2014 (10) SCALE 690; 2015 (9) SCALE 365; (1992) 4 SCC 305 – Relied upon
(2008) 9 SCC 677; (2008) 16 SCC 1; (1977) 2 SCC 699; (1988) 1 SCC 692; (2002) 5 SCC 257; (2011) 10 SCC 705; (2011) 5 SCC 708; (2009) 6 SCC 351; (1996) 5 SCC 581; (2007) 12 SCC 1; (2012) 10 SCC 303; (2014) 6 SCC 466; AIR 2012 SCW 5333; 2013 (14) SCALE 235; (2014) 5 SCC 364 – Referred
(b) Administration of Justice – Criminal law – An offence is an offence – Does not depend upon gender of the accused – Argument based on gender is neither constitutionally nor statutorily valid – A person committing a murder or getting involved in a financial scam or forgery of documents – Cannot claim discharge or acquittal on the ground of her gender. (Para 13)
(c) Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 482 – Criminal proceedings in cases of grave criminal offence or serious economic offence or offence having potentiality to create a dent in the financial health of the institutions – Delay in trial or settlement of matter – Contention that continuation of such proceedings will increase load on criminal justice delivery system – No ground to quash such proceedings. (Para 14)
Facts of the case:
The first respondent, accused no.2, along with her husband submitted an application for home loan to the Centurion Bank of Punjab, presently known as HDFC Bank Ltd. for a sum of Rs.6 lakhs by depositing the sale deed dated 31.10.2001. The HDFC Bank found that documents were forged and accordingly filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Chennai on 20.12.2005 which eventually gave rise to registration of FIR No. 579/06 dated 19.7.2006. Another FIR came to be lodged on 3.8.2006 by Bank of India, Cathedral Branch from which the couple had availed a loan of Rs.25 lakhs for a Company Development (Medicrops and Medigel) on the grounds that the documents were forged. On 10.7.2006, Vijaya Bank, G.N. Chetty Road Branch filed a complaint that the husband of the accused had applied for a mortgage loan of Rs.18 lakhs with forged documents by depositing the title deed and the wife stood as a surety.
Taking into consideration the complaints lodged by the aforesaid banks, the FIRs were registered.
Thereafter Syndicate Bank, Mylapore Branch filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Chennai on 11.01.2007 to the effect that the husband of the first respondent herein had submitted an application for grant of home improvement loan for a sum of Rs.12 lakhs with forged documents and the wife was the guarantor and on that basis another FIR was registered.
Thus, the first respondent was a co-applicant in respect of the loans availed from HDFC Bank and Bank of India; and was a guarantor in respect of the loans availed from Vijaya Bank and Syndicate Bank.
After due investigation, chargesheets were filed and the proceedings before the trial court were instituted.
Thereafter the accused persons moved the High Court for quashing of the criminal proceedings. During the pendency of the cases, the husband, accused No.1 breathed his last.
The High Court came to hold that as “No due certificate” had been issued by the respective banking institutions and further settlements had been arrived at under the scheme, continuance of the prosecution would be an exercise in futility and, therefore, quashing of the criminal proceedings was required to prevent the abuse of the process of law. Being of this view, the High Court has quashed all the proceedings.
Finding of the Court:
High Court quashed the proceedings on fallacious grounds.
Result: Appeal allowed.
Act Referred : CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE : S.482Cases Referred: