February 24, 2024 In Uncategorized


In the case of Suresh Garodia v. State of Assam and Another, SLP (Crl.) No(s). 9142/2022 registered as Criminal Appeal No. 185 / 2024, a two Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court comprising of Justice B.R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta passed a Judgment dated 09-01-2024 and observed that the High Court ought to have exercised its inherent and discretionary powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) (Saving of inherent powers of High Court) to quash the false criminal proceedings initiated against the Appellant-Accused- Suresh Garodia, 34 years after the offence was alleged to have been committed.


The present Appeal before the Supreme Court was filed against the Order of the High Court of Assam, wherein, the High Court dismissed the Appeal of the Appellant under Section 482 of of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) (Saving of inherent powers of High Court) and upheld the Order passed by the Ld. Magistrate, that took cognizance of the offence against the Appellant based upon a Complaint filed by the Prosecutrix.

The Appellant was accused of raping the Prosecutrix, then a minor, 34 years ago, as a result of which the Prosecutrix gave birth to Jasim Ahmed Garodia on 07-04-1983. The Appellant looked after Jasim and provided financial aid for his upbringing as well.

The case was filed by the Prosecutrix after 34 long years and was investigated by the Investigating Officer (I.O.). After recording the statements of the Prosecutrix and her son, Jasim under Section 164 CrPC (Recording of confessions and statements), and investigating the case, the I.O. concluded that it was a case of property dispute, which has been painted as a criminal case. The child, Jasim Ahmed Garodia wanted his share in his Father’s (Appellant) property and that Jasim along with his Mother (Prosecutrix) maliciously initiated the criminal proceedings against the Appellant.

The Ld. Magistrate refused to rely upon the Final Report of the IO, while exercising its power under under Section 190 CrPC (Cognizance of offences by Magistrates) and ordered to take cognizance of the offence against the Appellant based upon a Complaint filed by the Prosecutrix, vide Order dated 04-07-2017.

The Appellant, aggrieved by the Order of the Magistrate, approached the High Court of Assam in CRLP-825-2017 under Section 482 of CrPC, wherein the High Court dismissed the Appeal, vide Order dated 22-08-2022 and upheld the Ld. Magistrate’s Order. As result, the Appellant approached the Supreme Court by way of a Special Leave Petition in SLP (Crl.) No(s). 9142/2022 registered as Criminal Appeal No. 185 / 2024.

Findings of the Magistrate Court

The Ld. Magistrate did not provide any reasons to not rely upon the IO’s Final Report and hastily, passed an Order dated 04-07-2017 to take cognizance of the offence against the Appellant.

The High Court while upholding the Magistrate’s Order, and dismissing the Appellant’s Petition under Section 482 of CrPC ruled that since there is prima facie case being made against the Appellant, the statement and Complaint of the Prosecutrix has to be taken on its face value. Thus, the Appeal made by the Appellant was dismissed.

Following which, the SLP (Crl.) No(s). 9142/2022 registered as Criminal Appeal No. 185 / 2024 was filed before the Supreme Court to adjudicate upon the matter. While deciding the matter, the Apex Court revisited the categories, where the High Courts may exercise its powers under Section 482 CrPC and Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Issues decided by Supreme Court

The Apex Court in the present matter decided upon the following issues:

I) Whether it is a valid justification for such delayed filing of complaint after 34 years of commission of offence?

II) In what cases and scenarios shall the High Courts exercise its extraordinary powers under Article 226 of Constitution as well as Section 482 of CrPC?


The Bench reiterated the following categories when High Courts can exercise power of quashing criminal proceedings:

i) Where the first information report or complaint claims, even if taken at face value and accepted in their totality, do not constitute an offence or create a case against the accused.

ii) Where the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying police investigation under Section 156(1) CrPC (Investigation of Cognizable offences) except under a Magistrate’s order under Section 155(2) CrPC (Investigation of non-cognizable offences).

iii) When the FIR or complaint’s uncontroverted allegations and supporting evidence do not reveal any offence and make a case against the accused.

iv) Section 155(2) of CrPC prohibits police officers from investigating allegations in respect of offences that are non-cognizable in nature without a Magistrate’s order.

v) When the FIR or complaint alleges things so absurd and improbable that no reasonable person could conclude there is enough ground to prosecute the accused.

vi) When there is an express legal bar engrafted in any law against institution and continuance of criminal proceedings and/or when such law provides effective dispute redressal mechanism for the aggrieved party.

vii) If a criminal proceeding is maliciously attended or initiated with the intent to avenge the accused and spite him due to private and personal grudges.

The Supreme Court further observed that power of quashing a criminal proceeding should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases. The Court would normally not embark upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR. However, it was found that the present case would fall under the aforesaid category Nos. (v) and (vii) as culled out by the Apex Court in the said case.

Further, the Supreme Court found that the findings of I.O. in his Final Report were not erroneous which stated that the case was relating to acquisition of property, which has been painted as a criminal case and moreover, there was no adequate reason for the Prosecutrix to have lodged the Complaint 34 years after the offence was alleged to have been committed. “The material on record shows that the relationship was consensual, inasmuch as the son who is born out of the said relationship has been treated by the appellant as his son and all the facilities, including cash money, have been provided to him.”

Hence, the Ld. Magistrate and the High Court erred in not relying on the I.O.’s Report and arbitrarily taking cognizance of the offence against the Appellant based on a bald statement of the Prosecutrix.

Thus, the Appeal was allowed and the Order of the High Court dated 22-08-2022 and Order of the Ld. Magistrate dated 04-07-2017 were set aside.


Rakshita Singh,

3rd year student, BA.LLB (HONS.)

Institute of Law, Nirma University,


The Indian Lawyer  


Edited by

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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