1. The appellants filed a suit for recovery of Rs.11.800,600/- against the respondents claiming that appellant No.1 is an advocate by profession, the appellant No.2 is Government employee as well as landlord, the appellant No.3 is the son of appellant No.1 and was studying in B.A at the relevant time, all the appellants were enjoying good reputation in the society, specially in their Baradri, the appellant No.1 remained the member of different committee run and managed by the Government as well as the Secretary District Bar Association, Chunian, the detail of his membership of different committee and District Bar Association is given in para 2 of the plaint.
2. The respondent No.1 lodged an FIR No.222/2001 under Section 458/380/411/107/171 and 365 PPC against unknown culprits and subsequently the offence of 395 PPC was added in the FIR. The respondents with the malafide intention through a supplementary statement involved the appellants in the case referred to above. The appellants asserted that the respondents are very well aware about the character and reputation of the appellants as both the parties are the residents of the same village. The respondents can easily recognize the appellants if they were involved in the incident of dacoity. The appellants were investigated by the police and they were found innocent. After the appellants’ discharge by the competent court of law, the respondents continued to get the appellants investigated by the Range Crimes Branch and DSP (CIA) Kasur but the appellants in every investigation were found innocent, that due to malafide and malice of the respondents the appellants’ reputation was damaged, they suffered mental and health loss, the appellant No.3 could not complete his education, the appellants thus claimed damages as detailed in para 8 of the plaint of Rs.11,800,600/- jointly and severally from the respondents. The appellants however withdrew the suit against Muhammad Azeem defendant No.3 on 17.2.2009.
3. The respondents opposed the suit and claimed that they mentioned the name of appellants with the bonafide intention. The suit is barred by time and frivolous. The learned trial court, out of divergent pleadings of the parties, framed the following issues:
1. Whether the plaintiffs are entitled to recover an amount of Rs.1,18,00,600/- from defendants for their alleged malicious prosecution? OPP
2. Whether the plaintiffs have no cause of action against the defendants? OPD
3. Whether the suit is time barred? OPD
4. Whether the defendants are entitled to recover special compensatory costs from the plaintiffs U/S 35-A of CPC? OPD
Both the parties adduced their respective evidence both verbal and documentary, the learned trial court vide judgment and decree dated 24.7.2010 dismissed the suit, hence the present appeal.
4. Learned counsel for appellants submits that impugned judgment is against law and facts available on record. The learned trial court has failed to appreciate the agony of the appellants which they suffered by attending three investigations before three investigation agencies. It is a proven fact on record that respondents with the malafide intention nominated the appellants in supplementary statement only to cause damage to the reputation of appellant No.1 who is an advocate by profession and human activist, the appellant No.1 lost his election due to wrong involvement in the fake case. The appellant No.1 due to fraudulent FIR developed heart disease and had undergone the heart surgery. Learned counsel adds that even after the arrest of real culprits and recovery of stolen articles the respondents continued to file applications against the appellants for their false involvement in the case. Learned counsel adds that all the three appellants thus suffered huge loses. Learned counsel has relied on Anwarzeb V. Mushtaq Ahmed (2014 CLD 1632), Dr. Anwar Zada & others V. Mst. Yasmeen & others (PLJ 2014 Peshawar 302) and Sufi Muhammad Ishaque V. The Metropolitan Corporation, Lahore through Mayor (PLD 1996 Supreme Court 737).
5. Learned counsel for respondents supports the impugned judgment and submits that appellants have failed to prove any alleged loss, hence the learned trial court has rightly dismissed the suit. Learned counsel for respondents has relied on Hafiz Hakim Muhammad Fayaz V. Akbar Ali (2006 CLC 489) and United Bank Limited and 5 others V. Raja Ghulam Hussain and 4 others (1999 SCMR 734).
6. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and gone through the record with their assistance.
7. The case of appellants is that they are respectable educated persons, the respondents with the malafide intention wrongly nominated the appellants, the culprits through supplementary statement. The appellants have produced the investigation Officer P.W-1, he deposed that appellants were nominated through supplementary statements, he investigated the allegations against the appellants and found that they are innocent and the Magistrate accepted his report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. In cross examination he deposed that incident of dacoity was found correct, the complainant has lodged FIR with bonafide intention, he denied that he wrongly come to the conclusion that appellants are innocent. Appellant No.1 appeared as P.W-2, he deposed that he is practicing lawyer from the last 13/14 years, he remained member of number of committees like District Khadmat Committee Kasur, District Land Privatization Committee, District Agriculture and irrigation Committee, District Consultation Council, District Food Stuff committee, Legal Advisor (Panel) United Bank Limited, Legal Advisor PTCL, General Secretary District Bar Association Kasur for the year 1993, he contested District Council Kasur election number of times, once he contested the election for member Provincial Assembly.
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