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Kunal Rawlley & Others vs State Of Himachal Pradesh & … on 1 May, 2017

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AT SHIMLA

Cr.MMO No. 168 of 2016
Reserved on:18.04.2017
Decided on: 01.05.2017

.

Kunal Rawlley others
…..Petitioners
Versus

State of Himachal Pradesh Anothers
……Respondents

Coram
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Judge.

1 Whether approved for reporting?

For the petitioners: Mr. Umesh Sanoria, Advocate.

For the respondents: Mr. Pushpinder Jaswal, Dy. AG
r with Mr. Rajat Chauhan, Law

Officer, for respondent No. 1.
Mr. Suneet Goel, Advocate, for
respondent No. 2.

Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Judge

The present petition is maintained by the petitioners

under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,

(hereinafter to be called as “the Code”) for quashing of F.I.R

No. 103 of 2014, dated 30.07.2014, under Sections 498-A read

with Section 34 of the Indian Penal code, registered at Police

Station, Sadar, District Shimla, H.P.

2. Briefly stating the facts, giving rise to the present

petition are that the marriage between petitioner No. 1 and

1
Whether reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment?

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2

respondent No. 2/complainant (hereinafter to be called as

“the complainant”) was solemnized in the year 2013 as per

Hindu rites and after the said marriage, matrimonial dispute

.

was arose between the parties, as a result of which, the

complainant lodged FIR against the petitioners. However, later

on the complainant and the petitioners compromised the

matter and now they have no grudge against each other. As

per the copy of statement (Annexure-P-2), which was

recorded before the learned Additional District Sessions

Judge, Shimla, in the proceedings of first motion in petition,

under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, the complainant

has already undertaken to grant a no objection and

cooperate with the petitioners in quashing of above

mentioned FIR. On the basis of compromise, the parties do not

want to pursue any case against each other, hence the

present petition.

3. Respondent No. 1/State by filing reply to the

petition prays for the dismissal of the same.

4. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties

and gone through the record carefully.

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued

that as the parties have compromised the matter, vide

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Statement of the complainant (Annexure P-1) and no

purpose will be served by keeping the proceedings against

the petitioners, so the present petition requires to be allowed

.

and the FIR, registered against the petitioners, may be

quashed.

6. On the other hand, learned Deputy Advocate

General has argued that the offence is not compoundable,

so the petition deserves dismissal.

7. Learned counsel for respondent No.2 has argued

that as parties have entered into a compromise, so the

interest of justice demands that the present petition may be

allowed.

8. To appreciate the arguments of learned counsel

appearing on behalf of the parties, I have gone through the

entire record in detail.

9. In the present case the parties have already

maintained a petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu

Marriage Act, and compromised the matter in all aspects,

vide Statement of the complainant (Annexure P-2) and no

purpose will be served by keeping the proceedings pending

against the petitioners.

10. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

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Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab and another, (2012) 10, SCC

303, have held that the criminal offences arising out of

matrimony relating to dowry, etc or the family disputes where

.

the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the

parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of

cases, High Court may quash criminal proceedings if in its

view, because of the compromise between the offender

and victim. Relevant para of the judgment (supra) is

reproduced hereinbelow:-

” 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 Cr.PC 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 Cr.PC 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 of
criminal proceeding or criminal complaint under Section 482 Cr.PC
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 dismissed of indictment.

The power of the High court in quashing a criminal proceeding

of FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct
and different from the power given to a criminal court for
compounding the offences under Section 320 of the Code. Inherent
power is of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be

exercised in accord with the guideline engrafted in such power viz;
(1) to secure the ends of justice, or (ii) to prevent abuse of the
process of any court. Where High Court quashes a criminal
proceeding having regard to the fact that dispute between the
offender and victim has been settled although offences are not
compoundable, it does so as in its opinion, continuation of criminal
proceedings will be an exercise in futility and justice in the case
demands that the dispute between the parties is put to an end and
peace is restored; securing the ends of justice being the ultimate
guiding factor. No doubt, crimes are acts which have harmful effect
on the public and consist in wrongdoing that seriously endangers
and threatens well-being of society and it is not safe to leave the

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crime- doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute
amicably or that the victim has been paid compensation, yet
certain crimes have been made compoundable in law, with or
without permission of the Court.

In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or
complaint or FIR may be exercised where the offender and the
victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and

.

circumstances of each case and no category can be proscribed.

However, before exercise of such power, the High Court must have
due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and
serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc cannot be fittingly
quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender

have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature and
have a serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise
between the victim and the offender in relation to the offences under
special statutes like the Prevention or Corruption Act or the offences
committed by public servants while working in that capacity, etc.
cannot provide for any basis for quashing criminal proceedings
involving such offences.

But the criminal cases overwhelmingly and predominantly civil
flavour having stand on a different footing for the purposes of
quashing, particularly the offences arising from commercial,
financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or
the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or the

family disputes, where the wrong is basically private or personal in
nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this

category of cases, compromise between the offender and the
victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and
continuation of the criminal case would put the accused to great
oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to
him by not quashing the criminal case despite full and complete
settlement and compromise with the victim. In other words, the High

Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the
interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or
continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse
of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the

victim and the wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice,
it is appropriate that the criminal case is put to an end and if the
answer to the above questions is in the affirmative, the High Court

shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding.

11. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court B.S.

Joshi and others vs. State of Haryana and another, (2003) 4

SCC 675, have held 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 is well settled that the powers under section 482 have no

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limits. Of course, where there is more power, it becomes

necessary to exercise utmost care and caution while

invoking such powers. Their Lordships have held as under:

.

[6] In Pepsi Food Ltd. and another v. Special Judicial Magistrate

and others ((1998) 5 SCC 749), this Court with reference to Bhajan
Lal’s case observed that the guidelines laid therein as to where the
Court will exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code could
not be inflexible or laying rigid formulae to be followed by the
Courts. Exercise of such power would depend upon the facts and

circumstances of each case but with the sole purpose to prevent
abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of
justice. It is well settled that these powers have no limits. Of course,

where there is more power, it becomes necessary to exercise
utmost care and caution while invoking such powers.

[8] It is, thus, clear that Madhu Limaye’s case does not lay down any
general proposition limiting power of quashing the criminal
proceedings or FIR or complaint as vested in Section 482 of the

Code or extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution of
India. We are, therefore, of the view 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 is, however, a different matter depending upon the

facts and circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not
such a power.

[15] In view of the above discussion, we hold that the High Court

in exercise of its inherent powers can quash criminal proceedings or
FIR or complaint and Section 320 of the Code does not limit or affect
the powers under Section 482 of the Code.

12. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

Preeti Gupta and another vs. State of Jharkhand and another,

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(2010) 7 SCC 667, have held that the ultimate object of

justice is to find out the truth and punish the guilty and

protect the innocent. The tendency of implicating the

.

husband and all his immediate relations is also not

uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of the

criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the real truth.

Experience reveals that long and protracted criminal trials

lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship

amongst the parties. The criminal trials lead to immense

sufferings for all concerned. Their Lordships have further held

that permitting complainant to pursue complaint would be

abuse of process of law and the complaint against the

appellants was quashed. Their Lordships have held as under:

[27] A three-Judge Bench (of which one of us, Bhandari, J. was
the author of the judgment) of this Court in Inder Mohan Goswami

and Another v. State of Uttaranchal Others, 2007 12 SCC 1
comprehensively examined the legal position. The court came to

a definite conclusion and the relevant observations of the court
are reproduced in para 24 of the said judgment as under:-

“Inherent powers under section 482 Cr.P.C. though wide have to be
exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution and only
when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in
this section itself. Authority of the court exists for the advancement
of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to injustice is brought
to the notice of the court, then the Court would be justified in
preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers in absence of
specific provisions in the Statute.”

[28] We have very carefully considered the averments of the

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complaint and the statements of all the witnesses recorded at the
time of the filing of the complaint. There are no specific allegations
against the appellants in the complaint and none of the witnesses
have alleged any role of both the appellants.
[35] The ultimate object of justice is to find out the truth and punish

.

the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a

herculean task in majority of these complaints. The tendency of
implicating husband and all his immediate relations is also not

uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is
difficult to ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremely
careful and cautious in dealing with these complaints and must
take pragmatic realities into consideration while dealing with
matrimonial cases. The allegations of harassment of husband’s

close relations who had been living in different cities and never
visited or rarely visited the place where the complainant resided
would have an entirely different complexion. The allegations of the

complaint are required to be scrutinized with great care and

circumspection.

36. Experience reveals that long and protracted criminal trials
lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship
amongst the parties. It is also a matter of common knowledge that

in cases filed by the complainant if the husband or the husband’s
relations had to remain in jail even for a few days, it would ruin the
chances of amicable settlement altogether. The process of

suffering is extremely long and painful.

[38] The criminal trials lead to immense sufferings for all

concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may also not be
able to wipe out the deep scars of suffering of ignominy.
Unfortunately a large number of these complaints have not only

flooded the courts but also have led to enormous social unrest
affecting peace, harmony and happiness of the society. It is high
time that the legislature must take into consideration the
pragmatic realities and make suitable changes in the existing law.
It is imperative for the legislature to take into consideration the
informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities in
consideration and make necessary changes in the relevant
provisions of law. We direct the Registry to send a copy of this

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judgment to the Law Commission and to the Union Law Secretary,
Government of India who may place it before the Hon’ble Minister
for Law Justice to take appropriate steps in the larger interest of
the society.

.

13. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

Jitendra Raghuvanshi and others vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and

another, (2013) 4 SCC 58, have held that criminal

proceedings or FIR or complaint can be quashed under

section 482 Cr.P.C. in appropriate cases in order to meet

ends of justice. Even in non-compoundable offences

pertaining to matrimonial disputes, if court is satisfied that

parties have settled the disputes amicably and without any

pressure, then for purpose of securing ends of justice, FIR or

complaint or subsequent criminal proceedings in respect of

offences can be quashed. Their Lordships have held as

under:

[13] As stated earlier, it is not in dispute that after filing of a
complaint in respect of the offences punishable under Sections
498A and 406 of IPC, the parties, in the instant case, arrived at a

mutual settlement and the complainant also has sworn an affidavit
supporting the stand of the appellants. That was the position before
the trial Court as well as before the High Court in a petition filed
under Section 482 of the Code. A perusal of the impugned order of
the High Court shows that because the mutual settlement arrived
at between the parties relate to non-compoundable offence, the
court proceeded on a wrong premise that it cannot be
compounded and dismissed the petition filed under Section 482. A

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perusal of the petition before the High Court shows that the
application filed by the appellants was not for compounding of
non-compoundable offences but for the purpose of quashing the
criminal proceedings.

[14] The inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of

.

the Code are wide and unfettered. In B.S. Joshi , this Court has

upheld the powers of the High Court under Section 482 to quash
criminal proceedings where dispute is of a private nature and a

compromise is entered into between the parties who are willing to
settle their differences amicably. We are satisfied that the said
decision is directly applicable to the case on hand and the High
Court ought to have quashed the criminal proceedings by
accepting the settlement arrived at.

[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 its 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 the process of the
court or that the ends of justice require that the proceedings ought
to be quashed. We also make it clear that exercise of such power

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would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case
and it has to be exercised in appropriate cases in order to do real
and substantial justice for the administration of which alone the
courts exist. It is the duty of the courts to encourage genuine
settlements of matrimonial disputes and Section 482 of the Code

.

enables the High Court and Article 142 of the Constitution enables

this Court to pass such orders.

[17] In the light of the above discussion, we hold that the High

Court in exercise of its inherent powers can quash the criminal
proceedings or FIR or complaint in appropriate cases in order to
meet the ends of justice and Section 320 of the Code does not limit
or affect the powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the
Code. Under these circumstances, we set aside the impugned

judgment of the High Court dated 04.07.2012 passed in M.C.R.C.
No. 2877 of 2012 and quash the proceedings in Criminal Case No.
4166 of 2011 pending on the file of Judicial Magistrate Class-I,

Indore.”

14. Accordingly, taking into consideration the

averments and law, as discussed hereinabove, I find that the

interest of justice will be met, in case, the proceedings are

quashed, as the parties have compromised the matter vide

statement of the complainant (Annexure P-2), which is duly

placed on record.

15. Consequently, I find this case to be a fit case to

exercise powers under Section 482 of the Code and

accordingly F.I.R No. 103 of 2014, dated 30.07.2014, under

Sections 498-A read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal code,

registered at Police Station, Sadar, District Shimla, H.P., is

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ordered to be quashed. Since F.I.R No. 103 of 2014, dated

30.07.2014, under Sections 498-A read with Section 34 of the

Indian Penal code, registered at Police Station, Sadar, District

.

Shimla, H.P., has been quashed, consequent proceedings

arising out of the above mentioned FIR, against the

petitioners, are thereby rendered infructuous. However, the

same is particularly quashed so as to obviate any confusion.

16. The petition is accordingly disposed of alongwith

pending applications, if any.

r (Chander Bhusan Barowalia)

Judge
1st May, 2017
(raman)

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