SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Lakhvir Singh And Others vs State Of Punjab And Others on 8 August, 2014

Punjab-Haryana High Court Lakhvir Singh And Others vs State Of Punjab And Others on 8 August, 2014

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 1

In the High Court for the States of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014

Date of decision: 8.8.2014

Lakhvir Singh and others ..Petitioners

Versus

State of Punjab and others ..Respondents

Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mahavir S. Chauhan

Present: Mr. Kewal Singh, Advocate for the petitioners.

Ms. Harsimrat Rai, D.A.G.Punjab

for respondent No.1

Mr. B.S.Bhalla, Advocate

for respondent Nos.2 and 3.

******

Mahavir S. Chauhan, J.(Oral)

By way of this petition under Section 482 of the Criminal

Procedure Code, 1973 (for brevity, the Code), petitioners, the

accused, in First Information Report (for short, FIR) No. 12 dated

29.6.2013, under Sections 498A/406/ 34 of the Indian Penal Code

(for short, the IPC), recorded at Police Station Women Cell, Jagraon,

District Ludhiana, seek quashing of the above FIR saying that the

matter has been amicably settled between them and the

complainant/victim(s) as evidenced by the deed of compromise

recorded in the mediation proceedings dated 10.1.2014 ( Annexure

P2).

While issuing notice of motion, the trial Magistrate was

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 2

asked to record statements of the parties concerned to find out if the

compromise is outcome of free will and consent of the parties and is

free from any undue influence/pressure/coercion. The trial Magistrate

has submitted a report dated 30.5.2014 affirming that the

compromise is outcome of free will and consent of the parties and is

free from any undue influence/pressure/coercion.

The counsel for the complainant-respondent No.2 and her

daughter-respondent No.3 as also the State have no objection if the

FIR and proceedings arising therefrom are quashed.

The matter pertains to matrimonial dispute and the

complainant-wife has settled it with the petitioners, who are husband

and parents-in-law of respondent No.2.

In B.S. Joshi v. State of Haryana and Anr., (2003) 4

SCC 675, the husband was one of the appellants while the wife was

Respondent No. 2 in the appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

They were living separately for quite some time. An FIR was

registered under Sections 498-A/323 and 406 of the Indian Penal

Code(for short,”the Code”) at the instance of the wife. When the

criminal case registered at the instance of the wife was pending, the

dispute between the husband and wife and their family members was

settled. Wife filed an affidavit that her disputes with the husband and

the other members of his family had been finally settled and she and

her husband had agreed for mutual divorce. Based on the said

affidavit, the matter was taken to the High Court by both the parties

and they jointly prayed for quashing of the criminal proceedings

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 3

launched against the husband and his family members on the basis

of the FIR registered at the wife’s instance under Sections 498-

A and 406 IPC. The High Court dismissed the petition for quashing

the FIR as, in its view, the offences under Sections 498-A and 406,

Indian Penal Code were non-compoundable and the inherent powers

under Section 482 of the Code could not be invoked to by-pass

Section 320 of the Code. It is from this order that the matter reached

the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the apex Court held that the High

Court in exercise of its inherent powers could quash criminal

proceedings or FIR or complaint and Section 320 of the Code did not

limit or affect the powers under Section 482 of the Code and held as

under:

“14. There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-A containing Section 498- A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498-A 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 hypertechnical view would be counterproductive 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 XX-A of the Indian Penal Code.

15. In view of the above discussion, we hold that

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 4

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.”

Impressing upon the courts to promote settlements in matrimonial cases, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Jitendra Raghuvanshi and Ors. Vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and Anr., 2013 IV AD (S.C.) 59: 2013(4) ADJ 40: 2013(2) ALD(Cri) 148: 2013(3) BomCR(Cri) 438: 116(2013) CLT 572: 2013(2) Crimes 90(SC): (2013)3 GLR 1875: ILR 2013(2) Kerala 89: 2013(2) J.L.J.R. 225: 2013(2) JCC 1365: 2013(2) JLJ 128, JT2013(4) SC 98: 2013(2) KLT 47: 2013-4-LW 146, 2013-2-LW(Crl) 284: 2013(2) MLJ(Crl) 736: 2013(II) OLR 97: 2013(2) PLJR 312: 2013(2) RCR(Criminal) 427: 2013(2) RLW 1416: 2013(3) SCALE 537: (2013)4 SCC 58: 2013(2) UC 960 (decided On: 15.03.2013), ruled as under: “11. The inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code are wide and unfettered. In B.S. Joshi (supra), 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.

12. 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

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 5

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.

13. 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 Section482 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 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

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 6

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.

14. 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.”

From the above it is established that the parties to the lis

have resolved the inter se dispute amicably and to live in peace and

harmony. Reference may be made to a Five-Judges Bench decision

of this Court in Kulwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 2007(3) RCR

(Crl.) 1052:2007(3) PLR 439:2007(2) ILR (Punjab) 338:2007(3)

AICLR 818:2007(4) CCR 280:2007(59) AIC 435:2007(4) CTC 769:

2007(4) KLT 245, wherein it has been held as under:

“27. The power to do complete justice is the very essence of every judicial justice dispensation system. It cannot be diluted by distorted perceptions and is not a slave to anything, except to the caution and circumspection, the standards of which the Court sets before it, in exercise of such plenary and unfettered power inherently vested in it while donning the cloak of compassion to achieve the ends of justice. No embargo, be in the shape of

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 7

Section 320(9) of the Criminal Procedure Code, or any other such curtailment, can whittle down the power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

28. The compromise, in a modern society, is the sine qua non of harmony and orderly behaviour. It is the soul of justice and if the power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code is used to enhance such a compromise which, in turn, enhances the social amity and reduces friction, then it truly is “finest hour of justice”. Disputes which have their genesis in a matrimonial discord, landlord-tenant matters, commercial transactions and other such matters can safely be dealt with by the Court by exercising its powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the event of a compromise, but this is not to say that the power is limited to such cases. There can never be any such rigid rule to prescribe the exercise of such power, especially in the absence of any premonitions to forecast and predict eventualities which the cause of justice may throw up during the course of a litigation.

29. The only inevitable conclusion from the above discussion is that there is no statutory bar under the Criminal Procedure Code which can affect the inherent power of this Court under Section 482. Further, the same cannot be limited to matrimonial cases alone and the Court has the wide power to quash the proceedings even in non-compoundable offences notwithstanding the bar under Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in order to prevent the abuse of law and to secure the ends of justice.

30. The power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code is to be exercised Ex-Debitia Justitia to prevent an abuse of process of Court. There can neither be an exhaustive list nor the defined para-meters to enable a High Court to invoke or exercise its inherent powers. It will always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. The power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code has no limits. However, the High

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 8

Court will exercise it sparingly and with utmost care and caution. The exercise of power has to be with circumspection and restraint. The Court is a vital and an extra-ordinary effective instrument to maintain and control social order. The Courts play role of paramount importance in achieving peace, harmony and ever-lasting congeniality in society. Resolution of a dispute by way of a compromise between two warring groups, therefore, should attract the immediate and prompt attention of a Court which should endeavour to give full effect to the same unless such compromise is abhorrent to lawful composition of the society or would promote savagery.”

It may also be of benefit to extract from Gian Singh v.

State of Punjab, (SC)2012(4) Recent Apex Judgments (RAJ)

549:2012(4) RCR(Crl.) 543:2012(5) CTC 526:2012 Ker.LJ 141:2012

(4) KLT 108:2012(4) Law Herald (SC) 3025:2012(5) Knt.LJ 476:

2012(4) Cri.CC 774:2012 (10) SCC 303:2012 AIR (SC)(Cri) 1796:

2012(CriLJ 4934:2012(4) AICLR 551:2012(4) Crimes (SC)

155:2012(9) SCALE 257:2012(2) WLC (SC) Criminal 753, following

observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India:

“57. The position that emerges from the above discussion can be summarised thus: the power of the High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or 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; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court. In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or F.I.R may be exercised where the offender and victim

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 9

have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. 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 of mental depravity or 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 serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise between the victim and offender in relation to the offences under special statutes like Prevention of 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 having overwhelmingly and pre-dominatingly civil flavour stand on 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, High Court may quash criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the compromise between the offender and victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal case would put 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 wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 10

an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding.”

It is anybody’s guess that the parties having entered a

compromise, possibility of the trial resulting into conviction of the

accused is remote and bleak and that being so continuation of

criminal proceedings would visit the accused with great oppression,

prejudice and extreme injustice. Rather it would be unfair and

contrary to the interest of justice, or say abuse of the process of the

Court, if the criminal proceedings are allowed to continue. Ends of

justice would be met only if the criminal proceedings are put to an

end because this would allow the parties to translate their desire to

live in peace into reality. The only consideration for the compromise

reached between the parties seems to be their desire to bury the

hatchet for all times to come. The compromise is also found to be in

the interest of public at large, for, it will add to the peace of the

society and will promote peaceful co-existence. The Courts are

bound to play role of paramount importance in achieving peace,

harmony and ever-lasting congeniality in society. Resolution of a

dispute by way of a compromise between two warring groups,

therefore, should attract the immediate and prompt attention of the

Court which should endeavour to give full effect to the same unless

such compromise is abhorrent to lawful composition of the society or

would promote savagery

In the consequence, I accept the petition and quash the

FIR, in question, as also the proceedings arising therefrom and

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

CRM-M No.8013 of 2014 11

discharge the petitioners/accused from the proceedings.

August 8,2014 (MAHAVIR S.CHAUHAN) nk JUDGE

Kant Nirmal

2014.08.13 11:59

I am the author of this

document

high court chandigarh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2021 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation