Mian Jalal-ud-Din, C.J.
1. This is a petition under Section 561-A Cr. P.C. for quashing criminal proceedings pending in the court of the CJM, Anantnag,
2. Briefly speaking the facts of the case are that a complaint under Sections 420/506 RPC was lodged by the complainant-respondent in the court of C.J. M. Anantnag, alleging that truck No. 3691/JKP was sold to the petitioner by an agreement dated 20th July, 1978, and subsequently a general power of attorney was also given to the petitioner. The truck in question was delivered to the petitioner. According to the complainant the petitioner has paid Rs. 20,317/-while the cost of the truck was fixed at Rs. 91,000/-. The petitioner has not discharged his liability towards the bank and Has not liquidated the debt. The allegation made in the complaint is that the complainant respondent is a credulous man and he was made to believe to execute the agreement. In this way the accused petitioner practised fraud on him and made him to part with the truck. The learned Magistrate after recording the statement of the complainant directed the copy of the complaint be sent to the Police under Section 202 Cr. P.C. for investigation. Aggrieved by this order of the Magistrate, the accused petitioner has invoked the extraordinary powers of this Court under Section 561-A Cr. P.C.
3. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties. On going through the complaint as also the statement of the complainant made before the C.J. M. I find that no offence whatsoever, under Section 420 RFC is disclosed either from the complaint or from the statement of the complaint. The transaction between the parties gives rise to a civil liability. It may be a breach of contract on the part of the petitioner, but surely it cannot give rise to any criminal liability, so as to justify the taking of criminal action against the accused-petitioner. Evidently the relations of the parties are governed by the contract. Breach of promise on the part of the petitioner may give rise to moral indignation. It may even amount to betrayal of trust but in no case does it amount to cheating as to bring the action of the petitioner accused within the four corners of Section 420 RPC. In this view of mine, I am supported by a number of decisions, to quote one AIR 1952 J and K 26. It would also be advantageous to reproduce the observations made by the Supreme Court in Trilok Singh v. Satya Deo Tripathi, reported in : 1980CriLJ822 . In that case, their Lordships had to deal with a case where the dispute between the parties related to the purchase of a truck by the complainant. A hire purchase agreement was entered into between the respondent and the Financial Corporation, the accused. The loan was payable in monthly instalments. According to the agreement on default of any instalment the Financier had the right to terminate the hire-purchase agreement and seize the truck. The complainant's case was that a form was got signed by him and that on default of the third instalment the truck was forcibly seized and removed by the appellant. A complaint was filed against the appellant alleging that certain offences as mentioned therein had been committed. The Magistrate issued process against the accused. It was held that the proceedings initiated were clearly an abuse of the process of the court. It was not a case where process ought to have been issued against the accused. On the well settled principles of law, it was a suitable case where criminal proceedings ought to have been quashed by the High Court in exercise of its inherent powers under Section 561-A Cr. P.C. It was further observed that the dispute between the parties was purely of a civil nature, even assuming the facts as disclosed in the complaint.
4. For all what has been stated above, I think that the initiation of criminal proceedings in the present case is not justified and is an abuse of the process of the court. I, therefore, in exercise of power under Section 561-A Cr. P.C. quash the proceedings. The truck seized by the Police shall be handed over to the person from whose possession it was seized.