Samta Naidu vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 2 March, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Samta Naidu vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 2 March, 2020

Author: Uday Umesh Lalit

Bench: Uday Umesh Lalit, Vineet Saran

         Criminal Appeal Nos.367-368 of 2020 @ SLP(Crl.)Nos.4418-4419 of 2020
         Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
                                                                                                     1
                                                                                           Reportable
                                          IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                        CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.367-368 OF 2020
                         (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.)Nos.4418-4419 of 2019)


                         SAMTA NAIDU & ANR.                                            …Appellants


                                                                Versus


                         STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH AND ANR.                              …Respondents



                                                          JUDGMENT

Uday Umesh Lalit, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals arise out of the common judgment and order dated

12.02.2019 passed by the High Court1 in Criminal Revision No.2996 of

2015 and Criminal Revision No. 2556 of 2016.

3. One G. S. Naidu, who owned a Maruti-800 vehicle of 1995 make,
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MUKESH KUMAR
Date: 2020.03.02
passed away on 12.12.2001 leaving behind his widow, three sons and a
18:16:19 IST
Reason:

1

High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Principal Bench, Jabalpur
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daughter (who was unmarried and has since then passed away). His second

son (Complainant in the present matter) filed a complaint against his

brother (the third son of G. S. Naidu) and his wife, submitting as under:-

“3. It is submitted that the father of the
complainant namely Late G.S. Naidu passed
away on 12.12.2001. A copy of the death
certificate in this regard is enclosed herewith as
Annexure A/1 with this complaint.

4. It is submitted that on 2.11.2010, the
aforesaid vehicle has been sold by the respondent
by putting forged signatures of the complainant’s
father on the Form 29 and 30 and also put forged
signature on the affidavit annexed with Form
No.29 and 30 knowing fully well that Late G.S.
Naidu has passed away on 12.12.2001. A true
copy of Form No.29 and 30 and the affidavit is
being filed herewith as Annexure A/2. It is
submitted that on the date when the vehicle was
sold which was being owned by G.S. Naidu, the
father of the complainant was no more.

5. It is submitted that respondent Nos. 1 and
2, in order to sell the vehicle, has forged the
signature of Late G.S. Naidu knowing fully well
that he has passed away. It is also submitted that
the documents which have been forged by the
respondents have been subsequently used for
getting the benefit in the form of sale
consideration of the vehicle. The act of the
respondents squarely covers the offences
punishable under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468 and
471 of the IPC and therefore, the respondents are
liable to be punished accordingly. Hence, the
present complaint is being filed before this
Hon’ble Court.”
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4. The Complaint came up before the Judicial Magistrate First Class,

Jabalpur, who, by his order dated 05.07.2013 concluded as under:-

“On the basis of evidence and document
produced on behalf of complainant it appears that
no prima facie case is made out against accused
Samta Naidu and Dilip Naidu.

Hence complaint under Section 203 Criminal
Procedure Code is rejected and thereby
dismissed.”

5. The complainant being aggrieved, filed Revision before the VIII

Additional Sessions Judge, Jabalpur. On 05.03.2014 the Counsel for the

Complainant submitted that he wished to withdraw the Revision with

liberty to file a fresh complaint on the basis of certain new facts, which

request was opposed. After perusing the record and considering the

submissions, the Revisional Court observed as under:-

“This is well settled position that new complaint
can be filed any time on the basis of new facts and
for which purposes there is no need of permission
of this Court or permission of any court. Because
revisionist does not wish to press instant revision
any more, hence instant revision is dismissed on
this ground alone. Revision Petition is thus
disposed of accordingly.”

6. Thereafter, Complaint Case No. 9226 of 2014 was preferred by the

Complainant on same allegations but relying on additional material

adverted to in paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of said Complaint, the material was:-
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a) The credit note in the sum of Rs.37,500/- issued

upon request of the Appellants by the representatives of

Standard Auto Agency, Jabalpur after valuing the vehicle.

b) The fact that said amount of Rs.37,500/- was

thereafter adjusted towards purchase of a new vehicle in

the name of the first Appellant.

c) The Registration Certificate of the new vehicle

issued in the name of first Appellant.

d) Certified copies of said documents received from

the office of RTO, Jabalpur.

Based on the aforesaid documents, it was submitted that cognizance

be taken of the offences punishable under Sections 201, 409, 420, 467,

468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short, “IPC”).

7. On 02.08.2014, the Judicial Magistrate First Class Jabalpur took

cognizance in respect of offence punishable under Section 420 IPC but

rejected the Complaint with respect to other offences, which order was

challenged by the Complainant by preferring Criminal Revision No.288

of 2014. Said Revision was allowed by the 9th Additional Sessions Judge,

Jabalpur, by his order dated 02.11.2015 directing the Magistrate to

reconsider the documents available on record and to pass appropriate
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order for taking cognizance in regard to appropriate offences. This order

was challenged by the Appellants by filing Criminal Revision No.2996 of

2015 in the High Court.

8. During the pendency of the aforesaid Revision in the High Court,

the matter was taken up and the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jabalpur

took cognizance of all offences alleged in the complaint. Thereafter, the

Additional Sessions Judge – X by his order dated 20.09.2016 framed

charges against the Appellants in respect of offences punishable under

Sections 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC. This order led to the

filing of Criminal Revision No.2556 of 2016 by the Appellants in the High

Court. Both the aforesaid Criminal Revisions were heard together by the

High Court.

9. On the question, whether the second complaint was maintainable or

not, the High Court relied upon the decision of this Court in Pramatha

Nath Taluqdar vs. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar2 and observed:-

“12. However, in the context of the instant case,
when we compare the two complaints, it is obvious
that at the time of filing the first complaint, the
complainant seems to be aware only of the fact that
accused persons Dilip and Samta had unilaterally
sold a car belonging to G. Shankar Naidu and
which, after his death, had become joint family
property. The complainant seems to have acquired

2
AIR 1962 SC 876 = (1962) Supp 2 SCR 297
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the knowledge of details of the transaction later.

Therefore, subsequent complaint provides the
particulars of the transaction in far greater details.”

The High Court, thus, found no infirmity warranting interference

and dismissed both the Revision Petitions.

10. While issuing notice in the present matters this Court directed the

Appellants to deposit a sum of Rs.45,000/- (Rupees Forty Five Thousand

Only) in the Registry of this Court within two weeks. Said sum stands

deposited in the Registry. This direction was passed so that if any of the

heirs of G. S. Naidu felt that his share in the property left behind by the

deceased was not being given to him, the internal disputes/difference

between the members of the family could be sorted out. But such

suggestions were not acceptable to the Complainant.

11. The parties thereafter exchanged pleadings and the matter was

heard. Mr. Devadatt Kamat, learned Senior Advocate, appeared in

support of the Appeal. Relying on the decision of this Court in Taluqdar2,

he submitted that the High Court was in error in rejecting the Revision

Applications. Ms. Meenakshi Arora, learned Senior Advocate for the

respondent-complainant also relied upon the same decision and other

decisions referred to by the High Court, to submit that as new material
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was found, the second Complaint was rightly considered and taken

cognizance of.

12. The principal decision relied upon by both sides is one rendered by

a Bench of three Judges of this Court in Taluqdar2. Para 35 of the majority

decision authored by Kapur, J. discloses that a Complaint under Sections

467 and 471 read with Section 109 of the IPC was preferred on the

allegations that an unregistered deed of agreement purportedly executed

on 19.01.1948, a transfer deed in respect of 1000 shares purportedly

executed on 05.02.1951 and the minutes of proceedings of the Board

meetings purporting to bear the signature of late Sri Nalini Ranjan Sarkar

were stated to have been forged. The Chief Presidency Magistrate

dismissed the complaint against which Revision was preferred before the

High Court of Calcutta. Said Revision Petition was dismissed and the

matter was carried before this Court but the Appeal was dismissed as

withdrawn. Thereafter, another complaint was brought under very same

Sections. The Chief Presidency Magistrate took cognizance of second

Complaint against which order, Revision was preferred in the High Court

of Calcutta. The matter came up before the Division Bench and the

additional material projected in support of the submission that the second
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Complaint was maintainable was dealt with by the Division Bench. The

matter in that behalf was adverted to this Court as under:-

“In regard to the filing of a second complaint it held
that a fresh complaint could be entertained after the
dismissal of previous complaint under Section 203
Criminal Procedure Code when there was manifest
error or manifest miscarriage of justice or when
fresh evidence was forthcoming. The Bench was of
the opinion that the fact in regard to the City
Telephone Exchange was a new matter and because
Pramode Ranjan Sarkar was not permitted to take a
photostat copy of the minutes-book, it was possible
that his attention was not drawn to the City
Telephone Exchange which was not in existence at
the relevant time and that there was sufficient
reason for Pramode Ranjan Sarkar for not
mentioning the matter of City Exchange in his
complaint. It also held that the previous Chief
Presidency Magistrate Mr Chakraborty had
altogether ignored the evidence of a large number
of witnesses who were competent to prove the
handwriting and signature of N.R. Sarkar and he
had no good reasons for not accepting their
evidence. It could not be said therefore that there
was a judicial enquiry of the matter before the
previous Chief Presidency Magistrate; the decision
was rather arbitrary and so resulted in manifest
miscarriage of justice. The Court was of the opinion
therefore that there was no reason to differ from the
finding of the Chief Presidency Magistrate Mr
Bijoyesh Mukerjee and that there was a prima facie
case against the appellants.”

12.1 The issue was considered by the majority judgment of this Court

as under:-

“48. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure the
subject of “Complaints to Magistrates” is dealt with
in Chapter 16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The provisions relevant for the purpose of this case
are Sections 200, 202 and 203. Section 200 deals
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with examination of complainants and Sections
202
, 203 and 204 with the powers of the Magistrate
in regard to the dismissal of complaint or the issuing
of process. The scope and extent of Sections 202
and 203 were laid down in Vadilal Panchal v.
Dattatraya Dulaji Ghadigaonker3
. The scope of
enquiry under Section 202 is limited to finding out
the truth or otherwise of the complaint in order to
determine whether process should issue or not and
Section 203 lays down what materials are to be
considered for the purpose. Under Section 203
Criminal Procedure Code the judgment which the
Magistrate has to form must be based on the
statements of the complainant and of his witnesses
and the result of the investigation or enquiry if any.
He must apply his mind to the materials and form
his judgment whether or not there is sufficient
ground for proceeding. Therefore if he has not
misdirected himself as to the scope of the enquiry
made under Section 202, of the Criminal Procedure
Code
, and has judicially applied his mind to the
material before him and then proceeds to make his
order it cannot be said that he has acted erroneously.
An order of dismissal under Section 203, of the
Criminal Procedure Code
, is, however, no bar to the
entertainment of a second complaint on the same
facts but it will be entertained only in exceptional
circumstances, e.g., where the previous order was
passed on an incomplete record or on a
misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint or
it was manifestly absurd, unjust or foolish or where
new facts which could not, with reasonable
diligence, have been brought on the record in the
previous proceedings, have been adduced. It cannot
be said to be in the interests of justice that after a
decision has been given against the complainant
upon a full consideration of his case, he or any other
person should be given another opportunity to have
his complaint enquired into. Allah Ditto v. Karam
Baksh4; Ram Narain Chaubey v. Panachand Jain5;

Hansabai Sayaji Payagude v. Ananda Ganuji

3
AIR 1960 SC 1113
4
AIR 1930 Lah 879
5
AIR 1949 Pat 256
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Payagude6 Doraisami v. Subramania7. In regard to
the adducing of new facts for the bringing of a fresh
complaint the Special Bench in the judgment under
appeal did not accept the view of the Bombay High
Court or the Patna High Court in the cases above
quoted and adopted the opinion of Maclean, C.J. in
Queen Empress v. Dolegobinda Das8 affirmed by a
Full Bench in Dwarka Nath Mandal v. Benimadhas
Banerji9. It held therefore that a fresh complaint can
be entertained where there is manifest error, or
manifest miscarriage of justice in the previous order
or when fresh evidence is forthcoming.”

12.2 It was observed in para 50 as under:-

“50. Taking first the question of fresh evidence,
the view of some of the High Courts that it should
be such that it could not with reasonable diligence
have been adduced is, in our opinion, a correct view
of the law. It cannot be the law that the complainant
may first place before the Magistrate some of the
facts and evidence in his possession and if he fails
he can then adduce some more evidence and so on.

That in our opinion, is not a correct view of the
law.”

12.3 The majority judgment thus accepted the challenge, allowed the

Appeal and dismissed the Complaint with following observations:-

“61. In these circumstances, we are of the opinion
that the bringing of the fresh complaint is a gross
abuse of the process of the Court and is not with the
object of furthering the interests of justice.

                                     …      …      …



     6
         AIR 1949 Bom 384
     7
         AIR 1918 Mad 484
     8
         ILR 28 Cal 211
     9
         ILR 28 Cal 652 (FB)

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63. For these reasons we allow the appeals, set
aside the order of the High Court and of the learned
Chief Presidency Magistrate and dismiss the
complaint.”

12.4 The dissenting opinion was expressed by S.K. Das, J.

13. The law declared in Taluqdar2 has consistently been followed, for

instance, in Bindeshwari Prasad Singh vs. Kali Singh10 it was observed:

“It is now well settled that a second complaint can lie only on fresh facts

or even on the previous facts only if a special case is made out”. The view

taken in Bindeshwari10 was followed in Maj. Genl. A.S. Gauraya and

another vs. S.N. Thakur and another11.

13.1 In Jatinder Singh and Others vs. Ranjit Kaur12 the issue was

whether the first complaint having been dismissed for default, could the

second complaint be maintained. The matter was considered as under:-

“9. There is no provision in the Code or in any other
statute which debars a complainant from preferring a
second complaint on the same allegations if the first
complaint did not result in a conviction or acquittal or
even discharge. Section 300 of the Code, which debars
a second trial, has taken care to explain that “the
dismissal of a complaint, or the discharge of the
accused, is not an acquittal for the purposes of this
section”. However, when a Magistrate conducts an

10
(1997) 1 SCC 57
11
(1986) 2 SCC 709
12
(2001) 2 SCC 570
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inquiry under Section 202 of the Code and dismisses
the complaint on merits, a second complaint on the
same facts cannot be made unless there are very
exceptional circumstances. Even so, a second
complaint is permissible depending upon how the
complaint happened to be dismissed at the first
instance.

… … …

12. If the dismissal of the complaint was not on merit
but on default of the complainant to be present there is
no bar in the complainant moving the Magistrate again
with a second complaint on the same facts. But if the
dismissal of the complaint under Section 203 of the
Code was on merits the position could be different.
There appeared a difference of opinion earlier as to
whether a second complaint could have been filed
when the dismissal was under Section 203. The
controversy was settled by this Court in Pramatha
Nath Talukdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar2
. A majority of
Judges of the three-Judge Bench held thus:

“An order of dismissal under Section 203,
Criminal Procedure Code
, is, however, no bar
to the entertainment of a second complaint on
the same facts but it will be entertained only in
exceptional circumstances, e.g., where the
previous order as passed on an incomplete
record or on a misunderstanding of the nature
of the complaint or it was manifestly absurd,
unjust or foolish or where new facts which
could not, with reasonable diligence, have
been brought on the record in the previous
proceedings, have been adduced. It cannot be
said to be in the interest of justice that after a
decision has been given against the complaint
upon a full consideration of his case, he or any
other person should be given another
opportunity to have his complaint inquired
into.”

S.K. Das, J. (as he then was) while dissenting from the
said majority view had taken the stand that right of a
complainant to file a second complaint would not be
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inhibited even by such considerations. But at any rate
the majority view is that the second complaint would
be maintainable if the dismissal of the first complaint
was not on merits.”
(Emphasis supplied)

13.2. In Ranvir Singh vs. State of Haryana and Another13 the issue was

set out in para 23 of the decision and the discussion that followed thereafter

was as under:-

“23. In the instant case, the question is narrowed down
further as to whether such a second complaint would
be maintainable when the earlier one had not been
dismissed on merits, but for the failure of the
complainant to put in the process fees for effecting
service.

24. The answer has been provided firstly in Pramatha
Nath Talukdar case2, wherein this Court had held that
even if a complaint was dismissed under Section 203
CrPC, a second complaint would still lie under
exceptional circumstances, indicated hereinbefore. The
said view has been consistently upheld in subsequent
decisions of this Court. Of course, the question of
making a prayer for recalling the order of dismissal
would not be maintainable before the learned
Magistrate in view of Section 362 CrPC, but such is
not the case in these special leave petitions.

25. In the present cases, neither have the complaints
been dismissed on merit nor have they been dismissed
at the stage of Section 203 CrPC. On the other hand,
only on being satisfied of a prima facie case, the
learned Magistrate had issued process on the
complaint.

26. The said situation is mainly covered by the decision
of this Court in Jatinder Singh case12, wherein the

13
(2009) 9 SCC 642
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decision in Pramatha Nath Talukdar case2 was also
taken into consideration and it was categorically
observed that in the absence of any provision in the
Code
barring a second complaint being filed on the
same allegation, there would be no bar to a second
complaint being filed on the same facts if the first
complaint did not result in the conviction or acquittal
or even discharge of the accused, and if the dismissal
was not on merit but on account of a default on the part
of the complainant.”

13.3. In Poonam Chand Jain and Another vs. Fazru14 the issue

whether after the dismissal of the earlier complaint had attained finality,

could a second complaint be maintained on identical facts was considered

as under:-

“14. In the background of these facts, the question
which crops up for determination by this Court is
whether after an order of dismissal of complaint
attained finality, the complainant can file another
complaint on almost identical facts without disclosing
in the second complaint the fact of either filing of the
first complaint or its dismissal.

15. Almost similar questions came up for consideration
before this Court in Pramatha Nath Talukdar v. Saroj
Ranjan Sarkar2
. The majority judgment in Pramatha
Nath2 was delivered by Kapur, J. His Lordship held
that an order of dismissal under Section 203 of the
Criminal Procedure Code (for short “the Code”) is,
however, no bar to the entertainment of a second
complaint on the same facts but it can be entertained
only in exceptional circumstances. This Court
explained the exceptional circumstances as:

(a) where the previous order was passed on
incomplete record, or

14
(2010) 2 SCC 631
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(b) on a misunderstanding of the nature of the
complaint, or

(c) the order which was passed was manifestly
absurd, unjust or foolish, or

(d) where new facts which could not, with
reasonable diligence, have been brought on the
record in the previous proceedings.

16. This Court in Pramatha Nath2 made it very clear
that interest of justice cannot permit that after a
decision has been given on a complaint upon full
consideration of the case, the complainant should be
given another opportunity to have the complaint
enquired into again. In para 50 of the judgment the
majority judgment of this Court opined that fresh
evidence or fresh facts must be such which could not
with reasonable diligence have been brought on record.
This Court very clearly held that it cannot be settled
law which permits the complainant to place some
evidence before the Magistrate which are in his
possession and then if the complaint is dismissed
adduce some more evidence. According to this Court,
such a course is not permitted on a correct view of the
law. (para 50, p. 899)

17. This question again came up for consideration
before this Court in Jatinder Singh v. Ranjit Kaur12.
There also this Court by relying on the principle in
Pramatha Nath2 held that there is no provision in the
Code
or in any other statute which debars a
complainant from filing a second complaint on the
same allegation as in the first complaint. But this Court
added when a Magistrate conducts an enquiry under
Section 202 of the Code and dismisses a complaint on
merits a second complaint on the same facts could not
be made unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.
This Court held in para 12, if the dismissal of the first
complaint is not on merit but the dismissal is for the
default of the complainant then there is no bar in filing
a second complaint on the same facts. However, if the
dismissal of the complaint under Section 203 of the
Code was on merit the position will be different.

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18. Saying so, the learned Judges in Ranjit Kaur12 held
that the controversy has been settled by this Court in
Pramatha Nath2 and quoted the observation of Kapur,
J. in para 48 of Pramatha Nath2: (AIR p. 899, para 48)

“48. … An order of dismissal under Section
203
of the Criminal Procedure Code, is,
however, no bar to the entertainment of a
second complaint on the same facts but it will
be entertained only in exceptional
circumstances e.g. where the previous order
was passed on an incomplete record or on a
misunderstanding of the nature of the
complaint or it was manifestly absurd, unjust
or foolish or where new facts which could
not, with reasonable diligence, have been
brought on the record in the previous
proceedings, have been adduced. It cannot be
said to be in the interest of justice that after a
decision has been given against the
complainant upon a full consideration of his
case, he or any other person should be given
another opportunity to have his complaint
enquired into.”

19. Again in Mahesh Chand v. B. Janardhan Reddy15,
a three-Judge Bench of this Court considered this
question in para 19 at p. 740 of the Report. The learned
Judges of this Court held that a second complaint is not
completely barred nor is there any statutory bar in
filing a second complaint on the same facts in a case
where a previous complaint was dismissed without
assigning any reason. The Magistrate under Section
204
of the Code can take cognizance of an offence and
issue process if there is sufficient ground for
proceeding. In Mahesh Chand15 this Court relied on the
ratio in Pramatha Nath2 and held if the first complaint
had been dismissed the second complaint can be
entertained only in exceptional circumstances and
thereafter the exceptional circumstances pointed out in
Pramatha Nath2 were reiterated. Therefore, this Court

15
AIR 2003 SC 702
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holds that the ratio in Pramatha Nath2 is still holding
the field. The same principle has been reiterated once
again by this Court in Hira Lal v. State of U.P.16 In para
14 of the judgment this Court expressly quoted the ratio
in Mahesh Chand15 discussed hereinabove.

20. Following the aforesaid principles which are more
or less settled and are holding the field since 1962 and
have been repeatedly followed by this Court, we are of
the view that the second complaint in this case was on
almost identical facts which was raised in the first
complaint and which was dismissed on merits. So the
second complaint is not maintainable. This Court finds
that the core of both the complaints is the same.
Nothing has been disclosed in the second complaint
which is substantially new and not disclosed in first
complaint. No case is made out that even after the
exercise of due diligence the facts alleged in the second
complaint were not within the of the first complainant.
In fact, such a case could not be made out since the
facts in both the complaints are almost identical.
Therefore, the second complaint is not covered within
exceptional circumstances explained in Pramatha
Nath2. In that view of the matter the second complaint
in the facts of this case, cannot be entertained.”

(Emphasised supplied)

13.4. In Udai Shankar Awasthi vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and

Another17, where the earlier complaint was dismissed after the examination

of witnesses on behalf of complainant, the matter was dealt with as under:-

“47. The instant appeals are squarely covered by the
observations made in Kishan Singh18 and thus, the
proceedings must be labelled as nothing more than an
abuse of the process of the court, particularly in view
of the fact that, with respect to enact the same subject-

matter, various complaint cases had already been filed
16
(2009) 11 SCC 89
17
(2013) 2 SCC 435
18
(2010) 8 SCC 775 (Kishan Singh vs. Gurpal Singh)
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by Respondent 2 and his brother, which were all
dismissed on merits after the examination of witnesses.
In such a fact situation, Complaint Case No. 628 of
2011 filed on 31-5-2001 was not maintainable. Thus,
the Magistrate concerned committed a grave error by
entertaining the said case, and wrongly took
cognizance and issued summons to the appellants.”

13.5. In Ravinder Singh vs. Sukhbir Singh and Others19 the matter

was considered from the standpoint whether a frustrated litigant be

permitted to give vent to his frustration and whether a person be permitted

to unleash vendetta to harass any person needlessly. The discussion was as

under:-

“26. While considering the issue at hand in
Shivshankar Singh v. State of Bihar20 this Court, after
considering its earlier judgments in Pramatha Nath
Talukdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar2
, Jatinder Singh v.
Ranjit Kaur12
, Mahesh Chand v. B. Janardhan Reddy15
and Poonam Chand Jain v. Fazru21 held: (Shivshankar
Singh case20, SCC p. 136, para 18)

“18. … it is evident that the law does not
prohibit filing or entertaining of the second
complaint even on the same facts provided
the earlier complaint has been decided on the
basis of insufficient material or the order has
been passed without understanding the
nature of the complaint or the complete facts
could not be placed before the court or where
the complainant came to know certain facts
after disposal of the first complaint which
could have tilted the balance in his favour.

However, second complaint would not be
maintainable wherein the earlier complaint
19
(2013) 9 SCC 245
20
(2012) 1 SCC 130
21
(2004) 13 SCC 269
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Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
19

has been disposed of on full consideration of
the case of the complainant on merit.”

27. In Chandrapal Singh v. Maharaj Singh22 this
Court has held that it is equally true that chagrined and
frustrated litigants should not be permitted to give vent
to their frustration by enabling them to invoke the
jurisdiction of criminal courts in a cheap manner. In
such a fact situation, the court must not hesitate to
quash criminal proceedings.

… … …

33. The High Court has dealt with the issue involved
herein and the matter stood closed at the instance of
Respondent 1 himself. Therefore, there can be no
justification whatsoever to launch criminal prosecution
on that basis afresh. The inherent power of the court in
dealing with an extraordinary situation is in the larger
interest of administration of justice and for preventing
manifest injustice being done. Thus, it is a judicial
obligation on the court to undo a wrong in course of
administration of justice and to prevent continuation of
unnecessary judicial process. It may be so necessary to
curb the menace of criminal prosecution as an
instrument of operation of needless harassment. A
person cannot be permitted to unleash vendetta to
harass any person needlessly. Ex debito justitiae is
inbuilt in the inherent power of the court and the whole
idea is to do real, complete and substantial justice for
which the courts exist. Thus, it becomes the paramount
duty of the court to protect an apparently innocent
person, not to be subjected to prosecution on the basis
of wholly untenable complaint.”

14. The application of the principles laid down in Taluqdar2 in 2

Jatinder Singh12 shows that “a second complaint is permissible depending

22
(1982) 1 SCC 466
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Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
20

upon how the complaint happened to be dismissed at the first instance”. It

was further laid down that “if the dismissal of the complaint was not on

merit but on default of the complainant to be present there is no bar in the

complainant moving the Magistrate again with a second complaint on the

same facts. But if the dismissal of the complaint under Section 203 of the

Code was on merits the position could be different”.

To similar effect are the conclusions in Ranvir Singh13 and Poonam

Chand Jain14. Para 16 of the Poonam Chand Jain14 also considered the

effect of para 50 of the majority judgment in Talukdar2. These cases,

therefore, show that if the earlier disposal of the complaint was on merits

and in a manner known to law, the second complaint on “almost identical

facts” which were raised in the first complaint would not be maintainable.

What has been laid down is that “if the core of both the complaints is same”,

the second complaint ought not to be entertained.

15. If the facts of the present matter are considered in the light of these

principles, it is clear that paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 in the first complaint

contained the basic allegations that the vehicle belonging to the father was

sold after the death of the father; that signatures of the father on Form 29

and 30 were forged; that signatures on the affidavit annexed with Form 29

and 30 were also forged; and that on the basis of such forged documents the
Criminal Appeal Nos.367-368 of 2020 @ SLP(Crl.)Nos.4418-4419 of 2020
Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
21

benefit of “sale consideration of the vehicle” was derived by the accused.

The order dated 5.7.2013 passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class,

shows that after considering the evidence and documents produced on

behalf of the complainant, no prima facie case was found and the complaint

was rejected under Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The stand taken before the Revisional Court discloses that at that stage

some new facts were said to be in possession of the complainant and as

such liberty was sought to withdraw the Revision with further liberty to file

a fresh complaint. The liberty was not given and it was observed that if

there were new facts, the complainant, in law would be entitled to present

a new complaint and as such there was no need of any permission from the

Court. The Revisional Court was definitely referring to the law laid down

by this Court on the basis of the principles in Taluqdar2. Thereafter a

complaint with new material in the form of a credit note and Registration

Certificate was filed. The core allegations, however, remained the same.

The only difference was that the second complaint referred to additional

material in support of the basic allegations. Again, in terms of principle laid

down in para 50 of Taluqdar2 as amplified in para 16 in Poonam Chand

Jain14, nothing was stated as to why said additional material could not be

obtained with reasonable diligence.

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Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
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16. Reliance was, however, placed by Ms. Meenakshi Arora, learned

Senior Advocate, on para 18 of the decision of this Court in Shivshankar

Singh20. In that case a Protest Petition was filed by the complainant even

before a final report was filed by the police. While said Protest Petition

was pending consideration, the final report was filed, whereafter second

Protest Petition was filed. Challenge raised by the accused that the second

Protest Petition was not maintainable, was accepted by the High Court. In

the light of these facts the matter came to be considered by this Court as

under:-

“7. Shri Gaurav Agrawal, learned counsel appearing
for the appellant has submitted that the High Court
failed to appreciate that the so-called first protest
petition having been filed prior to the filing of the final
report was not maintainable and just has to be ignored.
The learned Magistrate rightly did not proceed on the
basis of the said protest petition and it remained merely
a document in the file. The second petition was the only
protest petition which could be entertained as it had
been filed subsequent to the filing of the final
report………

18. Thus, it is evident that the law does not prohibit
filing or entertaining of the second complaint even on
the same facts provided the earlier complaint has been
decided on the basis of insufficient material or the
order has been passed without understanding the nature
of the complaint or the complete facts could not be
placed before the court or where the complainant came
to know certain facts after disposal of the first
complaint which could have tilted the balance in his
favour. However, the second complaint would not be
maintainable wherein the earlier complaint has been
disposed of on full consideration of the case of the
complainant on merit.

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Samta Naidu & Anr. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr.
23

19. The protest petition can always be treated as a
complaint and proceeded with in terms of Chapter XV
CrPC. Therefore, in case there is no bar to entertain a
second complaint on the same facts, in exceptional
circumstances, the second protest petition can also
similarly be entertained only under exceptional
circumstances. In case the first protest petition has been
filed without furnishing the full facts/particulars
necessary to decide the case, and prior to its
entertainment by the court, a fresh protest petition is
filed giving full details, we fail to understand as to why
it should not be maintainable.”
(Emphasis supplied)

17. As against the facts in Shivshankar20, the present case stands on a

different footing. There was no legal infirmity in the first complaint filed

in the present matter. The complaint was filed more than a year after the

sale of the vehicle which meant the complainant had reasonable time at his

disposal. The earlier complaint was dismissed after the Judicial Magistrate

found that no prima facie case was made out; the earlier complaint was not

disposed of on any technical ground; the material adverted to in the second

complaint was only in the nature of supporting material; and the material

relied upon in the second complaint was not such which could not have

been procured earlier. Pertinently, the core allegations in both the

complaints were identical. In the circumstances, the instant matter is

completely covered by the decision of this Court in Taluqdar2 as explained
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24

in Jatinder Singh12 and Poonam Chand Jain14. The High Court was thus

not justified in holding the second complaint to be maintainable.

18. In the aforesaid premises, we allow these appeals, set aside the

decision of the High Court and dismiss Complaint Case No.9226 of 2014

as not being maintainable. The amount deposited by the appellants shall

now be returned to them along with any interest accrued thereon.

…………………………J.

[Uday Umesh Lalit]

…………………………J.

[Vineet Saran]
New Delhi;

March 02, 2020.



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