Read Order: Anita Gupta v. M/s Dhansagar Agro Industries

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 11, 2022:  While imposing costs of Rs 5000, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the petitioner-accused to lead evidence, before the appellate Court with regard to certified copies of judgment/orders of the Court and final report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. filed in respect of an FIR registered under Sections 420, 418, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan held,  “After hearing learned counsel for the petitioner, in order to avoid any further delay in disposal of the appeal, the present petition is allowed and the petitioner is permitted to exhibit all the aforesaid documents, mentioned at Sr. No.a, b, c, d, i, j and k, as per application/impugned order.”

The Bench added, “However, it is made clear that it will be open for the Court to take final decision about admissibility of the documents… that no oral evidence will be permitted to be led and the lower appellate Court will afford an opportunity of hearing to the complainant to rebut the said evidence.”

Prayer in this petition was for setting aside the order vide which the lower appellate Court dismissed the application filed under Section 391 Cr.P.C. by the petitioner/accused, who was convicted by the trial Court in proceedings under Section 138 N.I. Act and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years along with payment of a fine.

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that no oral evidence would be led and only evidence with regard to documents mentioned at Sr. No.a, b, c, d, i, j and k only, which were certified copies of judgment/orders of the Court and final report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. in the FIR registered under Sections 420, 418, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC, would be led. 

It was further the case of the Counsel that the certified copies of judgment/orders of the Court, referred to above, are admissible in evidence without leading any oral evidence, whereas with regard to the report filed by Police under Section 173 Cr.P.C., it was submitted that since FIR was already exhibited before the trial Court, therefore, report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. would only help the lower appellate Court to know about the investigation conducted by the police in the said FIR. 

After hearing counsel for the petitioner, the Court observed that in order to avoid any further delay in the disposal of the appeal, the present petition is allowed and the petitioner is permitted to exhibit all the aforesaid documents, mentioned at Sr. No.a, b, c, d, i, j and k, as per application/impugned order. 

However, the Court added that it will be open for the Court to take a final decision about the admissibility of the documents, at the time of final disposal of the appeal. Also, the Court made it clear that no oral evidence would be permitted to be led and the lower appellate Court will afford an opportunity of hearing to the complainant to rebut the said evidence. 

This was however made subject to payment of Rs.5,000/- by the petitioner to the complainant. The lower appellate Court was directed to dispose of the appeal in a time-bound manner. Liberty was granted to the complainant to move an application for revival of the present petition, in case allowing the documents by leading additional evidence by the Court is not acceptable to the complainant and he wants to seek a decision on the merits of the case.

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