CHENNAI: Criminal proceedings against a private company, following a forgery complaint from a nationalised bank, cannot be set aside even though a compromise between the parties was arrived at, Madras High Court has ruled.
Justice M Venugopal gave the ruling recently while dismissing a criminal original petition from Sreyas Sripal, one of the directors of Pan Transports and Carriers Limited, seeking to quash the proceedings pending before the Special Court for CBI cases Relating to Banks and Financial Institutions in Chennai. The charge against Sripal and others was that they had conspired with the bank officials and submitted as genuine, a forged document and projected inflated figures of the credit worthiness of the companies represented by them and had secured more loans from the bank than they were entitled to. And the CBI registered a case for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Sripal contended that he was not implicated under the PC Act, as he was not a government servant. In view of the compromise arrived at between the offender and the victim and the settlement, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak. Hence, the case should he quashed, he argued.
Rejecting the contention Justice Venugopal said, “This Court comes to an inevitable conclusion that the petitioner is to be tried notwithstanding the fact that the dues were paid to the bank. Petitioner has not made out a prima facie case enabling this Court to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction under Sec. 482 Cr PC. Although the powers of the High Court under this section are very wide, the same, of course, must be exercised with great care and circumspection and also based on sound principles,” the judge said.
“That apart, this Court is alive to the important fact that appreciation of ‘evidence’ is impermissible in exercise of inherent powers under the section. Also that, in exercise of its powers this Court should not embark upon an enquiry as to whether the evidence in question is reliable or not as that would be the function of the trial court,” the judge added and dismissed the petition.