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A pure civil dispute cannot be given a colour of criminal dispute - proceedings quashed; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice M R Shah and Justice Ashok Bhushan

The SC {Govind Prasad Kejriwal v. State of Bihar & Anr. } holds that  even considering/taking the allegations in the  complaint as they are,  initiation of criminal proceedings against the accused is nothing but an abuse of process of law and the Court.   A purely civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute.

It was held by the SC that even none of the ingredients of Section 323 of the IPC, are satisfied.     Therefore,   even   considering   the   allegations   in   the complaint as they are, to continue the criminal proceedings against  the accused even for the offence under Section 323 shall be an abuse of process of the Court and the law.  Therefore, the SC held that this is a fit case to exercise the powers        under  Section 482 Cr.P.C., and to quash the impugned criminal  proceedings.  

It was held that even   while   conducting/holding   an  inquiry   under   Section   202 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate is required to consider  whether even a prima facie case is made out or not and whether the  criminal proceedings initiated are an abuse of process of law or the Court  or not and/or whether   the   dispute   is   purely   of   a  civil   nature   or   not   and/or whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour  of criminal dispute or not.  It was held that the dispute between the parties can be said to be purely of a civil nature.  Therefore, this is a fit case to quash and set aside the impugned criminal proceedings. According, the appeal was allowed and the criminal proceedings were quashed by the SC - setting aside the judgment of the HC.

In the present case, the private respondent herein Gopal Prasad son of  Shri Shyam S. Prasad, brother of one Ramesh Kumar – a partner of a firm,  filed   the   criminal   complaint   being Complaint Case No.464 of 2001 in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barh against the appellant  herein – one of the partner of Kejriwal Films, for the offences under  Sections 379, 323, 504, 506, 406, 452, 147, 148/34 IPC. 


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