Writ Petition No. 108338/2015 (GM-RES). Case: Chandrashekhar Eligar Vs The State and Ors.. Karnataka High Court

Case Number:Writ Petition No. 108338/2015 (GM-RES)
Party Name:Chandrashekhar Eligar Vs The State and Ors.
Counsel:For Appellant: M.S. Bhagwat, Advocate and For Respondents: Mallikarjunswamy B. Hiremath, Adv.
Judges:K.N. Phaneendra, J.
Issue:Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Sections 154, 41, 41(1)(a), 51, 51(1), 56; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Sections 13(1)(d), 13(1)(e), 13(2)
Judgement Date:March 14, 2017
Court:Karnataka High Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Order:

K.N. Phaneendra, J.

  1. The present petition is filed seeking quashing of the First Information Report in Crime No. 4/2015 registered by the respondent Lokayukta police, for the offence punishable under Section 13(1)(d) and 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

  2. The brief factual aspects that emanate from the records are that:

    The petitioner was appointed and working as Assistant Engineer in PWD Department since 1983 and later, on promotion he was posted as Superintendent Engineer on 30.3.2014.

    It is the case of the prosecution that the Lokayukta police Chitradurga has received an information from ADGP, Lokayukta Bangalore, that some people are transporting huge amount in a Innova Car bearing Registration No. KA-01/G-4572 from Dharwad to Bengaluru and in fact, he requested the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Karnataka Lokayukta, Chitradurga District to take appropriate action in this regard.

    On the basis of such information, the Superintendent of Police, Karnataka Lokayukta, Chitradurga, has rushed to the said spot along with his staff and found the said vehicle proceeding towards Bengaluru. The said vehicle was intercepted near toll plaza and found the petitioner inside the said car and he was transporting a huge amount of Rs. 36,85,500/-. On enquiry, the said person has not given any reasonable explanation. Therefore, the Superintendent of Police has seized the said amount under mahazar and arrested the accused and went to the Dy.SP of jurisdictional Lokayukta Police and lodged a complaint stating the above said facts and requested the Lokayukta police to register a case.

    The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Karnataka Lokayukta, Chitradurga, registered a case in Crime No. 4/2015 for the offence punishable under Section 13(1)(d) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and proceeded to investigate the matter. The Registration of the case is called in question before this Court on the ground that without registering a case, no investigation can be done and after part of the investigation being done, no case can be registered and therefore, the entire proceedings are vitiated and the same are liable to be quashed.

  3. I have heard the arguments of the learned counsel Sri M.S. Bhagwat for petitioner and learned counsel Sri Mallikarjunswamy B. Hiremath for respondents.

  4. As usual, the learned counsel Sri Bhagwat in a very effective manner submitted his arguments narrating various decisions on the question raised in this case. He relied upon various rulings in this regard. First of all, he has drawn my attention to the decision reported in (2011) 3 SCC 758 between Ashok Kumar Todi v. Kishwar Jahan and others for the purpose of showing this court as to what amounts to investigation. In the said case it is laid down that the Cr.PC contemplates several stages with reference to the investigation. The Registration of a case, proceeding to the spot, ascertaining the facts and circumstances of the case, discovery and arrest of the suspected offender collecting of evidence relating to the commission of offence, recording of the statement of the witnesses, search, seizure and then formation of opinion by the investigating Officer and finally filing of the charge sheet are the recognised stages. There is absolutely no dispute with regard to the principle laid down in the above said case and the procedure to be followed under Code of Criminal Procedure.

  5. He has also relied upon another ruling reported in Lalitha Kumari v. Government of UP and others reported in 2013 (8) Supreme 1 at para 111, it has held that -

    (i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizance offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation and

    (ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizance offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is committed or not.

    It is further held that, if the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizance offence, the crime must be registered. The Police Officer cannot avoid his duty of registering the case if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence. The court has also observed that the scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain...

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