SC: Second FIR can’t be Quashed if there is Discovery of New Facts

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July 13, 2018

Case name: Om Prakash Singh v. The State of Bihar & Ors.

Date of Judgment: July 11, 2018

In the case two complaints had been filed by the Appellant. The first complaint was quashed by the High Court and the second complaint that had been filed on the discovery of a new fact was also quashed by the High Court. The Supreme Court set aside the High Court’s order on the ground that the law does not prohibit filing second complaint where the complainant came to know certain facts after disposal of the first complaint which could have tilted the balance in his favour.

In the first complaint, the Appellant had alleged that the subject matter, a medical device bought from the respondent company was not functioning and there was delay and carelessness of respondent company in getting the machine repaired. On filing of complaint, the Lower Court took cognizance of the offence. However, in petition under Section 482 of CrPC, the first complaint was quashed by the High Court of Patna.

In the subsequent FIR, discovery of a new fact was revealed. It was alleged in the complaint that the original parts of the machine bought by the Appellant were replaced by the respondent company with the duplicate ones. The Lower Court took cognizance of the offence in second FIR also. However, the High Court of Patna quashed the Petition under Section 482 of the CrPC on the ground that the earlier FIR was also quashed.

Aggrieved by this the Appellant approached the Supreme Court against High Court of Patna’s order.

The Supreme Court Bench allowed the Appeal on the basis of following observations:

  • That the High Court while quashing the second complaint was mainly influenced by the factum that the earlier order of taking cognizance was quashed while deciding the present matter. The Bench in this context opined that it is an error to conceive that the present proceedings based on the subsequent complaint are liable to be quashed merely because the earlier criminal proceedings were quashed.
  • Reference was also made to Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Udai Shankar Awasthy v. the State of U.P.[1] has observed that “the law does not prohibit filing or entertaining of the second complaint even on the same facts provided the earlier complaint has been decided on the basis of insufficient material or the order has been passed without understanding the nature of the complaint or the complete facts could not be placed before the Court, or where the complainant came to know certain facts after disposal of the first complaint which could have tilted the balance in his favour.
  • That the second complaint would not be maintainable wherein the earlier complaint has been disposed on full consideration of the case of the complainant on merit.
  • With reference to the facts of the instant case, the Apex Court stated that in the case the appellant came to know certain facts relating to the replacement of parts of the machine after the disposal of the first complaint, hence there was no bar for the appellant to lodge a second complaint.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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[1] [(2013) 2 SCC 435, para 30]