Gujarat high court, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


Filing an FIR against family members over a property dispute brings disrepute to the family and such disputes are best solved through civil litigation, the Gujarat high court has said. The court’s observation was made in response to two criminal complaints filed by a man against his nonagenarian father and other family members. The court quashed the FIRs filed by the son, saying that they “fall in the rarest of rare case”, and an investigation cannot be permitted in a pure civil dispute.

The case involved Mihir Patel, who has filed two FIRs against his father Harshadbhai, 91, and three other members of his uncle’s family alleging cheating, breach of trust, forgery, and abetment over the partition and sale of an ancestral property in Ghatlodia. He had earlier filed an FIR with the Naranpura police station in 2008, but the complaint was quashed by the HC.

The family has been in multiple litigations over the property. In 2016-17, Patel had filed two FIRs. The father and his brother’s family then approached the HC to get the FIRs quashed, arguing thatthe complainant did not disclose civil litigations in the complaint, and the FIRs were not tenable in this civil dispute. The son contended that his family members wrongfully dealt in disputed assets that were still Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) properties, in which he had a share.

On November 15, Justice Gita Gopi quashed both FIRs with the observation, “All the applicants in both the petitions are family members. The complainant as such cannot raise any dispute by way of filing FIR. ” He added, “ Civil rights have to be claimed by way of a civil suit; lodging of criminal prosecution leads to serious consequences of the accused having to face arrest, and further such FIRs would bring disrepute to the family members. ”


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