Civil dispute when given color criminal offence acts as a weapon of harassment- SC
The Supreme Court, while quashing criminal proceedings initiated against a property purchaser, made an observation that frivolous allegations tend to hamper the mechanisms introduced for delivering justice to the victims.
The background facts of this case include filing of an FIR against the power of attorney of the complainant and purchaser of the property. The bench examined the FIR and observed that the criminal proceedings had been adopted as a weapon to harass the purchaser.
Furthermore, it had been observed that the FIR did not disclose any criminal offence against the party and the relevant part of the charge sheet appeared to be vague.
The bench also addressed the powers extended to the High Court and stated that latter ought to examine whether a particular complaint discloses criminal offence; nature of allegation; or essential ingredients of the offence have been present or not.
Moreover, it reiterated that powers under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 have been designed with an objective to achieve the purpose that no criminal proceedings are initiated which aim at harassing the individuals.
The apex court bench allowed the appeal and clarified that there stands no doubt that even civil transactions might have criminal texture, however, it’s the duty of High Court to see whether a dispute of civil nature has been given color of criminal offence or not.
The bench quashed the criminal proceedings not just because a civil remedy is available but because neither the FIR nor the charge sheet could make out a criminal case against the appellant.
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