482 Cr.P.C = on resettlement of accounts, the parties obtained the consent decree from DRT and paid the entire sum, therefore, there is no live issue, which now survives. The High Court then examined the question as to whether the issue of criminality is involved so as to allow the Trial Court to continue on its merits. After examining this issue with reference to charges and documents, the High Court held that no 7 criminality issue is found involved notwithstanding the settlement of the case between the parties. 16. We are also of the view that there arises no occasion to prosecute the respondents as was rightly held by the High Court while quashing the criminal case against the respondents.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre

NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL Nos.2107­2125 OF 2011
C.B.I. New Delhi ….Appellant(s)
VERSUS
B.B. Agarwal & Ors. etc. ….Respondent(s)

J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

  1. These appeals are directed against the final
    judgment and order dated 18.04.2009 passed by
    the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Crl.MC
    Nos.5722­30 of 2006 & Crl.MA No.9675 of 2006,
    Crl.MC No.74 of 2007 & Crl.MA Nos.235­36 of
    1
    2007, Crl.MC No.80 of 2007 & Crl.MA Nos.259­60
    of 2007 and Crl.MC No.2376 of 2007 & Crl.MA
    Nos.8341­42 of 2007 whereby the High Court
    allowed the criminal petitions filed by the
    respondents herein under Section 482 of the Code
    of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to
    as “Cr.P.C.”) and quashed the criminal proceedings
    in CBI Case No.RC.4(A)/94­CBI/BSC/DLI pending
    before the Special Judge, Tis Hazari, Delhi against
    the respondents herein.
  2. A few facts need mention hereinbelow to
    appreciate the short controversy involved in these
    appeals.
  3. In the year 1992­93, it came to the notice of
    Investigating Agency (CBI) that two Limited
    Companies, namely, M/s New Beam Ferro Alloys
    Ltd.(NBFAL) ­ Respondent No. 6 and M/s West
    2
    Coast Brewers & Distillers Ltd.(WCBDL)­
    respondent No. 7 came out with public issue of their
    companies and in execution of the public issue,
    these Companies were alleged to have defrauded the
    Punjab National Bank (PNB), PNB House Branch,
    Sir P.M. Road, Fort, Mumbai to the tune of Rs.15
    crores approximately.
  4. It may not be necessary to set out the details
    as to how the alleged defalcation was done by the
    said two Companies.
  5. Suffice it to say, the investigation was carried
    out by the CBI which led to filing of a criminal case
    bearing No. RC4(A)/94­CBI/BSC/DLI against the
    Directors of the companies and the officials of PNB
    under Section 120B read with Sections 409, 420,
    468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
    (hereinafter referred to as “IPC”) read with Section
    13(2) read with Section 13(i) (c) and (d) of the
    3
    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (hereinafter
    referred to as “PC Act”) in the designated C.B.I.
    Court, Delhi.
  6. The charge sheet was filed against 12 accused
    persons out of which 6 are individuals and
    remaining are the Companies. It is not in dispute
    that during the pendency of this case, four
    individual accused persons have died. It is also not
    in dispute that out of the accused­Companies, the
    names of two companies, namely, WCBDL
    (respondent No. 7) and Surlex Dignostic Ltd.
    (respondent No. 8) have been deleted vide order
    dated 09.09.2011.
  7. It is not in dispute that PNB had also filed two
    civil suits bearing Nos. 342/1995 and 2740/1995
    against the Companies­WCBDL(R­7) and NBFAL
    (R­6) and its Directors in Bombay High Court for
    recovery of the outstanding dues and for settlement
    4
    of the accounts which were later transferred to the
    Debt Recovery Tribunal, Mumbai (OA
    No.3174/2000) for trial. It is also not in dispute that
    during the pendency of these civil suits and
    pursuant to orders passed therein directing the
    parties to undertake reconciliation of the accounts,
    the PNB and the two companies through their
    Directors reconciled their accounts and
    compromised the matter by entering into a one­time
    settlement on 06.06.2006. The consent application
    in O.A. No.3174 of 2000 was accordingly filed by the
    parties in DRT, Mumbai for disposal of the OA in
    terms of the settlement arrived at between them.
  8. The DRT by its order dated 11.05.2006
    accepted the settlement and accordingly disposed of
    OA No. 3174/2000 in terms of settlement. (See
    documents filed in IA­12323/2019). In terms of
    settlement order, the two companies were liable to
    5
    pay a total sum of Rs.12.20 crores to PNB, which
    the two Companies, through their Directors, paid to
    the PNB. It is not in dispute that now there are no
    outstanding dues payable by these two Companies
    to the PNB and the order of DRT stood complied
    with.
  9. It is with these background facts, the 12
    respondents(accused) filed the petitions in the High
    Court of Delhi under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. seeking
    to quash the criminal proceedings filed against
    them.
  10. By impugned order, the High Court allowed
    the petitions and quashed the criminal proceedings,
    which has given rise to filing of the present appeals
    by way of special leave by the CBI in this Court.
  11. So, the short question, which arises for
    consideration in these appeals, is whether the High
    Court was justified in allowing the petitions filed by
    6
    the respondents under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C
    and quashing the criminal proceedings.
  12. Heard learned counsel for the parties.
  13. Having heard the learned counsel for the
    parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we
    find no merit in these appeals.
  14. In our considered opinion, having regard to the
    background facts stated above, we find no good
    ground to interfere in the impugned order.
  15. The High Court was of the view that on
    resettlement of accounts, the parties obtained the
    consent decree from DRT and paid the entire sum,
    therefore, there is no live issue, which now survives.
    The High Court then examined the question as to
    whether the issue of criminality is involved so as to
    allow the Trial Court to continue on its merits.
    After examining this issue with reference to charges
    and documents, the High Court held that no
    7
    criminality issue is found involved notwithstanding
    the settlement of the case between the parties.
  16. We are also of the view that there arises no
    occasion to prosecute the respondents as was
    rightly held by the High Court while quashing the
    criminal case against the respondents.
  17. Learned counsel for the appellant, placing
    reliance on the decision of this Court in Rumi
    Dhar(Smt.) vs. State of West Bengal & Anr.,
    (2009) 6 SCC 364 contended that notwithstanding
    settlement of the civil suits by the parties, the
    criminal case out of which these appeals arise has
    to be brought to its logical end one way or the other
    on merits and the High Court was, therefore, not
    right in quashing the charge­sheet at its threshold
    under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
  18. We find no merit in her submission. When we
    take into account the entire undisputed controversy
    8
    mentioned above, we also find that there is no
    criminality issue surviving qua those accused, who
    are alive so as to allow the prosecuting agency to
    continue with the criminal trial on merits. Indeed, it
    would be an abuse of process, as was rightly held
    by the High Court to which we concur.
  19. In view of the foregoing discussion, we find no
    merit in these appeals. The appeals are accordingly
    dismissed. .………...................................J. [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE] ……………………………………….J.
    [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
    New Delhi;
    February 18, 2019
    9