HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 70
Case :- APPLICATION U/S 482 No. – 32739 of 2019
Applicant :- Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku
Opposite Party :- State Of Up And Another
Counsel for Applicant :- Abhishek Gupta
Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.
Hon’ble Sanjay Kumar Singh,J.
Sri Deepak Kumar Pal, learned Advocate has filed his vakalatnama on behalf of opposite party no.2, which is taken on record.
Heard learned counsel for the applicant, learned Additional Government Advocate for the State/opposite party No.1, Sri Deepak Kumar Pal, learned counsel appearing on behalf of opposite party No.2 and perused the record with the assistance of learned counsel for the parties.
This application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the applicant to quash the charge-sheet dated 09.05.2017 arising out of Case Crime No.17 of 2017, cognizance/summoning order dated 22.07.2017 and proceedings of Case no.5486 of 2017 (State Vs.Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku), under Sections 498A, 323 504, 506, 354, 342, 406 I.P.C., Police Station Mahila Thana, District -Gautam Budh Nagar, pending in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division)/FTC, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Filtering out unnecessary details, the basic fact in brief, which are necessary for disposal of this case are that the applicant Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku is husband of opposite party no.2 Smt.Kanchan Chauhan.
Learned counsel for the applicant has drawn the attention of the Court to the order dated 30.07.2019 passed by this Court in Application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. No.29497 of 2019, whereby upon being informed about the factum of inter-se compromise in between the parties concerned, the concerned court below was directed to verify the factum of compromise between the parties concerned. The said order dated 30.07.2019 is being reproduced herein-below:-
“Heard learned counsel for the applicant and the learned A.G.A. for the State and perused the record.
This application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the applicant with a prayer to quash the entire proceedings of Case No. 5486 of 2017 (State Vs. Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku) arising out of Case Crime No.17 of 2017, under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506, 354, 342, 406 IPC and 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act, Police Station Mahila Thana, District -Gautam Budh Nagar, pending in the court of Civil Judge (SD)/FTC, Gautam Budh Nagar.
It is submitted by the learned counsel for the applicant that the applicant is husband of the opposite party no.2 Smt.Kanchan Chauhan, who had lodged FIR dated 27.01.2017 against the applicant and three other co-accused persons namely Chatar Singh Chauhan (father-in-law), Santosh Devi (mother-in-law) and Manoj (mamiya sasur). The investigating officer submitted chargesheet dated 22.07.2017 against all the accused persons. Thereafter said chargesheet dated 22.07.2017 was challenged by the applicant as well as other co-accused persons in Application u/s 482 Cr.P.C.No.4378 of 2018 (Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku and three others vs. State of U.P. and another) in which prayer to the extent of applicant was refused but interim protection has been granted to rest of the accused vide order dated 22.03.2018, appended as Annexure No.1 to this application. It is next submitted that the applicant and opposite party no.2 entered into a compromise and settlement between them took place on 07.06.2019, a joint application under section 13-B(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has been preferred by the parties concerned before the Family Court Gautam Budh Nagar for dissolution of their marriage mentioning therein terms and conditions of settlement between the parties concerned. The said application has been appended as Annexure No.8 to the application.
Whether the parties have, in fact, compromised the matter or not, can best be ascertained by the Court below as such compromise has to be duly verified in presence of the parties concerned before the Court. Applicants are permitted to file compromise application before the concerned court below within two weeks.
Accordingly, this application is disposed of with a direction to the court concerned that if any such compromise is filed before it, it shall issue notices to all the signatories to the compromise requiring their personal presence and, thereafter, proceed to verify the compromise. If the aforesaid compromise is verified, a report to that effect shall be prepared by the court and the compromise will be made part of the record. The court in that scenario will allow the parties to obtain certified copy of the report as well as compromise and it will be open to the applicants to approach this Court again for quashing of the proceedings.
Till verification of compromise between the parties by the court concerned, no coercive action shall be taken against the applicants in the aforesaid case.”
It is submitted by learned counsel for the applicant that pursuant to aforesaid order dated 30.07.2019, compromise application dated 07.06.2019 has been filed on 07.08.2019 before the concerned court below by the parties concerned and they have also appeared before the court below. The said compromise application dated 07.06.2019 has been verified by the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division)/F.T.C. Gautam Budh Nagar by order dated 07.08.2019. Certified copy of the said verification order dated 07.08.2019 has been brought on record as Annexure no.4 to this application.
It is also submitted that on account of compromise entered into between the parties concerned, all disputes between them have come to and end, and, therefore, further proceedings against the applicants in the aforesaid case is liable to be quashed by this Court.
Learned Additional Government Advocate as well as learned counsel appearing on behalf of the opposite party no.2 do not dispute the aforesaid fact. Learned counsel for the opposite party no.2 has also submitted at the Bar that since the parties concerned have settled their dispute as mentioned above, therefore, opposite party no.2 has no grievance and has no objection in quashing the impugned criminal proceedings against the applicant.
After having heard the arguments of learned counsel for the parties, before proceedings further, it is apposite to refer some relevant judgments of the Apex Court, wherein the Apex Court has laid down the guideline for quashing of criminal proceedings arising out of non-compoundable offences under Section 320 Cr.P.C. on the basis of compromise and amicable settlement of matrimonial cases as well as criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transaction with an essentially civil flavour dispute, etc. between the parties concerned, which are as follows:-
(i) The Apex Court in case of B.S. Joshi and others Vs. State of Haryana and another (2003) 1 SCC (Cri) 848 gave its approving nod to the existence and exercise of High Court’s power to quash the criminal proceedings on compromise in suitable matrimonial cases. Paragraph nos. 14 and 15 of the said judgment are reproduced herein-below:-
“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.
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.”
(ii) The Apex Court in case of State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Laxmi Narayan and others AIR 2019 SC 1296, considering previous judgments and section 320 Cr.P.C. has laid down guideline for exercising the inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. in case of settlement of dispute between the parties concerned. Paragraph no. 13 of the said judgment is reproduced herein-below:-
“13. Considering the law on the point and the other decisions of this Court on the point, referred to hereinabove, it is observed and held as under:
i) that the power conferred under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences under Section 320 of the Code can be exercised having overwhelmingly and predominantly the civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes and when the parties have resolved the entire dispute amongst themselves;
ii) such power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involved heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society;
iii) similarly, such power is not to be exercised for the offences under the special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender;
iv) offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc., which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation. Therefore, the ultimate conclusion in paragraphs 29.6 and 29.7 of the decision of this Court in the case of Narinder Singh (supra) should be read harmoniously and to be read as a whole and in the circumstances stated hereinabove;
(v) while exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impart on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise etc.”
On going through the judgments referred herein above makes it very clear that 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. 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 in a criminal litigation emanating from matrimonial disputes, which are quintessentially of civil nature and other criminal litigations, which do not have grave and deleterious social fall-outs. The Court in the wider public interest may suitably exercise its power in appropriate case and terminate the pending proceedings in order to secure ends of justice or to prevent an abuse of the process of any court. 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 the 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.
The object of criminal law is primarily to visit the offender with certain consequences. He may be made to suffer punishment or by paying compensation to the victim, but the law at the same time also provides that it may not be necessary in every criminal offence to mete out punishment, particularly, if the parties concerned wants to bury the hatchet. If they want to move on in a matrimonial cases/dispute of civil nature/private dispute on the basis of compromise, they may be allowed to compound the offences in terms of settlement.
After compromise/settlement arrived at between the parties in the present case, the chance of ultimate conviction is bleak and therefore, no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing a criminal prosecution against the applicant to continue, as the same would be futile exercise and a sheer wastage of precious time of the Court. The continuation of a criminal proceedings after compromise would cause oppression and prejudice to the parties concerned.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case in the light of dictum and guideline laid down by the Apex Court as mentioned above, this Court feels that this is a fit case, where this Court can exercise its inherent power to secure the end of justice. In view of above interest of justice would be met, if the prayer of parties is acceded to and the criminal proceedings and other litigation between the parties is brought to an end.
As a fallout and consequence of above discussions, the impugned charge-sheet dated 09.05.2017 arising out of Case Crime No.17 of 2017, cognizance/summoning order dated 22.07.2017 and entire proceedings of case no.5486 of 2017 (State vs. Lavneesh Chauhan @ Cheeku), under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506, 354, 342, 406 I.P.C., Police Station Mahila Thana, District -Gautam Budh Nagar, pending in the court of Civil Judge (S.D.)/FTC, Gautam Budh Nagar against the applicants are hereby quashed.
The instant application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is allowed in terms of compromise as mentioned above.
Order Date :- 16.9.2019