State of Maharashtra vs. Som Nath Thapa & Ors. 1996 Cr.5, 2448,
the Supreme Court observed:
” If on the basis of materials on record a court could come to the conclusion that commission of the offence is a probable consequence, a case for framing of charge exists. To put it differently if the court were to think that the accused might have committed the offence, it can frame the charge, though for conviction, the conclusion is required to be that the accused has committed the offence. It is apparent at the stage of framing of a charge, probative value of the materials on record cannot be gone into; the materials brought on record by the prosecution has to be accepted as true at that stage.”
Amit Kapoor vs. Ramesh Chander and Another, (2012) 9 SCC 460
Hon’ble Supreme Court discussed the ambit and scope of power with the Courts including the High Court underSection 397 and Section 482 of the Code.
“12. Section 397 of the Code vests the court with the power to call for and examine the records of an inferior court for the purposes of satisfying itself as to the legality and regularity of any proceedings or order made in a case. The object of this provision is to set right a patent defect or an error of jurisdiction or law. There has to be a well-founded error and it may not be appropriate for the court to scrutinize the orders, which upon the face of it bears a token of careful consideration and appear to be in accordance with law…..
13. Another well-accepted norm is that the revisional jurisdiction of the higher court is a very limited one and cannot be exercised in a routine manner. One of the inbuilt restrictions is that it should not be against an interim or interlocutory order. The Court has to keep in mind that the exercise of revisional jurisdiction itself should not lead to injustice ex facie. Where the Court is dealing with the question as to whether the charge has been framed properly and in accordance with law in a given case, it may be reluctant to interfere in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction unless the case substantially falls within the categories aforestated. Even framing of charge is a much advanced stage in the proceedings under the Code of Criminal Procedure…..
16. The above-stated principles clearly show that inherent as well as revisional jurisdiction should be exercised cautiously. If the jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code in relation to quashing of an FIR is circumscribed by the factum and caution afore- noticed, in that event, the revisional jurisdiction, particularly while dealing with framing of a charge, has to be even more limited.
17. Framing of a charge is an exercise of jurisdiction by the trial court in terms of Section 228 of the Code, unless the accused is discharged under Section 227 of the Code. Under both these provisions, the court is required to consider the ‘record of the case’ and documents submitted therewith and, after hearing the parties, may either discharge the accused or where it appears to the court and in its opinion there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence, it shall frame the charge. Once the facts and ingredients of the Section exists, then the Court would be right in presuming that there is ground to proceed against the accused and frame the charge accordingly. This presumption is not a presumption of law as such. The satisfaction of the court in relation to the existence of constituents of an offence and the facts leading to that offence is a sine qua non for exercise of such jurisdiction. It may even be weaker than a prima facie case. There is a fine distinction between the language of Sections 227 and 228 of the Code. Section 227 is expression of a definite opinion and judgment of the Court while Section 228 is tentative. Thus, to say that at the stage of framing of charge, the Court should form an opinion that the accused is certainly guilty of committing an offence, is an approach which is impermissible in terms of Section 228 of the Code.
19. At the initial stage of framing of a charge, the court is concerned not with proof but with a strong suspicion that the accused has committed an offence, which, if put to trial, could prove him guilty. All that the court has to see is that the material on record and the facts would be compatible with the innocence of the accused or not. The final test of guilt is not to be applied at that stage…..”
P. Vijayan vs. State of Kerala and another, (2010) 2 SCC 398
Supreme Court held :
“11. At the stage of Section 227, the Judge has merely to sift the evidence in order to find out whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. In other words, the sufficiency of ground would take within its fold the nature of the evidence recorded by the police or the documents produced before the Court which ex facie disclose that there are suspicious circumstances against the accused so as to frame a charge against him.
12. The scope of Section 227 of the Code was considered by this Court in the case of
State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh, (1977) 4 SCC 39
wherein this Court observed as follows:
“4….Strong suspicion against the accused, if the matter remains in the region of suspicion, cannot take the place of proof of his guilt at the conclusion of the trial. But at the initial stage if there is a strong suspicion which leads the Court to think that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence then it is not open to the Court to say that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. The presumption of the guilt of the accused which is to be drawn at the initial stage is not in the sense of the law governing the trial of criminal cases in France where the accused is presumed to be guilty unless the contrary is proved. But it is only for the purpose of deciding prima facie whether the Court should proceed with the trial or not. If the evidence which the Prosecutor proposes to adduce to prove the guilt of the accused even if fully accepted before it is challenged in cross-examination or rebutted by the defence evidence, if any, cannot show that the accused committed the offence, then there will be no sufficient ground for proceeding with the trial….”
This Court has thus held that whereas strong suspicion may not take the place of the proof at the trial stage, yet it may be sufficient for the satisfaction of the Trial Judge in order to frame a charge against the accused.”
14. If on the basis of the materials on record, a Court could come to the conclusion that commission of the offence is a probable consequence; a case of framing of charge exists. For the purpose of framing charge under Section 228 Cr.P.C., the Court is to consider judicially whether on consideration of the materials on record, it can be said that the accused has been reasonably connected with the offence alleged to have been committed and that on the basis of the said material there is a reasonable probability or chance of the accused being found guilty of the offence alleged. If the answer is in the affirmative, the Court will be at liberty to presume “that the accused has committed an offence” as mentioned in Section 228 of the Code for the purpose of framing charge.
15. Again, the law is very clear that the court should refrain from quashing the FIR on the ground that the allegations made in the FIR were false. Inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. though wide have to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the Section itself. Authority of the court exists for the advancement of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to injustice is brought to the notice of the court, then the Court would be justified in preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers in the absence of specific provisions in the statute [‘Subhkaran Luharuka & Anr. vs. State‘ (supra)] . In the instant case, it cannot be contended that the allegations made in the First Information Report or the complaint do not prima facie constitute offence or make out a case against the accused.
16. In the light of the above discussion, I find no merit in the petition and it is dismissed. Pending application also stands disposed of.
17. Observations in the order shall have no impact on merits of the case.
18. Trial Court record (if any) be sent back forthwith with the copy of the order.