On finding "blatant misuse" of the process of law by registering an unwanted FIR against Delhi residents to benefit a complainant, the Punjab and Haryana high court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the complainant and Rs 50,000 on Jhajjar city police station subinspector.
Justice Mahesh Grover said, "There could not have been a better case where abuse of process of law is writ large on the face of it." Expressing its ire, the court remarked, "It is intriguing that the police officials often demonstrate lethargy in more serious offences such as rape and murder which do not even make the slightest impact on the sensitivities of the police and, in this case, where purely a commercial transaction was at stake, alacrity has been shown to book the petitioners and the entire family."
Subinspector Jai Kishan had, on August 18, 2011, registered the FIR on a complaint of Jagdeep, proprietor of Deepak Enterprises, Jhajjar, against New Delhi residents Maya and Rajesh Aggarwal and their two sons under Sections 420 (cheating) and other sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at police station (city), Jhajjar.
Jagdeep had complained that he had purchased a machine from wholesellers Maya and Rajesh for which he was overcharged and made to pay Rs 17 lakh as against the invoice and quotation of Rs 11.9 lakh. He alleged that the machine was old and, on its repair, he had spent Rs 27,000. When he wanted to return the machine and asked for the refund of excess payment, he was humiliated and beaten up in Delhi, Jagdeep alleged. The complainant had also approached the district consumer forum, Jhajjar, where his petition was dismissed.
The court said, "If the facts of the case are seen in their entirety, then it does not even remotely suggest commission of any offence."
The court further added, "..FIR would also disclose a sheer abuse of the process of law by Jagdeep who has used the agency of the police to settle his score of a purely commercial transaction gone sour."
Anguished over police action, justice Grover said, "clearly, the investigating officer has been more benign to the cause of the complainant and when the facts did not even remotely suggest the commission of offence, the investigation has been distorted and tailor-made to suit the demands of the complainant."