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Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure QUASHING OF F.I.R. = NO CRIMINAL CASE IS MAINTAINABLE ON FAILURE OF CIVIL LITIGATION AND FOR PRESSURIZE THE ACCUSED ON FALSE GROUNDS= The entire claim of the appellant Sarabjit Singh is based on an agreement to sell. The first information report lodged by the appellant Sarabjit Singh on 10.1.1998 at Police Station Adampur, district Jalandhar, did not even disclose the date of the aforesaid agreement to sell. According to the averments made by the appellant Sarabjit Singh before the High Court, and now before this Court, it is alleged that the aforesaid agreement to sell was executed on 13.3.1992. With reference to the abovesaid agreement to sell, the observations made by the High Court in its order dated 11.2.2002 (in Criminal Miscellaneous no. 3039-M of 2002) are extremely significant. The aforesaid order has been extracted hereinabove. The High Court, while granting interim relief, had taken into consideration the fact, that the appellant Sarabjit Singh had not enclosed a copy of the alleged agreement to sell. He had given no details of the agreement to sell. He did not disclose any date of the alleged agreement to sell. He did not even mention the area of land covered by the agreement, or the rate at which the land was agreed to be purchased. The High Court also noticed, that the date on which the sale was to be concluded, besides other similar issues, had also not been disclosed by the appellant Sarabjit Singh, in his complaint. While recording that the aforesaid were important ingredients for any agreement to sell, and while noticing that the same had not been disclosed by the appellant Sarabjit Singh, the High Court had stayed the proceedings before the trial Court. Despite such strong observations made by the High Court in its order dated 11.2.2002, and inspite of the fact that the same is the actual basis for all the allegations which the appellant has chosen to level against Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), Gurbinder Singh, Salamat Masih and others, the said agreement to sell has still not been placed on the record of the case, nor have the aforesaid details been furnished. The Deputy District Attorney, Jalandhar also arrived at a similar conclusion, namely, that the appellant Sarabjit Singh had not been able to produce any material demonstrating the execution of the alleged agreement to sell in his favour. It has been expressly noticed by the High Court in the impugned order dated 20.11.2006, that even the Deputy District Attorney, Jalandhar, in his report, upheld the earlier report submitted by the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar. Even this report has not been placed on the record of the case. Herein again, an adverse inference is liable to be drawn against the appellant Sarabjit Singh. From the course of our narration of the factual position as it traversed before different levels of investigation and judicial scrutiny, it emerges that the appellant Sarabjit Singh has not been able to produce any material, on the basis of which he can establish his claim.The aforesaid land was admittedly been sold by Salamat Masih to Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh (through two registered sale deeds dated 17.3.1997 and 4.4.1997), i.e. well before the registration of the first information report dated 10.1.1998 by the appellant Sarabjit Singh. This is surely a case of no evidence. It is a case where accusations have been levelled without supporting material. Despite a clear indication in the order passed by the High Court, such supporting material has still not been made available for perusal of this Court. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of this case, we are satisfied, that in the absence of any material whatsoever to support the charges levelled by the appellant Sarabjit Singh in the first information report dated 10.1.1998, the High Court was justified in quashing the said first information report by invoking its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. We are also satisfied, that the conclusions drawn by the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar, and the Deputy District Attorney, Jalandhar, that the police complaint made by the appellant Sarabjit Singh was solely aimed at pressurizing Salamat Masih, Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh (besides some others), were fully justified. 17. For the reasons recorded hereinabove, we find no merit in the instant appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed.

PUBLISHED IN http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40462

Page 1
“REPORTABLE”
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.815 OF 2013
(Arising out of SLP (Criminal) No. 1332 of 2007)
Sarabjit Singh …. Appellant
Versus
State of Punjab & Ors. …. Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Jagdish Singh Khehar, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Sarabjit Singh, the appellant herein, purchased 30 kanals 11
marlas of land from Salamat Masih through two deeds dated 11.2.1992
and 13.3.1992. The pleadings in the instant appeal reveal, that the
aforesaid purchase made by the appellant was out of a total holding of
99 kanals (with the vendor Salamat Masih). It is not a matter of dispute,
that on purchasing 30 kanals 11 marlas of land, the appellant Sarabjit
Singh set up a brick kiln on the land for manufacture of bricks. Itpal
Singh (respondent no. 4 herein) and his brother Gurbinder Singh also
purchased 61 kanals 3 marlas of land from Salamat Masih (the vendor
of Sarabjit, the appellant herein). The instant purchase was made
through two sale deeds dated 17.3.1997 and 4.4.1997. It is accepted
by the parties, that the land purchased by Sarabjit Singh, the appellant
1Page 2
herein, adjoins the land purchased by Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4
herein) and his brother Gurbinder Singh.
3. The first litigation between the parties was initiated by Salamat
Masih. He filed a civil suit on 20.4.1995 against the appellant Sarabjit
Singh. The principal prayer made by Salamat Masih in the aforesaid
suit was, for a direction to the appellant Sarabjit Singh, not to interfere in
his land measuring 61 kanals 3 marlas. It would be pertinent to mention
at this juncture, that it was the instant land which was subsequently sold
by Salamat Masih to Itpal Singh and his brother Gurbinder Singh
(through the said two registered sale deeds, dated 17.3.1997 and
4.4.1997). In the written statement filed by Sarabjit Singh in response
to the suit filed by Salamat Masih, Sarabjit Singh admitted, that he had
only purchased 32 kanals of land, out of the total land holding of
Salamat Masih. Interestingly, in his written statement, Sarabjit Singh
(the appellant herein) did not aver, that he had entered into an
agreement to purchase any further land from Salamat Masih.
4. In the above-mentioned suit preferred by Salamat Masih, the Civil
Court passed an interim order of status quo on 3.2.1998. At the time of
passing of the aforesaid interim order, the land in question was already
in possession of Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein) and his brother
Gurbinder Singh. At this juncture, it is necessary to reiterate, that Itpal
Singh and Gurbinder Singh had purchased the instant 61 kanals and 3
marlas of land from Salamat Masih (through the said two registered sale
deeds, dated 17.3.1997 and 4.4.1997). In view of the interim order
2Page 3
passed in the civil suit, Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh were not
adversely affected by the dispute between Salamat Masih and the
appellant Sarabjit Singh. Despite that, the appellant Sarabjit Singh
assailed the order dated 3.2.1998 (passed by the Civil Court requiring
the parties to the litigation to maintain status quo), before the District
Judge. The District Judge vide order dated 5.5.2000, dismissed the
challenge raised by the appellant Sarabjit Singh. It is not a matter of
dispute, that the aforesaid order dated 5.5.2000 was not further
challenged by the appellant Sarabjit Singh, and must therefore, for all
intents and purposes, be deemed to have attained finality between the
rival parties.
5. It is apparent from the factual position noticed hereinabove, that
Salamat Masih had initiated the process of litigation between the parties
by filing the said civil suit against the appellant Sarabjit Singh on
20.4.1995. About three years thereafter, the appellant Sarabjit Singh
also filed a civil suit on 8.1.1998 against Salamat Masih (and others,
including Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh), for specific performance
and possession. The relief of specific performance was claimed by the
appellant Sarabjit Singh on the basis of a deed dated 13.3.1992.
6. It seems, that the appellant Sarabjit Singh was on the back foot
with reference to the litigation pertaining to 61 kanals 3 marlas of land
purchased by Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh (through the said two
registered sale deeds, dated 17.3.1997 and 4.4.1997). The instant
inference is based on the fact, that Salamat Masih had filed his suit on
3Page 4
20.4.1995, wherein an order of status quo was passed on 3.2.1998. As
against the aforesaid, the appellant Sarabjit Singh had also filed a civil
suit on 8.1.1998. However, he was not successful in getting any interim
order in his favour. It is, therefore, that on 10.1.1998, the appellant
Sarabjit Singh lodged a first information report at Police Station
Adampur in district Jalandhar. The aforesaid first information report
was lodged under Sections 420, 379, 427, 506, 148 and 149 of the
Indian Penal Code. The entire claim of the appellant Sarabjit Singh in
the aforesaid first information report was founded on an agreement to
sell in furtherance whereof it is alleged, that Salamat Masih had
received from him a sum of Rs.3,00,000/- as consideration. However
interestingly, neither the date of the agreement to sell had been
depicted in the complaint made by Sarabjit Singh, nor the same was
produced by him at the time of the registration of the above first
information report.
7. Threatened with the registration of the first information report
referred to above, Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), his brother
Gurbinder Singh and the vendor Salamat Masih (besides others
implicated in the first information report) preferred Criminal
Miscellaneous no.4994-M of 1998, before the High Court of Punjab &
Haryana at Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to as, the High Court). The
prayer made in the aforesaid Criminal Miscellaneous no. 4994-M of
1998, was for grant of anticipatory bail, under Section 438 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure. By an order dated 24.7.1998, the High Court
4Page 5
granted interim bail to all the petitioners. On 24.7.1998, the High Court
confirmed the aforesaid order of bail.
8. Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein) and his brother Gurbinder
Singh, preferred a complaint before the Senior Superintendent of
Police, Jalandhar, alleging that they were being unnecessarily harassed
by the police, in furtherance of the first information report lodged by the
appellant Sarabjit Singh. In continuation with the aforesaid complaint,
the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jalandhar marked an enquiry into
the matter to the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar. Even
though a copy of the aforesaid report was available (on the file of the
High Court, as annexure P-8), the same has not been placed on the
record of the instant case. Nevertheless, it is relevant to mention, that
with reference to the aforesaid report, the High Court had remarked that
the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar had concluded, that the
case registered by the appellant Sarabjit Singh was only to pressurize
Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), his brother Gurbinder Singh and
Salamat Masih.
9. Despite the aforesaid favourable report, Itpal Singh and his
brother Gurbinder Singh were repeatedly summoned by the police
authorities. In the aforesaid view of the matter, Itpal Singh and
Gurbinder Singh again approached the High Court by filing Criminal
Miscellaneous no. 22198-M of 2000. The aforesaid Criminal
Miscellaneous Petition was disposed of by the High Court on 10.1.2002.
5Page 6
The order passed by the High Court is self-explanatory, and is
accordingly being extracted hereunder:-
“Allegation of the petitioner is that he is being repeatedly
summoned in the office of S.P. (D), Jalandhar, without any
jurisdiction. This grievance will be looked into by the S.S.P.,
Jalandhar on a fresh representation being made by the petitioner
and the same will be disposed of within six months of its filing.
Disposed of accordingly.”
It seems, that the matter was then placed before the Deputy District
Attorney, Jalandhar, for consideration. As per the report of the Deputy
District Attorney, Jalandhar, the appellant Sarabjit Singh had not been
able to establish the execution of any agreement to sell, in his favour.
In the aforesaid view of the matter, the Deputy District Attorney,
Jalandhar, in a separate report, reiterated the conclusions which had
already been drawn by the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar
(in his report, referred to in the foregoing paragraph).
10. Despite the factual position noticed hereinabove, having
concluded its investigation in the matter, the police presented a report
under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, before a court of
competent jurisdiction, so as to initiate criminal proceedings against
Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), Gurbinder Singh, Salamat Masih
and others. The process of initiation of criminal proceedings against the
appellant was assailed by Itpal Singh and others by preferring Criminal
Misc. no. 3039-M of 2002. The following order was passed in the
aforesaid Criminal Miscellaneous no. 3039-M of 2002 on 11.2.2002:-
6Page 7
“Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that report under Section
173 Cr.P.C. has been presented before the trial court in FIR 4 dated
January 10, 1998 under Section 420/379, 427, 506, 148 and 149 IPC.
It is further contended that the alleged occurrence had taken place on a
parcel of land measuring 61 kanals 3 marlas which had been sole by
the owner Salamat Masih to the petitioner and his brother vide two sale
deeds dated March 17, 1997. On the other hand the possession of this
land was claimed by the complainant (respondent 4 herein) on the
basis of an agreement to sell. In the recital of the FIR the complainant
stated that “for the balance of 61 kanals 2 marls, I had entered into an
agreement to sell with Salamat Masih for digging earth and for
purchasing the said land. That the whole of the land measuring 91
kanals 13 marlas is situated in village Dhogri and possession was
given to me in 1990.”
Significantly, no details of the agreement to sell have been mentioned.
FIR does not disclose any date, area of land covered by agreement,
the rate per kanal or purchase price, the date on which the sale was to
be concluded etc., which are all important ingredients of any
agreement to sell.
In the main petition the petitioner is seeking relief on the basis of report
of SP, Annexure P-7 in which on investigation it was found that the
petitioner had not committed any offence.
On January 23, 2002 notice of motion was ordered to be issued for
February 28, 2002.
In the interim period, proceedings before the trial court on the basis or
report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. shall remain stayed.”
(emphasis is ours)
It is therefore apparent, that the trial Court was restrained by the High Court
from proceeding against Itpal Singh and others.
11. Simultaneously with the proceedings mentioned hereinabove, Itpal
Singh preferred Criminal Miscellaneous no. 32871-M of 2002 under Section
482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, for quashing the first information
report lodged by the appellant Sarabjit Singh. After obtaining the response of
the appellant Sarabjit Singh (who was arrayed as respondent no. 4), the High
Court, vide its order dated 20.11.2006, quashed the first information report
dated 10.1.1998 (lodged by the appellant Sarabjit Singh with Police Station
Adampur in district Jalandhar).
7Page 8
12. The order passed by the High Court dated 20.11.2006, quashing the
first information report dated 10.1.1998 referred to above, has been assailed
by the appellant Sarabjit Singh before this Court, through the instant criminal
appeal.
13. We have given our thoughtful consideration to the submissions
advanced at the hands of the learned counsel for the appellant. Primarily, the
contention of the learned counsel for the appellant was, that the High Court
had prematurely, invoked its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure and quashed the first information report lodged by the
appellant Sarabjit Singh without considering the allegations made by the
appellant. It was submitted, that a large number of questions of fact were
involved in the allegations contained in the complaint filed by the appellant,
specially in view of the factual position adopted by the respondents. The truth
or falsity of the matter, according to the learned counsel representing the
appellant, could only have emerged after the prosecution was permitted to
lead its evidence. It was submitted, that persons against whom allegations
have been levelled in the first information report, would then have had ample
opportunity to rebut the prosecution evidence and substantiate their
innocence. The contention in nutshell was, that in the above situation, justice
would have been rendered to both parties. It is, therefore, the submission of
the learned counsel for the appellant, that the High Court was not justified in
invoking its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
to quash the aforesaid first information report, dated 10.1.1998.
14. We have given our thoughtful consideration to the submissions
advanced at the hands of the learned counsel for the appellant. The entire
claim of the appellant Sarabjit Singh is based on an agreement to sell. The
first information report lodged by the appellant Sarabjit Singh on 10.1.1998 at
8Page 9
Police Station Adampur, district Jalandhar, did not even disclose the date of
the aforesaid agreement to sell. According to the averments made by the
appellant Sarabjit Singh before the High Court, and now before this Court, it is
alleged that the aforesaid agreement to sell was executed on 13.3.1992. With
reference to the abovesaid agreement to sell, the observations made by the
High Court in its order dated 11.2.2002 (in Criminal Miscellaneous no. 3039-M
of 2002) are extremely significant. The aforesaid order has been extracted
hereinabove. The High Court, while granting interim relief, had taken into
consideration the fact, that the appellant Sarabjit Singh had not enclosed a
copy of the alleged agreement to sell. He had given no details of the
agreement to sell. He did not disclose any date of the alleged agreement to
sell. He did not even mention the area of land covered by the agreement, or
the rate at which the land was agreed to be purchased. The High Court also
noticed, that the date on which the sale was to be concluded, besides other
similar issues, had also not been disclosed by the appellant Sarabjit Singh, in
his complaint. While recording that the aforesaid were important ingredients
for any agreement to sell, and while noticing that the same had not been
disclosed by the appellant Sarabjit Singh, the High Court had stayed the
proceedings before the trial Court. Despite such strong observations made by
the High Court in its order dated 11.2.2002, and inspite of the fact that the
same is the actual basis for all the allegations which the appellant has chosen
to level against Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), Gurbinder Singh,
Salamat Masih and others, the said agreement to sell has still not been
placed on the record of the case, nor have the aforesaid details been
furnished.
9Page 10
15. The impugned order passed by the High Court makes a specific
mention of the report submitted by the Superintendent of Police (City-II),
Jalandhar, wherein it was sought to be concluded, that the first
information report had been registered by the appellant Sarabjit Singh
only to pressurize Itpal Singh (respondent no. 4 herein), Gurbinder
Singh, Salamat Masih and others. The aforesaid report was available
on the record of the High Court as annexure P-8. An effective
determination of the present controversy, therefore, could have been
made only upon a perusal of the aforesaid report. Unfortunately, the
aforesaid report has not been placed on the record of the case by the
appellant Sarabjit Singh. In the aforesaid view of the matter, an
adverse inference is liable to be drawn against the appellant Sarabjit
Singh, and the finding recorded by the High Court on the basis of the
aforesaid report of the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar, that
the instant case had been registered by the appellant Sarabjit Singh
only to pressurize Itpal Singh, Gurbinder Singh, Salamat Masih and
others, has inevitably to be reiterated. Consequent upon the disposal of
Criminal Miscellaeous no. 22198-M of 2000 vide order dated 10.1.2002
(extracted hereinabove), it seems, that the matter was placed before the
Deputy District Attorney, Jalandhar. The Deputy District Attorney,
Jalandhar also arrived at a similar conclusion, namely, that the
appellant Sarabjit Singh had not been able to produce any material
demonstrating the execution of the alleged agreement to sell in his
favour. It has been expressly noticed by the High Court in the
10Page 11
impugned order dated 20.11.2006, that even the Deputy District
Attorney, Jalandhar, in his report, upheld the earlier report submitted by
the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar. Even this report has
not been placed on the record of the case. Herein again, an adverse
inference is liable to be drawn against the appellant Sarabjit Singh.
16. From the course of our narration of the factual position as it
traversed before different levels of investigation and judicial scrutiny, it
emerges that the appellant Sarabjit Singh has not been able to produce
any material, on the basis of which he can establish his claim. The
aforesaid land was admittedly been sold by Salamat Masih to Itpal
Singh and Gurbinder Singh (through two registered sale deeds dated
17.3.1997 and 4.4.1997), i.e. well before the registration of the first
information report dated 10.1.1998 by the appellant Sarabjit Singh. This
is surely a case of no evidence. It is a case where accusations have
been levelled without supporting material. Despite a clear indication in
the order passed by the High Court, such supporting material has still
not been made available for perusal of this Court. Therefore, in the
facts and circumstances of this case, we are satisfied, that in the
absence of any material whatsoever to support the charges levelled by
the appellant Sarabjit Singh in the first information report dated
10.1.1998, the High Court was justified in quashing the said first
information report by invoking its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure. We are also satisfied, that the conclusions
drawn by the Superintendent of Police (City-II), Jalandhar, and the
11Page 12
Deputy District Attorney, Jalandhar, that the police complaint made by
the appellant Sarabjit Singh was solely aimed at pressurizing Salamat
Masih, Itpal Singh and Gurbinder Singh (besides some others), were
fully justified.
17. For the reasons recorded hereinabove, we find no merit in the
instant appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed.
…………………………….J.
(P. Sathasivam)
…………………………….J.
(Jagdish Singh Khehar)
New Delhi;
July 1, 2013.
12

 

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