The Supreme Court in a recent judgement held that the Criminal Proceedings cannot be quashed under Sec. 482 of the Criminal Procedural Code based on statements recorded before police officers as per the requirements of Sec. 161 of the Code.
The bench in the matter of Rajiv Kourav v. Baisahab & Ors, (2020) comprised of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta. In the case they held that interference by the High Court under Sec. 482 of CrPC is provided only for the purpose of preventing abuse of process in the courts and to secure justice.
In the matter in question, the Appellant had filed a case against the Respondents, who were his relatives, alleging that they had subjected the Appellant’s wife to harassment, as a consequence of which she had committed suicide along with her two children. Subsequently, the Respondent’s filed a petition under Sec. 482 CrPC for quashing the criminal proceedings before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh. The Respondent’s primary contention was that the ingredients that need to be fulfilled for any offence to amount to the offence of abetment of suicide, as provided in Sec. 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 were not present. There was no indication to show that the death of the deceased had been incited.
The High Court also held that there was no evidence that made a direct connection between the deceased woman and the Respondents, and that there was nothing to show that the actions of the Respondents had led to the suicide of the woman and her children. The Court also held that at the most, a case of criminal intimidation could be made out based on the statements of the Respondents as per the requirements of Sec 161 CrPC. And thus, the High Court deemed it fit to quash the criminal proceedings against the Respondents.
The Appellant, dissatisfied by this turn of events, approached the Supreme court. While allowing the criminal appeal, it held that the conclusion of the High Court to quash the criminal proceedings was based on the statements recorded as per 161 CrPC, which are wholly inadmissible in evidence and cannot be taken into consideration by the Court. Thus, it ruled that by reason of the judgement of the High Court being erroneous, it is set aside, and the appeal is allowed.
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Link for the Judgement: Rajeev Kourav v. Baisahab & ors.