2011 Drug Kit Scam| Power Of Quashing Criminal Proceedings Must Be Exercised Sparingly- J&K&L HC Dismisses Pleas Seeking Quashing Of FIR
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court while dismissing a batch of petitions seeking quashing of FIR in a 2011 drug kit scam case has held that the power of quashing criminal proceedings must be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases.
A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar observed, “From the foregoing analysis of law on the subject, it is clear that, at the time of considering a petition for quashing of an FIR, the Court has only to consider whether the allegations made in the FIR disclose commission of a cognizable offence. It is not required to analyze the merits of the allegations and the Court has to permit the Investigating Agency to investigate the allegations in the FIR. It is further laid down that the power of quashing criminal proceedings has to be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases and the Court should not embark upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations.”
The Bench further held that the said petitions lack merit and that the interim directions, if any, shall stand vacated.
Advocates Rahul Sharma and S.S. Ahmed appeared for the petitioners while Senior AAG Monika Kohli appeared for the respondents.
A batch of three petitions was filed challenging the FIR for offences under Section 5(1)(d) read with Section 5(2) of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 and Section 120-B RPC registered with Police Station Vigilance Organization, Jammu as also the proceedings emanating therefrom. In the said FIR it was alleged that a preliminary enquiry was conducted to enquire into the allegations regarding purchase of medicines worth crores of rupees on exorbitant rates by the Director Health Services, Jammu ignoring the codal formalities and standing instructions regarding such purchases.
It was further alleged that the medicines had been procured from the firms which had been permanently de-registered/blacklisted by the Directorate General Health Services (Medical Stores Organization) R.K. Puram, New Delhi. The preliminary enquiry revealed that Mission Director, NHRM had requested the Director of Health Services, Jammu that various drug kits were to be supplied to the health institutions of the State and, accordingly, a request was made to the Director Health Services to purchase these drug kits from the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) as per the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case noted, “These allegations against the petitioners/Managing Directors are in their personal capacity, so it is not a case where they are being prosecuted in respect of the acts committed by the Companies of which they happen to be the Managing Directors. The question, whether these allegations relating to conspiracy leveled against the petitioners/Managing Directors are established after investigation of the case, is a matter which can be decided only after the investigation is completed and the case is considered by the learned Special Judge for framing of charges. At this stage and in these proceedings, this question cannot be gone into by this Court.”
The Court said that the FIR clearly disclosed the commission of cognizable offences and the material collected by the Investigating Agency during the investigation of the case, prima facie implicating the petitioners.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the pleas.
Cause Title- Suhas Laxman Phadke & Anr. v. State of J&K