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Dheeraj Kapoor And Ors. vs State Of Nct Of Delhi And Anr. on 9 October, 2007

Delhi High Court Dheeraj Kapoor And Ors. vs State Of Nct Of Delhi And Anr. on 9 October, 2007Author: P Bhasin Bench: P Bhasin

JUDGMENT

P.K. Bhasin, J.

Page 3020

1. The present petition is filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Cr.P.C.’) for quashing of FIR No. 798/2000 under Sections 498A/406/506/34 of Indian Penal Code (‘I.P.C.’ in short), registered at Police Station Tilak Nagar on 19-09-2000 and the trial going on in the Court of Ms. Barkha Gupta, Metropolitan Magistrate, Rohini, Delhi.

2. It is alleged in the present petition that the marriage between petitioner No. 1 and respondent No. 2 was solemnized as per Hindu rituals and customs on 03.12.1998. Out of the wedlock a male child was born on 03.03.2000. Petitioner No. 2 is the mother-in-law and petitioner No. 3 is the sister-in-law of respondent No. 2. The complainant respondent No. 2 Page 3021 herein had alleged in her complaint to the police on 19-9-2000 that at the time of marriage no demand for dowry was made but two days after her marriage with petitioner No. 1 all the petitioners started harassing, taunting and torturing her for bringing less dowry and not fulfillling their expectations which forced her to lodge an FIR. After the completion of the investigation challan was filed in Court and the trial is going on in the Court of Ms. Barkha Gupta, MM, Rohini.

3. During the pendency of the above said criminal proceedings, complainant and the petitioners after having resolved their claims, disputes have arrived at an amicable settlement as regards the custody of the child, maintenance, stridhan/dowry articles etc. and then respondent No. 2 and petitioner No. 1 filed a petition under Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking divorce by mutual consent. The learned Additional District Judge vide his judgment dated 25.02.2006 in H.M.A. No. 306/2006 has dissolved the marriage between the petitioner No. 1 and respondent No. 2.

4. Since the offences for which the petitioners were being prosecuted were not compoundable as per the provisions of Section 320 Cr.P.C the present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed by the petitioners for quashing the FIR and the resultant criminal proceedings in Court. Notice of the petition was sent to the State and respondent No. 2-complainant. Although office report Respondent No. 2 appeared in person on 11-9-2007 before this Court and she affirmed that disputes have been amicably resolved and so she is no more interested in pursuing her case against any of the petitioners nor had she any claim of any kind against anyone of the petitioners. She supported the prayer of the petitioners for quashing of the FIR and the criminal proceedings resulting there from stating that she and her husband(petitioner No. 1 herein) have decided to part ways for the better after having got their marriage dissolved by way of a petition for divorce by mutual consent.

5. In support of the prayer made in the petition for quashing of the FIR, learned Counsel for the petitioners placed reliance upon a judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in ‘B.S. Joshi and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Anr. . That was also a case under Sections 498A/323/406 IPC and during the pendency of criminal proceedings the disputes between the parties were settled. Petition was filed in the High Court for quashing of the FIR but that petition was dismissed by the High Court on the ground that the offences under Sections 498A and 406 IPC being non-compoundable the inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. could not be invoked to bypass the mandatory provision of Section 320 Cr.P.C. While reversing the decision of the High Court the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that ‘if for the purpose of securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing.’ It was also observed that in case of matrimonial disputes it becomes the duty of Page 3022 the Court to encourage genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes. In paras No. 13 and 14 of the judgment it was observed as under:

13. The observations made by this Court, though in a slightly different context, in G.V. Rao v. L.H.V. Prasad and Ors. are very apt for determining the approach required to be kept in view in matrimonial dispute by the courts, it was said that there has been an outburst of matrimonial disputes in recent times. Marriage is a sacred ceremony the main purpose of which is to enable the young couple to settle down in life and live peacefully. But little matrimonial skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume serious proportions resulting in commission of heinous crimes in which elders of the family are also involved with the result that those who could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There are many other reason which need not be mentioned here for not encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties may ponder over their defaults and terminate their disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and years to conclude and in that process the parties lose their ‘young’ days in chasing their ‘cases’ in different courts.

14. There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-A containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The hyper technical view would be counter productive and would act against interests of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is every likelihood that non-exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XXA of Indian Penal Code.

After observing so the Hon’ble Supreme Court quashed the FIR in view of the fact that the matrimonial dispute between the parties had been amicably resolved.

6. The complainant in the present case, as noticed already, has herself admitted before this Court that because of the settlement of the disputes with the petitioners she is no more interested in the prosecution of the petitioners pursuant to the FIR got registered by her. She has filed an affidavit also in this Court to that effect. Thus, in view of the afore-quoted views of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in B.S. Joshi’s case (supra) the FIR registered at the instance of respondent No. 2-complainant against the petitioners as well as the criminal trial arising out of the said FIR deserve to be quashed since the parties have amicably resolved their disputes.

7. This petition is accordingly allowed and consequently the FIR No. 798/2000 under Sections 498A/406/506/34 IPC registered at police station Tilak Nagar and the on-going trial in the Court of Ms. Barkha Gupta, Metropolitan Magistrate, Rohini Courts, Delhi are hereby quashed.

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