-Report by Anjana C
The case of M.P. Ramani Vs. State of Kerala & Anr. deals mainly with the forgery of a cheque leaf. Dissatisfied with the order of the Kerala High Court, the petitioner filed an appeal which was ultimately allowed.
The appellant, as a de facto complainant, filed a complaint alleging that a cheque from Canara Bank, Payyanur Branch, had been dishonestly acquired and forged with the appellant’s signature for drawing a number of Rs. 3,50,000. This cheque was presented in the Federal Bank, Payyanur Branch, through the account that was maintained by the respondent. It is also alleged that the cheque that was allotted to the appellant by Canara Bank was over 30 years old and was not in use as a new MCRI number was awaited. Based on the above allegations, a complaint was filed under Sections 420, 46, and 472 of the Indian Penal Code. Post the investigations, the final report was filed before the High Court under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, wherein the respondent was accused of committing the alleged crimes. A petition was filed under Section 482 before the High Court by the appellant for the quashing of the final report.
The allegations against the respondent were fraudulent procurement of the cheque, forgery, and, therein, attempting to obtain the amount of Rs. 3,50,000 from the appellant. The final report for the following was filed under Sections 420, 465, 468, and 472 of the Indian Penal Code.
However, on inquiry, it was revealed that the cheque belonged to the de facto complainant and contained his very own signature. The allegation in the final report was that the respondent managed to threaten the complainant by using the cheque. Due to the absence of this issue raised by the complainant, the aforementioned final report was quashed, stating that it was an abuse of the court process.
CONTENTIONS OF PARTIES
Aggrieved by this order, the appellant appeared before the High Court “assailing the said order.”
The Counsels of both parties scrutinized the appeal papers that indicated the specific allegations made by the appellant that the 30-year-old cheque leaf that was said to have not been in use that the respondent procured in order to extract a sum of Rs. 3,50,000 from the appellant. Based on these, the final report was submitted under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This revealed that the investigating officer cited 15 witnesses that led the charge against the respondent with the intention to commit the crime. Therefore, his actions can be considered a punishable offense under Sections 465, 468, and 472 of the IPC. It was noted that the order of the Court was brief and cryptic; the Court had neither paid attention to the facts of the case nor the nature of the allegations. The only observation noted
was of the ownership of the cheque leaf being that of the appellant but was wrongful in the possession of the respondent and that the instrument contained the appellant’s signature, and that there was no allegation of threat.
The High Court decided to quash the final report as they deemed it suitable to restore the petition and enable the parties to put forward their contentions to facilitate the High Court to take a comprehensive decision after taking all matters of fact and law into consideration. This enables a fresh start and decision, and the contentions are left open to both parties. The appeal was allowed, and all pending applications regarding this matter stood disposed off.