Landmark judgment from Hon’ble Supreme Court which held that, where appropriate High Courts should exercise its power available under Article 227 of Constitution of India to quash baseless proceedings.
The Supreme Court had held that,
MS Pepsi Foods Ltd and Anr Vs Spl JM and Ors on 4 November, 1997
“Summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a serious matter. Criminal law cannot be set into motion as a matter of course. It is not that the complainant has to bring only two witnesses to support his allegations in the complaint to have the criminal law set into motion. The order of the Magistrate summoning the accused must reflect that he has applied his mind to the facts of the case and the law applicable thereto. He has to examine the nature of allegations made in the complaint and the evidence both oral and documentary in support thereof and would that be sufficient for the complainant to succeed in bringing charge home to the accused. It is not that the Magistrate is a silent spectator at the time of recording of preliminary evidence before summoning the accused. Magistrate had to carefully scrutinize the evidence brought on record and may even himself put questions to the complainant and his witnesses to elicit answers to find out the truthfulness of the allegations or otherwise and then examine if any offence is prima facie committed by all or any of the accused.”
Indiankanoon.org link: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/574884/
Citation: 1998 (5) SCC 749, AIR 1998 SC 128
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