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Madhya Pradesh High Court dismisses plea, says complaint against officials cannot become PIL

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently dismissed a PIL filed with the prayer to register an FIR against private respondents.

The PIL was filed by Radha Sahu with the prayer to register an FIR for offence punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471/34 of IPC read with Section 5(1)(d) and 13 (1) Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 be registered. The petitioner further sought directions to the State Government to take appropriate departmental action against the respondents.

In reply to the PIL, the respondents contended that the petitioner had filed a complaint with higher police officers to register an FIR against the private respondents. Thereafter, the petitioner had filed a criminal complaint in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Lakhnadon on 25.3.2013. This fact has been suppressed by the petitioner in the petition. 

The Judicial Magistrate First Class has even by his order dated 25.3.2013 forwarded the matter to the Station House Officer, Police Station, Chhapra, District Seoni, for registration of offence under Section 156(3) of CrPC. Thereafter, a regular FIR for offence under Sections 120-B, 420, 409, 467, 468/34 of IPC as Crime No.21/2013 was registered on 3.2.2013 against the Private Respondents.

It is submitted that all these facts have been suppressed by the petitioner in the PIL. In fact, after the investigation was completed and challan was about to be filed, the Private Respondents filed Miscellaneous Criminal Case in which an interim order was passed on 4.9.2013.

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The  Government Advocate has submitted that the FIR in the  case was quashed by order of the MP High Court on 4.5.2016. However, liberty was given to the Magistrate to pass an appropriate order on the basis of observations made by the High Court. It appears that the petitioner who was the complainant in the case, had herself filed an application for withdrawal of the complaint, Government Advocate added.

The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla dismissed the PIL while observing that petition cannot be said to be bonafide PIL.

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