The Supreme Court observed that in appropriate cases, it is essential to protect against unwarranted criminal prosecution and from unnecessary trials.

The Court allowed the Appeal challenging the High Court’s Judgment that dismissed the plea to quash FIR.

The Court noted that the dispute revolved around the landowners/principals and the Power of Attorney (PoA) holder.

The Court observed that it was unfair to involve the appellant in criminal litigation as he had no role in the PoA's execution and he had already paid the full amount of consideration to the PoA holder.

the appropriate case, protection is to be accorded against unwanted criminal prosecution and from the prospect of unnecessary trial”, the Bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah observed.

Senior Advocate Maninder Singh appeared for the Appellant and Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave appeared for the State.

Vijay Singh accused Raj Kumar Karan Vijay Singh of fraudulently selling family property using Power of Attorney (PoA). Despite sending a Legal Notice to revoke the PoA, there was no response. A criminal case ensued, alleging misuse of PoA, property misappropriation, and executing a fraudulent Sale Deed. The police submitted a final report, leading to charges under Sections 409, 467, 468, 471, and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Chief Judicial Magistrate took cognizance. The appeal arose from the High Court's Final Judgment that dismissed the plea to quash FIR at Dumraon Police Station, Buxar, Bihar.

The Court noted that a case for interference had been established. The undisputed and admitted facts revealed that the Power of Attorney (PoA) was executed by the landowners/principals, including respondent no.2 and others, in favor of the person from whom the Appellant purchased the land.

The Court also noted that the PoA-holder executed a Sale Deed and had it registered in Dehradun in favor of the appellant, given that the land is located in Dehradun. The clauses of the PoA were examined, particularly emphasizing Clause 3, which authorized the PoA-holder to execute any type of deed, receive consideration, and handle the registration. Clause 11 clarified that the PoA-holder had the authority to sell various properties, including land, and receive payment on behalf of the landowners/principals.

However, the Bench observed that Clause 15, heavily relied upon by respondent no.2 in opposition to the appeal, stated that the PoA-holder was authorized to present sale deeds or other documents signed by the landowners/principals for registration and admit execution thereof before the relevant authorities.

The Court interpreted the combined effect of these clauses harmoniously and logically. The endeavour was to render all three clauses effective without rendering any of them redundant.

Thus, the Court framed the issue: “Whether all the three clauses can independently be given effect to and still not be in conflict with the other clauses”.

Upon scrutinizing the three clauses, the Court noted that Clause 3 specifically addressed the execution of any form of a deed and the receipt of consideration, if applicable, on behalf of the landowners/principals. Its purpose encompasses the facilitation of the registration process. Essentially, Clause 3 covers deeds where the Power of Attorney (PoA)-holder is empowered to execute, receive consideration, and oversee the registration on behalf of the landowners/principals.

The Bench further observed that Clause 11 of the PoA is tailored to the sale of both movable and immovable property, including land, and involves receiving payments for such sales on behalf of the landowners/principals.

In this scenario, the Bench emphasized that the combined effect of Clauses 3 and 11 authorizes the PoA-holder to execute various deeds, including sales, receive consideration, and proceed with the registration, all on behalf of the landowners/principals.

Turning attention to Clause 15 of the PoA, which grants authorization to the PoA-holder for presenting sale deeds or other documents signed by the landowners/principals for registration, and acknowledging the execution thereof. The Bench noted that Clause 15 is viewed as supplementary to Clauses 3 and 11, rather than diminishing their authority.

The Court emphasized that in addition to situations where the PoA-holder is empowered to execute deeds, receive consideration, and manage registrations, including property sales on behalf of the landowners/principals, Clause 15 emphasises that the landowners/principals also retain the authority for the PoA-holder to present and admit to the registration of Sale Deeds already signed by them.

In the case, the Court noted the scenario where landowners had executed a Sale Deed for a property, and the Power of Attorney (PoA)-holder later executed a different Sale Deed in favor of the appellant. However, there was no contradiction between the relevant clauses of the PoA.

Thus, in the instant case, had it been a situation where the land-owners/principals had executed a Sale Deed in favour of any third party prior to the Sale Deed executed and registered by the PoA-holder with regard to the property in question, and the PoA-holder had not presented the said Sale Deed and had gone ahead with himself executing and getting registered a different or a subsequent Sale Deed in favour of the appellant, the matter would be entirely different. Therefore, clearly, there is no contradiction between Clauses 3, 11 and 15 of the PoA. To restate, Clause 15 of the PoA is an additional provision retaining authority for sale with the land-owners/principals themselves and the process whereof would also entail presentation for registration and admission of its execution”, the Court noted.

The Court, noting a familial dispute among co-sharers, emphasized that the jurisdiction issue was limited to the Sale Deed transaction in Dehradun and did not extend to other controversies.

The Court deemed it improper to involve the appellant in criminal litigation, as he had no role in the PoA's execution or any misconduct by the PoA-holder. The entire consideration amount had been paid by the appellant.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal, set aside the impugned judgment and quashed the FIR

Cause Title: Bharat Sher Singh Kalsia v State Of Bihar & Anr. (2024 INSC 77)


Appellant: Shirin Khajuria, Oshi Verma, Rajesh Batra, Sonia Kukreja, Rohit Chandra, Advocates.

Respondent: Santosh Krishnan, Simon Benjamin, Sonam Anand, Deepshikha Sansanwal, Mridul Singh, Devashish Bharuka, Sarvshree, Shobhit Dvivedi, Swati Mishra, Advocates.

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