The Allahabad High Court held that merely because the allegations also disclose a civil dispute, it would not be a ground to quash the criminal proceedings when the allegations clearly make out commission of cognizable offence.

The Lucknow Bench held thus in an instant application filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by a man seeking quashing of the chargesheet and summoning order in a case under Sections 409, 420, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

A Single Bench of Justice Subhash Vidyarthi observed, “The allegations levelled in the F.I.R. clearly make out a case of cognizable offences by the applicant. The mere fact that the allegations also make out existence of civil dispute would not be a ground to quash the criminal proceedings when the allegations clearly make out commission of cognizable offences by the applicant. The correctness of allegations will be examined by the learned trial court after giving an opportunity to the parties to lead evidence.”

Advocate Ravindra Kumar Yadav appeared for the applicant while AGA Akhilesh Kumar Vyas appeared for the State.

Facts of the Case -

An FIR was lodged against the applicant and another person alleging that the informant’s company had received an order to supply TMT bars (iron bars) to a construction company and he had in turn placed order upon a company based at Pune and owned by the applicant through the co-accused. The informant had paid 50% of the sale consideration amounting to Rs. 40 lakhs and the material was to be delivered within four days, but when the same was not delivered, and the informant repetitively insisted for payment of balance amount also, the informant paid Rs. 18 lakhs more through RTGS.

The FIR alleged that when the informant repetitively asked for refund of the amount, merely Rs. 20 lakhs were repaid and the balance amount of Rs. 38 lakhs was not repaid. Hence, the accused persons alleged to have cheated the informant. The Trial Court took cognizance of the offence and hence, the applicant sought quashing of the proceedings. It was contended that the allegations were false and the dispute between the parties was regarding non-payment of money which is purely a civil dispute. Whereas, the opposite party argued that although the allegations give rise to a civil dispute, but it is not that the same do not make out commission of a cognizable offence by the applicant.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case noted, “… the submission of the learned Counsel for the applicant that the allegations leveled in the FIR are false, cannot be examined by this Court while deciding an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C.”

The Court further referred to the case of Pratibha v. Rameshwari Devi, (2007) 12 SCC 369, in which the Supreme Court had held that the criminal and civil proceedings are separate and independent and the pendency of a civil proceeding cannot bring to an end a criminal proceeding even if they arise out of the same set of facts.

“As besides the civil dispute between the parties, the allegations in the FIR make out commission of cognizable offences of criminal breach of trust and cheating by the applicant, which allegations have been established by the material collected during investigation and, accordingly, a charge-sheet has been filed against the applicant, I am of the considered view that as per the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pratibha, Mahesh Chaudhary and Priti Saraf (Supra), the charge-sheet and the criminal proceedings against the applicant cannot be quashed merely because the allegations may also disclose a civil dispute between the parties”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the application.

Cause Title- Keshav Ugan Jha v. State of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Lko. And Another (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC-LKO:4377)


Applicant: Advocate Ajeet Singh

Opposite Party: Advocate Suniti Sachan

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