The Bombay High Court recently asked petitioners seeking quashing of an FIR in a cheating case to pay Rs 1 lakh in donation to the Naam Foundation, an NGO that works towards helping drought-affected people in the state. The court passed the direction saying the petitioners misused services of the police and the court causing loss of public money.
The HC quashed the FIR filed by the director of a company against two of his employees who had allegedly withdrawn money from the company’s account by forging the director’s signatures. According to the court, letting the matter go on would only lead to wastage of time by the trial court, where the criminal case is being heard. “On perusal of the chargesheet, it is seen the offence alleged is personal in nature and no public law element is involved in it. As the parties have mutually settled the dispute between them, chances of conviction of the accused are too remote. Continuation of criminal proceedings in such eventuality will amount to wastage of time of the trial court, apart from inconvenience to the parties. Hence, in order to prevent abuse of the process of court, the criminal case in question needs to be quashed and set aside,” observed the HC.
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A Bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice A M Badar were hearing the matter where the director had alleged misappropriation of funds by his employees in 2011.
Thereafter, an FIR was filed by the director. All the parties later decided to settle the matter amicably and sought quashing of the FIR, stating that no larger public element was involved in the matter.
Observing that the petitioners, particularly the director, had used the police machinery as well as courts, causing loss of public time and money, the HC said, “As such, suitable cost needs to be imposed on the petitioners. The senior counsel for the petitioners states the petitioners have agreed to deposit an amount of Rs 1 lakh towards donation to Naam Foundation for its noble cause of helping drought-affected people in the state.”
Directing the petitioners to deposit the amount with the HC registry, the court said the donation would go towards espousing a public cause and be part of the condition for quashing the proceedings.