The Allahabad High Court while dismissing a petition challenging the maintainability of a criminal prosecution as a civil litigation was already pending before a court, noted that as the allegations in the FIR did constitute ingredients of a cognizable offence, therefore a criminal proceeding can not be thwarted on the basis of the same principle.

“Thus, even if the civil proceedings are sub-judice before the Provident Fund Commissioner, Varanasi, the criminal prosecution can still proceed against the petitioner”, a bench of Justice Anjani Kumar Mishra and Justice Nand Prabha Shukla observed in the matter.

Advocate Arvind Kumar Upadhyay, appeared for the petitioner and Advocate Dharmaveer Singh, AGA appeared for the State.

Through the writ petition, the petitioner- proprietor of M/s Singh Construction, Nizamuddinpura, Mau had sought to quash an FIR for the offences under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 409 IPC.

As per the averments made, he was awarded a work order as a contractor from the Nagar Palika Parishad, , Mau for the purposes of cleaning 14 wards including Urban Poor settlements and slum areas from the period April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 for which about 275 Safai Karmcharis were employed.

In that process, as per the allegations, the petitioner did not deposit the provident fund amount of Safai Karmcharis and further produced fake copies of challans/receipts, resulting in embezzlement of EPF amount of employees.

The petitioner, however, contended that with mala fide intention, he was falsely implicated in the matter. Furthermore, that a civil litigation is already sub-judice before the Provident Fund Commissioner, Varanasi.

Therefore, the bench after considering the facts and submissions made noted that that there is no express bar to the simultaneous continuance of a criminal proceeding as well as civil proceedings.

“It has been held that criminal prosecution cannot be thwarted merely because civil proceedings are also maintainable. Merely because an act has a civil profile is not sufficient to denude it of its criminal outfit”, the bench while citing the decision rendered by Supreme Court in Trisuns Chemical Industry Vs. Rajesh Agarwal & Others (1999) 8 SCC 686 observed.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

Cause Title: Dilip Kumar Singh Alias Deepu Singh v. State Of U.P. and Ors.

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