Local Goa News

Friday, August 26, 2016

HC hauls cops for filing FIR against Sussanne

Panaji: The high court of Bombay at Goa came down heavily on the police for exceeding powers and "destroying the freedom" of ex-wife of actor Hrithik Roshan, interior designer Sussanne Khan, by registering an FIR against her in an alleged 1.87 crore cheating case.

A division bench comprising justice F M Reis and justice Nutan D Sardessai observed "we find that the complaint lodged by the respondent no. 3 (Mudhit Gupta, Emgee Properties) does not disclose the commission of an offence punishable under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code" and further stated that despite Khan producing all documents the Panaji police station police inspector (PI), without considering the same, went ahead and registered the FIR.
By doing so, the bench held that the police exceeded its powers and destroyed the freedom of the petitioner.
After perusing the complaint, high court of Bombay at Goa held that mere breach of contract cannot give rise to a criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown at the beginning of the transaction.
While setting aside the FIR, the high court noted that allowing such a FIR to be registered is an abuse of the process of law.
Khan had approached the high court seeking quashing of the FIR registered by the police against her following a complaint filed by Gupta, in which alleged that services provided by Khan for professional designing of certain villas in Goa "were not up to the mark". The complaint also stated that Khan had deliberately and intentionally misrepresented herself as an architect. The agreement for the project was executed by the parties in 2013.
Further maintaining that the complaint does not disclose any criminal intention on the part of the petitioner, the court stated that it was not disputed that while the agreement subsisted for two years, Gupta's projects were based on Khan's designs.
"The complaint does not disclose that there were any defects noticed on such designs or that any objections were raised by the statutory authorities on the ground that the plans were not prepared by a registered architect," the court also stated.
The high court remarked that the complainant wanted to somehow entangle the petitioner in a criminal prosecution to gain an unfair advantage in pending civil proceedings.
"A veiled attempt by the respondent no.1 (Goa state) to initiate a lame prosecution by filing the subject complaint, cannot be permitted and, as such, the FIR deserves to be quashed and set aside, as criminal prosecution is unwarranted in the facts of the present case," the bench said.
The court noted that the in order to bring a case for an offence of cheating, it is not merely sufficient to prove that a false representation was made, but, it is further necessary to establish that the representation was false to the knowledge of the accused and was made in order to deceive the complainant.
Senior advocate Nitin Sardessai, appearing for Khan, pointed out that all allegations made in the complaint are baseless and do not make any case of criminal offence.

TOI Goa News

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