Rekha Jain vs The State of Karnataka & Anr. Case

Rekha Jain vs The State of Karnataka & Anr. Case

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 749 OF 2022
Rekha Jain      ..Appellant (S)
Versus
The State of Karnataka & Anr.                       ..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 15.09.2020 passed by the High
Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru in Criminal Petition No.
3442/2020, by which, the High Court has dismissed the
said   criminal   petition   and   has   refused   to   quash   the
FIR/criminal proceedings against petitioners, the original
writ petitioners before the High Court have preferred the
present appeal.  
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2. At the outset, it is required to be noted that by order dated
08.01.2021, the present appeal in respect of petitioner No.
1 (Kamalesh Mulchand Jain) has been dismissed and the
notice has been issued in respect of appellant – petitioner
No.   2   (Rekha   Jain).   Therefore,   the   present   appeal   is
required to be considered qua accused Rekha Jain only.
3. That   respondent   No.   2   herein   –   original   complainant
lodged a complaint against one Kamalesh Mulchand Jain
(husband   of   Rekha   Jain),   alleging,   inter­alia,   that   by
misrepresentation, inducement and with an intention to
cheat him, the said Kamalesh Mulchand Jain had taken
away 2 kg and 27 grams of gold jewellery. A complaint was
registered   as   FIR/Crime   Case   No.   75/2020   dated
13.03.2020 for the offence under Section 420 of Indian
Penal Code (IPC). During the course of the investigation, it
was found that appellant – Rekha Jain was absconding
and   the   gold   jewellery,   taken   away   from   the   original
complainant by her husband – Kamalesh Mulchand Jain,
was with her, therefore, the investigation was carried out
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against  her   also,   which   led  to   the   said   Rekha   Jain   to
approach   the   High   Court   by   way   of   a   petition   under
section 482 of Cr.PC to quash the FIR against her for the
offence under Section 420 of IPC. By the impugned order,
the   High   Court   refused   to   quash   the   criminal
proceedings/FIR, even in so far as the accused – Rekha
Jain is concerned. Hence, the present appeal. 
4. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant –
accused   –   Rekha   Jain   has   vehemently   submitted   that
considering the allegations in the complaint/FIR as they
are,   there   are   no   allegations   that   accused   Rekha   Jain
induced the complainant to deliver the gold jewellery. It is
submitted that the entire allegations can be said to be
against Kamalesh Mulchand Jain, who happens to be the
husband of the appellant – Rekha Jain. It is submitted
that   therefore,   when   there   are   no   allegations   of
inducement by present Appellant – Accused Rekha Jain, it
cannot be said that the appellant – accused – Rekha Jain
has committed any offence as alleged for the offence under
Section 420 of IPC. 
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It   is   submitted   that   therefore   the   High   Court   has
committed   a   grave   error   in   not   quashing   the   criminal
proceedings against the appellant – accused ­ Rekha Jain
for the offence under Section 420 of IPC.  
5. The present appeal is vehemently opposed by Shri Saket
Gogia, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the original
complainant. 
5.1 It is vehemently submitted by learned counsel appearing
on behalf of the original complainant that the appellant –
accused – Rekha Jain is found to be in possession of the
gold   jewellery,   which   was   taken   away   from   the
complainant. That even the appellant – accused – Rekha
Jain was absconding. It is contended that it cannot be said
that the appellant has not committed any offence at all.
That the appellant – accused may be charged for the other
offences of keeping the gold jewellery, which is property
obtained   by   her   husband   by   cheating   and   deceiving.
Therefore,   it   is   prayed   not   to   quash   the   criminal
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proceedings/FIR even so far as the appellant – accused ­
Rekha Jain is concerned. 
  
6. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of accused – Rekha
Jain  –  the appellant  has  submitted  that  she has  been
chargesheeted for the offence under Section 420 of IPC and
the said accused is shown as accused No. 4.  
7. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties at length. 
8. At the outset, it is required to be noted that the offence
alleged against the appellant – accused – Rekha Jain is for
the offence under Section 420 of IPC. She has been now
chargedsheeted for the said offence. However, considering
the allegations in FIR/complaint, it can be seen that the
entire   and   all   the   allegations   are   against   the   accused
Kamalesh Mulchand Jain. In the complaint/FIR, there are
no allegations whatsoever to the effect that the accused ­
Rekha Jain induced the complainant to part with the gold
jewellery. Therefore, in the absence of any allegation of
inducement by the accused Rekha Jain, she cannot be
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prosecuted for the offence under Section 420 of IPC. There
must be a dishonest inducement by the accused. 
As per Section 420 of IPC, whoever cheats and thereby
dishonestly   induces   the   person   deceived   to   deliver   any
property to any person, can be said to have committed the
offence under Section 420 of IPC. Therefore, to make out a
case against a person for the offence under Section 420 of
IPC, there must be a dishonest inducement to deceive a
person to deliver any property to any other person. In the
present case, there is no allegation at all against accused –
Rekha Jain of any inducement by her to deceive and to
deliver   the   gold   jewellery.   The   allegations   of   dishonest
inducement   and   cheating   are   against   her   husband   –
accused   –   Kamalesh   Mulchand   Jain.   Therefore,
considering the allegations in the FIR/complaint as they
are,   and   in   the   absence   of   any   allegation   of   dishonest
inducement by Rekha Jain, it cannot be said that she has
committed any offence under Section 420 of IPC for which
she is now chargesheeted. Therefore, the High Court has
committed   a   grave   error   in   not   quashing   the   criminal
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proceedings   against   Rekha   Jain   for   the   offence   under
Section 420 of IPC. This is a fit case where the High Court
could   have   exercised   its   powers   under   Section   482   of
Cr.PC   and   to   quash   the   criminal   proceedings   against
Rekha Jain for the offence under Section 420 of IPC.     
9. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present appeal succeeds in part. The criminal proceedings
against   the   appellant   –   accused   –   Rekha   Jain   for   the
offence   under   Section   420   of   IPC   is   hereby   quashed.
However, it is clarified that what is quashed is the criminal
proceedings for the offence under Section 420 of IPC only
and not for any other offence(s), if any, committed by the
accused – Rekha Jain. The present appeal is limited to the
offence under Section 420 of IPC only as at present she is
chargesheeted only for the offence under Section 420 of
IPC. The present appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
         
…………………………………J.
                (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
New Delhi,   (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
          May 10, 2022
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