The Madras High Court Bench here has quashed a First Information Report registered by Kanyakumari District Crime Branch (DCB). Court Points out that the case was registered nine years after the alleged crime had occurred
The Madras High Court Bench here has quashed a First Information Report registered by Kanyakumari District Crime Branch (DCB) police against three individuals under the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Charging Exorbitant Interest Act 2002 and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code including Section 420 (cheating).
Justice A. Selvam set aside the FIR on the ground that the complaint lodged by a woman against the three petitioners did not inspire the confidence of the court and hence forcing the petitioners to undergo the rigour of trial to prove their innocence would be nothing but an abuse of due process. He also pointed out that the complaint had been filed after nine years of the alleged crime.
The judge agreed with the petitioner’s counsel N. Dilip Kumar that the complainant, if really aggrieved, would not have got the case registered in 2011 with regard to a mortgage as well as a sale agreement that took place way back in 2002. He also pointed out that the statements made by the woman in her complaint ran contrary to her averments in a civil suit filed with regard to the same issue in 2007.
According to the complaint, the woman had borrowed Rs. 50,000 from one of the petitioners for interest at the rate of 5 per cent per month from March 2002. Then, she executed a registered mortgage deed with respect to her coconut grove towards security. She claimed to have repaid the entire loan amount along with interest in the same year itself.
On December 12, 2002, the lender took her to the Sub-Registrar’s office and got a sale deed executed in his favour in the guise of executing a mortgage cancellation deed. The complainant supposedly came to know about the fact only in 2007 when she was prevented by the lender from collecting the coconuts from her grove. Thereafter, she filed a civil suit in 2007 and a police complaint in 2008.
However, Mr. Justice Selvam pointed out that the complainant had claimed to have paid interest regularly in her police complaint whereas she had claimed to have paid the interest only for some time in the civil suit. “Further, the mortgage deed as well as sale deed are registered documents. Hence, the complainant is totally debarred from putting forth contentions contra to the recitals in those documents,” he said.During arguments, the petitioner’s counsel said that a criminal prosecution should not be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution in order to make the parties budge to the demands of a complainant.