February 24, 2024 In Uncategorized



A two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma passed an Order on 19.02.2024 in Criminal Appeal No. 1007 Of 2024 @ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 9800 Of 2023 in Deepak Kumar Shrivas & Anr. Vs. State Of Chhattisgarh & Ors. and held that such criminal prosecution should not be allowed to continue where the object to lodge the FIR is not for criminal prosecution and for punishing the offender for the offence committed, but for recovery of money under coercion and pressure thereby setting aside the proceedings arising from the FIR 248 of 2022.


i) The Appellant, Deepak Kumar Shrivas made a Complaint dated 06.04.2021 to the Collector, District Janjgir Champa (Chhattisgarh) alleging that the Respondent No.6 (Rajkumari Maravi) had allured the Appellant that she would secure a job for his brother – Appellant No. 2, Raj Kumar Shivas, as she had good contacts with higher officers and demanded substantial amount for doing this favour. The Appellant got allured and paid Rs. 80,000/- cash at the first instance.

ii) Later, an additional demand was made and, according to the Complaint made by the Appellant, he, thereafter, deposited about Rs. 20,000/- the in different bank accounts, details of which were provided by Respondent No.6. When nothing happened and no job was provided to his brother, he approached the Respondent No.6 for returning the money paid by him upon which she threatened him of false implication and later on she stopped responding to his calls and started avoiding him.

iii) The Collector apparently referred the said Complaint dated 06.04.2021 to the Superintendent of Police of the District Janjgir-Champa for enquiry. The enquiry is alleged to be entrusted by the Superintendent of Police to the Station House Officer, Police Station Shakti, District Janjgir-Champa. The Station House Officer made detailed enquiries and also recorded the statements of the Appellant, the Respondent No.6 and other persons who were sought to be referred to as witnesses and ultimately submitted the Report to the Superintendent of Police on 25.07.2021. The Report mentioned interesting facts, according to which, both the Parties i.e. Appellant and Respondent No.6 were accusing each other of having extracted money for securing job for their relatives. As already stated, the Appellant was trying to secure a job for his brother, whereas, according to Respondent No.6, the Appellant had taken about Rs.4 Lakhs from her for securing a job for her daughter. In the enquiry it was also found that when no job was provided by the Appellant to her daughter, the Appellant returned some amount by depositing it in her bank account. Both the Parties had alleged that false Complaints were being made against each other. Interestingly when in the enquiry the Station House Officer required the Appellant and Respondent No.6 to produce the relevant documents and also the details of the call records and recorded conversations, they failed to provide any such material. Accordingly, it was recommended that the Complaint deserved to be closed.

iv) Thereafter the Respondent No. 6 was successful in lodging an FIR against the Appellant on 27.07.2022. According to the contents of the FIR, an amount of Rs.4 Lakhs had been taken by the Appellant and his brother, the other co-Accused, for providing a job to the daughter of Respondent No.6. The said amount was paid in April, 2019. The transaction was said to be purely in cash and there were no bank transactions. Before registering the FIR in this case, an enquiry was made and a report was submitted to the Sub-Divisional Officer, who directed for registration of an FIR. Accordingly, the Police registered an FIR 248 of 2022 against the Appellant based on the Complaint of the Respondent No. 6. In this enquiry, it was found that both Parties have made allegations against each other of taking money for providing a job.

v) The Appellant filed WPCR No.703 of 2022 under Article 226 of the Constitution before the High Court of Chhattisgarh seeking quashing of the FIR and the proceedings arising therefrom. The said Petition was dismissed by the High Court, vide Order dated 11.07.2023.

vi) Aggrieved by the Order dated 11.07.2023, the Appellant filed Criminal Appeal No. 1007 Of 2024 @ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 9800 Of 2023 before the Supreme Court.


The Apex Court vide Order dated 19.02.2024, made the following observations:

1) The Bench after hearing both the Counsels, observed that, in the Complaint made by the Appellant in 2021 to the Collector an enquiry has been made by the Station House Officer of the Police Station concerned, in which the fact that the Respondent No.6 had stated that she had paid Rs.4 Lakhs to the Appellant for providing a job to her daughter was recorded. This clearly means that Respondent No.6 was well aware of the Complaint made by the Appellant and in the enquiry her statement had been actually recorded. The Respondent No.6, therefore, cannot raise a plea that she had no knowledge of the Complaint made by the Appellant. Despite having the said knowledge, she did not lodge any Complaint against the Appellant and his brother and waited for more than a year to lodge the FIR in July, 2022.

2) That, according to the allegations made in the FIR, the job was to be provided by the Appellant within three months of April, 2019 i.e. by July, 2019. However, the Respondent No.6 did not take any action for a period of three years till July, 2022 when the FIR in question was lodged. Thus, the FIR suffers from a serious delay of three years which is totally unexplained.

3) The Apex Court further observed that, it was an unlawful contract between the parties where money was being paid for securing job in Government Department(s) or private sector. Apparently, a suit for recovery could not have been filed for the said purpose and even if it could be filed, it could be difficult to establish the same where the payment was entirely in cash. Therefore, the Respondent No.6 found out a better medium to recover the said amount by building pressure on the Appellant and his brother by lodging the FIR. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, the Appellant may have tried to sort out and settle the dispute by shelling out some money.

4) The Supreme Court further observed that prima facie, the conduct exhibited by the parties involved, appeared tainted with suspicion, casting a shadow over the veracity of their claims. The report from the previous inquiry reflects a convoluted landscape and unveils a trail of unethical, may be even criminal, behaviour from both Parties. The unexplained inordinate delay in bringing these allegations to the Police’s attention despite knowledge of previous inquiry, raises even more doubts and adds a layer of scepticism to the authenticity of the claims. The facts stated, as well as the prior inquiry, reveal a shared culpability between the Parties, indicative of a complex web of deceit, and unethical transactions where even civil remedies may not be sustainable.

5) The Bench further observed that it becomes imperative to State that the Police should exercise heightened caution when drawn into dispute pertaining to such unethical transactions between private parties which appear to be prima facie contentious in light of previous inquiries or investigations. The need for vigilance on the part of the Police is paramount, and a discerning eye should be cast upon cases where unscrupulous conduct appears to eclipse the pursuit of justice.


The Supreme Court after considering all the facts and circumstances of this case held that such criminal prosecution should not be allowed to continue where the object to lodge the FIR is not for criminal prosecution and for punishing the offender for the offence committed but for recovery of money under coercion and pressure and also for all the other reasons stipulated above. Thus, the Apex Court allowed the Appeal filed by the Appellant for quashing of the FIR and the proceedings arising therefrom, and thereby, set aside the Order dated 11.07.2023 of the High Court and further, quashed the entire proceedings arising out of FIR 248 of 2022 lodged against the Appellant.


Kartik Khandekar


The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services

Leave a Reply