Cr.P.C., Section 203 – Second complaint  - Complainant  had withdrawn an earlier complaint without assigning reasons - There is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code or any other statute which debars a complainant from making a second complaint on the same allegations, when the first complaint did not lead to conviction, acquittal or discharge - The failure to mention the first complaint in the subsequent one is also inconsequential  - Mentioning of reasons for withdrawal of an earlier complaint is als o not a condition precedent for maintaining a second complaint - High Court erred in law in dismissing the complaint, observing that the complainant had, without assigning any reason, withdrawn the first complaint and launched prosecution by filing a fresh complaint - But if the dismissal of the complaint under Section 203 of the Code was on merits, the position could be different.   

(2018)2 SCeJ 1874

 

 

 

Cases discussed:

It is only when a complaint is dismissed on merits after an inquiry, that a second complaint cannot be made on the same facts. Maybe, as contended by the respondents, the first complaint was withdrawn without assigning any reason. However, that in itself is no ground to quash a second complaint. Jatinder Singh and Others v. Ranjit Kaur, (2001)2 SCC 570, followed.                                                                                                                                                     [Para 23]

There is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code or any other statute which debars a complainant from making a second complaint on the same allegations, when the first complaint did not lead to conviction, acquittal or discharge - “18. Thus, it is evident that the law does not prohibit filing or entertaining of the second complaint even on the same facts provided the earlier complaint has been decided on the basis of insufficient material or the order has been passed without understanding the nature of the complaint or the complete facts could not be placed before the court or where the complainant came to know certain facts after disposal of the first complaint which could have tilted the balance in his favour. However, the second complaint would not be maintainable wherein the earlier complaint has been disposed of on full consideration of the case of the complainant on merit.” Shiv Shankar Singh v. State of Bihar and Anr., (2012) 1 SCC 130.                                                                                                                                                                         [Para 22]

It is only when a complaint is dismissed on merits after an inquiry, that a second complaint cannot be made on the same facts. Maybe, as contended by the respondents, the first complaint was withdrawn without assigning any reason. However, that in itself is no ground to quash a second complaint. Jatinder Singh and Others v. Ranjit Kaur, (2001)2 SCC 570.                                                                                                                                                                         [Para 23]

Court dealt with the question whether the second complaint by the respondent should have been entertained when the previous complaint had been withdrawn. The application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was allowed and the complaint dismissed by the majority Judges observing that an order of dismissal under Section 203 Cr.P.C. was no bar to the entertainment of second complaint on the same facts, but it could be entertained only in exceptional circumstances, for example, where the previous order was passed on an incomplete record or a misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint or the order passed was manifestly absurd, unjust or foolish or where there were new facts, which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been brought on record in previous proceedings. Pramatha Nath Talukdar and Anr. v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar, AIR 1962 SC 876.                                                                                             [Para 24]

Relying upon its earlier decision in Pramatha Nath Talukdar and Anr. v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar, AIR 1962 SC 876 court held that an order of dismissal of a complaint was no bar to the entertainment of second complaint on the same facts, but it could be entertained only in exceptional circumstances, such as, where the previous order was passed on incomplete record, or on a misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint or was manifestly absurd, unjust or foolish or where there were new facts which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been brought on the record in the previous proceedings. It was further held that:- “...this question again came up for consideration before this Court in Jatinder Singh v. Ranjit Kaur. There also this Court by relying on the principle in Pramatha Nath held that there is no provisions in the Code or in any other statute which debars a complainant from filing a second complaint on the same allegation as in the first complaint. But this Court added when a Magistrate conducts an enquiry under Section 202 of the Code and dismisses a complaint on merits a second complaint on the same facts could not be made unless there are “exceptional cirumstances”. This Court held in para 12, if the dismissal of the first complainant then there is no bar in filing a second complaint on the same facts. However, if the dismissal of the complaint under Section 203 of the Code was on merit the position will be different.” Poonam Chand Jain and Anr. v. Fazru, (2010)2 SCC 631.