Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, June 6, 2022: Referring  to various judgments of the Apex Court in Krishnan v. Krishnaveni and Kailash Verma v. Punjab State Civil Supplies Corpn.,the Delhi High Court has opined that after the petitioner has already availed of the right to file a revision, then the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C would have to be exercised in a very narrow compass and only to the extent to see whether the conclusions drawn by the courts below have been clouded by perversity on the face of it or have resulted in grave miscarriage of justice.

The Bench of Justice Asha Menon placed reliance upon the judgment in State of Orissa v. Debendra Nath Padhi and observed that this judgment bars the court from looking into the documents in the possession of the accused at the stage of framing of charge.

In this case, it was alleged that the  accused-petitioner along with the co-accused had forged certain documents such as Relinquishment Deed and a GPA in respect of property situated in Sainik Farms in Delhi and on the basis of such documents had sought variation in the entries in the revenue records and had also cheated the complainant in order to grab her property. The chargesheet had been filed. At the time of hearing on charge, the petitioner filed an application under Section 91 Cr.P.C seeking directions to the Investigating Officer (I.O.) to produce replies along with supporting documents which had been filed by the petitioner before the I.O. 

Further directions were sought to take these replies and supportive documents on the record and make it part of the challan/chargesheet filed by the I.O.This petition was filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of the order passed by the Addl. Sessions Judge in Saket Court, dismissing the criminal revision petition filed by the petitioner against the common order of the Magistrate dismissing the application filed by the accused under Section 91 Cr.P.C. and allowing the application under Section 302 Cr.P.C. moved by the complainant.

According to the Bench, the claim of the petitioner was that the original owners of the 2 Bighas of land were Mangtu and Shobha Singh. In 1965, Mangtu sold his half share in the said land to Tek Chand and two Khasra numbers were assigned as 234/2/1 and 234/2/2. But due to some oversight the revenue records continued to record the Khasra number as 234/2, which no longer existed after the sale. Shobha Singh @ Sobha Ram never sold his share. But, since he had no occasion to do so, he raised no objection to the recording of only Tek Chand’s name in the Khatoni.

Justice Menon clarified that this was the line of defence of the petitioner and it was his version, which he had to prove. But, the petitioner wanted to avoid the onus upon him and so moved the application under Section 91 Cr.P.C. to bring on record two letters and supporting documents, through directions to the I.O.The documents sought to be brought on record were very much in the petitioner’s possession. That apart, these copies of pleadings appeared to have no evident relevance, except possibly to support some defence that the petitioner might have raised and so, they need not be summoned under Section 91 Cr.P.C. and that too at the stage of framing of charge, added the Bench.

Justice Menon asserted, “In fact, when an application under Section 91 Cr.P.C. is sought to be moved, then ex-facie the documents should disclose “sterling quality”, as even while framing charge, the material produced by the prosecution is considered only to determine whether prima facie, a charge is made out against the accused. Evaluation is only after trial and cannot precede it.”

Considering that the documents were in the possession of the petitioner, it was opined by the Bench that  the application under Section 91 Cr.P.C.was misplaced as there was no occasion to summon the accused to produce the documents in his custody under Section 91 Cr.P.C. Keeping in view all these aspects, the Bench dismissed the petition.

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