Read Order: Davindra Mahajan v. State of Haryana

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, June 20, 2022: While placing reliance on the legal proposition to the effect that once the main petition under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881 is withdrawn in view of an amicable settlement between the parties, the continuation of proceedings under Section 174-A of the IPC is nothing but an abuse of the process of law, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed quashing plea of a similarly situated petitioner.

The Bench of Justice Vikas Bahl held, “It has been held in the abovesaid judgments that in a similar situation, keeping the proceedings under Section 174-A of the IPC alive would be an abuse of the process of the Court. Moreover, the order declaring the petitioner as proclaimed person would prove to be insignificant inasmuch as the main complaint filed under Section 138 of the Act of 1881 itself has been withdrawn.”

This is a petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. with a prayer for quashing of an FIR registered under Section 174-A of the IPC and all the consequential proceedings arising therefrom.

Primarily in this case, Sunaura Technologies Private Limited had filed a complaint under Section 138 read with Section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, read with Section 120-B and 420 IPC, against the present petitioner and two more accused. 

The petitioner was eventually declared a declared a proclaimed person by the Trial Court with a direction to the concerned Police Station, to initiate proceedings under Section 174-A IPC and on account of the same the impugned FIR was registered under Section 174-A IPC.

Thereafter, the petitioner was arrested and was granted bail. The matter was compromised and the said complaint under Section 138 NI Act was withdrawn in view of the compromise. 

It was the submitted by the petitioner’s counsel that since the main proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act, were already compromised thus, keeping the present FIR alive would be an abuse of the process of the Court.

The State Counsel opposed the present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and submitted that the FIR was registered in pursuance of order of the Trial Court vide which the petitioner was declared as a proclaimed person.

After hearing the parties, the Court made reference to the case of “Baldev Chand Bansal vs. State of Haryana and Another”, wherein it was held that once the main petition under Section 138 of the Act of 1881

stands withdrawn in view of an amicable settlement between the parties, the continuation of proceedings under Section 174-A of the IPC is nothing but an abuse of the process of law. 

Further reference was made to the case of Ashok Madan vs. State of Haryana and another”, from a perusal of which the Court observed that where the main case was dismissed for want of prosecution, it was observed that the continuation of proceedings under Section 174-A of the IPC shall be an abuse of the process of court.

Coming to the present case, the Court noted that here, proceedings against the petitioner under Section 174-A IPC were initiated in pursuance of the impugned order of the Trial Court. Further, the Court also noted the factum of compromise which was entered into between the parties and the consequent withdrawal of the complaint. 

The Court also noted that the petitioner was allegedly not aware of the proceedings under Section 138 of the Act of 1881 and was subsequently arrested and released on bail.

Thus, in view of the above and while reiterating that in the above judgements it was held that keeping the proceedings under Section 174-A of the IPC alive would be an abuse of the process of the Court, Justice Bahl held, 

“Moreover, the order declaring the petitioner as proclaimed person would prove to be insignificant inasmuch as the main complaint filed under Section 138 of the Act of 1881 itself has been withdrawn.”

Thus, the present petition was allowed and the and all the subsequent proceedings arising therefrom were quashed/set aside.

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