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Anant S/O Ramchandra Pundlik And … vs State Of Maharashtra And Ors. on 3 July, 2003

Bombay High Court Anant S/O Ramchandra Pundlik And … vs State Of Maharashtra And Ors. on 3 July, 2003Equivalent citations: I (2004) DMC 36, 2004 (1) MhLj 831 Author: R Mohite Bench: R Mohite

JUDGMENT

R.S. Mohite, J.

1. Heard the learned advocates for the parties.

2. Rule. By consent of the parties, rule is made returnable forthwith.

3. This is a criminal application filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for quashing Criminal Case No. 201 of 2001 pending before the IInd Judicial Magistrate First Class, Nagpur, and for acquitting the applicants therein.

4. The facts of the case are that the applicants came to be arrayed in Crime No. 331 of 2001 registered by Sitaburdi Police Station, Nagpur, for the alleged offence under Sections 498A and 420 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The said crime was registered on a complaint lodged by the present Non-applicant No. 3 Vilas Ramchandra Pathak, who is the father of Non-applicant No. 2 – Smt. Vidula Abhay Pundlik. The said Vidula Abhay Pundlik was married to applicant No. 4 – Abhay Anant Pundlik on 14-2-2000. The matrimonial disputes arose and the parties started residing separately since 14-6-2001. Ultimately, in the year 2001, Non-applicant No. 2 – Vidula filed a petition bearing No. A-482/2001 in the Family Court, Nagpur. The father of Non-applicant No. 2 also lodged a complaint in the Sitaburdi Police Station for which the Crime No. 331 of 2001, came to be registered as aforesaid. The police investigated the matter and filed a charge sheet and ultimately the applicants are arrayed as accused in Regular Criminal Case No. 201 of 2001, pending on the file of IInd J.M.F.C., Nagpur. In due course, the parties entered into a compromise out of Court. The terms of compromise were agreed between the parties and on 17-3-2003, a joint application was made in HMP No. A-482 of 2001 for conversion of the petition under Sections 12 and 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act into a petition for grant of divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act. In the said application, the parties laid down the terms of compromise. One of the term provided in para 2(d) of the compromise terms was that Criminal Case No. 201 of 2001 would be withdrawn by the wife along with all allegations made against the husband. It was further provided that the wife would give her no objection for quashing the Criminal Case and would not prosecute the same.

5. Thereafter, since the offence under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code could not be compounded, the parties have thought it fit to move the present application. Reliance is placed upon a judgment of the Apex Court in the case of B.S. Joshi and ors. v. State of Haryana and Anr., , in which the Apex Court has laid down that powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code are not limited by provisions of Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Apex Court in the said case laid down that it is the duty of the Court to encourage genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes. In that case also parties had settled their disputes and had agreed to a mutual divorce. However, the High Court had refused to quash the proceedings on the ground that the settlement of dispute could not be a ground for quashing the proceedings because it did not fall into the illustrations given in para 102 of Bhajanlal’s case. The Apex Court held that illustrations given in para 102 of Bhajanlal’s case were merely illustrative. The Apex Court then went on to quash the FIR. In the present case, the parties have settled their disputes out of the Court. No purpose would be served in continuing with the complaint specially when the wife is not likely to support the prosecution case, she being the main aggrieved party in this case.

6. It may be mentioned here that the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of respondent No. 1 – State and the learned advocate appearing on behalf of respondents No. 2 and 3 states that they have no objection for quashing of the aforesaid case.

7. In this view of the matter, I am inclined to allow this application. Rule is made absolute in terms of prayer (1) and Criminal Case No. 201 of 2001 pending in the file of 2nd Judicial Magistrate First Class, Nagpur, is quashed and set aside and all the applicants are acquitted of all charges.

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