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Supreme Court of India
T.S.K. Ashwin Kumar vs Tubati Srivalli on 6 November, 2020
Author: V. Ramasubramanian
Bench: Hon’Ble The Justice, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian
1 NonReportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.444 OF 2020 IN SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.10686 OF 2020 T.S.K. ASHWIN KUMAR … PETITIONER(S) Versus TUBATI SRIVALLI & ORS. …RESPONDENT(S) WITH DIARY NO. 17301 OF 2020 JUDGMENT
V. Ramasubramanian, J.
1. While the Contempt Petition arises out of an order passed by
this Court on 16.07.2019 by consent of parties in SLP(Crl)No.10686
Signature Not Verified
Madhu Balaof 2018, the Special Leave Petition arises out of an interim order
Digitally signed by
passed by the High Court for the State of Telangana at Hyderabad,
staying the trial of a criminal complaint, during the pendency of a
criminal petition arising out of an order of the Trial court refusing
to reopen and recall PW1 to PW4.
2. We have heard Mr. Marlapalle, learned senior counsel
appearing for the petitioner and Mr. Devadatt Kamat, learned senior
counsel appearing for the 1st respondent.
3. The facts sufficient for the disposal of these proceedings are as
(a) The sole petitioner in the Contempt Petition (who is also
the first petitioner in the SLP) is the husband of the 1 st
respondent in both these proceedings. They got married at
Hyderabad on 07.12.2008 and a male child was born in the
wedlock on 04.04.2010;
(b) After the marriage, the couple went to the United States
of America and they came back to India in November, 2015;
(c) On 20.12.2015 the 1st respondentwife filed a criminal
complaint in Crime No.477 of 2015 against the 1 st petitioner
herein as well as his parents and other close relatives, for
alleged offences under Section 498A read with Section 120B
and Sections 420 and 365 of the IPC;
(d) A chargesheet was filed on 12.03.2017. A supplementary
chargesheet was also filed on 20.12.2017. However, the
proceedings against persons shown as Accused Nos.4 to 6
were quashed by this Court by an order dated 21.08.2018 in
Criminal Appeal No.1045 of 2018, on the ground that they are
not the immediate family members of the 1st petitioner
husband, but distant relatives;
(e) In the meantime, the petitioner who was on bail by virtue
of an order passed by the Trial Court on 29.12.2017, subject
to the condition that he shall not leave the State of Telangana
or the country without prior permission of the Court,
approached the Trial Court for relaxation of the bail condition,
so that he could travel to USA. But the said petition was
dismissed by the Trial Court by an order dated 20.06.2018;
(f) Therefore, the 1st petitioner approached the High Court
and the High Court, by an order dated 08.11.2018 passed in
Criminal Petition No.11411 of 2018 granted relaxation of the
bail conditions and allowed the 1st petitioner to go to USA
after furnishing bank guarantee in a sum of Rs. 3,00,000/
(Three Lakhs Only), for his appearance as and when called
upon to do so;
(g) Challenging the order of the High Court granting
relaxation of the bail conditions, the 1 st respondentwife filed
a Special Leave Petition in SLP (Crl) No.10686 of 2018;
(h) The SLP (Crl) No.10686 of 2018 was disposed of by this
Court by an order dated 16.07.2019, by consent of parties.
By this order this Court directed the Trial Court to conclude
the trial of the criminal case within a period of two months;
(i) Though a period of 15 months has now elapsed from the
date of the said order passed by this Court, the trial has not
(j) Blaming the 1st respondentwife for adopting dilatory
tactics and not allowing the trial to get completed within the
period stipulated by this Court, the husband has come up
with the Contempt petition. On 28.07.2020 notice was
ordered in the Contempt Petition;
(k) It appears that in the meantime, the State, through the
Assistant Public Prosecutor filed a petition before the Trial
Court on 17.01.2020 to reopen the evidence and to recall PWs
1 to 4. The said petition was dismissed by the Trial Court by
an order on 23.01.2020;
(l) Challenging the order of the Trial Court refusing to recall
PWs 1 to 4 the 1st respondentwife filed a criminal petition in
Criminal Petition No.896 of 2020 under Section 482 CrP.C.
While entertaining the said petition, the High Court for the
State of Telangana at Hyderabad granted interim stay of
further proceedings in the criminal case. Though the High
Court posted the criminal petition for final hearing on
06.03.2020, it could not be taken up for hearing. As a result,
the stay of further proceedings got extended;
(m) Therefore, aggrieved by the stay of trial granted by the
High Court in Criminal Petition No.896 of 2020 at the
instance of the 1st respondentwife, the husband and his
parents have come up with the present SLP.
4. The grievance of the petitionerhusband in the Contempt
Petition is that after having consented to cooperate in the
conclusion of the trial within a period of two months, the 1 st
respondentwife has been dragging on the matter under some
pretext or the other. However, the 1st respondentwife has filed a
statement of objections claiming that she is not in any way
responsible for the delay.
5. We do not wish to go into the nitty gritties, since it is a
matrimonial matter. But we cannot desist from recording our
displeasure at the manner in which the proceedings before the Trial
Court have dragged on for the past 15 months, after this Court
passed an order on 16.07.2019 with the consent of the parties, for
the conclusion of the trial within a period of 2 months. The order
passed by this Court on 16.07.2019 in SLP (Crl) No.10686 of 2018
reads as follows:
“After hearing learned counsel for the parties,
the following order is passed by consent:
1. The Trial in case No. CC. 622/2018 before the Court
of AJCJcumXXV Metropolitan Magistrate,
Cyberabad, Kukatpally, which was transferred and
now pending before the Court of VIII Metropolitan
Magistrate, Cyberabad, Kukatpally shall be concluded
2 expeditiously and in any case not later than two
months from the date the appearance of the parties
before the in Charge Court, since the Court of VIII
Metropolitan Magistrate, Cyberabad, Kukatapply is
reported to be vacant.
2. The parties are directed to appear before the In
charge Court, Cyberabad, kukatapply on 22.07.2019.
3. This direction is given in view of the peculiar
circumstances and status of the parties.
4. All other criminal cases between the parties in any
other courts shall stand disposed of without any
5. The parties are restrained from filing any case civil
or criminal against each other or their respective
Advocates during the pendency of the trial.
6. The passport application of respondent No.
2/husband may be considered by the passport
The special leave petition is disposed of
Pending application stands disposed of.”
6. Apart from the party/parties responsible for protracting the
proceedings, it is unfortunate that the State, the Trial Court as well
as the High Court have also omitted to take note of the time frame
fixed by this Court. The State represented by the Prosecutor filed an
application in Crl.M.P.No.56 of 2020 for recalling PW1 to PW4 for
further examination and for the issue of summons to several other
persons. This application was filed on the ground that a
supplementary chargesheet was filed later.
7. But the Trial Court dismissed the Application filed by the
Prosecutor on 23.01.2020 on the ground that the supplementary
chargesheet related only to A4 to A6 and that in as much as the
charges against A4 to A6 have been quashed, the reason for
seeking recall was not convincing. The Trial Court also recorded
that PW1 to PW4 were supposed to speak about their grievances
at length even when they were examined in the first instance and
that therefore the petition filed by the prosecution was only an
attempt to delay the proceedings.
8. As against the wellconsidered order of the Trial Court, the
1strespondentwife moved a petition before the High Court under
Section 482 Cr.P.C. This petition was entertained by the High Court
and stay of further proceedings was granted. The High Court should
not have granted such a stay on 07.02.2020, in the teeth of the
order passed by this Court on 16.07.2019 for the disposal of the
proceedings within two months.
9. It is relevant to point out that the 1 st respondentwife was PW
1 and she was examined in chief on 09.10.2019 and 15.10.2019
long after the filing of the supplementary chargesheet. She was
crossexamined on 18.11.2019, 20.11.2019 and 28.11.2019. After
conclusion of such extensive crossexamination, the prosecution
reported no reexamination.
10. Similarly, the 1st respondent’s mother was examined as PW2.
Her chief examination took place on 22.10.2019 and her cross
examination took place on 09.12.2019. There was no re
examination. The father of the 1 st respondent was examined as PW
3 and the brother of the 1st respondent was examined as PW4.
These two witnesses were also examined during the very same
period of time namely October – December, 2019.
11. It appears that after the recording of evidence of all
prosecution witnesses was over, the trial court closed the evidence
on the side of the prosecution on 08.01.2020 and posted the case
for questioning under Section 313, Cr.P.C on 17.01.2020. On
30.01.2020, the questioning under Section 313 was also over.
12. Therefore, it is surprising that the prosecution filed an
application in Crl.M.P.No.56 of 2020 for recalling PW1 to PW4, on
the basis of the supplementary chargesheet. PW1 to PW4 are not
strangers or 3rd parties. All of them are aggrieved persons and hence
they should have spoken about all the facts even in the first
instance. After having prevented the 1 st petitionerhusband from
travelling to USA, by inviting an order on consent before this Court,
neither the parties nor the prosecution should give any room for
suspicion that they are protracting the proceedings.
13. Our attention was drawn to the certified copies of the
deposition of PW1, PW2 and PW4, where the Trial Court has
recorded the demeanour of these witnesses. We do not wish to
make any observation regarding the same, lest it may prejudice the
outcome of the trial.
14. Suffice it to point out that any attempt to overreach an order
of this Court passed by consent should be discouraged and
deprecated. Therefore, the order of stay granted by the High Court
is liable to be vacated and the trial directed to be proceeded. The
Contempt Petition, in our considered view can be closed without
going into the rival claims.
15. Accordingly, the Special Leave Petition and the Contempt
Petition are disposed of to the following effect:
(i) The Contempt Petition is closed without going into
the rival contentions;
(ii) The Special Leave Petition is allowed and the order
of stay of further proceedings, granted by the High Court
in Criminal Petition No.896 of 2020 is set aside;
(iii) The Trial Court is directed to proceed further with
the trial of the criminal case, from the stage where it got
struck due to the stay order of the High Court. The Trial
Court may endeavour to dispose of the matter within a
period of two months.
November 06, 2020