Whether amendment in a criminal complaint case is permissible or not  ? 

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court in S.R.Sukumar vs. S.Sunaad Raghuram. (2015) 9 SCC 609, answers in the affirmative.

The Court held :-

“What is discernible from the U.P. Pollution Control Board’s case is that easily curable legal infirmity could be cured by means of a formal application for amendment. If the amendment sought to be made relates to a simple infirmity which is curable by means of a formal amendment and by allowing such amendment, no prejudice could be caused to the other side, notwithstanding the fact that there is no enabling provision in the Code for entertaining such amendment, the Court may permit such an amendment to be made. On the contrary, if the amendment sought to be made in the complaint does not relate either to a curable infirmity or the same cannot be corrected by a formal amendment or if there is likelihood of prejudice to the other side, then the Court shall not allow such amendment in the complaint”

This reasoning was applied by the SC in another case subsequently : KUNAPAREDDY @ NOOKALA SHANKA BALAJI VS. KUNAPAREDDY SWARNA KUMARI, (SC : Date of Decision : APRIL 18, 2016.) wherein the Court held that a complaint or petition under Domestic Violence Act can also be amended. Rejecting the contention that there is no provision in the CrPC that permits amendment, the court held :

 

“18. What we are emphasising is that even in criminal cases governed by the Code, the Court is not powerless and may allow amendment in appropriate cases. One of the circumstances where such an amendment is to be allowed is to avoid the multiplicity of the proceedings. The argument of the learned counsel for the appellant,therefore, that there is no power of amendment has to be negated”

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“20. The reliefs that can be granted by the final order or an by interim order, have already been pointed out above wherein it is noticed that most of these reliefs are of civil nature. If the power to amend the complaint/application etc. is not read into the aforesaid provision, the very purpose which the Act attempts to sub-serve itself may be defeated in many cases.”

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