Criminal proceedings against an accused cannot be stopped merely because some of the persons who might have committed the offences are not charge-sheeted, the Supreme Court has said.
A bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna said during the trial if it is found that other accused persons are not charge-sheeted, the court may array them as accused in exercise of powers under Section 319 CrPC.
“Merely because some of the persons who might have committed the offences are not charge-sheeted, cannot be a ground to quash the proceedings against the accused charge-sheeted after having found prima facie case against him after investigation,” the bench said in a recent order.
The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by Suvarna Cooperative Bank Ltd against a Karnataka High Court order, which stopped criminal proceedings against a man for the offences under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 408 (criminal breach of trust by clerk), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) 420 (cheating) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code.
The complainant bank filed a complaint before the court of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore and an FIR was registered before the Chickpet Police Station under various sections of the IPC.
On completing the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed against the accused number one in the case.
The accused had approached the high court which stopped proceedings against him on the grounds that in the absence of original accused number two and three in the police report, the charge-sheet could not have been filed against only accused number 1. The Supreme Court said in this case nothing has been further observed by the high court on merits and/or on the allegations against the accused number one.
“Under the circumstances, the impugned judgment and order passed by the high court quashing the criminal proceedings against the respondent no.2 herein – original accused number one deserves to be quashed and set aside.”
“In view of the above and for the reason stated above present appeal succeeds. Impugned common judgment and order passed by the high court quashing the criminal proceedings against the accused number one is hereby quashed and set aside,” the bench said.
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