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Section 323, 504, 506, 308 IPC – Compromise in criminal case – Sustained injuries on head are grievous in nature – Cannot be quashed on the basis of compromise.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Hon’ble Rajeev Misra, J.
APPLICATION U/S 482 No. 10079 of 2021; 27.7.2021

Omkar And 3 Others

Vs.

State of U.P. and Another

Counsel for Applicant :- Sunil Kumar Tiwari; Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.,Vinay Kumar Singh

Heard Mr. Sunil Kumar Tiwari, learned counsel for applicants, learned A.G.A. for State and Mr. Vinay Kumar Singh, learned counsel representing opposite party 2.

This application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed challenging charge sheet dated 11.12.2020 submitted in Case Crime No. 530 of 2021, under Sections 323, 308, 504, 506 IPC, P.S. Shamli, District Shamli, Cognizance Taking Order dated 18.2.2021 passed by court concerned on aforesaid charge sheet as well as entire proceedings of consequential Criminal Case No. 1239/9 of 2021 (State Vs. Omkar and others), under Sections 323, 504, 506, 308 IPC, P.S. Shamli, District Shamli arising out of above mentioned case crime number and now pending in Court of Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shamli on the basis of compromise between parties.

It transpires from record that in respect of an incident which is alleged to have occurred on 23.9.2020, a delayed F.I.R. dated 30.10.2020 was lodged by first informant opposite party 2 Kamal which was registered as Case Crime No. 530 of 2021, under Sections 323, 308, 504, 506 IPC, P.S. Shamli, District Shamli. In the aforesaid F.I.R. four persons namely Omkar, Gaurav, Neeraj alias Rocky and Sachin (applicants herein) have been nominated as named accused.

Pursuant to aforesaid F.I.R., police proceeded with statutory investigation of aforesaid Case Crime Number in terms of Chapter XII Cr. P. C. Injured Sudheer was medically examined and accordingly, his medico legal report was prepared. After completion of investigation, Investigating Officer on the basis of material collected during course of investigation including statements of informant opposite party 2 and other witnesses rcorded under Section 161 Cr. P. C. submitted a charge sheet dated 11.12.2020 against named accused, i.e. (applicants herein), whereby accused applicants have been charge-sheeted under Sections 323, 308, 504, 506 IPC.

After submission of above noted charge sheet, cognizance was taken upon same by Court concerned, vide Cognizance Taking Order dated 18.2.2021. As a result, above mentioned criminal case came to be registered. Applicants, who are charge sheeted accused, are alleged to have been summoned in above noted case.

Learned counsel for applicants contends that during pendency of above noted criminal case, first informant/opposite party 2 Kamal, and accused applicants amicably settled their dispute outside the Court. On the basis of settlement so arrived at between parties, a compromise deed dated 8.3.2021 was drawn which has been duly verified by a notary. On the aforesaid compromise, a joint compromise application dated 12.3.2021 was filed before Court below praying therein that since parties have entered into compromise, therefore, above mentioned case be decided on the basis of compromise. Aforesaid compromise application has been rejected by Court below, vide order dated 12.3.2021. Consequently, applicants, who are charge sheeted accused, have now approached this Court by means of present application under Section 482 Cr. P. C.

Learned counsel for applicants contends that dispute between parties is a purely private dispute. During pendency of above mentioned criminal case before Court below, parties have amicably settled their dispute. On the basis of settlement so arrived at between parties, a joint compromise application dated 12.3.2021 was filed before Court below. A certified copy of the same has been filed as Annexure 7 to the affidavit filed in support of this application.

On the aforesaid premise, it is urged that once parties have entered into a compromise, no useful purpose shall be served by prolonging proceedings of above mentioned criminal case. Interest of justice shall better be served in case, entire proceedings of above mentioned criminal case are quashed by this Court itself in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr. P. C, instead of relegating the parties to Court below. The trial shall entail a futile pursuit resulting in loss of judicial time when torrents of litigation drown the Courts with an unimaginable flood of dockets.

Mr. Vinay Kumar Singh, learned counsel for first informant opposite party 2 does not oppose present application. He has invited attention of Court to the short counter affidavit filed by opposite party 2, which has been jointly sworn by opposite party 2 and the injured, wherein averments made in the affidavit filed in support of present application as well as the factum of compromise entered into between parties has been admitted. He further contends that once opposite party 2 and injured have compromised with accused applicants, then in that eventuality they cannot have any grievance in case proceedings of above mentioned criminal case are quashed by this Court.

Per contra, learned A.G.A. has opposed the prayer made by learned counsel for applicants. He submits that no compromise can be permitted in present case. The dispute between parties is not private in nature. To the contrary, same is crime against society. In the incident giving rise to above mentioned criminal case, injured Sudhir has sustained various injuries. Injury report of injured Sudhir has been brought on record as Annexure 7 to the affidavit. In the opinion of doctor, who examined injured Sudhir inuries 1 and 2 are grievous in nature. On the basis of above, he, therefore, contends that proceedings of above mentioned criminal case cannot be decided on the basis of compromise.

This Court is not unmindful of the following judgements of Apex Court:

1. B.S. Joshi and others Vs. State of Haryana and another (2003) 4 SCC 675

2. Nikhil Merchant Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation[2008)9 SCC 677]

3. Manoj Sharma Vs. State and others ( 2008) 16 SCC 1

4. Shiji @ Pappu and Others VS. Radhika and Another, 2011 (10) SCC 705

5. Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303

6. K. Srinivas Rao Vs. D.A Deepa, (2013) 5 SCC226

7. Narindra Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab ( 2014) 6 SCC 466

8. Yogendra Yadav and Ors. Vs. State of Jharkhand and another 2014 (9) SCC 653

9. C.B.I. Vs. Maninder Singh (2016) 1 SCC 389

10. C.B.I. Vs. Sadhu Ram Singla and Others, (2017) 5 SCC 350

11. Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai Bhimsinhbhai Karmur and Others Vs. State of Gujarat and annother, 2017 (9) SCC 641

12. Anita Maria Dias and Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra and Others, (2018) 3 SCC 290

13. State of M.P. VS. Dhruv Gurjar and Another, (2019) 5 SCC 570

14. State of M.P. V/s Laxmi Narayan Ors., 2019 (5) SCC 688

15. Rampal Vs. State of Haryana, AIR online 2019 SC 1716

16. Arun Singh and Others VS. State of U.P. and Another (2020) 3 SCC 736 wherein the Apex Court has categorically held that compromise can be made between the parties even in respect of certain cognizable and non compoundable offences. However, Apex Court in State of M.P. Vs. Laxmi Narayan (Supra) that no compromise can be made in respect of offences against society as they are not private in nature. Similarly in Ram Pal Vs. State of Haryana (Supra) it has been held that no compromise can be made in cases relating to rape and sexual assault. Reference may also be made to the decision given by this Court in Shaifullah and others Vs. State of U.P. And another [2013 (83) ACC 278] in which the law expounded by the Apex court in some of the aforesaid cases has been explained in detail.

Recently Apex court in Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai Bhimsinhbhai Karmur (Supra) has laid down the following guidelines with regard to quashing of criminal proceedings as well compromise in criminal proceedings in paragraphs 16 to 16.10, which read as under:

“16. The broad principles which emerge fro C-17/2004, under Sections 323, 324, 325, 308, 504, 506 IPC, P.S. Barsethi, District Jaunpur,m the precedents on the subject, may be summarised in the following propositions 16.1. Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does not confer new powers. It only recognises and preserves powers which inhere in the High Court;

16.2. The invocation of the jurisdiction of the High Court to quash a First Information Report or a criminal proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been arrived at between the offender and the victim is not the same as the invocation of jurisdiction for the purpose of compounding an offence. While compounding an offence, the power of the court is governed by the provisions of Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The power to quash under Section 482 is attracted even if the offence is non-compoundable.

16.3. In forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power;

16.4. While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court;

16.5. The decision as to whether a complaint or First Information Report should be quashed on the ground that the offender and victim have settled the dispute, revolves ultimately on the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated;

16.6. In the exercise of the power under Section 482 and while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the offence. Heinous and serious offences involving mental depravity or offences such as murder, rape and dacoity cannot appropriately be quashed though the victim or the family of the victim have settled the dispute. Such offences are, truly speaking, not private in nature but have a serious impact upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in such cases is founded on the overriding element of public interest in punishing persons for serious offences;

16.7. As distinguished from serious offences, there may be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or predominant element of a civil dispute. They stand on a distinct footing in so far as the exercise of the inherent power to quash is concerned;

16.8. Criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions with an essentially civil flavour may in appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute;

16.9. In such a case, the High Court may quash the criminal proceeding if in view of the compromise between the disputants, the possibility of aconviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice; and 16.10. There is yet an exception to the principle set out in propositions 16.8 and 16.9 above. Economic offences involving the financial and economic well-being of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court would be justified in declining to quash where the offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or economic fraud or misdemeanour. The consequences of the act complained of upon the financial or economic system will weigh in the balance.”

Apex Court in State of M.P. Vs. Laxmi Narayan and others, (2019) 5 SCC, 688 while dealing with an issue regarding compromise in respect of an offence punishable under Section 307 IPC has observed as under in paragraphs 15.2 to 15.4. Same are reproduced herein under:-

“15. Considering the law on the point and the other decisions of this Court on the point, referred to hereinabove, it is observed and held as under:

i) that the power conferred under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences under Section 320 of the Code can be exercised having overwhelmingly and predominantly the civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes and when the parties have resolved the entire dispute amongst themselves;

ii) such power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involved 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;

iii) similarly, such power is not to be exercised for the offences under the special statutes like 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;

iv) offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation. Therefore, the ultimate conclusion in paragraphs 29.6 and 29.7 of the decision of this Court in the case of Narinder Singh (supra) should be read harmoniously and to be read as a whole and in the circumstances stated hereinabove;”

Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, as noted herein above submissions made by counsel for parties, law as settled by Apex Court with regard to compromise in criminal case as mentioned above and the injury report of injured Sudhir who has sustained injuries on his head and doctor who medically examined injured Sudhir has opined that injuries 1 and 2 sustained by injured Sudhir are grievous in nature, this court is of the considered opinion that proceedings of above mentioned criminal case cannot be quashed on the basis of compromise.

Accordingly, no case for quashing of the charge sheet dated 11.12.2020 submitted in Case Crime No. 530 of 2021, under Sections 323, 308, 504, 506 IPC, P.S. Shamli, as well as proceedings of consequential criminal case No. 1239/9 of 2021 (State Vs. Omkar and others), under Sections 323, 504, 506, 308 IPC, P.S. Shamli, District Shamli arising out of above mentioned case crime number and now pending in Court of Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shamli, is made out.

In view of above, application fails and is liable to be dismissed.

It is, accordingly, dismissed.

There shall be no order as to costs.

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