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Dheeraj Jaggi & Ors vs State & Anr on 29 March, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 29th March, 2019

+ CRL.M.C. 4746/2015 and Crl. M.As. 13030/2016, 11985-
11986/2018
DHEERAJ JAGGI ORS ….. Petitioners
Through: Mr. D. Kumar, Advocate

versus
STATE ANR ….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Raghuvinder Varma, APP for
State
Mrs. Renuka Gupta, attorney of R-2
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 08.10.2008. The said parties separated
from each other on 05.01.2011. On 11.03.2014, the second
respondent lodged first information report (FIR) no.52/2014 with
police station CAW Cell Nanak Pura, alleging offences punishable
under Sections 498A, 406, 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC)
against her husband (first petitioner), his father (second petitioner), his
mother (third petitioner) and his sisters (fourth to seventh petitioners).
On conclusion of the investigation, police filed report under Section
173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC) on which
cognizance was taken, the said matter being pending on the file of the
Metropolitan Magistrate.

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 1 of 8

2. The parties were referred to Delhi High Court Legal Services
Committee where they agreed to amicably resolve the dispute by
entering into a settlement agreement on 11.08.2014 in terms of which
they 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.

3. The petition, thus, has been moved before this court invoking
Section 482 Cr.PC seeking quashing of the FIR no.52/2014 under
Sections 406, 498A, 34 IPC of Police Station CAW Cell, Nanak Pura.

4. The second respondent on being served with the notice has
appeared through her mother who has been constituted as her special
attorney by Special Power of Attorney executed on 23.03.2019. It
appears the marriage of the parties has been dissolved by a decree of
divorce, also on the basis of the aforementioned settlement by mutual
consent, in HMA 321/2015, by judgment dated 11.05.2015 of the
Principal Judge, Family court, New Delhi District. The second
respondent has remarried and is now settled in Doha (Qatar). On this
account, and also on account of other domestic compulsions, she is
unable to appear in person in these proceedings and consequently
having authorized and appointed her mother Mrs. Renuka Gupta as
her special attorney.

5. The special attorney Mrs. Renuka Gupta has sworn an affidavit
today which alongwith the special power of attorney have been

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 2 of 8
submitted in the Registry vide diary no.292603/2019. The said
documents have been called for and taken on record.

6. The second respondent through her attorney (mother) has, inter
alia, confirmed on oath that the dispute was settled amicably through
the above mentioned settlement agreement dated 11.08.2014, in terms
of which the first petitioner was to pay to her a total amount of
Rs.6 Lakhs as full and final settlement of all her claims, this besides
return of the stridhan articles. It appears that there was some
deficiency in the return of the stridhan articles and, on this account, it
was also mutually agreed by the parties that the first petitioner would
pay an additional amount of Rs.1 Lakh to the second respondent, the
total liability thus undertaken being in the sum of Rs.7 Lakhs.

7. The second respondent has also confirmed on oath through the
affidavit of her attorney that she has already received from the first
petitioner a total amount of Rs.4,50,000/-, in two instalments, first of
Rs.2 Lakhs at the time of hearing on the first motion petition and
Rs.2,50,000/- at the time of recording of the statements on the second
motion petition for divorce by mutual consent. Thus, a total amount
of Rs.2,50,000/- is yet to be paid. The first petitioner has handed over,
and the second respondent through her attorney has received at the
hearing the said balance amount of Rs.2,50,000/-, in the form of a
demand draft bearing no.008133 dated 22.01.2019 drawn on HDFC
Bank in the name of respondent no.2, copy whereof has been taken on
record.

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 3 of 8

8. 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.

9. 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 :

“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)

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 4 of 8

10. 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
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)

11. 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 :

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 5 of 8

“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)

12. 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
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)

13. The above views in the context of matrimonial disputes
resulting in criminal proceedings have been consistently followed over

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 6 of 8
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
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)

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 7 of 8

14. 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 bringing about peace. Allowing
continuance of the criminal action would be fruitless and clearly an
abuse of judicial process.

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

16. In the above facts and circumstances, the petition and the
applications filed therewith are allowed. The crime registered by the
police vide FIR no.52/2014 under Sections 406, 498A, 34 IPC of
Police Station CAW Cell, Nanak Pura, New Delhi and the
proceedings emanating therefrom are hereby quashed.

17. The petition is disposed of accordingly.

Dasti to both sides.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

March 29, 2019
yg

Crl. M.C. No.4746/2015 Page 8 of 8

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