G.B. Pattnaik, J.
1. This is an application by the accused-petitioner invoking the inherent jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the order dated 19. 9. 1983 by which charges have been framed against the accused-petitioner under Sections 419, 420 and 471, Indian Penal Code.
2. The allegations against the petitioner in the F. I. R. lodged by the Vigilance Inspector are to the effect that the petitioner submitted forged certificate stating that he had passed the Diploma Examination conducted by the City and Guilds of London Institute at Calcutta and on the basis of the said certificate he managed to get an appointment as an Overseer in the Electricity Department of the Government of Orissa on 25. 11. 1966 although he had not passed any such examination as alleged and on the basis of that the petitioner is continuing in service. After necessary investigation, charge-sheet was filed in the case on 12. 1. 1983 and the learned Magistrate after consideration of all the papers, framed charges against the petitioner by order dated 19. 9. 1983. This order of the learned Magistrate is being impugned in this miscellaneous case.
3. Mr. Jayant Das, the learned counsel for the petitioner, urges that the allegations in the First Information Report and all the materials available on record do not constitute the offence of cheating and, therefore, framing of charges under Sections 419 and 420, Indian Penal Code, is bad in law. He further urges that the offences under Section 471, Indian Penal Code, is not a continuing offence and, therefore even if it is prima fade found to have been committed in the present case, it was committed twenty years before and it would be an undue harassment and would be an abuse of the process of law if the petitioner is proceeded against after this length of time. Mr. Das also urges that the offence not being a continuing one, the prosecution is hit by Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
4. The learned Public Prosecutor appearing for the State, however, urges that on the materials available on. record, the Magistrate has been satisfied as to the existence of a prima facie case under Sections 419, 420 and 471, Indian Penal Code, and it would not be appropriate for the High Court at this stage to interfere with the said order since the allegations in the F. I. R. do make out a prima facie case of offence being committed under Sees. 419, 420 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. He further urges that the offence in question is a continuing one since the forgery perpetrated by the petitioner continues in force and, therefore, Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has no application. He also urges that in view of the nature of the offence which was actually unearthed after lapse of fifteen years, it would not be a sound exercise of judicial discretion to quash the proceedings as that would amount to giving premium to a forger. The inherent jurisdiction of the High Court is not intended to be invoked in such cases.
5. So far as the first contention of Mr. Das, the learned counsel for the petitioner is concerned, I find no substance in the same The allegations in the F.I.R. and the materials in support of the same are to the effect that though the petitioner did not have the requisite qualification to hold the post of an Overseer, yet, by producing a forged certificate, he has been able to get into the service. It is not possible for me to hold that even the allegations and the materials taken in entirety do not constitute the offence for which cognizance has been taken and the Magistrate having applied his mind and having been satisfied about prima facie existence of material for the offences in question, it would not be appropriate for the High Court to interfere with the order of the Magistrate in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction within the limited scope for interference indicated by the Supreme Court in the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Kara Kishan Rohtagi and Ors., AIR 1983 SC, 67. I would, therefore, reject the said submission of Mr. Das, the learned counsel for the petitioner.
6. Coming to the second question, I find that the alleged offences were committed, if at all, twenty years back. Even by the time F. 1. R. was lodged, fifteen years had elapsed and by the time charges were framed, seventeen years had elapsed. The alleged forged documents are not available on record and the person who accepted them and acted upon is also dead. The petitioner has already put in twenty years of service. In these premises, in my opinion, for the ends of justice, there is no necessity to proceed with the case. Allowing a person to enter into a career and acting upon a document produced by him for long twenty years, and then to make an allegation that the document so produced on the basis of which the parties have acted upon for the last twenty years, is a forged one and to launch a criminal prosecution thereafter would cause undue harassment and hardship and would not subserve any purpose, particularly in the context of the person who accepted the document to be genuine is dead and the original document is also missing. This conclusion of mine gains support from the decisions of this Court reported in 46(1978) C. L. T. 408 (Mala Mohan Rao v. Principal, M. K. C. G. Medical College) and 52 (1981) C. L. T. 473 (Harekrushna Mahatab v. Republic of India). It is worthwhile to quote a passage from the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of R. P. Kapar v. State of Punjab, AIR 1960 S C 866, where Gajendragadkar, J., (as the learned Judge then was) observed :
'It is well-established that the 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 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. It is not possible desirable or expedient to lay down any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of this inherent jurisdiction. However we may indicate some categories of cases where the inherent jurisdiction can and should be exercised for quashing the proceedings. There may be cases where it may be possible for the High Court to take the view that the institution or continuance of criminal proceedings against an accused person may amount to the abuse of the process of the Court or that the quashing of the impugned proceedings would secure the ends of justice.'
In my opinion, the aforesaid observation applies with full force to the facts and circumstances of the present case and, hence, continuance of the present criminal proceedings against the petitioner would amount to the abuse of the process of the Court and consequently, quashing of the impugned proceedings would secure the ends of justice.
In view of the aforesaid conclusion of mine, it is not necessary for me to examine the third contention raised by Mr. Das, the learned counsel for the petitioner.
7. In the result, therefore, the impugned order, dated 19.9.1983, framing charges against the petitioner is quashed and the criminal proceeding in Vigilance G. R. Case No. 5 of 1932 pen ling on the file of the Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhubaneswar, is quashed. This criminal miscellaneous case is accordingly allowed.