In the Supreme Court of India Criminal Appeal Nos.367-368 of 2020 @ SLP(Crl.)Nos.4418-4419 of 2020 Petitioner Samta Naidu Respondents State of Madhya Pradesh and Anr Date of Judgement 2nd March 2020 Bench Hon’ble Justice Uday Umesh Lalit
Facts of the Case
- Mr. G.S Naidu was the owner of a Maruti 800, which is a 1995 make, died on 12th December 2001. He was survived by a widow, and three sons, and the second son is the complainant.
- He filed a complaint against his third brother and wife stating that they sold the vehicle of his father, by forging their father’s signatures. To support his claim, he submitted the death certificate of their father, and form 29 and 30 which were the forms in which the signatures were forged.
- They used the forged signatures to benefit them in the form of consideration for sale of the vehicle, fully aware of the fact that the Mr. Naidu passed away. The act of the respondents comes under sections 409, 420,467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.
- The Judicial Magistrate First Class, before whom the complainant approached, by order of 5th July 2013 dismissed the complaint under section 203 of Criminal Procedure Code, stating that there is no prima facie case against Samta Naidu and Dilip Naidu.
- Aggrieved by this the complainant filed for a Revision before VIII Additional Judge Sessions Judge of Jabalpur. However, on 5th March 2014, they filed for withdrawal of the same, as they wished to file a new complaint. The court disposed the revision petition and also stated that the new complaint can be filed based on new facts at any time and the permission of the court is not required for the same.
- The Compliant Case of 9226 of 2014 was thus filed on basis of the same allegations but with the help of new material to support their case. A credit note for the sum of 37,500 taken from the Standard Auto Agency after valuing the vehicle and the amount was adjusted towards purchasing a new vehicle, the registration certificate of new vehicle etc. Based on this they stated that they should be punished under section 201, 409, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.
- The Judicial Magistrate of first class on 2nd August 2014 accepted the cognizance under section 420 of the IPC but rejected the other offences. The same was challenged by the complainant in a Criminal Revision, which was allowed by the Additional Sessions Judge, who directed the Magistrate to reconsider the documents which are available and to pass an order by taking cognizance of the appropriate offences.
- This order was challenged by the Appellants by filing a Criminal Revision in the High Court. During the pendency of this Revision, the Magistrate took cognizance of all the offences, and the Additional judge passed an order on 20th September 2016 framing the charges under section 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC against the Appellants.
- The same was challenged by the Appellants in Criminal Revision No. 2556 of 2016. The High Court heard both the Criminal Revisions filed by the Appellants.
- The court while relying on the decision of Pramatha Nath Taluqdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar held that the complaint was that they sold the property of the deceased unilaterally, a property which after the death became a joint property. It is clear from the filing the second complaint that the details of the transactions were received by the complainant later. It dismissed the Revision Petitions. The same were appealed by the Appellants.
- The court directed the Appellants to deposit a sum of Rs. 45,000/- and issued a direction stating that the matter was an internal dispute between family, and it can be sorted out, however the complainant did not accept the suggestions.
- Whether the second compliant filed by the complainant is maintainable or not?
Arguments for the Petitioner
- They relied on the judgement of Taulqdar and stated that the court made an error in rejected the revision petitions.
- The issues in both the complaints were based on the same issue and contained the contentions, thus filing of new complaints and the court taking cognizance of the same is erroneous.
Arguments for the Respondents
- They also relied on the judgement of Taulqdar and stated that as new material was found, the consideration and cognizance of the second complaint was correct.
- The new complaint can be filed as new material came into light, which the complainant was not aware of before and thus the court was correct in rejecting the Criminal Revision filed by the Appellants.
- In the case of Bindeshwari Prasad Singh v. Kali Singh it was held that the second complaint can be filed in situations only when there are new facts or in cases when special case is made out based on previous facts.
- Also, in the case of Jatinder Singh and Others v. Ranjit Kaur it has been stated that the acceptance of the second complaint depends on the reason for dismissal of the first complaint. If the dismissal was based on some default, then there is no bar for second appeal, but if the appeal is dismissed on the merits then the position would be different.
- Further in the case of Poonam Chand Jain and another v. Fazru if an order has been dismissed under section 203, a second complaint on the same facts can only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
- In the present case the basic allegations in both the complaints are same that the appellant sold the car by forged documents and sale consideration was achieved by the Appellants. The same was rejected stating that no case was present prima facie.
- They filed a new complaint was similar in the core allegations and additional material was added in the second and it was not stated as why the additional material was not added with reasonable diligence. The complainant had reasonable time to obtain all material as the complaint was filed after more than one year after the sale.
- The first complaint was rejected based on the merit and not a technical ground.
- Thus, the appeal was allowed, and the second complaint is not maintainable. The money paid by the Appellant is returned with interest accrued.
“The views of the authors are personal“
 AIR 1962 SC 876
 Supra 1
 (1997) 1 SCC 57
 (2001) 2 SCC 570
 (2010) 2 SCC 631