The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed that it has become a trend to abuse the process of law by lodging false first information reports (FIRs) to satisfy ego [Varun Bagga v State of Punjab].
Justice Alok Jain made the observation while imposing ₹1 lakh costs on a woman who filed an FIR against a man for the offence of outraging the modesty of woman and subsequently agreed to its quashing pursuant to a compromise.
“It has been noticed that it has become a trend to misuse and abuse the process of law by lodging false FIRs like in the present case just to satisfy one’s own ego,” the Court said.
It further observed that this petition demonstrated how the process of law was abused just for the whims and fancies of a person like the complainant.
“Complainant, who first slapped the petitioner in full public place and then just to suffice her ego, lodged the present FIR and then has compromised the matter,” said the court.
Nonetheless, the Court referred to a report by the Chief Judicial Magistrate which stated that the compromise was voluntary.
“Perusal of the aforesaid report establishes that the parties have amicably settled their dispute, and continuance of criminal prosecution in such a situation will be an exercise in futility, as the chances of ultimate conviction are bleak,” the court recorded.
However, Justice Jain found that this was a fit case to pass an order against the complainant so that such false, frivolous and manipulated FIRs are not registered leading to a waste of the state machinery’s time.
“It is a fit case where appropriate action under law by invoking the provisions of Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and other related provisions against complaint deserves to be invoked so that such kind of false, frivolous and manipulated FIRs are not registered, which ultimately lead to wastage of time of the State Machinery, which is thrown into action.”
Ultimately, it is the tax payer money which has been wasted on account of the false FIR lodged by the complainant, the judge added.
With this, ₹1 lakh costs were imposed on complainant.
“Although, the Court was of the view to take strict action against the complainant, however, taking a lenient view and by issuing a word of caution, coupled with imposition of heavy cost, this present petition is allowed,” the Court stated.
Advocate VPS Mattewal represented the petitioner, while advocate Arun Gupta appeared for State and advocate Kuljinder Dhindsa represented the respondent.
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