HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 64
Case :- APPLICATION U/S 482 No. – 27177 of 2019
Applicant :- Ashok Kumar Gupta And 2 Ors
Opposite Party :- State Of Up And Another
Counsel for Applicant :- Anil Kumar Verma
Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.
Hon’ble Karuna Nand Bajpayee,J.
Sri Saurabh Kumar Srivastava, Advocate has filed short counter affidavit along with vakalatnama on behalf of the opposite party no. 2 today in Court, which has been taken on record.
This application u/s 482 SectionCr.P.C. has been filed with the prayer to quash the entire proceedings of Criminal Case No. 557 of 2017(Old Case No. 500 of 2015), SectionState vs. Ashok Kumar and others, arising out of Case Crime No. 122 of 2013, under Section 406 I.P.C., P.S.- Maruadeeh, District- Varanasi on the basis of compromise between the parties dated 5.7.2019, which is pending in the court of A.C.J.M.,Court No. 4, Varanasi and all consequential proceedings thereon.
Heard applicants’ counsel, learned counsel for opposite party no.2 and learned A.G.A. Perused the record.
The submission of applicants’ counsel is that through good offices of certain well-meaning persons the parties have amicably settled the dispute among themselves and have mutually compromised in the matter. According to the counsel there is no dispute left out any more in between the parties and they wish no more litigation in between them. Attention was drawn to the contents of the short counter affidavit that has been filed on behalf of the opposite party no. 2 Tej Bahadur Sahu in which the factum of compromise has been affirmed nd it has been specifically averred that the compromise in between the parties has taken place and there is no justification to continue the proceedings against the applicants and no dispute in between the parties is left. In fact, it has been prayed that it is expedient in the interest of justice to quash the entire criminal proceedings of the aforesaid criminal case.
The contention of the counsel for the applicants is that as the opp. party no. 2 is not interested to pursue the matter pending in the lower court and is not inclined to give any evidence against the accused, the acquittal of the accused- applicants is now a foregone conclusion. It shall be a sheer abuse of the court’s process, if the proceedings going on in the lower court are still allowed to go on further. Submission therefore is that in the wake of the inter-se compromise arrived at in between the parties, the impugned proceedings ought to be quashed.
Counsel for the opposite party no. 2 has also reiterated the submissions made on behalf of the applicants and it has been specifically stated by him that he has the instruction not to oppose this application and the opposite party no. 2 has no objection if the impugned proceedings pending against the applicants are quashed.
Before proceeding any further it shall be apt to make a brief reference to the following cases :
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. Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303
5. Narindra Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC 466.
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 the aforesaid cases has been expatiated in detail.
A perusal of the case law referred herein above makes it very clear that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has lent its judicial countenance to the exercise of inherent jurisdiction in such matters so that the abuse of the court’s process may be averted. Even in the cases which involved non compoundable offences their quashing has been approved by the Apex Court if the nature of the offence is such which does not have grave and wider social ramifications and where the dispute is more or less confined between the litigating parties. A criminal litigation emanating from matrimonial dispute has been found to be the proceedings of the same class where the inherent jurisdiction of this court may be suitably exercised if the parties inter-se have mutually decided to bury the hatchet and settle the matter amicably in between them. There are many other litigations which may also fall in the same class even though they do not arise out of matrimonial disputes. Several disputes which are quintessentially of civil nature and other criminal litigations which do not have grave and deleterious social fall-outs may also be settled between the parties. In such matters also when parties approached the court jointly with the prayer to put an end to the criminal litigations in which they had formerly locked their horns, or if the record or the mediation centre’s report indicates a rapprochement in between the parties, the Court in the wider public interest may suitably exercise its power and terminate the pending proceedings. Such positive exercise of the inherent jurisdiction can also find its vindication in a more pragmatic reason. When the complainant of a case or the victim of the offence itself expresses its resolve not to give evidence against the accused in the back drop of the compromise between the parties inter-se or if the fact of inter-se compromise in between the parties is apparent on the face of record, and they are still called upon to depose in the court, they in all probability, go back on their words and resile from their previous statements, the truthfulness of which is best known only to themselves. They are in such circumstances very likely to eat their words and perjure themselves. The solemn proceedings of the court often get reduced to a sham exercise and farce in such circumstances. The proceedings can hardly be taken to their logical culmination and in such circumstances, the prospect of the conviction gets lost. In all probability, the trial becomes a futile exercise in vain and the precious time of court is attended with nothing except a cruel wastage. Of course, there are crimes which are the offences against the State and the inter-se compromise between the litigants cannot be countenanced with and the court despite the rapprochement arrived at in between the parties, would still not like to terminate the prosecution of the culprits. There are crimes of very grave nature entailing far reaching deleterious ramifications against the society. In those matters, the courts do not encourage either mediation or a compromise through negotiation and even the Apex Court has carved out exceptions and did not approve the quashing of non-compoundable offences regardless of their gravity. The Courts have to be discreet and circumspect and must see whether the exercise of inherent jurisdiction is indeed serving the ends of justice or to the contrary defeating the same.
In the wake of the compromise arrived at between the parties inter-se if the proceedings of lower court are still allowed to go on, it is apparent that the same shall be a sheer abuse of the court’s process. The dockets of the pending cases are already bursting on their seams and the lower Courts must be allowed to engage themselves in more fruitful judicial exercise and not be saddled with matters like the one at hand whose fate is already sealed.
In the aforesaid circumstances of the case, it is deemed proper that in order to meet the ends of justice and avert the abuse of court’s process the impugned proceedings of the aforesaid case be quashed forthwith. The same therefore, are hereby quashed.
The application stands allowed.
A copy of this order be certified to the lower court forthwith.
Order Date :- 15.7.2019