Question: One case was registered u/s 498A, 307 IPC with allegation of attempt to murder the wife in the year 2006, which was false, and this case is yet to end in final report. Another case was filed in 2014 u/s 498A, 307 IPC, with allegation of attempt to murder the daughter, which ended in charge-sheet u/s 498A, 336 IPC and S. 4 Dowry Prohibition Act. What can be the legal conclusion of the case registered in 2006? Can two cases end in charge-sheet u/s 498A IPC against the same person?
Answer: The answer to your question depends on the facts. Generally speaking, if the two cases are based on different incidents, then it is possible to register separate FIRs and separate charge sheets. But, if both the cases are on the basis of the same incident or acts, then it is not possible to register two FIRs or two charge sheets.
Thus, if the 2014 case is based on some incident or acts, which are different from the incident or acts on which the 2006 case was based, then it is possible to file charge sheets in both the cases. However, if both the cases are based on the same incident, then it would not be possible to file charge sheets in both the cases and only one charge sheet can be filed.
If a person commits two different offences on two different days, then even if the nature of the offences is same, it is possible to file separate cases (though, in such case, a joint trial for such separate cases may be held in certain situations, as laid down in Section 219 Cr.P.C.). Registration of first case against a person does not give him impunity in respect of any further offence of the same nature. Each offence can be registered separately. However, as mentioned above, two FIRs (or charge sheets) cannot be filed in respect of the same incident.
Section 219 Cr.P.C. is reproduced below:
“219. Three offences of same kind within year may be charged together.— (1) When a person is accused of more offences than one of the same kind committed within the space of twelve months from the first to the last of such offences, whether in respect of the same person or not, he may be charged with, and tried at one trial for, any number of them not exceeding three.
(2) Offences are of the same kind when they are punishable with the same amount of punishment under the same section of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or of any special or local laws:
Provided that, for the purposes of this section, an offence punishable under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) shall be deemed to be an offence of the same kind as an offence punishable under Section 380 of the said Code, and that an offence punishable under any section of the said Code, or of any special or local law, shall be deemed to be an offence of the same kind as an attempt to commit such offence, when such an attempt is an offence.”
It may be pertinent to point out that even if a joint trial is held for two offences, the accused person may be punished separately for each of such two offences.