Delhi High Court Aditya Chandershekhar Pandit & … vs State Of Nct Of Delhi & Anr on 1 August, 2012Author: A. K. Pathak
*IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ W.P.(CRL) 603/2012
% Decided on: 1st August, 2012
ADITYA CHANDERSHEKHAR PANDIT
& ORS. ….. Petitioners Through: Mr. A.B. Dial, Sr. Adv. with
Mr. Thakur Sumit, Adv.
STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ANR. ….. Respondents Through: Mr. Dayan Krishnan, ASC
with Mr. Nikhil A. Menon,
Adv. along with ACP
Mohinder Singh, P.S.
Mr. Ranjan Kumar, Mr.
Rohini Kumar and Mr. Sarat
T.S., Advs. for R-2 with R-2
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.K. PATHAK
A.K. PATHAK, J. (Oral)
1. By this petition under Article 226/227 of Constitution of
India read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 petitioners have prayed that the FIR No.273/2010 under
Sections 380/498-A/406/34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) read
with Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 1 of 12 (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short “the Act”) and the
consequent proceedings emanating therefrom be quashed.
2. Petitioner no. 1 and respondent no. 2 married each other in a
temple on 18th May, 2007. Subsequently, they got their marriage
registered in the Office of Registrar of Marriages, Bandra, Mumbai.
At the time of their marriage, petitioner no.1 was a widower;
whereas respondent no.2 was a divorcee. Petitioner no. 2 is son of
petitioner no.1 from his first marriage. Petitioner no.3 is wife of
petitioner no. 2, that is, daughter-in-law of petitioner no.1.
Petitioner no. 4 is a friend of petitioner no.1; whereas petitioner
nos. 5 and 6 are parents of petitioner no.3, and parents in-law of
3. It appears that relations between the respondent no. 2 and
petitioner no. 1 got strained with the passage of time. Respondent
no. 2 made a written complaint dated 13th November, 2010 at the
Police Station Safdarjung Enclave pursuant whereof FIR
No.273/2010 under Section 380 IPC was registered. Respondent
no. 2 alleged therein that when she along with petitioner no. 1 came
to Delhi, petitioner nos. 2 and 3 were opposed to her staying in the
house. Petitioner nos. 5 and 6 also joined the petitioner nos. 2 and 3 WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 2 of 12 in harassing the respondent no.2. Petitioner no. 5 told father of
petitioner that the respondent no. 2 cannot live in the house as she
was a woman belonging to scheduled caste whereas they were
pandits. Castist remarks were passed against the respondent no.2.
Though, father of the petitioner no. 1 impressed upon the
petitioners that respondent no. 2, being legally wedded wife of
petitioner no.1, had all the rights to stay in the house but to no
effect. Petitioners continued to harass her. Respondent no. 2 went
to Mumbai and when she returned Delhi on 13 th November, 2010
she found her bedroom ransacked and five bangles, silver idols
worth `1100/- and clothes missing.
4. Initially, FIR 273/2010 was registered under Section 380
Indian Penal Code. However, Sections 498-A/406/34 IPC read with
Section 3 of the Act were added subsequently.
5. Petitioners filed a writ petition being W.P.(Crl.) No.
1869/2010 wherein parties were relegated to the Delhi High Court
Mediation & Conciliation Centre (“Mediation Centre”, for short)
vide order dated 14th February, 2011. In the Mediation Centre
petitioner no. 1 and respondent no. 2 settled their disputes through
the process of mediation, on the terms and conditions as stipulated WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 3 of 12 in the Settlement Agreement dated 2nd May, 2011 which was duly
signed by them besides their counsels and learned Mediator.
Relevant terms of settlement read as under:-
“1. That the parties hereto have agreed and undertaken to dissolve their marriage by way of seeking divorce by mutual consent from the court of competent jurisdiction at New Delhi and shall take appropriate steps and file the first motion for divorce by mutual consent, in accordance with law within 20 days of date of execution of this Settlement Agreement. The respondent
No.2 has unconditionally agreed and
undertaken to co-ordinate and co-operate with Shri Aditya Pandit (Petitioner No.1) and his lawyer in this regard and sign and execute petition, affidavit and such other documents as and when required without any protest and/or demur, reservations and delays. Petitioner no.1 has hereby agreed to pay to the respondent No.2, a further sum of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand
Only) in all, as travelling expenses from Mumbai to Delhi, for appearances before the Matrimonial Court at New Delhi, at the time of recording of her statements under 13 B (1) and (2) of HMA. The amount shall however be paid at the time of first motion.
2. That the petitioner no.1 has agreed to pay to the Respondent NO.2 and the
Respondent No.2 has willingly agreed to accept a total sum of Rs.20,00,000/-
(Rupees Twenty Lacs Only) as full and final WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 4 of 12 settlement towards Maintenance (past,
present and future), Alimony, Istridhan (if any), Compensations including all claim (s) and/or demand(s) of every nature in following manner.
i) Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lacs
Only) payable before the learned Mediator at the time of execution of this settlement deed, which Smt. Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respondent No.2) hereby acknowledge to have received vide cheque No.228401 dated 02.05.2011 drawn on Axix Bank ltd., Green Park, Main Branch, New Delhi, favouring her.
ii) The balance of Rs.18,00,000/-
(Rupees Eighteen Lacs Only ) shall be paid by Shri Aditya Pandi (Petitioner no.1) in 4 (four) equal instalment of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) each, each instalment becoming due and payable after 45 days of the last instalment as summarized herein below.
a) First instalment of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) on June 17, 2011.
b) Second instalment of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) on August 3, 2011.
c) Third instalment of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) on September 18, 2011 and;
d) Fourth instalment of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) at WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 5 of 12 the time of recording of the statement under Section 13 B (2) of HMA before the
Matrimonial Court concerned for dissolving the marriage.
Smt. Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respondent No.2) hereby acknowledge
having received 3 (three) post dated cheques for Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lacs Fifty Thousand Only) each bearing Nos. 228402, 228403 and 228404 dated 17.06.2011,
03.08.2011 and 18.09.2011 respectively drawn on Axis Bank Ltd. Green Park, Main Branch, New Delhi, favouring her.
3. That Smt.Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respndent No.2) has agreed and
undertaken that she has no past, present or future claim/demand by way of Maintenance, Alimony, Stridhan, Compensation etc. from Shri Aditya Pandit (Petitioner No.1) and further declares that no amount other then Rs.20,00,000/-
(Rupees Twenty Lacs Only) is payable by Shri Aditya Pandit (Petitioner No.1) to Smt. Chitra Anant Salunke (Respondent No.2) in the manner aforesaid, after signing this Settlement Agreement.
4. That Smt.Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respondetn No.2) has agreed and
undertaken to co-operate and co-ordinate and affirm before the Hon‟ble High Court of Delhi on the date fixed i.e. 03.05.2011 in the Writ Petition (Crl.) No.1869 of 2010 and/or in any other proceedings that all the disputes have been settled in the mediation
proceedings, I presence of the learned mediator, who recorded the settlement and WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 6 of 12 as such, shall jointly pray for quashing of the aforesaid FIR and the Complaint.
Respondent No.2 further undertakes to co- operate, if required, in getting the FIR No.273/2010 PS Safdarjung Enclave
5. That Smt.Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respondetn No.2) has undertaken to
handover the original claimed alleged will dated November 12, 2008 of Late Shri
Chander Shekhar Pandit to the Mediator to be handed over to Petitioner No.1 subject to other beneficiaries approval. Respondent No.2 however undertakes not to use the aforesaid Will or any copy thereof in any manner in future. Petitioner No.1 also undertakes not to supply any documents/records of the present case
(W.P.Crl. No.1869/2010) to Mr.Virendernath Bhagwatprasad Tiwari.
6. That Smt.Chitra Anant Salunke
(Respondetn No.2) hereby declares that she has no claim of any kind whatsoever in any of the moveable and immoveable properties, ancestral and/ or self acquired, of Petitioners and shall not claim any right, title and/or interest at any point of time and that with this settlement all the disputes, differences and/or claims, if any, with the petitioners have been finally settled in terms hereof.
7. That the parties to this Agreement have agreed and undertaken to forthwith in writing all complaints/cases, if any, made to various authorities including before the Police against each other and/or their relatives and other Petitioners before this WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 7 of 12 Hon‟ble Court, unconditionally. The parties hereto have agreed and undertaken not to file any case / complaint of whatsoever nature against each other in future.
8. That by signing this Agreement the parties hereto declare tht they have no outstanding and further claim(s) and/or demand(s) against each other and their disputes and differences have been settled finally hereto through the process of
9. That the parties hereto undertake to this Hon‟ble Court to remain bound by this terms and conditions set out in the present Settlement Agreement and shall abide by the same and shall not dispute the same in future”.
6. Petitioner no.1 and respondent no.2 have even acted upon
terms of settlement, as contained in the Settlement Agreement
dated 2nd May, 2011. They have already obtained a decree of
divorce by mutual consent from the Family Court, Saket on 28 th
February, 2012, inasmuch as, entire settled amount stands paid to
respondent no.2, which fact has not been disputed.
7. It is also borne out from the records that the petitioner no.1
and respondent no.2 had jointly filed an application in the said writ
petition for quashing of the FIR. The said application was signed by
the petitioner no. 1 as well as respondent no.2, inasmuch as, was WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 8 of 12 supported by the affidavit of respondent no.2. The said writ
petition was dismissed as withdrawn as the petitioners had sought
quashing of FIR on merits, however, liberty was granted to the
petitioners to file appropriate petition for quashing of the FIR on
the basis of compromise arrived at between the parties. „Settlement
Agreement‟ was taken on record in the said case.
8. That is how petitioners are before this Court by way of
present writ petition. Respondent no.2 though had given her
consent for quashing of FIR in the earlier writ petition but opposes
quashing in these proceedings, on the ground that the petitioner
no.1 has violated Clause 5 of the Settlement Agreement. It is
alleged that despite having given undertaking that he will not
supply the documents relating to present case to Mr. Virender Nath
Bhagwat Prasad Tiwari he has handed over the documents to
aforesaid person. Petitioner denies having supplied any documents
to Mr. Virender Nath Bhagwat Prasad Tiwari.
9. What emerges from the above that husband and wife had
settled their disputes before the Mediation Center and had signed
the „Settlement Agreement‟, which has even been acted upon by
them. Petitioner no. 1 has paid the entire settled amount to the WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 9 of 12 respondent no.2, inasmuch as, parties have even obtained a decree
of divorce by mutual consent. In my view after having settled the
matter through the process of mediation, which has even acted
upon, parties cannot be permitted to backtrack from the same as it
will negate the aims and objectives of the whole process of
mediation. Respondent no.2 is bound by the terms of the settlement,
as contained in the Settlement Agreement arrived at between them
before the Mediation Centre, more particularly when she has
already availed the benefits of the same, that is, having received the
settled amount. Withdrawal of consent by the respondent no.2 on
some innocuous ground is impermissible.
10. In Jaibir & Ors. vs. State & Anr. 142 (2007) DLT 141, a
Single Judge of this court, in the similar circumstances, held thus
“He has been the beneficiary of the settlement inasmuch as the
proceedings under Section 125, Cr.P.C. are withdrawn by Sarita
and proceedings under Sections 498A/406/34, IPC are also quashed
in view of the cooperation of Sarita. This being a complete
package, the complainant cannot turn around and oppose the
petition after he agreed for quashing of these proceedings at the
time of mediation proceedings. There is another aspect which needs WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 10 of 12 to be emphasized. The settlement was arrived at during mediation
proceedings. The Legislature has amended Section 89 of the Code
of Civil Procedure in the year 2002. There is an all round attempt
by the Legislature and Judiciary, as well as the Executive, to
promote the settlement of disputes through the process of
Mediation. Therefore, once disputes between the parties have been
settled by the process of mediation, it would be in the public
interest as well to attach importance to such a process and treat the
settlement as a solemn settlement. Otherwise, the movement of
mediation may itself suffer if the parties are given to understand
that even after they agree for settlement, one of the parties can still
back out. In Mohd. Shamim & Ors. vs. Nahid Begum (Smt.) &
Anr. (2005) 3 SCC 302, Supreme Court has quashed the FIR in
somewhat similar circumstances, even when wife attempted to
withdraw her consent. In Ruchi Agarwal vs. Amit Kumar
Agarwal & Ors. (2005) 3 SCC 299 similar view was taken and
FIR was quashed.
11. For the foregoing reasons, FIR No.273/2010 under Sections
380/498-A/406/34 IPC read with Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste
and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and the WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 11 of 12 consequent proceedings emanating therefrom are quashed.
12. Petition is disposed of in the above terms.
Crl. M.A. 4965/2012 (Stay)
13. Disposed of as infructuous.
A.K. PATHAK, J.
AUGUST 01, 2012
WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 12 of 12