The Madhya Pradesh High Court observed that lawyers owe a duty to the Court to argue responsibly and not for the gallery.

The Court observed thus when counsel for both parties relied on multiple documents that were not mentioned in the chargesheet in an FIR quashing case.
The bench of Justice Subodh Abhyankar observed, “Although, the petitioner was entitled to file the petition for quashing the FIR, however, from the scores of documents which have been relied upon by the petitioner, which do not form the part of the charge-sheet, and the leisurely manner in which the entire matter has been argued by the counsel for the parties, this Court is of the considered opinion that the counsel also owe a duty to the court to argue responsibly and not for the gallery.”

Senior Advocate V.K. Jain appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Brijesh Garg appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

An FIR was lodged against the Petitioner Girish Mehta in respect of an incident of theft. Jethmal Lunkaran filed a written complaint alleging that his landlord Girish Mehta had taken illegal possession of the shop after breaking the lock despite the Court order. It is also mentioned in the FIR that the other landlord Harshad Mehta and others also filed a case against him for eviction, in which, the Court had already granted an injunction order directing the parties to maintain the status quo, and despite the aforesaid order, in the absence of the complainant, the Petitioner took possession of the shop.

The Petitioner approached the High Court to quash the said FIR filed under Sections 380 and 454 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 on the ground that it was lodged falsely at the instance of respondent, the ex-tenant of the petitioner.

The Court stated that the counsel had contested the matter as if in a writ petition, and to its surprise even the objectors did not object to the various documents filed by the petitioner for quashing the FIR as they also filed various documents in support of their contentions that the FIR cannot be quashed, raising various disputed questions of facts. “this Court is unable to come to a conclusion only on the basis of the FIR that it is liable to be quashed on bare reading of the same.” Court added.

The Court noted that all the disputed questions, regarding the status of the petitioner in his house, the validity of the decree passed against the respondent, and the effect of the subsequent eviction suit against the respondent by legal heirs of the deceased brother of the petitioner cannot be gone into by it in a case for quashing the FIR under Section 482 of Cr.P.C.

Hence, the Court dismissed the Petition with liberty to all the parties concerned, to raise all the grounds available under law before the trial court.

However, as per the Court, this case had the unique distinction of imposition of costs on all the parties involved and therefore, put a cost of ₹1.5 Lakh on both parties.

Cause Title: Girish Mehta v. The State Of M.P.


Appellant: Senior Adv. V.K. Jain, Adv. Vaibhav Jain

Respondent: G.A. Harshlata Snoi, Adv. Rishti Agrawal, Adv. Brijesh Garg

Click here to read/download Judgment