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Thangadurai Nadar v. Devadoos Jebaraj - Crl.O.P.(MD).No.3831 of 2007  RD-TN 1886 (11 June 2007)
BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
DATED : 11/06/2007
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA
Crl.O.P.(MD).No.3831 of 2007
M.P(MD)Nos.2 and 3 of 2007
3.George Joseph ... Petitioners Vs
Devadoos Jebaraj ... Respondent
Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to call for the records relating to C.C.No.208 of 2006 on the file of the learned Judicial Magistrate No.I, Tirunelveli, filed under Section 200 Cr.p.C and quash the same.
For Petitioners ... Mr.K.Mahendran
For Respondent ... Mr.M.Patturajan
This petition has been focussed to call for the records relating to C.C.No.208 of 2006 on the file of the learned Judicial Magistrate No.I, Tirunelveli, filed under Section 200 Cr.p.C and quash the same.
2. A re'sume' of facts absolutely necessary for the disposal of this petition as found set out from the records and as transpired from the arguments of both sides, would be to the effect that between the defacto complainant and the petitioners/accused herein, there were previous civil litigations and now, the matter is pending before the Honourable High court in Second Appeal. In the meanwhile, it appears that the respondent filed a private complaint which was taken on file by the learned Judicial Magistrate No.I, Tirunelveli, as C.C.No.208 of 2006 and the learned Magistrate proceeds with the matter and adopts the warrant procedure relating to that complaint case and before framing the charges, P.W.1 and P.W.2 have also been examined. At that stage, the petitioners/accused have chosen to file this petition to get the matter quashed.
3. The learned Counsel for the petitioners/accused would submit that previously at the instance of the same complainant, the police registered the case in Cr.No.13 of 2005 under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471 and 474 read with Sections 120(B),34 and 109 I.P.C and ultimately, it was referred as 'civil in nature' on the ground that a civil case was pending and thereafter, so to say, from the date of the alleged occurrence, i.e, eleven years after, the present complaint was filed and now, the criminal proceedings are in progress. The respondent claims to be the person who derived title from one Jegannathan who was not examined in the previous proceedings. Now, under the pretext of going to proceed with the matter with the help of Jegannathan, the criminal matter is processed. According to the petitioners, it is an abuse of criminal process and it has to be quashed.
4. The learned Counsel for the respondent would submit that the Sub Court which is the first appellate Court in paragraph No.41 of its judgment had made an observation that the plaintiff could not prove the forgery of the signature of the said Jegannathan in the power of attorney deed in favour of the third petitioner/A.3 herein; that Jegannathan was not examined in the Civil Court and that now, the said Jegannathan is very much present and he has been examined as P.W.2 in C.C.No.208 of 2006 before framing charges.
5. As such, the nitty-gritty of the case of the complainant is that even though Jegannathan conveyed the title in favour of the complainant relating to the immovable property, the third petitioner/A.3 by preparing forged power deed of Jegannathan, executed the sale deed in favour of A.1 and A.2. These are certainly factual issues which this Court while exercising the power under Section 482 Cr.P.C is not expected to decide finally. It is crystal clear that under Sections 244 and 245 Cr.P.C., the petitioners who are accused, are having the due opportunity to get alleged the injustice eliminated by filing the discharge petition, even otherwise, the learned Magistrate is duty bound to see as to whether any prima facie case has been made out before framing the charges.
6. The learned Counsel for the petitioners would cite the decision of the Honourable Apex Court in Suresh v. Mahadevappa Shivapa Danannava and another reported in 2005-1-L.W.-(Crl.)-218. An excerpt from it, would run thus: "10. ... A perusal of the complaint would show that the entire dispute raised by the complainant is based on the alleged agreement to sell dated 25.12.1988 nearly 11 years prior to the filing of the private complaint on 17.05.1999. For nearly 3 years from the date or reply, the complainant kept quiet before filing his complaint on 17.05.1999 before the Magistrate. It is stated that even as per the police report, no offence is made out against accused Nos.2-4. Despite this, the Magistrate issued process against accused Nos.2-4 as well which clearly shows the non-application of mind by the Magistrate. A perusal of the complaint would only reveal that the allegations as contained in the complaint are of civil nature and do not prima facie disclose commission of alleged criminal offence under section 420 I.P.C. In our opinion, the Magistrate ought not to have taken cognizance of the alleged offence against the accused No.1, the appellant herein and that the complaint has been made to harass the accused No.1 to come to terms by resorting to criminal process."
7. The perusal of the aforesaid extract would show that in that particular case, the Honourable Apex Court gave a categorical finding to the effect that the matter was civil in nature; after long lapse of eleven years, just for the purpose of harassing the accused therein, such complaint was filed. Here, the position is different; the offence of forgery has been pleaded and that according to the petitioners, the said Jegannathan could not be examined earlier in the Civil proceedings. Now, the complainant with the help of Jegannathan, is trying to process the matter in the Criminal Court. While narrating the history of the allegations and counter allegations, I do not in any way, express my opinion about the truth or falsity of the contentions of both sides. It is for them to canvass their case before the learned Magistrate and get appropriate orders.
8. In the result, this petition is disposed of with the direction to the effect that the learned Magistrate of his own accord, if no petition is filed for discharge, see as to whether the decisions rendered by the civil Court are having any nexus whatsoever with regard to the criminal complaint and whether it is a bar for criminal proceedings. The delay as canvassed by the petitioners/accused before this Court, shall also be considered before framing charges. Consequently, connected M.P(MD)Nos.2 and 3 of 2007 are also closed.
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