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Anup Singh vs State (Govt Of Nct Of Delhi) & Anr on 19 November, 2018

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 19th November, 2018

+ CRL.M.C. 2742/2016 and Crl.M.A.11728/2016 (stay)
ANUP SINGH ….. Petitioner
Through: Mr. Neeraj Bhardwaj, Advocate
with petitioner in person.

versus

STATE (GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI) ANR….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Sanjeev Sabharwal, APP
for the State with ASI Tej
Prakash, PS Kirti Nagar.
Respondent No.2 in person.
CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R.K.GAUBA

ORDER (ORAL)

1. The second respondent was married to the first petitioner as per
Hindu rites and ceremonies on 28.06.2010. On 17.11.2011, she
lodged first information report (FIR) no.354/2011 with police station
Kirti Nagar alleging offences punishable under Section 498A, 406, 34
of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against her husband, the petitioner.
On conclusion of the investigation, police filed a report under Section
173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) on which
cognizance was taken, the said matter being pending on the file of the
Metropolitan Magistrate. The parties were referred to Delhi Mediation
Centre at Tis Hazari Court, Delhi where they agreed to amicably
resolve the matter by entering into a settlement dated 11.08.2014 in

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 1 of 8
terms of which the parties were to approach, as per the timelines
indicated, the appropriate forum for obtaining a decree of divorce,
they also having agreed, inter alia, for the criminal case arising out of
the aforementioned FIR to be sought to be quashed.

2. The petition, thus, has been moved before this court invoking
Article 227 of the Constitution of India and Section 482 Cr. PC
seeking quashing of the FIR 354/11 under Sections 498-A, 406, 34
IPC of Police Station Kirti Nagar.

3. The second respondent on being served with the notice has
appeared in person.

4. By order dated 14.09.2018, the parties were referred to Joint
Registrar for recording of their statements. On 25.10.2018, the
Registrar dealing with the mater recorded the statement of the second
respondent and of the investigating officer of the case. The identity of
the second respondent has been confirmed not only by the
investigating officer ASI Tej Prakash, but also by the copy of aadhar
card submitted by the second respondent. In the said statement the
second respondent confirms that she has settled the matter and that the
petitioner has paid to her an amount of Rs.20,000/- in the court on the
date of recording of her statement, in full and final settlement, there
being no dispute remaining.

5. In terms of the settlement dated 11.08.2014, the petitioner was
to pay to the second respondent a total amount of Rs.1,00,000/-. The
copy of the proceedings recorded on 07.09.2015 on MHA Petition

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 2 of 8
No.1439/2015 in the court of Principal Judge, Family Court, West
District at Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, as submitted on record confirms
that the petitioner had earlier paid to the second respondent and she
had received in three installments, total amount of Rs.80,000/-. The
balance amount of Rs.20,000/- was paid to her on 25.10.2018, thus
discharging the liability in terms of the settlement agreement. She,
however, submits that costs had been imposed at one stage in the sum
of Rs.5,000/- which has not been paid so far. The counsel for the
petitioner, at this stage, tendered the amount of Rs.5,000/- in cash to
the second respondent, which she has received at the hearing today.

6. Pertinent to note here that offence under Section 498A IPC is
not compoundable. The parties are constrained to move this court for
quashing on the basis of amicable resolution arrived at by them in the
facts and circumstances noted above.

7. The scope and ambit of the power conferred on this court by
Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC) read
with Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, in the particular
context of prayer for quashing criminal proceedings, was examined by
the Supreme Court in B.S. Joshi and Ors. Vs. State of Haryana and
Anr., (2003) 4 SCC 675, against the backdrop of a catena of earlier
decisions. Noting, with reference to the decision in State of
Karnakata Vs. L Muniswamy, (1977) 2 SCC 699, that in exercise of
this “inherent” and “wholesome power”, the touchstone is as to
whether “the ends of justice so require”, and it was observed thus :

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 3 of 8

“10. … that in a criminal case, the veiled object
behind a lame prosecution, the very nature of the
material on which the structure of the prosecution
rests and the like would justify the High Court in
quashing the proceeding in the interest of justice and
that the ends of justice are higher than the ends of
mere law though justice had got to be administered
according to laws made by the legislature. …that the
compelling necessity for making these observations is
that without a proper realization of the object and
purpose of the provision which seeks to save the
inherent powers of the High Court to do justice
between the State and its subjects, it would be
impossible to appreciate the width and contours of
that salient jurisdiction.”

(emphasis supplied)

8. The Supreme Court in B.S. Joshi (supra) further noted as
under :-

“What would happen to the trial of the case where
the wife does not support the imputations made in
the FIR of the type in question. As earlier noticed,
now she has filed an affidavit that the FIR was
registered at her instance due to temperamental
differences and implied imputations. There may be
many reasons for not supporting the imputations.
It may be either for the reason that she has
resolved disputes with her husband and his other
family members and as a result thereof she has
again started living with her husband with whom
she earlier had differences or she has willingly
parted company and is living happily on her own
or has married someone else on the earlier
marriage having been dissolved by divorce on
consent of parties or fails to support the
prosecution on some other similar grounds. In

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 4 of 8
such eventuality, there would almost be no chance
of conviction. Would it then be proper to decline to
exercise power of quashing on the ground that it
would be permitting the parties to compound non-
compoundable offences? The answer clearly has to
be in the “negative”. It would, however, be a
different matter if the High Court on facts declines
the prayer for quashing for any valid reasons
including lack of bona fides.”

(emphasis supplied)

9. Holding that “special features in …matrimonial matters are
evident” and that it is “the duty of the court to encourage genuine
settlements of matrimonial disputes”, referring to Madhavrao
Jiwajirao Scindia Vs. Sambhajirao Chandrojiroo Angre, (1988) 1
SCC 692, it was further observed that :

“11. … Where, in the opinion of the court, chances
of an ultimate conviction are bleak and, therefore,
no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing
a criminal prosecution to continue, the court may,
while taking into consideration the special facts of
a case, also quash the proceedings.”

(emphasis supplied)

10. In Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab and Anr. (2012) 10 SCC 303,
the Supreme Court contrasted the request for quashing of criminal
proceedings on the basis of settlement with the possibility of
compounding of an offence and observed thus :-

“57. Quashing of offence or criminal proceedings
on the ground of settlement between an offender

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 5 of 8
and victim is not the same thing as compounding of
offence. They are different and not interchangeable.
Strictly speaking, the power of compounding of
offences given to a court under Section 320 is
materially different from the quashing of criminal
proceedings by the High Court in exercise of its
inherent jurisdiction. In compounding of offences,
power of a criminal court is circumscribed by the
provisions contained in Section 320 and the court is
guided solely and squarely thereby while, on the
other hand, the formation of opinion by the High
Court for quashing a criminal offence or criminal
proceeding or criminal complaint is guided by the
material on record as to whether the ends of justice
would justify such exercise of power although the
ultimate consequence may be acquittal or dismissal
of indictment.”

(emphasis supplied)

11. The above views in the context of matrimonial disputes
resulting in criminal proceedings have been consistently followed over
the years, as may be further illustrated by the decision of a bench of
three Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court in Jitendra Raghuvanshi
and Ors. Vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and Anr., (2013) 4 SCC 58, the
following observations summarising the philosophy succinctly :-

“15. 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 the Code would not be a bar to the

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 6 of 8
exercise of power of quashing of FIR, complaint or
the subsequent criminal proceedings.

16. 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 their 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 process of court or that the ends
of justice require that the proceedings ought to be
quashed…”

(emphasis supplied)

12. In a case where criminal proceedings arise essentially out of
matrimonial dispute and the parties have decided to bury the hatchet,
the court must examine if there is any likelihood of the criminal
prosecution resulting in conviction. In fact-situation wherein the
matrimonial relation has been brought to an end by mutual consent
and the parties are eager to move on with their respective lives seeking
closure and if there is nothing to indicate lack of bonafide on the part
of any side, denial of the prayer for quashing the criminal case would
restore acrimony rather than bring about peace. Allowing continuance

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 7 of 8
of the criminal action would be fruitless and clearly an abuse of
judicial process.

13. The case at hand passes the muster of the above-noted tests.

14. In the above facts and circumstances, the petition is allowed.
The crime registered by the police vide FIR 354/2011 under Sections
498A, 406, 34 IPC of Police Station Kirti Nagar and the proceedings
emanating therefrom are hereby quashed.

15. The petition and the application filed therewith stand disposed
of accordingly.

Dasti to both sides.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

NOVEMBER 19, 2018
vk

Crl. M.C. No.2742/2016 Page 8 of 8

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