S.482-Apex Court can quash non-compoundable offences

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

CRL.M.C. 4159/2015 & Crl.M.A. 14917/2015
Date of Decision : January 22nd, 2016

SMT POOJA SAXENA ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Rajan Chaudhary, Advocate

versus

STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ANR ….. Respondent
Through: Mr. Arun Kumar Sharma, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State
Mr. Rohit K. Naagpal, Ms. Anamika Tomar, Advocates for complainant

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE P.S.TEJI

P.S.TEJI, J.
1. The present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the petitioners, namely, Pooja Saxena, Ms. Parul Verma, Sh. Vijay Narain Verma, Smt. Isha Narain and Ms. Rupali Verma for quashing of FIR No.109/2013 dated 07.06.2013, under Sections 379/466/471/120B IPC registered at Police Station Sabzi Mandi on the basis of mediation report of the Delhi Mediation Centre, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi arrived at between the petitioner no.1 and respondent no. 2, namely, Sameer Saxena on 27.01.2015.

2. Learned Additional Public Prosecutor for respondent-State submitted that the respondent no.2, present in the Court has been identified to be the complainant/first-informant in the FIR in question by his counsel.

3. Respondent No.2, present in the Court, submitted that the dispute between the parties has been amicably resolved. As per the mediation report, the respondent no.2 has no grievance or grudges against the petitioner no.1 and parties to the settlement agreed to take divorce by mutual consent. Further it has been stated in the report that the matter has been compromised between the parties and the respondent no.2 shall pay an amount of Rs.40 lacs to the petitioner no.1 and their child towards full and final settlement of all the claims of the petitioner no.1 towards istridhan, dowry articles, permanent alimony (past, present and future) and maintenance of the child till his age of majority as per law. They further agreed that the concerned party shall initiate the proceedings for quashing the FIR No. 232/09, under Sections 498A/406/34 IPC, P.S. Roop Nagar, FIR No.13/2012, FIR No.90/2012, FIR No.109/2013, FIR No.126/2013 and all the consequential proceedings arising out of the said FIRs within 15 days after the dissolution of marriage. It is also agreed that if petitioner no.1 commits default in recording statement for second motion and quashing of the FIRs then she will refund back Rs. 15 lacs and if the respondent no.2 defaults in recording of the statement in second motion and quashing of various FIRs, the petitioner no.1 shall be entitled to retain Rs. 15 lacs so received by her at the time of recording of first motion. It has further been agreed that the permanent custody of the child Shaurya shall remain with the petitioner no.1 and the respondent no.2 and his family members shall not be entitled to visitation rights of the child. It is agreed that the parties and the family members of both the parties shall withdraw their respective cases and complains filed in different Courts. Respondent No.2 affirms the contents of the aforesaid compromise and of his affidavit dated 01.10.2015 supporting this petition. In the affidavit, the respondent no.2 has stated that he has no objection if the FIR in question is quashed. All the disputes and differences have been resolved through mutual consent. Now no dispute with petitioners survives and so, the proceedings arising out of the FIR in question be brought to an end. Statement of the respondent No.2 has been recorded in this regard in which he stated that he has entered into a compromise with the petitioners and has settled all the disputes with them. He further stated that he has no objection if the FIR in question is quashed.

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4. In Gian Singh v. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303 Apex Court has recognized the need of amicable resolution of disputes in cases like the instant one, by observing as under:-

“61. In other words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceedings or continuation of criminal proceedings would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and the wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in the affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceedings.”
5. The aforesaid dictum stands reiterated by the Apex Court in a recent judgment in Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC

466. The relevant observations of the Apex Court in Narinder Singh (Supra) are as under:-

“29. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we sum up and lay down the following principles by which the High Court would be guided in giving adequate treatment to the settlement between the parties and exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code while accepting the settlement and quashing the proceedings or refusing to accept the settlement with direction to continue with the criminal proceedings: 29.1 Power conferred under Section 482 of the Code is to be distinguished from the power which lies in the Court to compound the offences under Section 320 of the Code. No doubt, under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court has inherent power to quash the criminal proceedings even in those cases which are not compoundable, where the parties have settled the matter between themselves. However, this power is to be exercised sparingly and with caution. 29.2. When the parties have reached the settlement and on that basis petition for quashing the criminal proceedings is filed, the guiding factor in such cases would be to secure:
(i) ends of justice, or
(ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any court. While exercising the power the High Court is to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives. 29.3. Such a power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, for the offences alleged to have been committed under special statute like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender.
29.4. On the other hand, those criminal cases having overwhelmingly and predominantly civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes should be quashed when the parties have resolved their entire disputes among themselves.
6. The inherent powers of the High Court ought to be exercised to prevent the abuse of process of law and to secure the ends of justice. The respondent no.2 agreed to the quashing of the FIR in question and has stated that the matter has been settled out of his own free will. As the matter has been settled and compromised amicably, so, there would be an extraordinary delay in the process of law if the legal proceedings between the parties are carried on. So, this Court is of the considered opinion that this is a fit case to invoke the jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to prevent the abuse of process of law and to secure the ends of justice.

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7. The incorporation of inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is meant to deal with the situation in the absence of express provision of law to secure the ends of justice such as, where the process is abused or misused; where the ends of justice cannot be secured; where the process of law is used for unjust or unlawful object; to avoid the causing of harassment to any person by using the provision of Cr.P.C. or to avoid the delay of the legal process in the delivery of justice. Whereas, the inherent power is not to be exercised to circumvent the express provisions of law.

8. It is settled law that the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. should be used sparingly. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of State of Maharashtra through CBI v. Vikram Anatrai Doshi and Ors. MANU/SC/0842/2014 and in the case of Inder Singh Goswami v. State of Uttaranchal MANU/SC/0808/2009 has observed that powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. must be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution. Only when the Court comes to the conclusion that there would be manifest injustice or there would be abuse of the process of the Court if such power is not exercised, Court would quash the proceedings.

9. It is a well settled law that where the High Court is convinced that the offences are entirely personal in nature and therefore do not affect public peace or tranquillity and where it feels that quashing of such proceedings on account of compromise would bring about peace and would secure ends of justice, it should not hesitate to quash them. In such cases, pursuing prosecution would be waste of time and energy. Non-compoundable offences are basically an obstruction in entering into compromise. In certain cases, the main offence is compoundable but the connected offences are not. In the case of B.S. Joshi and others v. State of Haryana and another 2003 (4) SCC 675 the Hon’ble Apex Court observed that even though the provisions of Section 320 Cr.P.C. would not apply to such offences which are not compoundable, it did not limit or affect the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. The Hon’ble Apex Court laid down that if for the purpose of securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes necessary, section 320 Cr.P.C. would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. In the nutshell, the Hon’ble Apex Court justified the exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings to secure the ends of justice in view of the special facts and circumstances of the case, even where the offences were non- compoundable.

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In the light of the aforesaid, this Court is of the view that notwithstanding the fact the offences under Sections 466/471 IPC are non-compoundable offences, there should be no impediment in quashing the FIR under these sections, if the Court is otherwise satisfied that the facts and circumstances of the case so warrant.

10. In the facts and circumstances of this case and in view of statement made by the respondent No.2, the FIR in question warrants to be put to an end and proceedings emanating thereupon need to be quashed.

11. Accordingly, this petition is allowed and FIR No.109/2013 dated 07.06.2013, under Sections 379/466/471/120B IPC registered at Police Station Sabzi Mandi and the proceedings emanating therefrom are quashed against the petitioners.

12. This petition is accordingly disposed of.

13. The application Crl.M.A. 14917/2015 is also disposed of.

(P.S.TEJI) JUDGE JANUARY 22, 2016

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