FIR Can Be Quashed In Part If No Cognizable Offence Is Made Out Against Accused

The Supreme Court, in a brief order, has observed that an FIR can be quashed in part against some accused against whom no cognizable offence is made out. The apex court bench comprising Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice RF Nariman, in Lovely Salhotra vs State, set aside a Delhi High Court order and observed that the court could not refuse to quash FIR only on the ground that the investigation against co-accused is still pending.

The petitioners before the high court had sought to quash the complaint on the ground that on a reading of the FIR, no offence was made out against the petitioners.

Refusing to quash the case, the Delhi High Court had observed: “It cannot be said that on a reading of the FIR, prima facie, no cognizable offence is made out against the petitioners. Even otherwise, the FIR cannot be quashed at this stage of investigation and that too in part, since there are other accused including accused no.1 Madhvi Khurana against whom the case is under investigation.”

The apex court bench observed that the FIR is an afterthought with the sole intention to pressure the appellants not to prosecute their criminal complaint filed by them under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Setting aside the high court order, the bench observed: “It ought to have appreciated the fact that the appellants cannot be allowed to suffer on the basis of the complaint, only on the ground that the investigation against co-accused is still pending.”