Smt. Rekha Jain vs State of Uttar Pradesh

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 136 OF 2022
Smt. Rekha Jain and Anr. ...Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors. ...Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment
and order dated 03.01.2020 passed by the High Court of Judicature at
Allahabad in an Application under Section 482 No. 47634 of 2019 by
which the High Court has dismissed the said application and has refused
to quash the criminal proceedings in exercise of powers under Section
482 Cr.P.C., original accused Nos. 2 and 3 – appellants herein – Smt.
Rekha Jain and Smt. Minakshi Jain have preferred the present appeal.
2. That on the basis of complaint under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C.
submitted by the respondent No.2 herein – original complainant, on the
directions of the learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hapur,
F.I.R. dated 21.01.2019 bearing Case Crime No. 48 of 2019 was
registered under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B IPC, P.S.
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Hapur Nagar, District Hapur against six accused persons including the
appellants herein.
2.1 That it was stated in the F.I.R. that one Arun Kumar Maheshwari
(co-accused) had earlier misappropriated complainant's and other
persons’ monies ostensibly towards deposit in one Kuber Mutual
Benefits Ltd. (in the year 1998-1999), and fled from Hapur without
returning the monies back due to which, the property in question was
attached by and was given in custody to the complainant - Pradeep
Singhal and one Bijendra Maheshwari, and now the accused have
fraudulently sold the property in question to the co-accused Smt. Rekha
Jain and Smt. Minakshi Jain (appellants herein).
2.2 That the appellants herein and other co-accused approached the
High Court by way of the present application to quash the criminal
proceedings in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. By the
impugned judgment and order, the High Court has dismissed the said
application. Hence the accused, Smt. Rekha Jain and Smt. Minakshi
Jain have preferred the present appeal.
3. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants – accused
has vehemently submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the
case, the High court has committed a grave error in not quashing the
criminal proceedings against the appellants.
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3.1 It is further submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the appellants that the main allegations are against one Arun Kumar
Maheshwari and others and that too for the offences of misappropriation
of the amount deposited between 1995-1999. It is submitted that the
appellants are the bona fide purchasers of the property in question,
which was neither an attached property nor a subject matter of any
dispute at the time it was purchased by the appellants.
3.2 It is submitted that on a bare reading of the allegations in the
F.I.R./complaint, no case is made out against the appellants for the
offences alleged except the allegation that the appellants have
purchased the property, which is alleged to be an attached property. It is
submitted that neither any attachment was registered nor any
attachment was in existence at the time when the appellants purchased
the property.
3.3 It is submitted that except the allegation that the appellants have
purchased the so called alleged attached property, there are no further
allegations at all by which it can be said that the appellants have
committed the offences under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and
120-B IPC.
3.4 It is therefore submitted that the criminal proceedings against the
appellants are nothing but an abuse of process of law and an
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unnecessary harassment to them. Therefore, it is prayed to quash the
criminal proceedings in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
4. Shri R.K. Raizada, learned Additional Advocate General appearing
on behalf of the State tried to oppose the present appeal by submitting
that after the investigation, the charge sheet has been filed and therefore
the present criminal proceedings be not quashed at this stage.
However, when a pointed question was asked to the learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the State about the actual role assigned to the
appellants and to point out any material against the appellants for the
offences alleged and other allegations, except the allegation that the
appellants have purchased the property, learned counsel appearing on
behalf of the State was not in a position to point out any other material
against the appellants by which, it can be said that any prima facie case
is made out against the appellants for the offences alleged.
5. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the original complainant –
respondent No.2 has filed a counter affidavit submitting that having
come to know the true facts, he has no objection if the criminal
proceedings against the appellants are quashed.
6. Having heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties and having perused the allegations in the
complaint/F.I.R., it can be seen that the main allegations are against the
other co-accused – Arun Kumar Maheshwari and others. The only
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allegation against the appellants is that they have purchased the
property in question, which was attached in the year 1998-1999 against
the amounts due and payable to the depositors, who had deposited in
Kuber Mutual Benefits Ltd. between 1998-1999. It is to be noted that the
property has been purchased by the appellants in the year 2019.
Nothing is brought on record that at the time when the property was
purchased by the appellants, the attachment was continued and/or any
attachment was registered. There are no allegations that the appellants
are related to the other co-accused Arun Kumar Maheshwari and others.
Even from the averments and the allegations in the F.I.R., it cannot be
said that there is any prima facie case made out against the appellants
for the offences under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B IPC.
The main allegations are against other co-accused. Therefore, to
continue the criminal proceedings against the appellants would be an
abuse of process of law and the Court and unnecessary harassment to
the appellants, who seem to be the purchasers of the property on
payment of sale consideration. In the above facts and circumstances of
the case, the High Court ought to have exercised its powers and
discretion under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and ought to have quashed the
criminal proceedings against the appellants.
7. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present appeal succeeds. The impugned judgment and order passed by
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the High Court is hereby quashed and set aside. The criminal
proceedings arising out of Case Crime No. 48 of 2019 for the offences
under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B IPC, P.S. Hapur
Nagar, District Hapur including the charge sheet are hereby quashed
and set aside in so far as the appellants herein – Smt. Rekha Jain and
Smt. Minakshi Jain are concerned.
Present appeal is accordingly allowed.
………………………………….J.
 [M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
FEBRUARY 03, 2022. [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
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