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Aditya Chandershekhar Pandit & … vs State Of Nct Of Delhi & Anr on 1 August, 2012

Delhi High Court Aditya Chandershekhar Pandit & … vs State Of Nct Of Delhi & Anr on 1 August, 2012Author: A. K. Pathak

$~14

*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.

versus

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.

Safdarjung Enclave.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar, Mr.

Rohini Kumar and Mr. Sarat

T.S., Advs. for R-2 with R-2

in person.

CORAM:

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

petitioner no.2.

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

quashed.

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

Mediation/ Conciliation.

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

ga

WP (Crl.) 603/2012 Page 12 of 12

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