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HC refuses to quash FIR in corruption case

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: J&K High Court dismissed a petition seeking quashment of FIR No 35/2000 for offences under Section 5(1)(c)(d) read with 5(2) of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120-B RPC registered at Police Station, Vigilance Organization, Kashmir.
Justice Sanjay Dhar, while dismissing petition, observed that it is clear that a party who invokes jurisdiction of the High Court for quashing of FIR and the consequent proceedings on the ground that ingredients of offence for which he has been booked, are not made out, he has to meet the test of expeditious dispatch of approaching the Court. A party cannot approach High Court under Section 482 of CrPC at his whim and caprice, merely because no period of limitation in filing petition under the aforesaid provision is provided. A petition under Section 482 of the CrPC must be filed within a reasonable time and it should not be vitiated by inordinate delay on part of the petitioner.
Court further observed that within what time a petitioner should approach the Court under Section 482 of CrPC depends upon facts and circumstances of the case. “Reasonable time generally means any time which is not manifestly unreasonable and which is fairly necessary for approaching the Court. Reasonable time would mean a time required by a prudent litigant to approach the Court in the given facts and circumstances of the case. Analyzing the facts of the instant case in the backdrop of aforesaid legal position, it is absolutely clear that the petitioner has approached this Court at a highly belated stage after about 14 years of receiving copy of the Challan. The petitioner has actively participated in the proceedings before the trial court for all these years and has, after waking up from deep slumber, approached this Court, without any iota of explanation for the delay as per his choice, caprice and whim. Thus, it can by no stretch of imagination be stated that the petitioner has approached this Court within a reasonable time. The prosecution evidence is almost complete and now late in the day, the petitioner wants this Court to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of CrPC, which, in the facts and circumstances of the case, this Court would be reluctant to do. Thus, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the submissions made by the petitioner, the instant petition is dismissed being highly belated. The petitioner is, however, at liberty to take all the contentions raised in the present petition before the court below at the time of final arguments,” the Court observed.

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