28 Jan 2121

Under doctrine of criminal justice delivery system guilt must be proved beyond reasonable doubt for securing conviction - Karnataka High Court

Case : Sri S. S. Naganand v. The State of Karnataka and Ors. Criminal Petition No. 6652 of 2013

Court : Karnataka High Court

Bench : Justice K. Somashekhar

Decided on : 28 Jan 2121

The Relevant Statutes

Section 154, 482, 301 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Section 279, 337, 338 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 134(a)(b), 187 of Motor Vehicle Act, 2019

Brief facts of the case

1. Venkateshappa filed a complaint on 30th August 2012 at Chickballapur Rural Police Station at 10:30 am stating that on 27th July 2012, he and his daughter Chickanarayanamma were returning home in a TVS moped bearing no. KA-O5-HJ-9344 after meeting an astrologer at Devastanadahosahalli near Chickballapur. Around 3 pm, when they were on their way to their home on NH-7 near Doddapylagurki gate, and when he was taking ‘U’ turn slowly and a car bearing no. KA-01/MG-2383 was coming from Hyderabad in a rash and negligent way has hit TVS moped.

2. Due to which Venkateshappa has sustained accidental injuries on his left leg and left elbow and abrasions on his right palm, forehead, left arm and back. His daughter Chickanarayanamma also sustained an abrasion on both her knees. The persons present nearby in the crime scene secured an ambulance and sent both of them to the Government hospital of Chickballapur and doctor’s provided them first aid and advised them to move to Bowring hospital of Bangalore, for better treatment.

3. Driver of the offending car and its owner visited Venkateshappa and his daughter Chickanarayanamma and paid them a number of Rupees 40,000/- for their treatment and also assured them, to bear all medical expenditure.

The Issue of the case

Whether petitioner’s complaint is liable to be quashed under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honorable Karnataka High Court opined that respondent no. 2 i.e., Venkateshappa suffered accidental injuries on his left leg and left elbow and abrasions on his right palm, forehead, left arm and on his back so treatment was firstly provided to him at the Government hospital of Chickballapur and also shifted him to another hospital for better treatment and petitioner also visited him and also paid amount of Rs. 40,000/- to him, then also he complained against him. The abovementioned act of the petitioner shows his humanitarian consideration.

2. The Honorable Karnataka High Court also opined that the petitioner is no more but he has been made a witness and a charge sheet is filed against the accused in C.C no. 108/2013. The accident took place by the accused’s sudden turn but the fact is that respondent no. 2 takes ‘U’ turn without seeing either side but in spite of this accused went to respondent no. 2 and gave rupees 40,000/- for medical treatment.

3. The Honorable Karnataka High Court also opined that respondent no. 2 didn’t file the complaint immediately after sustaining the injuries rather he filed it after the lapse of 8 days which makes it clear that respondent no. 2 wanted to make some lawful gain. It was further submitted by the court that in order to prove the guilt of the accused other respondent's statements should also be recorded and truth should not only be relied on complainant statements and prosecution should produce evidence against the accused.

4. The Honorable Karnataka High Court also opined that merely proving that the petitioner gave him the amount of Rs 40,000/- for medical treatment does not exonerate him from causing the accident of the respondent. Though respondent no. 2 is no more other respondent is there and their statement ought to be recorded for proving accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

5. The Honorable Karnataka High Court relied on the judgment of State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy and ors. reported in AIR 1977 SC 1489, in this case, it was held that High Court can quash the proceeding if it appears in the court that if the case would be allowed to proceed, it would be an abuse of process of court and for securing the ends of justice that proceeding deserves to be quashed. The High Court’s inherent power under section 482 is designed to achieve the salutary public purpose and not to degenerate into a weapon of harassment.

The Honorable Karnataka High Court also relied on the judgment of Anand Kumar Mohatta’s case of AIR 2019 SC 210 in this case it was held that the High court has the inherent right to quash the proceeding under section 482 if the proceeding is causing miscarriage of justice.

The Decision Held by the Court

Petition filed by petitioner/accused under section 482 to quash the proceeding against him is allowed. The proceedings in C.C no. 108/2013 which was pending before the Court of the Senior Civil Judge and CJM Chickballapur which arose out of crime no. 346/2012 are hereby quashed.

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