LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

No Quashing Of Criminal Proceedings Even If The Suit In Which Forged Documents Were Filed Is Withdrawn

Esha Goyal ,
  30 May 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
High Court Of Karnataka At Bengaluru
Brief :

Citation :
Criminal Petition No. 9791 Of 2017 (482)

CASE TITLE:

SMT. VASANTHI Vs. SRI. UMESH G.D. 

DATE OF ORDER:

23rd APRIL 2024

BENCH:

SINGLE JUDGE BENCH: HON'BLE MR JUSTICE SURAJ GOVINDA RAJ 

PARTIES:

PETITIONER - SMT. VASANTHI

RESPONDENT - SRI. UMESH G.D.

SUBJECT 

The present petition was instituted to quash the criminal proceedings. For property rights, she instituted a suit in the lower court against the respondent based on an alleged forged document.  The respondent filed a criminal complaint against the forgery. The suit was then withdrawn by the petitioner which did not stop the criminal proceedings against her. to stop the criminal proceedings, the petitioner moved to the High Court.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE : 

  1. SECTION 482-  It grants inherent power to the High Court to pass such orders that are in the interest of the justice system. 
  2. SECTION 195(1)(b)(ii)- offence committed by the offender concerning the documents or the evidence produced during the court proceedings which includes forging the documents to cause injury, knowingly using the forged document, counterfeiting device/ mark used for authentication, no court shall recognise that. it is only the court which is empowered to take action which has received the forged document during its proceedings. 

INDIAN PENAL CODE

  1. SECTION 420- Prescribes punishment for cheating and dishonesty which also includes the delivery of property. 
  2. SECTION  419-  Prescription of punishment for cheating with personation 
  3. SECTION  423- Fraudulently executing the transfer deed containing fake statements of consideration. 
  4. SECTION 417 - Prescribes punishment for cheating which shall extend to 1 year or fine or both. 
  5. SECTION 465 - Prescription of punishment of forgery which shall extend to 2 years or fine or both. 
  6. SECTION 471- If the individual knows the document is forged but still chooses to use it, he shall be punished similarly as if he is the one who forged the document. 

OVERVIEW

  • The petitioner, for the rights of her property, instituted a suit against the respondent. During the judicial proceedings, the petitioner had allegedly used the forged documents against which the respondent filed the criminal complaint. 
  • The petitioner withdrew her suit from the lower court but the criminal proceedings were still active against her.
  • The petitioner in this case prays to the High Court to quash the order passed by the lower courts stating that there are no grounds for the complaint to sustain after the withdrawal of the suit. 

ISSUES RAISED

  • Whether Section  195 of the Cr.P.C. operates because of the alleged forged documents used in the court proceedings or could such a complaint be filed in the police station or could both actions be taken?
  • Whether there are grounds to file a complaint as the disputed property is situated at site no 4 but is presented as site no. 6 as per the forged documents?
  • Whether the withdrawal of the suit which was the cause of action for the complaint be quashed by this court?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PETITIONER 

  • The learned counsel stated that the documents used in the proceedings were forged outside the court hence, the court which receives such documents has the authority to initiate the proceedings and not the complainant. 
  • Relying on the complaint, the respondent claims his rights on the property on site no.4 but the documents presented in the court state the property was on site no. 6.
  • The respondent/plaintiff withdrew his complaint from the lower court and hence there were no actions taken against the respondent in the lower court.
  • The withdrawal of the suit (O.S.No.209/2015) had limited the respondent to take any further actions against such forgery. 
  • lastly, it was maintained that the petitioner withdrew his suit and hence he did not receive any gain whatsoever for which allegations of forgery cannot be made against him. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT

  • The counsel on behalf of the respondent stated that respondent No. 2 ( who was the complainant)  was compelled to take such action due to the legal action taken against him by the petitioner. It was stated that the suit was withdrawn much later than the filing of the complaint. The cognizance of the case was taken and the initiation of the criminal proceedings were valid. 
  • As the forged document was used by the petitioner against the respondent, the latter was compelled to file the case. 
  • Because the suit was filed before the complaint, the complainant has valid grounds to file such complaints and seek criminal proceedings. 

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS

  • Issue 1

  1. Relying on Iqbal Singh Marwah and another vs. Meenakshi Marwah and another, the Hon’ble Court concluded that the bar of Section 195 can only be attracted when the documents are in the court’s custody. the difference between forgery committed in the custody of the court and in the court of law cited. 
  2. Section 195 is not applicable in the cases wherein the documents are forged outside but are used in the court. The basis of the decision was after analysis of the case Bandekar Brothers Private Limited & another vs. Prasad Vassudev Keni & others re. 
  3. Hence, the court in the present issue concluded that the aggrieved party would have the right to file the criminal complaint for forgery and fabrication which will not be limited by section 192 of The Criminal Procedure. 
  4. The court can also take action against forgery as per Section 340 of the Cr. P.C. both action by the private party and the court for such forgery will not amount to double jeopardy. 
  • Issue 2

  1. The petitioner instituted the suit against the respondent based on the forged documents. Hence, the respondent had valid grounds for filing a case against the petitioner as the suit would affect him and his interest. 
  2. Moreover, the relief was sought based on the forged document establishing the locus for the criminal complaint as it is the right of the respondent to seek action for the fabrication.
  • Issue 3

  1. There are serious allegations imposed against the petitioner. Merely because the suit was withdrawn would not dilute the usage of the forged documents in a court of law.
  2. It would be unjust to pronounce that the rights of the respondent diminished because the suit was withdrawn. 
  3. Hence, the cause of action for the complaint arising out of the suit will not quash the criminal proceedings even if the suit is withdrawn.

concluding to which the Hon’ble Court dismissed the current petition. 

CONCLUSION

The procedural law is the tool to the substantial law to deliver justice. The rights of the defending party are equally important in law. The above-discussed case recognised the rights of the respondent wherein the alleged forged documents were used against him. Criminal proceedings are initiated against issues that are generally not the conscience of the law and violate public interest. Merely because the suit was withdrawn, it does not diminish the wrongdoings of the petitioner and appropriate steps shall be taken to recognise that. In the present case, the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka acknowledged the forgery as a serious offence and limiting actions against it would be bad in law.
 

 
"Loved reading this piece by Esha Goyal?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"



Published in Others
Views : 467




Comments