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Multiple Fir A Classic Example Of Forum Hunting And Gross Abuse Of Process Of Law”: Supreme Court In Ambalal Parihar V. State Of Rajasthan & Ors

Ifrah Murtaza ,
  28 October 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
Criminal Appeal no. 3233 of 2023 (arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 8027 of 2023)

Case title: A

mbalal Parihar v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.

Date of Order:

16 October 2023

Bench:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhay S. Oka

 Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pankaj Mithal

Parties:

Appellant(s): Ambalal Parihar

Respondent(s): State of Rajasthan & Ors.

SUBJECT:

 

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’) disapproved the High Court of Rajasthan’s decision to entertain a Civil Writ Petition in a case with criminal implications and rebuked the respondents for opting to file a Civil Petition to address a criminal issue.

 

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC): Section 482

OVERVIEW:

  • The Appellant had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against respondent no.s 2 to 4. The same respondents already had 2 other FIRs against them by some other informants.
  • Subsequently, the respondents filed 2 criminal miscellaneous petitions under section 482 of CrPC to quash the FIRs. The learned single judge did not grant interim relief.
  • Consequently, the respondents filed a writ petition on the civil side to club the 8 FIRs against them into one.
  • The High Court of Rajasthan passed an order that no coercive action shall be taken against them in connection with all 8 FIRs.
  • The appellant made grave allegations relying on the roster notified by the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court. He alleged that the petition was filed to avoid the Judge on the roster, who had not granted interim relief.
  • The order is now challenged in this Court.

ISSUES RAISED:

  • Can a Civil Writ Petition be entertained for a criminal matter?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT:

  • A Civil Petition was filed to avoid the Judge on the roster.
  • A civil petition was filed to club the FIRs even though the matter was on the criminal side.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

 

  • The respondent no.s 2 to 4 had resorted to the means of forum hunting.
  • A Civil Writ Petition should not have been entertained by the High Court for clubbing the FIRs.
  • The Judges must follow the roster notified by the Chief Justice and not take up any case unless it is specifically assigned by the Chief Justice or else Justice will have no meaning.
  •  The learned Judge ought to have converted the Civil Writ Petition into a Criminal Writ Petition which would have been placed only before the Judge taking up Criminal Writ Petition on the roster.
  • The Court strongly criticized respondents second to fourth for filing a petition in the High Court with Civil petition after being denied interim relief in the Criminal Miscellaneous Petitions filed by them and noted that the respondents were represented by the same counsels in both civil and criminal cases.

CONCLUSION

 The Supreme Court observed that this was a classic case of forum hunting by respondent no.s 2-4 and set aside the relief granted in the Civil Writ Petition. The Court remarked that assuming a case not expressly delegated by the Chief Justice would constitute a grave breach of decorum. The Court found it appropriate for the respondents to bear the cost assessed at Rs. 50,000. Appeal was allowed on the terms.

 

 
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