C Subbiah @ Kadambur Jayaraj vs Superintendent Of Police 2024 INSC 416 – Benami – IPC

Benami Transactions (Prohibition), Act 1988; Section 4(1)- Since by virtue of the provisions contained in Sections 4(1) and 4(2) of the Benami Act, the complainant is prohibited from suing the accused for a civil wrong, in relation to these benami transactions, as a corollary, allowing criminal prosecution of the accused in relation to the self-same cause of action would be impermissible in law. (Para 36)

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 294(b)- The complainant alleged that the accused abused him by using profane language. Section 294(b) IPC would clearly not apply to such an act. (Para 44)

Summary: Madras- HC dismissed plea seeking quashing of proceedings for offences punishable under Sections 420 read with Section 120B, Section 294(b), Section 506(ii) read with Section 114 IPC – Allowing appeal, SC observed: The necessary ingredients of the offences punishable under Section 406 and Section 420 IPC are not made out against the accused – In view of the clear bar contained in Section 4 of the Benami Act, the complainant could not have sued the accused appellants for the same set of facts and allegations which are made the foundation of the criminal proceedings. Since, if such allegations do not constitute an actionable civil wrong, in such circumstances, allowing the prosecution of the accused appellants for the very same set of facts, would tantamount to abuse of the process of law.

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