The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court recently quashed an ongoing criminal case against an Indian Air Force officer. The officer was allegedly accused of assaulting hotel staff along with his other associates for refusing to serve liquor at a hotel in Gomti Nagar.
A single-judge bench of Justice Mohd. Faiz Alam Khan passed this order while hearing a petition U/S 482/378/407 filed by Vaibhav Pradeep Kharode.
The petition under Section 482 CrPC has been filed by the applicant with the prayer to quash the chargesheet dated November 3, 2017 as well as cognizance order dated July 18, 2018 and the entire proceedings of case under Sections 147, 323, 504, 506, 342, 427 IPC and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932, Police Station Gomti Nagar, District Lucknow pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow.
It has been jointly submitted by counsel for applicant Vaibhav Pradeep Kharode as well as counsel for respondents that the FIR was lodged by respondent no.2/ Yogesh Kumar Singh on the basis of some misunderstanding while no such incident as stated in the FIR had happened with the applicant.
It is further submitted that due to sheer misconception and misunderstanding, the name of the applicant had surfaced in the FIR while correct facts are to the tune that the applicant had booked a room in the concerned hotel on October 15, 2017 and he had gone to the rooftop of the hotel for the purpose of taking dinner and there he met some unknown persons and they incidentally joined him to his room for the purpose of taking drinks, however, as the ‘drinks’ were not to be served in the room, the accused persons except the applicant had gone to the lobby of the hotel, where some quarrel or altercation appears to have been taken place between the hotel staff and the accused persons, and thereafter, police was called by the hotel staff as well as by the applicant and the applicant, who was not having any concern with the incident occurred in the lobby of the hotel, was dragged in the FIR without any role being played by him in the incident.
It is also submitted that the mistake has now been realized by the hotel staff and the parties have now reached an amicable settlement, which has also been reduced into writing with the complainant/informant on March 19, 2020 and with the alleged injured persons of the incident on October 22, 2020 and both these compromises have been verified by Senior Registrar of the Court his report dated September 22, 2020 and August 27, 2021.
It is further jointly submitted that the applicant Vaibhav Pradeep Kharode was not part and parcel of any incident and his name has been dragged in the case due to some misunderstanding and he had actually told the police personnel at the hotel that he is an Air Force Officer and having no concern with the incident, which might have happened with other accused persons that too in the lobby of the hotel.
Counsel for the applicant said that the applicant is a respectable citizen and responsible officer of the Air Force and has no criminal history and has been dragged in the instant incident without any role played by him and as the dispute has been compromised, the pendency of the criminal proceedings before the court below is nothing, but the abuse of the process of law, therefore, the same be quashed.
Counsel representing the State on the other hand submitted that the dispute has been compromised but the manner in which the incident happened was disgraceful.
“Having heard Counsel for the parties and having perused the record, perusal of the record would reveal that the first information report was lodged by the respondent no.2 stating therein that on October 16, 2017 at about 01:30 a.m. some persons had gone in the room along with its occupants while the times for guest was over and those persons were asking for the drinks and when refused they misbehaved with the hotel staff for the drinks and assaulted them and when the security personnel also asked them to refrain from such activities they had a fight with them also and on this score a call was made to the police control room,”
-the Court observed.
The Court further observed that the compromise deeds, which have been filed by the informant Yogesh Kumar Singh and by the two injured persons namely Mohammad Irfan and Vineet Tripathi would also reveal that it is categorically written therein that at the relevant date and time, the instant applicant had gone on the rooftop of the hotel for having dinner where he was joined by other accused persons and they decided to go to his (applicant) room and wanted to have some drinks, which was denied by the hotel staff as the liquor was not served in the room and thereafter they had gone to the lobby of the hotel and some arguments appears to have happened there, but the applicant had not joined them to the lobby of the hotel, where the alleged incident had happened and thereafter the police was called and applicant also informed the police that he is an Air Force Officer and having no clue to the incident, which had happened in the lobby of the hotel.
The Court held, “It is also stated in the compromise deeds that the applicant was not a part of the incident and due to some misunderstanding, his name was written in the first information report. The report of the Senior Registrar would further reveal that both the compromise deeds were verified by the Senior Registrar his report dated September 22, 2020 and August 27, 2021.
Thus the clear stand of the respondents before the Court is that the applicant had not participated in any incident, which had happened in the lobby of the hotel and the respondents were not beaten by the applicant. The applicant appears to be an officer in the Indian Air Force.
Having regard to the facts that the incident is pertaining to the minor criminal offences and the clear stand of respondents is that the applicant, who is an Air Force Officer, was not involved in any incident that happened on that day.
“I am of the considered view that the proceedings of the criminal case pending before the court below would not yield any fruitful purpose as the respondents have categorically denied that any ‘marpeet’ /assault was done by the applicant or he had participated in the incident. Thus all the proceedings of the Case under Sections 147, 323, 504, 506, 342, 427 I.P.C. and Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932, Police Station Gomti Nagar, District Lucknow including Charge sheet dated November 03, 2017 as well as cognizance order dated July 18, 2018 pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow to the extent of applicant – Vaibhav Pradeep Kharode, are hereby quashed,”
-the Court ordered.