The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday quashed a First Information Report (FIR) against Dr. Inderpreet Singh Bedi, a Nurmahal based pediatrician, his father and brother under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on August 1, 2011 at Nakodar police station.
Justice Rekha Mittal in her order stated that the criminal proceedings are nothing but an abuse and misuse of the law process filed with a malafide intention to exert pressure upon the petitioner to pay the amount alleged to be outstanding against them. She said that the only dispute between the parties is with regard to payment of amount towards work carried out by the complainant with regard to construction of hospital and residence of the petitioners.
The respondent has admitted that a substantial amount of about Rs 38 lakh have already been paid to him. It appears that there is dispute between the parties with regard to settlement of account as the petitioners are disputing the liability worked out by the complainant. The court said that from a reading of allegation contained in the FIR and the reply filed by the state, it is difficult to accept that there was any dishonest or fraudulent representation made by the petitioners with an intention to cause wrongfulness to the complainant and a wrongful gain to the petitioner to constitute offence under section 420 of the IPC.
Justice Mittal said that the dispute between the parties at best gives rise to a civil dispute for payment of outstanding amount towards liability, if any incurred by the petitioners.
It further appears to the court that the complainant in place of taking recourse to the civil proceeding seeking recovery of outstanding amount initiated criminal proceedings to be misused as a pressure tactic to recover the amount.
The court said that no prima facie case for offence under section 420 of the IPC is made out against the petitioners and hence FIR no 174 and proceeding emanating there from are quashed.
The case was registered in connection with dispute of construction of the hospital and residence of Dr. Bedi at Nurmahal.