NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine a critical question whether a plea for quashing a criminal case arising out of matrimonial dispute can be filed in the High Court through general power of attorney holder on behalf of a person residing abroad as NRIs.
A bench of Justices Krishna Murari and Sanjay Karol issued notice to Madhya Pradesh and others on a petition filed by Prateek Tripathi represented by advocate Amit Kumar.
The petitioner contended there were differences of views by different High Courts and there was no statutory bar for the power of attorney holder to file the petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Tripathi challenged the Madhya Pradesh HC's order of September 21, 2022, dismissing his plea.
His plea contended that the High Court has failed to appreciate that in the same FIR, the coordinate Bench was pleased to entertain and decide a writ petition filed by the petitioner through his same power of attorney holder.
"The High Court has also failed to appreciate that the petitioner has to work in the UK for his livelihood and he been working over there much before his marriage. It has also not been appreciated that the petitioner is not absconding or evading process of law, rather he has been responding to the allegations and participating in investigations," it said.
The High Court also did not appreciate that the petitioner has been ready to appear in person before the court of law, as and when directed, and further he could have been directed to appear through Video Conferencing or in person.
Moreover, the personal appearance of the petitioner was not required before the High Court for the purpose of hearing on his quashing petition, it contended.
"The Right to access to justice or to avail legal remedy in the proceedings where personal appearance of the petitioner is not required, ought to have been permitted to file petition u/s 482 CrPC through his family members especially where petitioner is not absconding and he has reasonable inability to be present in India simply for the purpose of filing," it said.
The petitioner also alleged the complainant here has abused the process of law against him and his family members on the basis of false, fabricated, vague, omnibus and baseless allegations with intent to extort money by harassing and pressurising them.