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Narinder Singh Saini vs State And Others on 24 May, 2018

1

HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
AT JAMMU

CRMC No. 200/2014, MP No. 227/2014

Date of order:- 24.05.2018

Narinder Singh Saini Vs. State and ors.

Coram:
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judge

Appearing counsel:

For the Petitioner(s) : Mr. V. Bhushan Gupta, Advocate.
For the Respondents(s) :
i/ Whether to be reported in : Yes/No
Press/Media
ii/ Whether to be reported in : Yes/No
Digest/Journal

1. In the instant petition, the petitioner seeks quashment of FIR’s, which
have been filed by the respondent No. 3, namely, Deepika Saini on false
and flimsy grounds against the petitioner and his family members. As the
said FIRs are the abuse of process of law and the parties have finally
settled their dispute through a mutual Decree of Divorce passed by the
Additional District Judge, Matrimonial Court, Jammu through a judgment
decree dated 14th November, 2013. The details of the FIR’s are as
under:-

1. FIR No. 12/2011 dated 31st May, 2011 registered at
Police Station, Women Cell, Jammu for the offence
under Sections 498-A, 109 and 406 RPC. At present, the
case is pending disposal before the Railway Magistrate,
Jammu.

2. FIR No. 108/2013 dated 04th May, 2013 registered at
Police Station Gandhi Nagar, Jammu for the offence
under Sections 294, 354, 341 and 34 RPC. At present,

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 1 of 10
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the case is pending disposal before the Railway
Magistrate, Jammu.

3. FIR No. 73/2012 dated 10th July, 2012, registered at
Police Station Gangyal, Jammu for the offence under
Sections 341, 109, 500 and 506 RPC. At present, the
case is pending disposal before the Railway Magistrate,
Jammu.

2. The factual matrix of the case is that the petitioner and respondent No. 3,
namely, Deepika Saini were the husband and wife and their marriage was
solemnized at Jammu on 22nd November, 2010 according to Hindu rites
and ceremonies. After the marriage, the parties hardly stayed together for
fifteen days and thereafter, they started residing separately, as they were
unable to live together as husband and wife due to their differences in
attitude and temperaments. Out of the wedlock, no issue has been born.

3. It is stated in the petition that despite the sincere efforts made by the
relatives of both sides, the parties could not reconcile with each other.
Finally, the parties mutually agreed and decided to dissolve their
marriage on the memorandum of understanding. It has been settled
between the parties that the petitioner would deposit an amount of
Rs. 5.00 lacs in the Court to be paid to the respondent No. 3 on account of
permanent alimony. Both the parties will return their articles of marriage
as per the list exchanged by the parties and the respondent shall not claim
any maintenance from the petitioner and the respondent shall also
withdraw all cases criminal/civil filed by the respondent No. 3 against the
petitioner and his family members after passing of the decree of divorce
by mutual consent.

4. It is also stated in the petition that a petition u/s 15 of Hindu Marriage Act
(Annexure-P) was filed by both the parties before the Matrimonial Court,
Jammu, stating therein all the terms and conditions of their settlement.
The statements of both the parties were recorded before the Matrimonial
Court and the case was posted to be listed after six months. Again the
statements of both the parties were recorded by the Matrimonial Court

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 2 of 10
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and they stick to their stand and finally their statement was recorded by
the Hon’ble Court.

5. On the basis of the aforesaid petition, i.e., petition filed u/s 15 of the
Hindu Marriage Act and the statement of the parties, the petitioner
deposited Rs. 5.00 lacs in the Matrimonial Act and the same has been
released in favour of respondent no. 3 by the Trial Court. In the petition
u/s 15 of the
Hindu Marriage Act and in the statement of the petitioner
and respondent, she categorically stated that everything has been settled
between the petitioner and his family members, nothing more is due to
her and she would withdraw all the cases stated in the title of the petition,
filed by her against the petitioner and his members, which are pending
disposal before the Railway Magistrate, Jammu.

6. Perusing the statements of the parties and keeping in view the facts and
circumstances of the case, the marriage between the parties has been
dissolved through a Decree of Divorce u/s 15 of the
Hindu Marriage Act
for divorce by mutual consent has been passed by the Matrimonial Court
vide order dated 14th November, 2013.

7. It is further stated in the petition that the whole family members including
relatives/relations, total eleven in numbers, have been falsely implicated
by the respondent No. 3 for none for their fault. The sister of the
petitioner and her husband has to come from Bangalore on every date of
hearing and the petitioner himself is working at Pune in corporate sector
and it is very difficult for the petitioner to attend the Court on every date
of hearing despite the Decree of Divorce by mutual consent has been
passed and all the disputes between the parties have been finally settled.
Now the petitioner and his relatives are facing very hardship and
harassment. It is the share abuse of the process of the Court and a great
injustice is being faced by the petitioner and his relatives, who have been
falsely implicated out of matrimonial dispute.

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 3 of 10
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8. It is further pleaded in the petition that the petitioner, respondent No. 3
and all family members of both the parties have finally settled their
disputes as full and final settlement. In view of her statement before the
Matrimonial Court that she would withdraw all the cases, civil as well as
criminal, filed against the petitioner and his relatives shall be withdrawn
after passing of the Divorce Decree. But, after passing the Decree by
mutual consent, she received the amount of Rs. 5.00 lacs from the
Hon’ble Court. Thereafter, she did not come forward to withdraw the
cases as per the terms and conditions of the divorce decree by mutual
consent despite the repeated requests made by the petitioner to the
respondent No. 3.

9. In this case, as stated above, the petitioner and the respondent No. 3 have
finally settled their dispute through mutual consent and a Decree of
Divorce has also been passed and the respondent No.3 has received
Rs.5.00 lacs from the Court deposited by the petitioner u/s 15 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, as such, the petitioner seeks indulgence of this
Court to meet the ends of justice and to proceed with the above said cases
shall be the abuse of process of law.

10. Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and gone through the contents of
the petition.

11. Respondent no.3 (wife of petitioner) in the case has refused to
acknowledge the notice of court as reported by registry. From the perusal
of relevant documents annexed in the petition, it is evident that three
criminal cases filed by respondent no.3, the detail of which has been
given in the petition are pending against the petitioner and others, before
Railway Court (JMIC), Jammu. Matrimonial Court has already passed a
decree of mutual divorce u/s 15 of
Hindu Marriage Act between
petitioner and respondent no.3 on 14.11.2013. While proceedings before
Matrimonial Court statement of respondents no.3 was recorded on

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 4 of 10
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12.11.2013, wherein she has stated that she will withdraw criminal cases
pending before criminal courts against husband. That mutual Divorce
Decree is still in existence.

12. Now only question arises as to whether these criminal proceeding are
required to be quashed by exercising the power u/s 561-A
Cr.P.C or not .

13. Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, reads as follows:-.

“Saving of inherent power of High Court :- Nothing in this Code shall be
deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make
any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court
or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.”

14. Section 561- A of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a reminder to the
High Courts that they are not merely courts of law but also courts of
justice and possess inherent powers to prevent abuse of the process of
any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.

15. In case titled Ram Singh anr. Vs. State of Rajasthan reported in 11
(2005) DMC 412, it is held as under:

“I have given my anxious consideration to the above arguments and have
gone through the case laws cited at the Bar. It is well settled that while
exercising inherent jurisdiction the Court should encourage genuine
settlements of the cases arising out of matrimonial disputes. While
considering the object of introducing Chapter XX-A containing Section
498A, Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in
V.S. Joshi and Ors. v. State
of Haryana, , have observed as under:

“There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-A
containing Section 498A in
the Indian Penal Code was to prevent torture to a
woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband.
Section 498A was
added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or
torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of
dowry. The hypertechnical view would be counter-productive and would act
against interest of women and against the object for which this provision was
added. There is every likelihood that non-exercise of inherent power to quash
the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 5 of 10
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settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XX-A of the Indian Penal
Code.”

7. The present case also arises out of the matrimonial dispute between the
parties. Undisputedly the parties have entered into a written compromise and
are living peacefully. However, the question that still emerges for
consideration of this Court is whether after conviction having been recorded,
the offence can be ordered to be compounded and/or the criminal
proceedings pending in the Appellate Court can be ordered to be dropped?

8. In O.P. Dholikia’s case (supra), Their Lordships of the Supreme Court
while dealing with a case arising out of offence under
Section 138 of the
Negotiable Instruments Act, considered the question as to what is the proper
stage for compounding the offence. Their Lordships found force with the
argument of the Counsel for the stage that conviction and sentence having
been upheld by all the three Forums, the Apex Court need not interfere with
the same as it was open for the parties to enter into a compromise at an
earlier stage when the appeal was pending. However, taking into
consideration the nature of offence in question and the fact that complainant
and the accused had already entered into a compromise, Their Lordships
thought it appropriate to grant permission, in the peculiar facts and
circumstances of the present case to compound and accordingly annulled the
conviction and sentence under
Section 138 of the Act.

9. In Govinda’s case (supra) the accused were convicted and sentenced for
offence under
Section 498A, I.P.C. and appeal against conviction was
pending before the Appellate Court. During pendency of appeal, the parties
entered into a compromise and ultimately invoked inherent jurisdiction of
this Court under
Section 482, Cr.P.C. This Court refused to invoke inherent
jurisdiction for assuming direction to compound the offence under
Section
489A,
I.P.C. But considering the law laid down by the Apex Court in
series of decisions referred to in the judgment, this Court ordered for
quashing the proceedings in appeal holding that continuance of
proceedings would be an abuse of process of law and would not be in the
interest of justice.

10. Evidently thus, the present case is squarely covered by the decision of
this Court in
Govind and Anr. v. State of Rajasthan, (supra). Therefore,
keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case as stated
hereinabove, the continuance of proceedings in appeal pending before the
Appellate Court, in my considered view would not be in the interest of
justice and keeping the proceedings pending would amount to abuse of the
process of Court.

11. In the result, this petition is allowed. The proceedings of Criminal
Appeal No. 28/
2003 Ram Singh and Anr. v. State of Rajasthan, filed
against the judgment and order dated 10.12.2003, pending in the Court
of Additional Sessions Judge No. 2, Deeg, District Bharatpur are
quashed. Necessarily the conviction and sentence under
Section
498A,
I.P.C. under the judgment and order dated 10.12.2003 passed by the
Trial Court stands annulled.

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 6 of 10
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16. In case tiled Jitendra Raghuvanshi and Others v. Babita Raghuvanshi
and Another – (2013) 4 SCC 58 5), it is held as under:-

“6) The scope and ambit of power under Section 482 of the Code has
been examined by this Court in a catena of earlier decisions. In the
present case, we are concerned about interference by the High Court
exercising jurisdiction under
Section 482 in relation to matrimonial
disputes.

7) It is not in dispute that matrimonial disputes have been on
considerable increase in recent times resulting in filing of complaints
under
Sections 498A and 406 of IPC not only against the husband but
also against the relatives of the husband. The question is when such
matters are resolved either by the wife agreeing to rejoin the
matrimonial home or by mutual settlement of other pending disputes
for which both the sides approached the High Court and jointly
prayed for quashing of the criminal proceedings or the FIR or
complaint by the wife under
Sections 498A and 406 of IPC, whether
the prayer can be declined on the sole ground that since the offences
are non-compoundable under
Section 320 of the Code, it would be
impermissible for the Court to quash the criminal proceedings or FIR
or complaint.

8) It is not in dispute that in the case on hand subsequent to the filing
of the criminal complaint under
Sections 498A and 406 of IPC
and
Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, with the
help and intervention of family members, friends and well-wishers,
the parties concerned have amicably settled their differences and
executed a compromise/settlement. Pursuant thereto, the appellants
filed the said compromise before the trial Court with a request to
place the same on record and to drop the criminal proceedings
against the appellants herein. It is also not in dispute that in addition
to the mutual settlement arrived at by the parties, respondent-wife
has also filed an affidavit stating that she did not wish to pursue the
criminal proceedings against the appellants and fully supported the
contents of the settlement deed. It is the grievance of the appellants
that not only the trial Court rejected such prayer of the parties but
also the High Court failed to exercise its jurisdiction under
Section
482 of the Code only on the ground that the criminal proceedings
relate to the offences punishable under
Sections 498A and 406 of IPC
which are non-compoundable in nature.

9) Learned counsel for the parties, by drawing our attention to the
decision of this Court in
B.S. Joshi and Others vs. State of Haryana
and Another, (2003) 4 SCC 675, submitted that in an identical
circumstance, this Court held that the High Court in exercise of its
inherent powers under
Section 482can quash criminal proceedings in
matrimonial disputes where the dispute is entirely private and the
parties are willing to settle their disputes amicably. It is not in dispute
that the facts in B.S. Joshi (supra) are identical and the nature of the

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 7 of 10
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offence and the question of law involved are almost similar to the one
in hand. After considering the law laid down in
State of Haryana vs.
Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335 and explaining the decisions
rendered in
Madhu Limaye vs. State of Maharashtra, (1977) 4 SCC
551,
Surendra Nath Mohanty Anr. vs. State of Orissa, (1999) 5
SCC 238 and
Pepsi Foods Ltd. Anr. vs. Special Judicial Magistrate
Ors., (1998) 5 SCC 749, this Court held:

“8. … …. We are, therefore, of the view that if for the purpose of
securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes
necessary,
Section 320 would not be a bar to the exercise of power of
quashing.

It is, however, a different matter depending upon the facts and
circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not such a power.”
Considering matrimonial matters, this Court also held:

“12. The special features in such matrimonial matters are evident. It
becomes the duty of the court to encourage genuine settlements of
matrimonial disputes.”

10) As stated earlier, it is not in dispute that after filing of a complaint
in respect of the offences punishable under
Sections 498A and 406 of
IPC, the parties, in the instant case, arrived at a mutual settlement
and the complainant also has sworn an affidavit supporting the stand
of the appellants. That was the position before the trial Court as well
as before the High Court in a petition filed under
Section 482 of the
Code. A perusal of the impugned order of the High Court shows that
because the mutual settlement arrived at between the parties relate to
non-compoundable offence, the court proceeded on a wrong premise
that it cannot be compounded and dismissed the petition filed
under
Section 482. A perusal of the petition before the High Court
shows that the application filed by the appellants was not for
compounding of non-compoundable offences but for the purpose of
quashing the criminal proceedings.

11) The inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the
Code are wide and unfettered. In B.S. Joshi (supra), this Court has
upheld the powers of the High Court under
Section 482 to quash
criminal proceedings where dispute is of a private nature and a
compromise is entered into between the parties who are willing to
settle their differences amicably. We are satisfied that the said
decision is directly applicable to the case on hand and the High Court
ought to have quashed the criminal proceedings by accepting the
settlement arrived at.

12) In our view, it is the duty of the courts to encourage genuine
settlements of matrimonial disputes, particularly, when the same are
on considerable increase. Even if the offences are non-compoundable,
if they relate to matrimonial disputes and the court is satisfied that
the parties have settled the same amicably and without any pressure,
we hold that for the purpose of securing ends of justice, Section 320 of

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 8 of 10
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the Code would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing of
FIR, complaint or the subsequent criminal proceedings.

13) There has been an outburst of matrimonial disputes in recent
times. The institution of marriage occupies an important place and it
has an important role to play in the society. Therefore, every effort
should be made in the interest of the individuals in order to enable
them to settle down in life and live peacefully. If the parties ponder
over their defaults and terminate their disputes amicably by mutual
agreement instead of fighting it out in a court of law, in order to do
complete justice in the matrimonial matters, the courts should be less
hesitant in exercising its extraordinary jurisdiction. It is trite to state
that the power under
Section 482 should be exercised sparingly and
with circumspection only when the court is convinced, on the basis of
material on record, that allowing the proceedings to continue would
be an abuse of the process of the court or that the ends of justice
require that the proceedings ought to be quashed. We also make it
clear that exercise of such power would depend upon the facts and
circumstances of each case and it has to be exercised in appropriate
cases in order to do real and substantial justice for the administration
of which alone the courts exist. It is the duty of the courts to
encourage genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes and
Section
482 of the Code enables the High Court and
Article 142 of the
Constitution enables this Court to pass such orders.

14) In the light of the above discussion, we hold that the High Court in
exercise of its inherent powers can quash the criminal proceedings or
FIR or complaint in appropriate cases in order to meet the ends of
justice and
Section 320 of the Code does not limit or affect the powers
of the High Court under
Section 482 of the Code. Under these
circumstances, we set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court
dated 04.07.2012 passed in M.CR.C. No. 2877 of 2012 and quash the
proceedings in Criminal Case No. 4166 of 2011 pending on the file of
Judicial Magistrate Class-I, Indore.

15) The appeal is allowed.”

17. In present case also, petitioner and respondent no.3 have already settled the
dispute and mutual divorce decree has been passed by competent court
(Matrimonial court ) on 14.11.2013 . Respondent no. 3 has categorically stated
that she would withdraw all the criminal cases. So there would be no chance
of conviction. When the court is fairly certain that there is no prospect of the
case ending in conviction the valuable time of the Court should not be wasted
for holding a trial only for the purpose of formally completing the procedure
to pronounce the conclusion on a future date. We are mindful that most of the

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 9 of 10
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Courts in India are under heavy pressure of workload. If the court is almost
certain that the trial would only be an exercise in futility or a sheer waste of
time it is advisable to truncate the proceedings. In present case, it is definitely
certain that due to mutual divorce between husband and wife, there is no
chance of conviction of accused persons in all three criminal cases, which
have been lodged by respondent no.3.

18. So keeping in view all facts and circumstances of case, this petition is allowed
and FIR No. 12/2011 dated 31st May, 2011 registered at Police Station,
Women Cell, Jammu for the offence under Sections 498-A, 109 and 406
RPC, pending disposal before the Railway Magistrate, Jammu; FIR No.
108/2013 dated 04th May, 2013 registered at Police Station Gandhi Nagar,
Jammu for the offence under Sections 294, 354, 341 and 34 RPC pending
disposal before the Railway Magistrate, Jammu; and FIR No. 73/2012 dated
10th July, 2012, registered at Police Station Gangyal, Jammu for the offence
under Sections 341, 109, 500 and 506 RPC pending disposal before the
Railway Magistrate, Jammu, are hereby quashed along with all the
proceedings initiated thereafter.

19. This petition is disposed off accordingly.

(Sanjay Kumar Gupta)
Judge
Jammu,
24.05.2018
Ram Krishan

CRMC No.200/2014 Page 10 of 10

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