In the matter of Anand kumar Mohatta and Anr. v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) Dept. of Home and Anr. Hon’ble Supreme Court held that under section 482 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Code’) the court has the power to quash a FIR even after a charge sheet is filed.

A division bench comprising of Hon’ble Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao while deciding upon a Special Leave Petition filed by the Appellants held that the Court in exercise of its power under section 482 of the Code can quash a FIR even at the stage when charge sheet has been filed.

The factual matrix surrounding this case is as follows- The appellant no. 1 of this SLP Mr. Anand Kumar Mohatta entered into a development agreement wit the Respondent. For which advance amount was paid by the Respondent. The property is situated in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone and it initially belonged to appellant no. 1, but he later on transferred the ownership of the property to his wife, viz. appellant no. 2. Subsequently the appellant no. 1 did not wish to continue with the agreement as the new building regulations prohibited development of any high-rise construction in the said zone. The Respondent filed a FIR against the Appellants for criminal breach of trust. The Appellant approached the Hon’ble Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIR, but it was dismissed. Consequently, the Appellants preferred the said Special Leave Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court observed that this dispute is of civil in nature and does not attract any criminal provisions. On the matter of quashing the FIR the Respondents took a defence that since the charge sheet has been filed therefore the FIR can not be quashed. The division held as following while rejecting this contention-

“Indeed, it would be a travesty to hold that proceedings initiated against a person can be interfered with at the stage of FIR but not if it has advanced, and allegations have materialized into a charge sheet. On the contrary it could be said that the abuse of process caused by FIR stands aggravated if the FIR has taken the form of a charge sheet after investigation.”   

Consequently, the FIR and charge sheet stood quashed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

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