The Supreme Court said that the law must not be used as a medium to harass the accused and courts must always ensure that false cases do not pervert its sacrosanct nature.
The apex court quashing criminal proceedings against two people pending at a Chennai court said that the law is meant to protect the innocent rather than used as a sword to endanger them.
In August last year, the bench headed by Justices Krishna Murari and S R Bhat conveyed its verdict on an appeal against the ruling of the Madras High Court which had disregarded a plea seeking the quashing of a criminal complaint regarding alleged violation of the provision of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.
The court cited the reason as there was a void of more than four years between the initial inquiry and registering of the complaint. Even after providing a considerable amount of time, no adequate evidence was presented before the court.
The court added that this unexplained inordinate amount of delay must be taken into consideration as a key factor for quashing such complaints.
The court reiterated that the purpose of registering a case and the beginning of criminal proceedings must exist solely as a purpose to end the process into justice. The law must not be used as a medium to harass the accused, the statement further notified.
In November 2013, the drug inspector inspected the appellant's premises and alleged him of violation under the provision of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. A showcase memo was issued in March 2016, the appellant submitted their response, the bench said.
In August 2017, a complaint was filed against the appellants. The court observed that even though the complaint was made by a drug inspector, no evidence has been submitted to the court to sustain the matter.
The bench stated that in this case no explanation was provided to the court for the extraordinary delay of more than four years between the initial investigation and the registration of the complaint.
This prompts the court to infer some sinister motive behind initiating the criminal proceedings against the appellant, the bench concluded while allowing the appeal.