The Supreme Court set aside the Uttarakhand High Court order passed on a plea for quashing of FIR in a cheating case, saying the judge passed cyclostyled orders, instead of going into the merits of the matter.
A vacation bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and B.V. Nagarathna said: “Prima facie, we are of the view that while passing these orders, the learned Judge has not taken pains to look into the merits of the matter and has passed cyclostyled orders.
“In our considered view, the manner in which the order impugned dated April 4, 2022 has been passed by the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be appreciated by this court.”
Representing the appellants, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, on instructions, submitted that the counsel for her clients before the high court tried to persuade the court to appreciate the facts on merits for quashing the FIR in regard to which the complaint was made. She also pointed at the single judge’s orders while disposing of the writ petition in a cyclostyled manner.
The top court restrained the Uttarakhand Police from taking any coercive action against appellants Harsh R. Kilachand and others for eight weeks in connection with the FIR dated February 24, 2022, registered with police station Mukteshwar, district Nainital, Uttarakhand for the offence punishable under Section 420 IPC.
Arora added that April 4, 2022, order does not disclose even the bare facts for appreciation and this is the reason for the appellants to approach the top court by filing this appeal.
The bench said: “Consequently, the appeal is allowed. The order impugned dated April 4, 2022 is hereby set-aside and the criminal writ petition… is restored on the file of the High Court of Uttarakhand and to be heard on its own merits, in accordance with law.”
The top court asked the Chief Justice of the high court to list the matter before another judge and granted liberty to the appellants to move the high court for interim protection.