IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION NO. 14087 of 2011 FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.M.THAKER ================================================================
1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment ?
2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ?
3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the judgment ?
4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India, 1950 or any order made thereunder ?
5 Whether it is to be circulated to the civil judge ?
================================================================ FARIDABIBI ISMAIL SIDA W/O USUF IBRAHIM KARODIYA & 1 Applicant(s) Versus STATE OF GUJARAT & 1 Respondent(s) ================================================================ Appearance:
MR PUSHPADATTA VYAS, ADVOCATE for the Applicant(s) No. 1 - 2 MR ASHISH M DAGLI, ADVOCATE for the Respondent(s) No. 2 MS RITA CHANDARANA APP for the Respondent(s) No. 1 ================================================================ CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.M.THAKER Date : 30/09/2013 ORAL JUDGMENT In present petition, under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code [hereinafter referred to as “the Code”], the petitioners have prayed inter alia, that:-
“7(A) Your Lordships be pleased to call for R & P of the F.I.R. bearing C.R.No.I-163 of 2011 filed with the Kosamba police station, Surat Rural, Dist: Surat and subsequent criminal proceeding thereof and further be pleased to quash the impugned F.I.R. at Annexure-A and proceedings in the interest of justice.”
2. So far as factual matrix is concerned, it has emerged from the record that the respondent No.2 is the original complainant and present two petitioners are the accused persons. The complainant filed the complaint dated 28.9.2011 alleging offence punishable under Sections 406, 420, 423 and 114 of IPC. The said complaint came to be registered as CR – I No.163 of 2011. The complainant has alleged, inter alia, that the complainant had purchased the land in question from the accused No.1 and had paid entire consideration, however, at the relevant time, the sale-deed was not executed and instead, the vendor i.e. accused No.1 had executed power of attorney. The complainant has also alleged that the transaction was entered into and executed on 27.11.2007. She has further alleged that subsequently, the complainant repeatedly asked the accused persons to execute the sale deed but the accused persons avoided execution of sale deed on one ground or other and continued to delay the matter. The complainant has also alleged that subsequently, she learnt that the accused persons are going to sell off the land in question to some other person and that therefore, the complainant got a notice issued to the accused persons. The complainant further alleged that despite the said notice, the accused persons proceeded to sell the land in question and upon receiving higher amount, the accused persons sold the land to a third party on 25.2.2011. On such allegations, the complainant lodged the impugned FIR on 28.9.2011.
It is pertinent that before filing the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011, the respondent / complainant had filed a complaint against the petitioners on 5.3.2011.
2.1 Aggrieved by the impugned FIR dated 28.9.2011, the accused persons have preferred present petition claiming that earlier (i.e. on 5.3.2011) the respondent - complainant had filed a complaint against present petitioners in Court of learned Magistrate with regard to same land. It is claimed that the said complaint was filed on 5.3.2011 wherein the learned Magistrate had, initially, passed order dated 5.3.2011 directing investigation.
2.2 However, upon receipt of the report by the police authorities, the learned Magistrate passed order dated 13.7.2011 whereby the said complaint came to be dismissed and after just two months, the complainant filed the impugned complaint on 28.9.2011 for same land and with similar allegation, but by suppressing the fact about first complaint dated 5.3.2011.
2.3 The accused persons have also alleged that without disclosing the said aspects related to and connected with the said complaint dated 5.3.2011, the impugned complaint has been filed which is second complaint and therefore also, the impugned complaint deserves to be quashed.
2.4 It has also emerged during the hearing that against the order dated 13.7.2011 in connection with the complaint dated 5.3.2011, the respondent – complainant had preferred a Criminal Revision Application No.264 of 2011 which was filed around 20.7.2011 and vide order dated 7.8.2012 the said revision application is also dismissed.
3. In the affidavit, the accused persons have averred, inter alia, that:-
“2. I say that the complaint filed before the learned JMFC of Mangrol as Criminal Case No.4 of 2011 which was filed by Ibrahim Unus Davji as Power of Attorney in which it was mainly contended that the land was purchased from the accused by complainant in 2007 on a consideration of Rs.3 lakhs and an agreement with possession executed, notarized before the notary. It was also stated that even the power of attorney was also made in which accused have signed and affixed their photographs also. It is stated that only sale deed is to be executed; however as the accused persons to sell the very piece of land and sale deed is not executed in favour of the complainant and therefore the complaint was filed on 5.3.2011. It is stated that in pursuance to the complaint, the learned JMFC, Mangrol is pleased to pass order under Sec.202 for police enquiry and police officer was directed to submit its report within 30 days by order dated 5.3.2011. I say that the Hon'ble Trial court is pleased to thereafter finally dispose of the complaint and pleased to hold that as the accused are trying to sell the land in question; however nothing has actually happened and ultimately the Hon'ble Court is pleased to dismiss the complaint by order dated 13.7.2011.
3. It is submitted that being aggrieved by the said order a Revision Application is filed before the Sessions Court, Surat, Criminal Revision Appln. No.284 of 2011 filed under sec. 397 read with 398 of the code of Criminal Procedure and the revision was filed on 20.7.2011. It is submitted that revision is pending for adjudication.
4. I further respectfully submit that as in spite of the execution of the document in favour of the answering respondent subsequently as the answering respondent was made to aware that in fact now an attempt is also made to sell the land and therefore even a notice was also given on 17.2.2011, in spite of the same on 25.2.2011 the land in question was sold on acceptance of huge consideration the sale deed is also registered before the Office of Sub Registrar, Mangrol, Regn. No. 788 of 2011. It may also be stated that even a document of sale deed of Faridaben who has signed as a witness and therefore the subsequent act of selling of the land in question for which the complaint is filed before Kosamba police station as CR No.I-163 of 2011.
5. I say that as in fact the filing of a second complaint is only a subsequent event which has taken place afterwards. I further respectfully submit that in spite of notice which was served in November – 2011, soon thereafter the land in question was sold and hence the complaint for the offence under Sec.406, 420, 423 and 114 of IPC was filed and therefore in fact both the complaints are distinct one and second complaint which arose as a subsequent development and subsequent event which has taken place after filing of the first complaint. I say that though the land in question is sold but the act of the accused of commission of the second offence which was found out later on for which the prosecution is always maintainable and therefore the petition may not be entertained as prayed for.
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9. I further respectfully say and submit that as after filing of the complaint if complainant was made to aware about development of the issue the commission of the other offence committed, if it is brought to the notice of the police agency the same cannot be treated as a second complaint. I say that it may also be stated here that even the statement recorded by Kosamba police station in reference to enquiry under sec.202, the statement of Faridabibi Ismail in the said statement also nothing was disclosed about selling of the land in spite of the fact that Faridabibi is fully aware about the same. The copy of the statement of Faridabibi recorded by Kosamba police station is annexed herewith and marked Annexure-I to this Affidavit in reply.
10. I further say and submit that even the second statement of husband of Faridabibi was also recorded; however nothing was placed it on record or disclosed before the Hon'ble Court, inspite of that the land in question was already sold. It is therefore submitted that in fact the petitioner who has suppressed material fact during the course of enquiry as well as before this Hon'ble Court and not disclosed correct fact before the Hon'ble Court about execution of the sale deed. I say that even the investigation in respect of the first complaint is also haphazard and straightaway order has been passed which is a subject matter of challenge before the Sessions Court. I say that the answering respondent who came to know about the selling the land after filing of the complaint or after the order passed in the complaint if the same is brought to the notice and the cognizable offence is made out, the it is a matter of investigation and matter of trial wherein the police agency can file an appropriate report as contemplated under sec.173 of the code of Criminal Procedure. It is therefore submitted that at this stage it would be pre-mature to come to any conclusion as prayed by petitioners. It is therefore submitted that on this ground also, the petition may not be entertained as prayed for in the facts and circumstances of the present case.”
4. Mr. Vyas, learned advocate has appeared for the petitioners and submitted that the same respondent – complainant have again filed the complaint against the petitioners (after having filed the complaint for the same land on 5.3.2011) in respect of same parcel of land for alleged offence and that therefore, this complaint is not maintainable. Learned advocate for the petitioners has claimed that in the impugned complaint, the complainant has alleged that after having sold the same land to the complainant in November 2007, the petitioners – accused persons again sold the same land on 25.2.2011 to third party. According to the learned advocate for the petitioners this complaint dated 28.9.2011 is second complaint.
4.1 The learned advocate for the petitioners also submitted that one complaint in respect of same land was filed on 5.3.2011.
4.2 Thus, when the said earlier complaint was filed on 5.3.2011, the land was already sold on 25.2.2011.
4.3 However, the complainant did not disclose the said fact in the complaint and instead, alleged that the accused persons are going to sell the land and by taking disadvantage of said suppression, the complainant has filed present/impugned complaint alleging sale of same land and in the impugned complaint any details about the complaint filed on 5.3.2011 are not mentioned and accordingly, the complainant has suppressed relevant facts at both stages and in both complaints. According to learned counsel for the petitioners, impugned complaint amounts to second complaint for same alleged offence.
5. Per contra, Mr. Dagli, learned counsel for the respondent complainant submitted that the impugned complaint is not second complaint for the same alleged offence inasmuch as the first complaint was filed with the allegation that the accused persons “are going to sell” the land in question and the said complaint dated 5.3.2011 was not filed with the allegation that the accused persons “have sold” the land in question whereas the impugned complaint is filed with the allegations that the accused persons “have sold” the land in question and that therefore, it cannot be said that the impugned complaint is second complaint for the same offence.
6. I have heard learned counsel for the petitioners and the respondents and I have also examined the material on record.
7. There are certain factual aspects in respect of which there is no dispute viz.
(a) It is not in dispute that the complainant had filed one complaint on 5.3.2011 in the court of learned Magistrate.
(b) It is also not in dispute that the said complaint dated 5.3.2011 was filed in respect of the land allegedly purchased by the complainant on 27.11.2007.
(c) It is also not in dispute that the said complaint was registered as Inquiry Case No.4 of 2011 and present accused No.1 was impleaded as accused in the said complaint.
(d) It is also not in dispute that the impugned complaint is filed on 28.9.2011
(e) It is also not in dispute that the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011 is also filed in respect of the same land (i.e. the land which the complainant allegedly purchased on 27.11.2007 from the accused persons) and in respect of which, the complaint dated 5.3.2011 was filed against the petitioners.
(f) It is also not in dispute that after examining the said complaint, learned Magistrate had passed order dated 5.3.2011 directing investigation by the police and report was called for.
(g) It is also not in dispute that after the report was submitted, the learned Magistrate heard the parties, examined the report and passed order dated 13.7.2011 rejecting the said complaint dated 5.3.2011,
(h) and then, i.e. about 2 months after the order dated 13.7.2011, the complainant filed the impugned complaint on 28.9.2011 in respect of same land.
7.1 What is important is the fact that in the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011, which is filed 2 months after the said order dated 13.7.2011, the complainant has alleged that the accused persons “have sold the land on 25.2.2011.”
Thus, the complainant has lodged the FIR/complaint dated 28.9.2011, seven months after the alleged sale.
Moreover, in the impugned complaint, the fact about the earlier complaint dated 5.3.2011and/or about the order dated 17.3.2011 are not mentioned.
7.2 Another relevant aspect is that when the complaint dated 5.3.2011 was filed, the land in question, even according to the complainant's allegation in present/impugned complaint, was already sold by the accused persons inasmuch as even according to the complainant, the land in question was sold on 25.2.2011 whereas the said earlier complaint against present petitioners – accused was filed on 5.3.2011.
However, in the said complaint dated 5.3.2011, the complainant had not disclosed the said fact.
Instead the complainant, very conveniently, merely mentioned that the accused persons are “going to sell” the land (though the land was sold on 25.2.2011) and the said fact is now, i.e. in the impugned complaint, disclosed by the same complainant – who filed the earlier complaint dated 5.3.2011.
It is also pertinent that even during the intervening 4 months, i.e. from 5.3.2011 to 13.7.2011, the complainant did not place the said fact before the Court.
Thereafter, when the said complaint dated 5.3.2011 came to be disposed of by the learned Magistrate (after considering the report submitted by police pursuant to the inquiry) vide order dated 13.7.2011, the complainant, just about two months after the said order, filed impugned complaint in respect of the same land and disclosed the fact which was not disclosed in previous complaint (i.e. disclosed the fact which was not mentioned and disclosed in the complaint dated 5.3.2011) and alleged that the accused persons have “sold” the land (though the land in question was sold even at the time when complaint was filed on 5.3.2011).
7.3 In this background, it is to be considered whether the impugned complaint can be termed as abuse of process or not and whether it can be termed as second complaint, or not.
8. On this count, it is relevant to recall that,
(a) the accused No.1 in the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011 and the accused in the complaint dated 5.3.2011 is the same person.
(b) Moreover, the subject matter (i.e. the land in question) of both complaints is also same.
(c) The transaction with regard to the land in question which, even according to the complainant, was already executed i.e. on 25.2.2011 even at the time when the complaint dated 5.3.2011 was filed and same position i.e. that the land was sold on 25.2.2011 existed at the time when the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011 came to be filed.
(d) While rejecting the complaint dated 5.3.2011 vide order dated 17.3.2011, the Court, after examining the complaint and other material on record, observed that actually, the dispute is of civil nature and on such conclusion, learned Magistrate rejected the complaint and thereafter, the revision application (preferred by the complainant) against said order has also been rejected vide order dated 7.8.2012 and any further proceedings against the said order in revision application is not taken out and it has attained finality.
(e) In the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011, the fact about complaint dated 5.3.2011 is not mentioned and/or the fact about order dated 17.3.2011 is also not mentioned.
(f) Now, the complainant is merely trying to take disadvantage of suppression of fact at the time when the complaint dated 5.3.2011 was filed.
(g) The complainant is trying to take disadvantage of convenient and conscious drafting of the text of the complaint dated 5.3.2011 which was filed before the learned Magistrate wherein the complainant consciously disclosed only truncated fact that the accused persons are “going to sell” the land and did not disclose the correct and complete fact that the land “was sold” or “have already sold the land” on 25.2.2011.
(h) Besides this position, it is also pertinent to mention that even during the hearing before the learned Magistrate, the complainant did not disclose that the land in question was already sold on 25.2.2011 and therefore, the learned Magistrate passed the order dated 13.7.2011 without the benefit of the information/disclosure of the said vital fact.
(i) In the said order, the learned Magistrate also recorded that the power of attorney on the strength of which the complaint is filed is not a registered document.
(j) The said order dated 13.7.2011 was challenged by the petitioners by way of revision application No.264 of 2011 which is also dismissed vide order dated 7.8.2012.
(k) now in the impugned complaint dated 28.9.2011 (which came to be filed two months after the said order dated 13.7.2011), the complainant has not disclosed any fact about the complaint dated 5.3.2011 and/or the order dated 13.7.2011.
9. Having regard to the factual aspects discussed hereinabove and the above quoted observations by the Hon’ble Apex Court, it emerges that the impugned complaint is, and amounts to, abuse of process of Court.
9.1 When an informant/complainant does not disclose certain vital fact, and/or discloses truncated facts, while lodging complaint and after such complaint is rejected/disposed of, then by filing another complaint for same subject matter by disclosing previously undisclosed fact and without disclosing the fact of earlier/previous complaint, then such complainant cannot take advantage of his own conscious act of suppressing relevant fact and can not drag someone into another round of complaint.
9.2 Such conduct and such facts would amount to nothing else but abuse of process of Court and causing harassment.
10. In present case, even without entering into the controversy, whether, in the facts of this case, the impugned FIR/complaint dated 28.9.2011 amounts to second FIR (in view of the earlier complaint dated 5.3.2011 by same complainant against this / present accused No.1 and in respect of same land) or not, the Court is of the view that the impugned FIR is clear and conscious abuse of process of Court.
10.1 The impugned complaint is filed by the same complainant and the accused No.1 is the same and the impugned complaint is filed in respect of the same land in question.
10.2 Moreover at both stages, i.e. while filing complaint dated 5.3.2011 and while filing complaint dated 28.9.2011, the complainant has conveniently not mentioned / disclosed relevant facts inasmuch as the complainant did not disclose in the complaint dated 5.3.2011 that the land was already sold on 25.2.2011 (instead complainant only mentioned on 5.3.2011 that the accused is contemplating to sell the land) and then during hearing also the said fact was not disclosed and then in the complaint dated 28.9.2011, the complainant did not disclose the fact about the complaint dated 5.3.2011 and/or about the order dated 13.7.2011.
10.3 All these facts demonstrate abuse of process by the complainant.
11. Upon conjoint consideration of the above mentioned aspects and for the foregoing reasons, the Court is of the view that the impugned complaint amounts to abuse of process of law and this is a fit case to exercise power under Section 482 of the Code and therefore, the impugned complaint / FIR being CR No. I-163 of 2011 filed at Kosamba Police Station, Surat Rural, District : Surat and the subsequent proceedings, if any, deserve to be quashed and is hereby quashed.
12. Consequently, the impugned complaint bearing CR No.I- 163 of 2011 filed at Kosamba Police Station, Surat Rural, Surat, and subsequent criminal proceedings thereby, are quashed qua the petitioners herein. Rule is made absolute to the aforesaid extent. No costs.
kdc (K.M.THAKER, J.)