//////Judicial process is a solemn proceeding, which cannot be allowed to be converted into an instrument of oppression or harassment, the court said./////
The Supreme Court has quashed a rape case against a person observing that judicial proceedings cannot be allowed to be converted into an instrument of oppression or harassment.
Referring to Bhajanlal case, the court observed that when there is material to indicate that a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide intent and proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive, the high court will not hesitate in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC to quash the proceedings.
The facts of the case are interesting.
According to the accused, the complainant (complainant in the rape case), her son and the husband gave him cheque leaves as repayment of the money they borrowed from him.
As all of those cheque leaves bounced, the accused filed a cheque bounce case against them in September 2010.
The very next month, the lady filed a complaint before the police that the accused came to her home and raped her.
When investigating officer asked the complainant “as to whether now she is ready to get done medical examination”, husband of the complainant answered “no, now there is no benefit out of medical examination. Now, I don’t want to get my wife’s medical examination done as much time has been elapsed“.
When the husband was also asked some questions to get her wife medically examined following answers were given by the husband:
“Question – Now get the medical examination of hour wife done so that D.N.A. etc. proceeding could be done?
Ans.¬ This occurrence is of 22.10.2015 in the evening at 19.30 hrs. and since then till now I have also have sexual intercourse with my wife several times. Thus, now there is no benefit out of medical examination and instead I myself will be positive.”
The investigating officer, taking into account statements given by family members of the complainant with some of them denying any such happening, came to a conclusion that no such incident as alleged by the complainant took place on 22.10.2015.
He submitted a final report to that effect and also another report for prosecution of complainant under Section 182 CrPC for giving false information to the police. But the court, allowing the protest petition, summoned the accused.
The accused, by preferring a petition under Section 482 CrPC before the high court, contended that the rape case was falsely initiated to save the complainant, her husband and son from making repayment of the amount taken by them with regard to which complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act by the accused was already filed and pending.
The high court, in a very brief order, also dismissed the plea of the accused to quash the proceedings on the ground that there were disputed questions of fact, which cannot be adjudicated in exercise of power conferred under Section 482 CrPC.
“Inherent power given to the High Court under Section 482 CrPC is with the purpose and object of advancement of justice. In case solemn process of Court is sought to be abused by a person with some oblique motive, the Court has to thwart the attempt at the very threshold,” the bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan said, while setting aside the order of the high court which had refused to quash the case.
The court also found that apart from bald assertions by the complainant that all accused had raped her, there was nothing which could have led the courts to form an opinion that present case is fit a case of prosecution which ought to be launched. The court also noted that there were financial transactions between the accused and complainant, her husband and son and a dishonour of cheque case was already initiated by the accused.