Merely filing of civil suit does not mean that criminal proceedings cannot be allowed but scrutiny has to be made as to whether criminal proceedings have been initiated for a dispute having civil nature.
RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT (JAIPUR BENCH)
( Before : M.N. Bhandari, J )
CHHUTTAN LAL AND OTHERS — Appellant
KAMLI DEVI AND OTHERS — Respondent
Criminal Misc. Petition No. 1903 of 2009
Decided on : 06-01-2015
Counsel for Appearing Parties
B.R. Rana, for the Appellant; Aladeen Khan, Public Prosecutor, Advocates for the Respondent
M.N. Bhandari, J.—By this criminal misc. petition, a prayer is made for quashing of the FIR bearing No. 55/2009 registered with Police Station Amer, District Jaipur City (North). Learned counsel for the petitioner/s submits that the sale deed was executed in favour of the petitioners by power of attorney after acceptance of consideration. The petitioners were thus bona fide purchaser/s of the land. The non-petitioner/s – complainant/s raised dispute about sale of land through power of attorney alleged by fraud.
2. According to non-petitioner/s-complainant/s, the matter was taken up before the Panchayat where a settlement was made to revert the land in favour of original Khatedar. In compliance of the decision of Panchayat, half of the land was recorded in the name of non-petitioner’s husband and sister-in-law through a registered sale deed. It was executed and accepted by the relatives of the non-petitioner/s-complainant without objection and protest. In fact, the Panchayat never decided the issue to revert back the entire land, rather it was only for half of the land.
3. The non-petitioner-complainant has even filed a civil suit in regard to the same transaction, which is pending for consideration. It is for the cancellation of sale deed so as the power of attorney. The allegation for creation of fraudulent power of attorney is not against the petitioners but against the proforma respondent/s. In view of above, the FIR qua the petitioners deserves to be quashed as it is nothing but to convert civil dispute by giving colour of criminal texture. A reference of judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Paramjeet Batra Vs. State of Uttarakhand and Others, (2012) 12 JT 393 : (2012) 12 SCALE 688 has been given.
4. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondent/s submits that proforma respondent/s got certain blank papers signed by the non-petitioner -complainant. He then used it for creation of power of attorney and onward sale of land to the petitioners. It was with connivance with each other. In view of above, the FIR was rightly registered by the Police. It is further stated that mere pendency of civil suit does not bar criminal proceedings. To support the arguments, a reference of judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of M. Krishnan Vs. Vijay Singh and Another, (2001) 8 AD 494 : AIR 2001 SC 3014 : (2001) CriLJ 4705 : (2001) 8 JT 540 : (2001) 7 SCALE 126 : (2001) 8 SCC 645 : (2001) AIRSCW 4142 : (2001) 7 Supreme 397 has been given. It is submitted that mere filing of civil suit does not take away the allegation of forgery by the petitioners. It is further submitted that prior to filing of this petition, another petition was filed and was withdrawn, though with liberty to file afresh.
5. I have considered the submissions made by learned counsel and perused the record.
6. The perusal of FIR makes a specific allegations against the proforma non-petitioner for taking signature on the blank papers, thus to that extent, allegations are not against the petitioners. The allegation for creation of power of attorney is also not against the petitioners. The allegation against them is for purchase of land in connivance of power of attorney holder. The perusal of the facts against the petitioners shows that it is nothing but to convert the dispute of civil nature into criminal. They are not creature of fraudulent power of attorney. The allegation against them is for purchasing the land but the story does not end here only. The matter seems to have been taken before the Panchayat. In pursuance to the decision of Panchayat, half of the land was again registered through the sale deed in favour of the non-petitioner’s husband and sister-in-law. The sale deed therein was executed without protest for entire land.
7. In view of above and considering the judgments of Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Paramjeet Batra (Supra), continuance of proceedings against the petitioners would be nothing but abuse of process, moreso when, the civil suit has already been filed by the non-petitioner for the same dispute.
8. It is, however, necessary to comment that merely filing of civil suit does not mean that criminal proceedings cannot be allowed but scrutiny has to be made as to whether criminal proceedings have been initiated for a dispute having civil nature. In the instant case, I find that allegation against the, petitioners is basically of civil nature and pending consideration before the civil court, thus FIR bearing No. 55/2009 registered with Police Station Amer, district Jaipur City (North), so as the criminal proceedings, qua the petitioners, are quashed. With the aforesaid, this criminal misc. petition stands allowed. This disposes of the stay application as well.