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In the recent judgment decided on 23.04.2024, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal by quashing and setting aside the judgment and order passed by the Karnataka High Court in the case Crl.P.No.606/2022 titled Sri Jayaraj v. State of Karnataka.

During the subsistence of his marriage, the wife of the appellant accused him of sexually harassing his minor child during visit to the child’s school. A FIR 555/2018 was registered against him under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and Indian Penal Code, 1860. Subsequently, it was alleged that during the investigation the investigating officer, who was handling the case, demanded and accepted monetary consideration from the appellant. When the bribery demands increased, the appellant reported the case to the Karnataka Human Rights Commission against respondent No.2 under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 with evidence. This led to registration of FIR against the respondent No.2.

When the matter reached to the High Court of Karnataka, the judge quashed the FIR against the police inspector under Section 482 of the CrPC on the basis that “there is no direct evidence, where this petitioner has demanded any money or bribe from the complainant.” The High Court also observed that the police inspector has been cleared of all the charges in a departmental inquiry, therefore, he could not be re-investigated on bribery charges. The High Court suggested that complainant filed the matter as revenge because the inspector summoned him to the police station in some other case.

The Supreme Court noted that there were two main accused but the petition to quash the FIR was filed mainly by Jairaj. The FIR against the respondents alleged that Sivakumar received monetary consideration and Jairaj assured the complainant of the provision of a chargesheet in exchange for Rs.80,000. In addition to this they also demanded a weekly payment of Rs.500 for bail conditions. Supreme Court found the approach of the High Court of quashing the FIR legally unsustainable. The apex court criticized the High Court for not considering evidence such as a pendrive allegedly indicating Jairaj’s involvement and for failing to consider principles established in previous cases. The High Court allowed the appeal, even though Jairaj was exonerated in departmental proceedings, emphasizing that the continuance of trial was not solely based on the evidence that cleared Jairaj in the departmental proceedings. This fact was not properly addressed in its correct perspective by the High Court.

Keeping in view these reasons, the division bench of Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Prasanna Bhalachandra Varale observed that appeal should be allowed and the impugned judgment and order passed by the Karnataka High Court in Crl.P.No.606/2022 case titled Sri Jayaraj v. State of Karnataka is therefore, quashed and set aside. The court observed that the FIR in the subject matter of the present proceedings stands restored to be taken to its logical end, in accordance with law.



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