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V. Vivekanandan Vs. The State Rep by its, The Inspector of Police, Annur Police Station, Coimbatore District and Others - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCRL.OP.No. 20655 of 2016
Judge
AppellantV. Vivekanandan
RespondentThe State Rep by its, The Inspector of Police, Annur Police Station, Coimbatore District and Others
Excerpt:
.....misconstrued the communication sent by the inspector of police, and has completely frozen the bank account of m/s.global ginning and pressing mill on account of which they are now before this court for a direction to defreeze the account. 6. learned counsel appearing for d.s.a.k textiles submits that the cheques have been stolen by m/s.global ginning and pressing mill and have been misused and there are enough materials to show that they did not owe any money to m/s.global ginning and pressing mill. per contra mr.myilsamy, learned counsel appearing for the m/s.global ginning and pressing mill submitted that, d.s.a.k textiles has been having business dealings with m/s.global ginning and pressing mill for some time and has purchased cotton bales using which they have manufactured.....
Judgment:

(Prayer: Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., praying to direct the 1st respondent to defreeze the current account of petitioner bearing No.225150050800293 maintained with the 2nd respondent bank and pass any other orders.)

1. This petition has been filed to direct the 1st respondent to defreeze the current account of petitioner bearing No.225150050800293 maintained with the 2nd respondent bank and pass any other orders.

2. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the first respondent and the learned counsel appearing for the third respondent.

3. On the complaint given by one D.S.A.K. Textiles, the first respondent police are conducting enquiry in CSR No.311 of 2016 and during the enquiry, the first respondent police has issued a communication dated 20.08.2016 to the Branch Manager, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank Ltd., Annur Branch, Coimbatore District for a direction to stop withdrawal of a sum of Rs.12 lakhs from the Current Account No225150050800293 of the petitioner, pursuant to which the Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank has issued a communication to the petitioner stating that his entire amount has been frozen on the orders of the police, challenging which, the petitioner is before this Court.

4. Mr.Emalias, learned Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that, the police have not frozen the current account of the petitioner, but they have only directed the bank not to disburse Rs.12 lakhs from the said account of the petitioner in the light of the enquiry in CSR No.311 of 2016 on the complaint of Mr.V.Vivekanandan.

5. Today Mr.V.Palaniyandi, Sub Inspector of Police, Sulur Police Station is present with the case file. This Court perused the case file. On perusal of the case file, it is seen that one Vinod Kumar, Accounts Officer in D.S.A.K Textiles has given a written complaint dated 20.08.2016 to the Inspector of Police, Annur Police Station alleging that, on 18.08.2016 around 1:30 p.m. when he was proceeding to Coimbatore via Annur, he had lost two cheques bearing nos.1060733 and 1060734 and that he came to know that the cheque has been presented by one M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill and they have encashed Rs.12 lakhs. It is further alleged in the complaint that, D.S.A.K Textiles has no business transactions with M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill. On receipt of the complaint, the respondent police registered the same in CSR 211 of 2016 as a "money quarrel". Thereafter, the respondent police have issued a direction to the Branch Manager, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, Annur Branch, Coimbatore to freeze Rs.12 lakhs that is in the account of M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill, in the light of the enquiry in CSR No.211 of 2016. The Branch Manager, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, misconstrued the communication sent by the Inspector of Police, and has completely frozen the bank account of M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill on account of which they are now before this Court for a direction to defreeze the account.

6. Learned counsel appearing for D.S.A.K Textiles submits that the cheques have been stolen by M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill and have been misused and there are enough materials to show that they did not owe any money to M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill. Per contra Mr.Myilsamy, learned counsel appearing for the M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill submitted that, D.S.A.K Textiles has been having business dealings with M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill for some time and has purchased cotton bales using which they have manufactured textile yarn. This is strongly refused by the learned counsel appearing for the third respondent. This Court cannot go into this disputed question of fact in a petition u/s.482 Cr.P.C.

7. The learned counsel appearing for D.S.A.K.Textiles submitted that police have got powers to freeze the Bank account u/s.482 Cr.P.C as held by the Supreme Court in State of Maharashtra Vs.Tapas D.Neogy [(1999) 7 SCC 685]. There is no quarrel with this proposition of law. During the course of investigation of an offence, the police do have the power u/s 102 Cr.PC. to freeze the bank account and inform the same to the jurisdictional Magistrate and also to the account holder. In this case, on a mere reading of the complaint of D.S.A.K. Textiles it is seen that, it does not disclose the commission of a cognizable offence and that is why the police have rightly characterised it as a money quarrel and has given a CSR instead of registering an FIR.

8. Under such circumstances, in the considered opinion of this Court, the police do not have the power u/s 102 Cr.P.C. to issue such a direction to the Bank. Assuming for a moment that, as a precautionary measure the police had issued the said direction, it is incumbent on the police to have immediately called M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill for enquiry to find out if there is any business transaction between the two.

9. On record it is seen that, summons have been issued by the Inspector of Police to M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill only 12.09.2016 after this petition has been filed in the Registry on 07.09.2016. The police have not even intimated the factum to M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill nor to the jurisdictional Magistrate as required under law.

10. In the considered opinion of this Court, the police action is a colourable exercise of power and this Court cannot countenance this. Mr.Mayilsamy, learned counsel for M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill submitted that, D.S.A.K Textiles gave two cheques dated 19.08.2016 for Rs.12 lakhs and another cheque dated 20.08.2016 for Rs.3.9 lakhs, of which the cheque for Rs.12 lakhs was presented on 19.08.2016 and it was cleared. When the cheque dated 20.08.2016 was presented, it was not cleared, because D.S.A.K Textiles had by then given instructions to the bank to stop payment. In this regard, M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill has also issued a statutory notice u/s 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act to D.S.A.K Textiles.

11. From the conspectus of the facts obtaining in this case, this Court finds that, had the police conducted a preliminary enquiry as contemplated in Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. of U.P. and others [(2014) 4 SCC 1], they would have come to know about the business transactions or otherwise between M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill and D.S.A.K Textiles. Instead, on the very date of receipt of the complaint, for reasons best known to the Inspector of Police, he has immediately issued a communication to the bank to withhold disbursement of Rs.12 lakhs which is indeed an abuse of process of law and warrants interference by this Court. Further, had Vinod Kumar lost the cheque on 18.08.2016 itself, his immediate conduct would have been to inform the police about it and not wait till 20.08.2016 for the cheque to be cleared and then give a police complaint. The directions dated 20.08.2016 issued by the Inspector of Police, Annur Police Station, to the Branch Manager, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank Ltd., asking him to stop disbursement of Rs.12 lakhs is setaside and consequently the undated communication of the Branch Manager, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, Annur Branch, informing M/s.Global Ginning and Pressing Mill that, they have frozen the account is also setaside. To decide on the issue of costs adjourned to 30.09.2016. The Inspector of Police, Annur is directed to be present before this court on 30.09.2016.


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