1. In this petition filed under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. the five petitioners have prayed that the proceedings before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore, in P.C.R. No. 13 of 1981 and the proceedings of the concerned police viz., Rajajinagar Police Station in Crime No. 30 of 1981, be quashed.
2. Few facts available as narrated by the petitioners are that respondent 1 filed a complaint before Rajajinagar Police alleging an offence under Section 380 or in the alternative under Section 406 of the I.P.C. against the petitioners. The police were of the opinion that it was a case purely of civil nature and did not take action. He, therefore, filed a complaint before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore, under Section 200 of the Cr.P.C. and the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate gave a number to that complaint as P.C.R. No. 13 of 1981. He did not take cognizance of either of the offences alleged in the complaint. He directed investigation under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. On receipt of the direction and a copy of the complaint. Rajajinagar Police registered a case in Crime N. 30 of 1981 and issued First Information Report to the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. During the course of investigation the police seized certain articles consisting of 46 cotton bales and 710 yarn 'knots' of the value of Rs. 86,550/-. The petitioners had filed I.A. I. along with criminal petition praying for stay of both the actions i.e. by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and Rajajinagar Police and interim stay was granted on 20-2-1981. As the seizure was effected, the petitioners filed I.A. II alleging that the seizure had been effected after the interim order of stay had been served on the Rajajinagar Police also and therefore, a direction should be issued for restoration of the said articles to the possession of the petitioners I.A. II has been dismissed by my order dated 24-2-1981.
3. The facts aforementioned make out the following crucial aspects which arise for determination :
(1) When only a F.I.R. is pending in the Court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bangalore City, whether this Court in exercise of its inherent powers under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. which is equivalent to Section 561-A of the Cr.P.C. 1898 (hereinafter referred to as the old Code) can quash the F.I.R. and
(2) Whether this Court in exercise of the very inherent powers quash an investigation undertaken by the police that too, in a cognizable offence, may be on their own or may be because of the direction by a Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C.
4. Sri. G. Abdul Wajid Khan, learned advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioners appearing on behalf of the petitioners laid stress firstly on the decision of this Court in J. Rama Chandra Raju v. Sannappa Lakmappa. (1980) 2 Kant LJ 321. In the said decision the decision of the Supreme Court in Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokosh Chandra Bose : 1SCR639 has been distinguished and the decision of the Supreme Court in Trilok Singh v. Satya Deo Tripathi : 1980CriLJ822 , has been relied upon. The facts as narrated in Rama Chandra Raju's case are that a complaint for offences under Sections 420, 425 and 427 of the I.P.C. in respect of a motor vehicle filed before the Magistrate had been referred to the police for investigation and the Magistrate had directed seizure of the vehicle. The word 'process' occurring in the Cr.P.C. has been interpreted in paragraph 11 and thereafter it has been held that the Magistrate made an interim order to seize the vehicle even without an application and without bestowing thought as if heaven would fall if that order is not made then and there itself. Hence, I am of opinion the aforementioned decision of this court proceeded on different lines and basis. The word 'process' occurring in the Criminal Procedure Code means as is clear on plain reading of Section 204 of the Cr.P.C. issue of summons or issue of warrants as the case may be. Therefore, there is no need to refer to ordinary dictionary meaning of that word or to any other dictionary.
5. In regard to the question whether the pendency of a F.I.R. in the Court of a Magistrate amounts to a proceeding before a Magistrate so as to enable this court to quash the said proceeding in exercise of its inherent powers. I am clearly of opinion that the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in the decision in Kurushetra University v. State of Haryana : 1977CriLJ1900 squarely applies. It has been held therein as follows :
'Inherent powers do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the High Court to act according to whim or caprice. That statutory power has to be exercised sparingly with circumspection and in the rarest of rare cases. Thus the High Court in exercise of inherent powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code cannot quash a first information report more so when the police had not even commenced the investigation and no proceeding at all is pending in any court in pursuance of the said F.I.R.'
By this judgment the Supreme Court reserved the judgment of the Punjab High Court. The facts in the said case were that a complaint had been lodged with the police for offences under Section 448 and 452 of the Indian Penal Code and F.I.R. had been issued to the Court of the jurisdictional Magistrate. At the stage the powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. were invoked and the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the F.I.R. The Supreme Court held that as no proceeding had been commenced by the Magistrate pursuant to the F.I.R. lodged in his court, the High Court could not exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. In the present case also the F.I.R. is pending before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on the Rajajinagar Police registering a case in Crime No. 30 of 1981 because of the direction of the Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Cr.P.C. for investigation and the Magistrate has not taken any further proceeding pursuant to the said F.I.R. Sri Abdul Wazid Khan placed much reliance on the decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court in Balwant Singh v. District Food and Supplies Controller. 1975 Cri LJ 687, wherein it has been held that as the F.I.R. filed by the police did not disclose any offence, there was power to quash the F.I.R. and the High Court ought to exercise laid down by the Supreme Court in Kurushetra University's case, the principles laid down in this decision, in my opinion, cannot be followed.
6. In regard to the next aspect whether the investigation by the police can be quashed by the High Court in exercise of its inherent powers, authorities are available while dealing with the provisions in Section 561-A of the old Code. In the decision in State of West Bengal v. S. N. Basak : 2SCR52 the Supreme Court has clearly laid down as follows :
'Section 154 deals with information in cognizable offences and Section 156 with investigation into such offences and under these sections the police has the statutory right to investigate into the circumstances of any alleged cognizable offence without authority from a Magistrate and this statutory power of the police to investigate cannot be interfered with by the exercise of power under Section 439 or under the inherent power of the court under Section 561-A, when there was no case pending at the time excepting that the person against whom the investigation has started had appeared before the court had surrendered and had been admitted to bail.'
This principle has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in Jehan Singh v. Delhi Administration : 1974CriLJ802 . In State of West Bengal's case the principle laid down by the Privy Council in the decision in King Emperor v. Nazir Ahmad , has been approved. These decisions have been followed by this Court - quite rightly in my opinion - in the decision in Chandra Sekharan v. State of Karnataka (1978) 2 Kant LJ 273, wherein it has been held that the High Court under its inherent powers cannot interfere with the statutory powers of the police to investigate. Sri Abdul Wazid Khan, placed much reliance on the decision in R. P. Kapur v. State of Punjab : 1960CriLJ1239 . The principle laid down in said decision is that inherent jurisdiction of the High Court can be exercised to quash proceedings in a proper case either to prevent the abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. It has been further held therein that ordinarily criminal proceedings instituted against an accused person must be tried under the provisions of the Code and the High Court would be reluctant to interfere with the said proceedings at an interlocutory stage and that it is not possible, desirable or expedient to lay down any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of this inherent jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has gone on narrating some of the category of cases where the inherent jurisdiction to quash the proceedings could be exercised. The facts of the case in the said decision disclose that inherent powers of High Court under Section 561-A of the old Code were sought to be invoked at an interlocutory stage in a proceeding before a Magistrate. Even then the Supreme Court held as narrated above.
7. In view of the foregoing position in law I am unable to accept the contentions of Sri Abdul Wazid Khan and hence, dismiss the petition.
8. Petition dismissed.