Madhya Pradesh High Court Quashes F.I.R. Against Former State Finance Minister, Calls It Politically Motivated

Madhya Pradesh High Court Quashes F.I.R. Against Former State Finance Minister, Calls It Politically Motivated

Madhya Pradesh High Court Quashes F.I.R. Against Former State Finance Minister, Calls It Politically Motivated

 

Recently, Hon’ble Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur allowed the petition U/s 482 Cr.P.C. filed by the former Finance Minister, Govt. of M.P. to quash the F.I.R. containing charges U/s 377, 506, 34 IPC lodged by one of the worker/resident of his bungalow, after finding that there is no substance in F.I.R. to made out the offence and also allegations seems to be Politically motivated, to tarnish the image of the Minister, by his political rivals.

BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE

The complainant (respondent No.2) after leaving the house of the petitioner made a written complaint to the Station House Officer, Police Station Habibganj on 07.07.2013 alleging that the petitioner has been doing unnatural sex with him in lieu of getting him employed and that was continued from 2010 till May, 2013 when he left the house of the petitioner. Thereafter, the complainant felt humiliated and mustered courage to raise his voice by initiating criminal action against the petitioner and also sought police protection as was apprehensive of danger to his life for fighting against an influential person. The police lodged the F.I.R. and charge sheet was filed in the year 2014.

 

CONTENTION OF THE PETITIONER

Learned senior counsel for the petitioner seeks quashing of FIR mainly on the ground that case of Section 377 of IPC is not made out against the petitioner for the reason that from the contents of FIR and other material collected by the police, it crystallizes that the complainant has lodged the complaint to the police just to defame the petitioner in the society. Shri Shekhar pinpointed towards the FIR and submitted that nowhere it has come that the petitioner has developed the physical relation and committed alleged unnatural sex without the consent and complainant has ever opposed it. The complainant is major and literate person; he stayed at the house of petitioner for almost three years; during that period he has alleged that the petitioner had been doing unnatural sex with him, but neither he made any complaint nor opposed such act, makes it clear that he was a consenting party and just at the instance of political rivals of petitioner, the complainant lodged the report. Reliance was also placed on Navtej Singh Johar and others v. Union of India (2018) 10 SCC 1, Dhruvaram Mulidhar Sonar v. State of Maharashtra (2019) 18 SCC 191 and Ravinder Singh @ Kaku v. State of Punjab (2022) 7 SCC 581.

 

CONTENTION OF THE OPP. PARTIES

In contrast, Shri Baghel, learned Government Advocate appearing for the respondent-State submitted that looking to the allegations made by the complainant in his written complaint and also considering the contents of FIR, there is nothing wrong committed by the police while registering the offence under Section 377 of IPC. He submitted that the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner are without any substance and in fact contrary to record. He further submitted that no case in favour of the petitioner is made out on the basis of which FIR can be quashed. He also submitted that the trial has already commenced and some of the witnesses have been recorded and therefore at this stage, it is not proper to interfere in the matter and quash the FIR.

 

HON’BLE COURT’S OBSERVATIONS

At the outset, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Dwivedi while dealing with the contention of the opp. Parties regarding maintainability of application, placed reliance on Prashant Bharti v. State (NCT of Delhi) (2013) 9 SCC 293, Rajiv Thapar v. Madan Lal Kapoor (2013) 3 SCC 330 to explain the position that the Hon’ble court has enough power U/s 482 Cr.P.C. to interfere in lower court proceeding at any stage of Trial.

Hon’ble court while deciding the case on merits, observed that “Cogitating the overall circumstances and the material gleaned by the prosecution, it reveals that the complainant was in fact interested in belittling the image of petitioner and he has also admitted the fact that affidavit was prepared by him at the instance of an Advocate associated with the leader of rival political party. Further the complaint was dictated by the SHO before the Superintendent of Police, Bhopal. His father has also made allegation against the complainant. Even from the complaint and affidavit it reveals that if such allegation of unnatural sex by the petitioner with the complainant is considered to be true, it does not give any notion about using force or allurement by the petitioner before doing such act. The complainant in the affidavit submitted along with written complaint did not disclose this fact that before getting him employed, the petitioner ever put any precondition of committing unnatural sexual intercourse. Even in the statement recorded in the trial Court, complainant has not disclosed the fact that before getting him employed petitioner had put any condition”

Further the Hon’ble quoted the relevant portion of Navtej Jauhar (supra) observations, which are “Any act of the description covered under Section 377 IPC done between two individuals without the consent of any one of them would invite penal liability under Section 377 IPC.”

Furthermore, it was held that “In the light of above enunciated observations, it is clear that both the persons – petitioner and complainant, in the existing circumstances, are considered to be consenting party, therefore, offence under Section 377 of IPC is not made out. This Court exercising the inherent jurisdiction for securing the ends of justice can quash the prosecution because considering the circumstances if prima facie this Court is of the opinion that there are feeble chances of ultimate conviction and no useful purpose is likely to serve by allowing the criminal prosecution to continue, the proceeding can be quashed. The Supreme Court in re Madhavrao Jiwajirao Scindia and others v. Sambhajirao Chandrojirao Angre and others (1988) 1 SCC 692 considering the scope of exercising power under Section 482 has observed as under:-

“7. The legal position is well settled that when a prosecution at the initial stage is asked to be quashed, the test to be applied by the court is as to whether the uncontroverted allegations as made prima facie establish the offence. It is also for the court to take into consideration any special features which appear in a particular case to consider whether it is expedient and in the interest of justice to permit a prosecution to continue. This is so on the basis that the court cannot be utilised for any oblique purpose and where in the opinion of the court chances of an ultimate conviction are bleak and, therefore, no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing a criminal prosecution to continue, the court may while taking into consideration the special facts of a case also quash the proceeding even though it may be at a preliminary stage.”

Lastly, before allowing the petition, it was observed that “I am of the opinion that the complaint is sugarcoated with ill-motive, made to belittle the image in society and casting a stigma on the name of high-up-place person, who also holds important portfolio in the State of M.P. Notably, for almost three years, the complainant remained reticent and astoundingly it is only after he left the petitioner’s house, he felt humiliated that he made the complaint. Further, I find that the complaint was made after handing-in-gloves with the leaders of rival parties and therefore it is nothing but the assimilation of personal and political antipathies, more precisely, a politicallyoriented-animosity.”

 

Case Title:-  Raghavji Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh & ors.

Case no. :-   M.CR.C. NO.8403/2016

Order date :- 14.06.2023

 

 

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