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Evidence can be considered only by trial court, says HC
Trial court was directed to complete proceedings within three months.
Points adhering to the appreciation of witnesses can be considered only by a trial court and not by the High Court, the Madras High Court has held, while dismissing a plea seeking to quash proceedings pertaining to a case of criminal intimidation.
Based on a complaint lodged by Senniappan, the inspector at Karumathampatti police station, had registered a case against a person named Martin in 2012 for criminal intimidation. Senniappan had alleged that on Martin’s instructions, four people entered his land on March 7, 2012 and threatened him with dire consequences, tried to assault him.
Challenging this, Martin moved the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings pending before the Judicial Magistrate, Coimbatore. He had contended that according to the final report of the police, barring Senniappan, no other witnesses even whispered a word about him conspiring with the co-accused. Moreover, on March 7, 2012, he was arrested and remanded in judicial custody in relation to other crimes. Hence, the alleged conspiracy to cause criminal intimidation is based on mere hearsay and needs to be quashed.
The counsel appearing for Senniappan submitted that at the time of the incident, Martin was remanded in prison because he is a habitual offender, especially in land-related matters by threatening original owners and grabbing their properties. Only on his instructions, the other accused have committed the present offence and hence the quash petition is liable to be dismissed, he said.
However, Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan, on observing that from the statement of the witnesses there are several materials to connect the petitioner to the charge under section 120 B of the IPC, said, “This court cannot go into the discrepancies/contradictions in the statement of the witness under Section 482 of the CrPC, and the points relating to the application of evidence cannot be considered by this court.
“Those points can be considered only during the trial before the trial court. Therefore, this court is not inclined to quash the proceedings. However, the petitioner is at liberty to raise all the points before the trial court during trial,” the judge said. Also noting that the case is from that of the year 2013, he directed the trial court to complete the proceedings within the next three months.