HC should not embark upon an enquiry into validity of evidence available while deciding application u/s 482 CrPC

M Jayanthi Vs KR Meenakshi and Anr

Supreme Court

02/12/2019

CRIMINAL APPEAL No.1817 OF 2019

About/from the judgment:

"All that the Court should see is as to whether there are allegations in the complaint which form the basis for the ingredients that constitute certain offences complained of."

While invoking the power under Section 482 Cr.P.C for quashing a complaint or a charge, the High Court should not embark upon an enquiry into the validity of the evidence available, the Supreme Court has reiterated.

 

In M. Jayanthi vs. KR Meenakshi, A lady made a complaint before Magistrate alleging that her husband committed bigamy (Section 494 IPC) by marrying another woman. On petition filed by the accused husband under Section 482 CrPC, the High Court quashed the complaint primarily on the ground that in order to attract the offence punishable under Section 494 IPC, the complainant ought to plead the form of marriage, the witnesses in whose presence the marriage took place and the details about the time, date and place of the marriage. Though the complainant produced the copy of the Government Gazette in which the other woman described herself as the wife of the accused,, the High Court brushed aside the same on the ground that being a public document under Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, it has to be proved through other evidence.

While allowing the appeal, the bench noted that the High Court, much before the case could reach the stage of trial, shut the door for the complainant and pre­-concluded the issue as though there was no evidence at all. It added that the High Court put the cart behind the horse when it held that the complainant did not produce any evidence to prove the entry in the Government Gazette though it is a relevant fact under Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act. In this regard, the bench observed:

 

It is too late in the day to seek reference to any authority for the proposition that while invoking the power under Section 482 Cr.P.C for quashing a complaint or a charge, the Court should not embark upon an enquiry into the validity of the evidence available. All that the Court should see is as to whether there are allegations in the complaint which form the basis for the ingredients that constitute certain offences complained of. The Court may also be entitled to see (i) whether the pre­conditions requisite for taking cognizance have been complied with or not; and (ii) whether the allegations contained in the complaint, even if accepted in entirety, would not constitute the offence alleged.

 

While allowing the appeal, the bench further said:

 

A look at the complaint filed by the appellant would show that the appellant had incorporated the ingredients necessary for prosecuting the respondents for the offences alleged. The question whether the appellant will be able to prove the allegations in a manner known to law would arise only at a later stage.

Read the Judgment

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