Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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Background Facts

  • The Complaint filed by the Petitioner alleged that a main sewerage pumping line of the Kerala Water Authority that was laid diagonally through the property of Avruthi Mall Management Co. Ltd. (one of the Respondents) was shifted to a part of the property that effectuated construction over a larger area.
  • The Complaint was filed by the former Chief Minister of Kerala V. S. Achuthanandan against the order of the Enquiry Commissioner and Special Judge Thiruvananthapuram which dismissed the complaint filed by the Petitioner against Respondents under Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • The Petitioner contended that this shift helped all the Respondents gain an undue pecuniary advantage by reducing the Government property in their possession.
  • Before the present complaint was filed by the petitioner, another public-spirited person had already filed an FIR before the Lok Ayukta on the same issue.
  • The Counsel for Petitioner, Advocate S. Chandrasekharan Nair, contended that both the FIRs contained allegations about different issues and it was improper to reject the present FIR by conducting a preliminary enquiry.
  • The Petitioner relied on LalitaKumari v/s State of U.P. in their arguments.

Court’s Observations

  • The Hon’ble Court ruled that a second FIR on the same allegations cannot be registered especially when the first FIR has been quashed on merits.
  • When the Counsel for Petitioner argued that the two FIRs were on different substance, the Court observed that the allegations in both the complaints were substantially the same, except for some additional details in the second FIR. However, it was considered immaterial as an FIR need not be a compendium of all facts.
  • The Court held that the accused will not attract the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, since the Respondent Company had not gained any undue pecuniary advantage from the shifting of the sewerage line.
  • The Court also held that the FIR did not disclose the commission of offenses under the said Act and the FIR was dismissed.
  • Further, the Bench of Hon’ble Justice V. G. Varun held that if the petitioner’s prayer is allowed, it will result in the registration of a second FIR on the same facts. Therefore the Court was justified in rejecting the second FIR.
  • The Court held that the Petitioner’s reliance on the Lalita Kumari case was misplaced as the case did not deal with anything about the legality of registration of a second FIR based on the same allegations. The Court also held that there was no declaration in the said case that preliminary enquiry is bound to be held for a second FIR on the same set of facts.

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Saura Patil Online
14 June 2021    17  Report


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