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Friend filed criminal case of cheating : What I should do?

Question: I am doing a business of terrace farming. My friend is a partner in my business. He does not help me but comes on each week to take his share in profit. Yesterday he filed a false criminal case of cheating in XXX police station. He has alleged in the FIR that I have invested his money in the share market and earned a lot from it. actually he wants more money and when I have refused to give then he has filed such FIR. Sir, please guide me what I should do?

Question from: Punjab

The facts of your case suggest that ingredients of cheating are missing. You both are running a business in a partnership firm. Your friend is continuously getting profit from the business of the firm. Thus there is no deception or inducement from your side. 

He cannot prove that you have induced or deceived to deliver money from him. Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines cheating. According to section 415 IPC these are the essential elements:

  • There should be deception of a person
  • Accused has dishonestly induced the person to deliver any property or valuable things in the course of such inducement. 

The above elements do not exist in your case. Therefore, the criminal proceeding will not be sustained. In the circumstances of your case the High Court will quash this first information report (FIR).

Court will quash the FIR on the ground of civil nature dispute

There is a partnership firm in which you and your friend are partners. If any dispute arises in the course of partnership firm or business of firm then it would be a civil dispute rather than criminal offence [Murari Lal Gupta v. Gopi Singh (2005) 13 SCC 699]

Your partner has abused the process and by manipulating the facts he has lodged an FIR against you. That FIR and criminal prosecution is an abuse of process of the court. Hence, you should approach the High Court for quashing the FIR and drop the criminal proceeding. 

The Supreme Court has laid down seven golden rules for quashing FIR and your case comes under one of them. No offence of cheating has been made out from the facts of your case. Therefore, you should move a petition before the High Court under Section 482 crpc. In In Alpic Finance Ltd. vs. P. Sadasivan & Anr. (2001) 3 SCC 513 the Supreme Court has quashed the FIR on the ground that the case is related to civil nature dispute.

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