

filed against him, the Respondent No. 2 instituted a fresh private

complaint against the Appellants under Section 200 of CrPC in
5

Complaint Case No. 2943 of 2018 in respect of the very incident

that took place on 5.08.2012. This private complaint was filed

only on 11.05.2018, that is about six years from the date of

alleged incident. In the private complaint, not only new

allegations were added but all allegations are wilder and different

from the averments made in NCR No. 158/12, though the

incident is the same as of 5.08.2012 and between the same

parties. It may not be necessary for us to narrate the contents of

the private complaint inasmuch as we find and have satisfied

ourselves that the allegations made in the private complaint are

absolute material improvements over the allegations in NCR No.

158/12. Among other things, not only three additional eye

witnesses are inducted in the private complaint, but allegations

of fraud, injury to bull, forging of affidavit, etc. which were not

found in the 2012 complaint are also found in the private

complaint. The private complaint for the first time mentions

commission of offences under Section 429, IPC and Sections 10

and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It is an

admitted fact that Appellant No. 4 had inflicted injury on

Respondent No. 2’s bull on 26.09.2011, for which Appellant No. 4

had voluntarily confessed and accepted penalty of Rs. 1,500 from
6

the Magistrate as mentioned supra. Be that as it may, we see no

reason why Respondent No. 2 chose to rehash this incident in

the private complaint given that Appellant No. 4 has already been

convicted for the offence, and it is of no relevance to the present

case.

Curiously, the Magistrate was pleased to issue process

against the Appellants based on this vexatious private complaint,

which came to be confirmed by the Learned Sessions Judge in

the impugned order. The Learned Sessions Judge has thus not

only misunderstood Section 200, CrPC and its scope but also

made a new case in favour of Respondent No.2 by reading

Section 506 Part II, IPC which is punishable by 7 years in the

place of Section 506, IPC, probably only to bring the private

complaint within the prescribed period of limitation under

Section 468 CrPC. It is nobody’s case that the offence under

Section 506(II) has taken place, which means that the Courts

took extra interest to improve the case of the

respondent/complainant.

This appeal is filed challenging both the orders of the

Magistrate as well as the Sessions Judge in respect of issuance of

process, as mentioned supra.

7

4. The learned counsel for Respondent No. 2 sought to justify

the impugned orders by relying on the following excerpt from this

Court’s decision in Upkar Singh v. Ved Prakash & ors., (2004)

13 SCC 292, which clarified the import of its previous holding in

T.T. Antony v. State of Kerala, (2001) 6 SCC 181:

“23. Be that as it may, if the law laid down by this
Court in T.T. Antony case [(2001) 6 SCC 181: 2001
SCC (Cri) 1048] is to be accepted as holding that a
second complaint in regard to the same incident filed
as a counter­complaint is prohibited under the Code
then, in our opinion, such conclusion would lead to
serious consequences. This will be clear from the
hypothetical example given hereinbelow i.e. if in regard
to a crime committed by the real accused he takes the
first opportunity to lodge a false complaint and the
same is registered by the jurisdictional police then the
aggrieved victim of such crime will be precluded from
lodging a complaint giving his version of the incident in
question, consequently he will be deprived of his
legitimated right to bring the real accused to book.

This cannot be the purport of the Code.”
Therefore, Upkar Singh clarified that this Court’s previous

decision in T.T. Anthony will not bar the filing of a second

complaint with respect to the same incident, if such second

complaint is filed as a counter­complaint by the other party. We

are in agreement with the aforementioned construction of T.T.

Anthony. However, we fail to see how this position of law comes

to Respondent No.2’s rescue. The question posed in the present
8

case for consideration before us is wholly different, and concerns

the validity of the private complaint filed by Respondent No. 2,

after an earlier information filed as NCR No. 158/2012 – both of

which were filed by the same party, against the same accused,

and in relation to the same incident that too after the charge

sheet was filed in case arising out of NCR No. 160/12 in Crime

No. 283/2017 after taking due permission of Magistrate. The

aforementioned portion of Upkar Singh relied on by Respondent

No. 2, thus, does not benefit his case.

5. Indeed, a closer look at the decision in Upkar Singh takes us

to the contrary conclusion. In regard to the question of material

improvements made in a subsequent private complaint by the

same complainant against the same accused with regard to the

same incident, it may be useful to refer to the following excerpt

from Upkar Singh, which further clarifies the holding in T.T.

Antony:

“17…In our opinion, this Court in that case only held
that any further complaint by the same complainant or
others against the same accused, subsequent to the
registration of a case, is prohibited under the Code
because an investigation in this regard would have
already started and further complaint against the
same accused will amount to an improvement on the
9

facts mentioned in the original complaint, hence will
be prohibited under Section 162 of the Code.”
(emphasis supplied)
It is the aforementioned part of the holding in Upkar Singh

that bears directly and strongly upon the present case. This

Court in Upkar Singh has clearly stated that any further

complaint by the same complainant against the same accused,

after the case has already been registered, will be deemed to be

an improvement from the original complaint. Though Upkar

Singh was rendered in the context of a case involving cognizable

offences, the same principle would also apply where a person

gives information of a non­cognizable offence and subsequently

lodges a private complaint with respect to the same offence

against the same accused person. Even in a non­cognizable case,

the police officer after the order of the Magistrate, is empowered

to investigate the offence in the same manner as a cognizable

case, except the power to arrest without a warrant. Therefore, the

complainant cannot subject the accused to a double whammy of

investigation by the police and inquiry before the Magistrate.

We are cognizant of the fact that in the present case, no

investigation had begun pursuant to NCR No. 158/2012 filed by

the Respondent No. 2 for a certain period. However, the overall
10

concern expressed by this Court in Upkar Singh, about the

misuse of successive complaints by the same party, where the

second complaint is clearly propped up to materially improve on

the earlier one, resonates with us. We regret to say that the same

thing which this Court had categorically prohibited in Upkar

Singh has happened in the present case.

6. The grave implications of allowing such misuse may be

understood better in light of the following exposition by this

Court in Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah v. CBI & anr., (2013) 6

SCC 348:

“37. This Court has consistently laid down the law on
the issue interpreting the Code, that a second FIR in
respect of an offence or different offences committed in
the course of the same transaction is not only
impermissible but it violates Article 21 of the
Constitution. In T.T. Antony [(2001) 6 SCC 181 : 2001
SCC (Cri) 1048] , this Court has categorically held that
registration of second FIR (which is not a cross­case) is
violative of Article 21 of the Constitution…” (emphasis
supplied)
Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees that the right to

life and liberty shall not be taken away except by due process of

law. Permitting multiple complaints by the same party in respect

of the same incident, whether it involves a cognizable or private
11

complaint offence, will lead to the accused being entangled in

numerous criminal proceedings. As such, he would be forced to

keep surrendering his liberty and precious time before the police

and the Courts, as and when required in each case. As this Court

has held in Amitbhai Anilchandra Shah (supra), such an

absurd and mischievous interpretation of the provisions of the

CrPC will not stand the test of constitutional scrutiny, and

therefore cannot be adopted by us.

7. The implications of such successive FIRs on an individual’s

rights under Article 21 of the Constitution has been elaborated

further in T.T. Antony (supra):

“27. A just balance between the fundamental rights of
the citizens under Articles 19 and 21 of the
Constitution and the expansive power of the police to
investigate a cognizable offence has to be struck by the
court. There cannot be any controversy that sub­
section (8) of Section 173 CrPC empowers the police to
make further investigation, obtain further evidence
(both oral and documentary) and forward a further
report or reports to the Magistrate. In Narang case
[Ram Lal Narang v. State (Delhi Admn.), (1979) 2 SCC
322 : 1979 SCC (Cri) 479] it was, however, observed
that it would be appropriate to conduct further
investigation with the permission of the court.

However, the sweeping power of investigation does not
warrant subjecting a citizen each time to fresh
investigation by the police in respect of the same
incident, giving rise to one or more cognizable offences,
12

consequent upon filing of successive FIRs whether
before or after filing the final report under Section
173(2)
CrPC…”
(emphasis supplied)
Thus, it is incumbent upon this Court to preserve this

delicate balance between the power to investigate offences under

the CrPC, and the fundamental right of the individual to be free

from frivolous and repetitive criminal prosecutions forced upon

him by the might of the State. If the Respondent No. 2 was

aggrieved by lack of speedy investigation in the earlier case filed

by him, the appropriate remedy would have been to apply to the

Magistrate under Section 155(2), CrPC for directions to the police

in this regard. Filing a private complaint without any prelude,

after a gap of six years from the date of giving information to the

police, smacks of mala fide on the part of Respondent No. 2.

8. It is also crucial to note that, in the fresh complaint case

instituted by him, Respondent No. 2 seems to have deliberately

suppressed the material fact that a charge sheet was already filed

in relation to the same incident, against him and his wife,

pursuant to NCR No.160/2012 (Crime No. 283/2017) filed by

Appellant No.1’s son. No reference to this charge sheet is found

in the private complaint, or in the statements under Section 200,
13

CrPC filed by Respondent No. 2 and his wife. In fact, both the

private complaint and the statement filed on behalf of his wife,

merely state that the police officials have informed them that

investigation is ongoing pursuant to their NCR No.158/2012. The

wife’s statement additionally even states that no action has been

taken so far by the police. It is the litigant’s bounden duty to

make a full and true disclosure of facts. It is a matter of trite law,

and yet bears repetition, that suppression of material facts before

a court amounts to abuse of the process of the court, and shall

be dealt with a heavy hand (Ram Dhan v. State of Uttar

Pradesh & Anr., (2012) 5 SCC 536; K.D. Sharma v. Steel

Authority of India Ltd., (2008) 12 SCC 481).

9. It is also pertinent to note that as on 5.08.2012, Appellant

No.1 was a 76­year­old man; Appellant No.2 was suffering from

epileptic seizures; and Appellant No. 4 was of unsound mind.

There is no equity in allowing them to be dragged into criminal

proceedings pertaining to a petty offence, instituted 6 years after

the alleged incident. The sword of Damocles cannot be allowed to

forever hang on their heads, falling unpredictably at the whims of

a litigant seeking to harass and persecute at will. We gain
14

strength in our conclusions from Article 21 of the Constitution,

which encapsulates the right to a speedy trial. This right has

been interpreted to include not only the actual trial before the

Court, but also the preceding stages of inquiry and police

investigation as well (Vakil Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar,

(2009) 3 SCC 355; Abdul Rehman Antulay & ors. v. R.S.

Nayak & anr., (1992) 1 SCC 225).

10. The sum of the above circumstances and precedents leads

us to what we see as an inevitable conclusion. That Respondent

No. 2’s institution of the fresh complaint case in 2018 under

Section 200 CrPC was a concerted effort to mislead the

Magistrate with the oblique motive of harassing the Appellants

with a frivolous and vexatious case against them. That the same

was a counter­blast to the charge sheet dated 17.09.2017 filed

against Respondent No. 2 and his wife in the case registered by

the Appellant. The history of ill­will and malice between the

parties leads further credence to Respondent No.2’s motivations

for tying up the Appellants in frivolous and harrowing criminal

litigation, long years after the alleged incident. Respondent No.2’s

conduct in filing a delayed complaint case, suppressing material
15

facts, and utilising fresh proceedings to materially improve on his

earlier version, in totality, amounts to gross abuse of the process

of court.

Role of the Lower Judiciary in Preventing Abuse of Court

Process:

11. We find it imperative to observe that this is a case that

should not have been allowed to reach as far as this Court. The

justice dispensation machinery in India is plagued with backlogs,

with 70% of the pendency before the subordinate courts being on

the criminal side.1 A significant factor in this backlog is the vast

mass of frivolous litigation instituted year after year by litigants

with an intent to use the courts of justice for their own

mischievous ends. Curtailing such vexatious litigation is, thus, a

crucial step towards a more effective justice system – a step that

cannot be taken without the active involvement of the lower

judiciary, especially in criminal proceedings.

12. Immediately after the criminal justice system is set in

motion, its course is almost entirely dependent on the judicial

application of mind by the Magistrate. When a police complaint is

1 Roshni Sinha, ‘Examining pendency of cases in the Judiciary’, PRS INDIA
(August 8, 2019).

16

filed on the commission of a cognizable offence under Section 154

CrPC, the Magistrate decides if the charge against the accused

person is made out before the trial begins. Separate procedure is

prescribed if the complaint under Section 200 CrPC is filed. The

aforesaid provisions make it abundantly clear that the Magistrate

carries the stream of criminal proceeding forward after it is set in

motion by the informant/complainant. Consequently, and

automatically, the Magistrate also carries the responsibility for

ensuring this stream does not carry forward in cases where it

should not.

13. The aforesaid powers bestowed on the Magistrate have grave

repercussions on individual citizens’ life and liberty. Thus, these

powers also confer great responsibility on the shoulders of the

Magistrate – and must be exercised with great caution, and after

suitable judicial application of mind. Observations in a similar

vein were made by this Court in Pepsi Foods Ltd. v. Special

Judicial Magistrate, (1998) 5 SCC 749:

“28. Summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a
serious matter. Criminal law cannot be set into motion
as a matter of course. It is not that the complainant
has to bring only two witnesses to support his
allegations in the complaint to have the criminal law
17

set into motion. The order of the Magistrate
summoning the accused must reflect that he has
applied his mind to the facts of the case and the law
applicable thereto. He has to examine the nature of
allegations made in the complaint and the evidence
both oral and documentary in support thereof and
would that be sufficient for the complainant to succeed
in bringing charge home to the accused. It is not that
the Magistrate is a silent spectator at the time of
recording of preliminary evidence before summoning of
the accused. The Magistrate has to carefully scrutinise
the evidence brought on record and may even himself
put questions to the complainant and his witnesses to
elicit answers to find out the truthfulness of the
allegations or otherwise and then examine if any
offence is prima facie committed by all or any of the
accused.”
(emphasis supplied)
This Court, thus, clearly emphasised that the power to issue

a summoning order is a matter of grave importance, and that the

Magistrate must only allow criminal law to take its course after

satisfying himself that there is a real case to be made.

14. Similarly, the power conferred on the Magistrate under

Section 202, CrPC to postpone the issue of process pursuant to a

private complaint also provides an important avenue for filtering

out of frivolous complaints that must be fully exercised. A four­

Judge Bench of this Court has eloquently expounded on this in

Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokash Chandra Bose & Anr., AIR

1963 SC 1430:

18

“7. …No doubt, one of the objects behind the
provisions of Section 202 CrPC is to enable the
Magistrate to scrutinise carefully the allegations made
in the complaint with a view to prevent a person
named therein as accused from being called upon to
face an obviously frivolous complaint. But there is also
another object behind this provision and it is to find
out what material there is to support the allegations
made in the complaint. It is the bounden duty of the
Magistrate while making an enquiry to elicit all facts
not merely with a view to protect the interests of an
absent accused person, but also with a view to bring to
book a person or persons against whom grave
allegations are made. Whether the complaint is
frivolous or not has, at that stage, necessarily to be
determined on the basis of the material placed before
him by the complainant…”
(emphasis supplied)
Thus, it is clear that, on receipt of a private complaint, the

Magistrate must first, scrutinise it to examine if the allegations

made in the private complaint, inter alia, smack of an instance of

frivolous litigation; and second, examine and elicit the material

that supports the case of the complainant.

15. It is said that every trial is a voyage of discovery in which the

truth is the quest. In India, typically, the Judge is not actively

involved in ‘fact­finding’ owing to the adversarial nature of our

justice system. However, Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act,

1872 by providing the Judge with the power to order production

of material and put forth questions of any form at any time,
19

marks the influence of inquisitorial processes in our legal system.

This wide­ranging power further demonstrates the central role

played by the Magistrate in the quest for justice and truth in

criminal proceedings, and must be judiciously employed to stem

the flow of frivolous litigation.

16. All of this leads to one inescapable conclusion. That the Trial

Judge has a duty under the Constitution and the CrPC, to

identify and dispose of frivolous litigation at an early stage by

exercising, substantially and to the fullest extent, the powers

conferred on him. This Court has earlier emphasised on the high

degree of responsibility shouldered by the trial Judges in All

India Judges’ Association v. Union of India, (1992) 1 SCC

119. Ranganath Misra CJ (as he was then) writing for himself

and two others stated:

“42. The trial Judge is the kingpin in the hierarchical
system of administration of justice. He directly comes
in contact with the litigant during the proceedings in
Court. On him lies the responsibility of building up of
the case appropriately and on his understanding of the
matter the cause of justice is first answered. The
personality, knowledge, judicial restraint, capacity to
maintain dignity are the additional aspects which go
into making the Court’s functioning successful.”
20

17. Frivolous litigation should not become the order of the day in

India. From misusing the Public Interest Litigation jurisdiction of

the Indian courts to abusing the criminal procedure for harassing

their adversaries, the justice delivery system should not be used

as a tool to fulfil personal vendetta. The Indian judiciary has

taken cognizance of this issue. In 2014, this Court elucidated as

follows, the plight of a litigant caught in the cobweb of frivolous

proceedings in Subrata Roy Sahara v. Union of India, (2014) 8

SCC 470:

“191…One needs to keep in mind, that in the process
of litigation, there is an innocent sufferer on the other
side, of every irresponsible and senseless claim. He
suffers long drawn anxious periods of nervousness and
restlessness, whilst the litigation is pending, without
any fault on his part. He pays for the litigation, from
out of his savings (or out of his borrowings), worrying
that the other side may trick him into defeat, for no
fault of his. He spends invaluable time briefing counsel
and preparing them for his claim. Time which he
should have spent at work, or with his family, is lost,
for no fault of his…”
While the Court’s ruling pertained to civil proceedings, these

observations ring true for the criminal justice machinery as well.

We note, with regret, that 7 years hence, and there has still been

no reduction in such plight. A falsely accused person not only

suffers monetary damages but is exposed to disrepute and stigma
21

from society. While running from pillar to post to find a lawyer to

represent his case and arranging finances to defend himself

before the court of law, he loses a part of himself.

18. As aforesaid, the trial courts and the Magistrates have an

important role in curbing this injustice. They are the first lines of

defence for both the integrity of the criminal justice system, and

the harassed and distraught litigant. We are of the considered

opinion that the trial courts have the power to not merely decide

on acquittal or conviction of the accused person after the trial,

but also the duty to nip frivolous litigations in the bud even

before they reach the stage of trial by discharging the accused in

fit cases. This would not only save judicial time that comes at the

cost of public money, but would also protect the right to liberty

that every person is entitled to under Article 21 of the

Constitution. In this context, the trial Judges have as much, if

not more, responsibility in safeguarding the fundamental rights

of the citizens of India as the highest court of this land.

19. As recorded by us above, the present controversy poses a

typical example of frivolous litigants abusing court process to

achieve their mischievous ends. In the case before us, the
22

Magistrate was aware of the significant delay in the filing of

private complaint by Respondent No. 2, and of the material

improvements from the earlier NCR No. 158/2012 which were

made in the private complaint. It was incumbent on the

Magistrate to examine any possibility of abuse of process of the

court, make further enquiries, and dismiss the frivolous

complaint at the outset after judicial application of mind.

20. However, this was not done – the Magistrate issued process

against the Appellants by order dated 4.04.2019, and this

controversy has now reached this Court for disposal.

21. It is a settled canon of law that this Court has inherent

powers to prevent the abuse of its own processes, that this Court

shall not suffer a litigant utilising the institution of justice for

unjust means. Thus, it would be only proper for this Court to

deny any relief to a litigant who attempts to pollute the stream of

justice by coming to it with his unclean hands. Similarly, a

litigant pursuing frivolous and vexatious proceedings cannot

claim unlimited right upon court time and public money to

achieve his ends.

23

22. This Court’s inherent powers under Article 142 of the

Constitution to do ‘complete justice’ empowers us to give

preference to equity and a justice­oriented approach over the

strict rigours of procedural law (State of Punjab v. Rafiq Masih

(Whitewasher), (2014) 8 SCC 883). This Court has used this

inherent power to quash criminal proceedings where the

proceedings are instituted with an oblique motive, or on

manufactured evidence (Monica Kumar (Dr.) & anr. v. State of

Uttar Pradesh, (2008) 8 SCC 781). Other decisions have held

that inherent powers of High Courts provided in Section 482,

CrPC may be utilised to quash criminal proceedings instituted

after great delay, or with vengeful or malafide motives. (Sirajul

& ors. v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2015) 9 SCC 201; State of

Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, AIR 1992 SCC 604). Thus, it is the

constitutional duty of this Court to quash criminal proceedings

that were instituted by misleading the court and abusing its

processes of law, only with a view to harass the hapless litigants.

23. In this Court’s quest for complete justice, and to bring peace

between the parties, who are fighting various litigations since
24

2006, we exercise our powers under Article 142 to quash all the

litigations between the parties arising out of this incident.

Our Conclusions:

24. The impugned judgment of the High Court dated 28.09.2020

in Miscellaneous Petition No. 2561 of 2020 is set aside.

25. The proceedings in Complaint Case No.2943/2018, including

the order of summons against the Appellants dated 4.04.2019 be

quashed.

26. Further, proceedings pursuant to NCR No. 158/2012 dated

5.08.2012 filed by Respondent No. 2 also be quashed, in order to

foreclose further frivolous litigation.

27. Any other criminal cases between the parties initiated by

them in relation to the incident dated 5.08.2012, including the

criminal proceedings arising from NCR No.160/2012 (Crime No.

283/2017) instituted by the Appellants, are quashed in exercise

of our powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, in the

interests of giving quietus to these criminal proceedings arising

out of a petty incident 9 years ago.

28. The Appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.
25

………………………………………….J.

(MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)

………………………………………….J.

(R. SUBHASH REDDY)

NEW DELHI;

MARCH 08, 2021



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