The Supreme Court has quashed cheating and forgery case registered against former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir, Chief of Shiromani Akali Dal. It was alleged in the complaint that Shiromani Akali Dal filed a false Constitution with Election Commission of India to gain recognition as a political party.

“Looking to the averments and allegations in the complaint and even the material/evidence collected/ recorded during the course of the inquiry and even assuming the complaint’s averments to be true, the ingredients of the offence punishable under Sections 420, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471 are not at all made out”, the bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar observed while quashing Trial Court’s summons.

The main allegation in the complaint was that in the year 1989 and as per the Constitution prevailing at the relevant time, i.e., in the year 1989, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) was engaged in non-secularism but they contested and got seats in the elections to the SGPC, therefore, the Memorandum annexed with the application for registration under Section 29-A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 was false.

Senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan appeared for appellants whereas Senior Advocate C.U. Singh appeared for the Respondents.

The Court noted that “…no false document has been produced. What was produced was the Memorandum and no other documents were produced. Even according to the original complainant, the Memorandum and the claim made at the time of registration of the Party that it has adopted a Memorandum accepting the secularism, the same was contrary to the Constitution of the Party produced before the Gurudwara Election Commission. Making a false claim and creating and producing the false document both are different and distinct.”

The Court held that even assuming the complaint’s averments to be true, it didn’t make out the ingredients of the offences, for which the Trial Court passed the summoning order.

“Under the circumstances to continue the criminal proceedings against the appellants – accused arising out of the complaint and to face the trial by the accused as per the summoning order is nothing but an abuse of process of law and court and this is a fit case to quash the entire criminal proceedings arising out of the complaint filed by the respondent No. 1 including the summoning order passed by the learned Trial Court.”, the Court held.

Cause Title- Parkash Singh Badal v. Balwant Singh Khera and Ors.

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