A Full Bench of the Supreme Court Comprising of Chief Justice S.A Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna, and Justice V. Ramasubramanian, vide judgment dated November 26, 2020, has disallowed the quashing of First Information Report lodged against Skoda Volkswagen on allegations of installation of cheat emission devices in their automobiles.
The instant case before the Supreme Court was a Special Leave Petition preferred by Skoda Volkswagen, being aggrieved by the order passed by the High Court of Allahabad, rejecting to quash the FIR lodged against it. It was the petitioner’s contention that the Police is averted from investigating a case that is pending before the Supreme Court on appeal emerging from an order passed by the National Green Tribunal. Furthermore, the petitioner contended that the complainant had taken an exceptionally long time in registering the FIR.
Rejecting the contention of the Appellant, the Supreme Court stated that they are prevented from probing into the disagreements surrounding the facts of the case considering that the prayer of the present petition is to repeal the complaint against the petitioners.
The Supreme Court reiterated its observations made in the case of S.M. Datta vs. the State of Gujarat and held that upon examination of the FIR, even if an offense, in general, has been made out, Courts are prevented from interfering upon the domain of the Police. Both the organs of government function within the realm of their powers and this separation of powers ought to be respected by each of the organs.
The Bench even cited the well-known precedent set in the case of Privy Council in King Emperor vs. Khwaja Nazir Ahmed - Courts may forbid the continuation of an investigation into a case for the sole reason of non-disclosure of a cognizable offense or any other kind of offense in the FIR.
The Supreme Court also relied on the judgment passed in the case of State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal and held that the powers to repeal must be utilized cautiously in extraordinary scenarios.
As a consequence of the above-mentioned reasoning, the SLP was dismissed by the Apex Court.