2-Judge bench held that without prima facie opinion in a complaint made otherwise than a police complaint, invoking of perjury u/s 340 CrPC or 341 CrPC is indefensible.
From Para 58,
58. We are thus of the firm opinion that a Trial Magistrate, on receipt of a complaint under Section 340 and/or Section 341 of the Code, if there is a preliminary inquiry and adequate materials in support of the considerations impelling action under the above provisions are available, would be required to treat such complaint to constitute a case, as if instituted on police report and proceed in accordance with law. However, in absence of any preliminary inquiry or adequate materials, it would be open for the Trial Magistrate, if he genuinely feels it necessary, in the interest of justice and to avoid unmerited prosecution to embark on a summary inquiry to collect further materials and then decide the future course of action as per law. In both the eventualities, the Trial Magistrate has to be cautious, circumspect, rational, objective and further informed with the overwhelming caveat that the offence alleged is one affecting the administration of justice, requiring a responsible, uncompromising and committed approach to the issue referred to him for inquiry and trial, as the case may be. In no case, however, in the teeth of Section 343(1), the procedure prescribed for cases instituted otherwise than on police report would either be relevant or applicable qua the complaints under Section 340 and/or 341 of the Cr.P.C.
And from Final Para,
State Of Goa Vs Jose Maria Albert Vales @ Robert Vales on 18 Aug 2017
60. In view of the determination as above, the approach of the High Court is wholly indefensible, as in the face of Section 343(1) of the Cr.P.C., the procedure prescribed for cases instituted otherwise than on police report is not attracted qua a complaint under Section 340 and/or Section 341 of the Code. Even assuming that the Trial Magistrate had examined few witnesses in support of the complaint, it was in the form of a summary inquiry, to be satisfied as to whether the materials on record would justify the framing of charge against the respondent or not and nothing further. Any other view would fly in the face of the ordainment of Section 343(1) of the Cr.P.C. and thus cannot receive judicial imprimatur. The impugned judgment of the High Court in quashing the charge framed by the Trial Magistrate and remanding the case to him to follow the procedure outlined for cases, instituted otherwise than on police report, under Chapter XIX-B is on the face of it unsustainable in law and on facts. It is thus set aside. The appeals are allowed. The Trial Magistrate would proceed from the stage of framing of charge, strictly in compliance of the letter and spirit of the precept contained in Section 343(1) of the Code. We make it clear that we have not offered any observation on the merits of the charge and the Trial Court would further the proceedings in accordance with law.
Citations : [2017 SCC ONLINE SC 1021], [2017 ALLCC 101 330], [2017 CCR SC 4 28], [2017 JCC 4 2245], [2017 RCR CRIMINAL 3 981], [2017 SCALE 9 527], [2017 SCC ONLINE SC 1021]
Other Sources :
Index of Perjury Case laws is here.