Abuse of Legal Process: Case Summary involving Actions against Police Officers

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court of India delves into the issue of abuse of legal process in a case involving actions against police officers. The case sheds light on the complexities of navigating the legal system and upholding justice. Stay tuned for the detailed judgment and implications of this ruling.


  • The original complainant entered into an agreement to sell a property with the accused for Rs. 54 lakhs.
  • The property was later found to have been mortgaged to Andhra Bank without disclosure to the complainant.
  • A preliminary inquiry was conducted by the police on the complaint.
  • Despite findings of a cognizable offence under Section 420/34 IPC, no FIR was registered initially.
  • The complainant approached the High Court seeking action against the police officers responsible for non-registration of the FIR.
  • The High Court was asked to quash subsequent reports and endorsements which were deemed illegal.
  • The High Court directed the Commissioner of Police to conclude the earlier preliminary inquiry within two weeks.
  • The High Court allowed the writ petition and ordered action against the appellants (respondent Nos. 3 to 5) for a different view.
  • The High Court also awarded costs of Rs. 25,000 to be paid by the State to the complainant.
  • The learned counsel representing the parties presented extensive arguments during the hearing.

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  • The original accused argues that the dispute is civil in nature but is being manipulated into a criminal case, suggesting an abuse of the legal system.
  • It is mentioned that the complainant was aware of the property mortgage with Andhra Bank, yet proceeded to pay off the mortgage and execute a sale deed in his favor.
  • The submission implies that if the complainant was genuinely aggrieved, he would not have taken steps to execute the sale deed in his favor.

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  • The criminal proceedings initiated by the original complainant are deemed as an abuse of the legal process for settling a civil dispute.
  • The order that was passed earlier remained unchallenged by the complainant, justifying the Investigating Officer’s decision not to register an FIR and to file a complaint instead.
  • The initial opinion formed after a preliminary inquiry was not presented to the DCP, highlighting a procedural gap.
  • Upon thorough investigation and consideration of the case’s circumstances, it was concluded that the dispute between the parties is of a civil nature.
  • Filing a writ petition before the High Court after the matter was deemed civil in nature was viewed as an abuse of the legal process.
  • The complainant’s actions, such as paying off the mortgage on the property and executing a sale deed in his name, further indicate the civil nature of the dispute.
  • Overall, the case involves a civil dispute, and the criminal complaint filed by the complainant is seen as an abuse of the legal system.
  • The High Court issued further directions.
  • Costs were imposed on appellants 3 to 5.
  • The action against the appellants is deemed unsustainable.

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  • The initiation of criminal proceedings by the original complainant is deemed as an abuse of the process of law.
  • The impugned judgment and order dated 13.01.2017 passed by the High Court is quashed and set aside.
  • The criminal proceedings initiated by the original complainant before the learned Magistrate concerning the transaction in question are also quashed and set aside.
  • The present appeal is allowed.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-000834-000834 / 2017

Click here to read/download original judgement

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