Author: Rushikesh U. Patil National Law University, Nagpur Editor: Anish Aggarwal The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
In this case, we will cover and give an overview of the case Ishvarbhai Samatbhai Chudasama vs. State Of Gujarat and it will give you a brief yet precise outline regarding all the major facts and issues involved in this particular case which basically revolves quashing of FIR (section 482 of Crpc).
Applicant:- Ishvarbhai Samatbhai Chudasama
Respondent:- State Of Gujarat
Bench:- Justice Ashokkumar C. Joshi
Application Date:- 05/06/2020
Court:- High Court of Ahemdabad, Gujrat.
Facts of the case:
While night patrolling, the police availed secret information that one Mr. Dharmendrasinh is residing near Ashapura Mataji Temple is having English made liquor. They immediately called the panchas and as per Section 120 of the Prohibition Act they raided the premises wherein the person was present who disclosed his name as Dharmendrasinh Rajendrasinh Vala. He was having 66 bottles of English made liquor but not having requisite pass / permit. It was Party Special Deluxe Whisky of 36 bottles worth Rs.18,000/- as well as MC Dowell’s No.1 Superior Whisky in 30 bottles and the rate of each bottle is Rs.500/- and in all Rs.15,000/-. In presence of panchas, by way of panchnama, ultimately the offence is registered under Sections 65 (a), 65 (e) and 116 (b) of the Prohibition Act and the Accused person was arrested.
Timeline of events :-
13/03/2020 – Police raided on basis on an anonymous tip.
05/06/2020 – Application filed for quashing the FIR.
Issues/ Controversies involved:-
Does the applicant is liable under Section 66 (a) (e) and 116(b) of Prohibitions act ?
Is this a fit case to exercise the extraordinary power of the court under section 482 of CrPc.
Contentions by applicant:
1) The applicant is neither bootlegger nor his activity is involved in the FIR, and only on the basis of the statement of co-accused the offence is registered.
2) There is neither any evidence against the applicant nor the applicant is the owner of the house.
3) The applicant is not the owner of the alleged goods.
Findings of the court :- After pursuant of provision in section 482 of Crpc and pursuant of supreme court judgements, merely stating that the applicant was not present at the time of raid and the applicant is not the owner of the raided place, is not enough to entertain the application. The investigation is still pending and therefore the court can not only rely on the evidence stated in the FIR.
In the case of Parbhatbhai Ahir v. State of Gujrat, the following relevant principles are laid down:-
1) Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does not confer new powers. It only recognises and preserves powers which inherent in the High Court.
2) In forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power.
3) While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised;
(a) to secure the ends of justice.
(b) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court.
In the case of R.P.Kapur v. State of Punjab, Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that while exercising powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a criminal proceeding against a person can be quashed if the case belongs to any one of the following classes:
Where there is a legal bar against institution or continuance of the criminal proceedings.
2.Where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute an offence, even if taken at face value and in their entirety.
Where the allegations made constitute an offence, but there is no evidence which can prove them.
Also by referring to the judgement ‘Authorized Officer, State Bank of Travancore and Anr. V/s. Mathew K.C. in Civil Appeal No.1281 of 2018’ the court denied constitutional remedies that the applicant prayed for under articles 226 & 227 stating whenever there is alternative efficacious remedy available with applicant, applicant is not entitled for constitutional remedies. And once the chargesheet is filed the applicant can defend his case in the trial court.
By taking into references made above it can be said that not entertaining the application is not the abuse of the process of power of the law in any manner.
Conclusion:- By the principles stated in case of Parbhatbhai Ahir v. State of Gujarat [2017 (9) SCC 641] Every case has unique and distinguished facts and no specific set of rules can be formulated in general for all of the cases, hence it is the duty of respective court to study the cases precisely and draw a conclusion.
Therefore it could be concluded that though the applicant fulfills principles stated in previous judgements of supreme courts, due to pending investigation and thus not complete evidence, the high court has full discretionary power as mentioned in section 482 of crpc.
Judgements quoted on settled law:-
Narendra Singh v. State of Punjab[2014 (6) SCC 466].
Parbhatbhai Ahir v. State of Gujarat[2017 (9) SCC 641]
State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal [1992 AIR 604]
P.Kapur v. State of Punjab[1960 AIR 862]
Authorized Officer, State Bank of Travancore and Anr. V/s. Mathew K.C. in Civil Appeal No.1281 of 2018 (arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.24610 of 2015
Surya Dev Rai V/s. Ram Chander Rai & Ors. in Civil Appeal No.6110 of 2003