The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that when a clear case is made out for the offences alleged, criminal proceedings cannot be quashed merely on ground that ‘no useful purpose will be served’ by prolonging the proceedings of the case [Satish Kumar Jatav v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others].
A Division Bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna was hearing an appeal assailing the decision of the Allahabad High Court which in exercise of its powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), had quashed the criminal proceedings against the respondent-accused persons.
“Even from the impugned order passed by the High Court it appears that while quashing the criminal proceedings, the High Court has observed that no useful purpose will be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case. The aforesaid cannot be a good ground and/or a ground at all to quash the criminal proceedings when a clear case was made out for the offences alleged,” the Supreme Court ruled.
The respondents were accused of committing offences under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and and Section 3(10)(15) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Before the top court, the complainant (appellant) had argued that the quashing order passed by the High Court in favor of the accused was cryptic and non-reasoned. It was stated that the High Court after narrating the submissions on behalf of the accused had failed to apply its mind since no reasons had been assigned while quashing the criminal proceedings.
Affirming the arguments raised by the appellant, the Bench at the outset observed that the order passed by the High Court was unsustainable both in law as well as on facts since apart from dictating the submission of parties, there was no further discussion by the High Court on the allegations made against the accused persons and even on the legality and validity of the order passed by the Magistrate summoning the accused.
“The impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is a cryptic, non-reasoned order,” the Court said.
The approach of the High Court was cursory and casual, the top court observed.
“We find no independent application of mind by the High Court on the legality and validity of the order passed by the learned Magistrate summoning the accused. The manner in which the High Court has disposed of the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and quashed the criminal proceedings is not appreciated at all,” the Supreme Court said.
The Court further noted that the High Court stating that ‘no useful purpose will be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case’ cannot be a valid ground for quashing the proceedings under Section 482 of CrPC.
It, therefore, set aside the decision of the Allahabad High Court.