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Lokesh Mittal & Ors. vs The State & Anr. on 6 August, 2019

$~ 22
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 6th August, 2019

+ Crl.M.C.995/2019

LOKESH MITTAL ORS. ….. Petitioners
Through: Mr. Puneet Ahluwalia, Adv.
with petitioners in person.

versus

THE STATE ANR. ….. Respondent
Through: Ms. Meenakshi Chauhan, APP
for the State with Insp. Narinder
Kaur.
Mr. Ankit Agarwal, Adv. for R-
2 with R-2 in person.
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 21.01.2015. From out of the
wedlock, a girl child named Rishita took birth on 21.10.2015. The
marriage ran into rough weather, the second respondent raised
allegations of she having been subjected to cruelty and deprived of her
stridhan, first information report (FIR) no. 02/2016 having been
registered by police station CAW Cell, Nanak Pura, New Delhi on her
complaint involving offences punishable under Sections 498A, Section406,
Section34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (SectionIPC), the case being directed against
the husband (first petitioner), his parents (second and third petitioners)

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 1 of 8
and his sister (fourth petitioner). On conclusion of investigation,
police filed report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (SectionCr.P.C.) on which cognizance was taken, the said
matter now pending on the file of Metropolitan Magistrate.

2. The parties also came to be involved in certain other cases
including the petition under Section 12 of Protection of Women from
SectionDomestic Violence Act, 2005 and another petition under Section 125
Cr.P.C. instituted by the second respondent, the first petitioner also
having filed a petition for divorce under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage
Act, 1955. They, however, were persuaded by their well-wishers to
enter into an amicable settlement and executed memorandum of
understanding (MoU) on 21.01.2019. It is on the basis of the said
MoU that the present petition was filed seeking quashing of the
proceedings arising out of the criminal case.

3. The second respondent has entered appearance on notice and
pursuant to the directions in the previous order has submitted affidavit
sworn on 30.07.2019. Along with the said affidavit, she has placed on
record copy of her aadhar card as proof of her identity.

4. By the above-mentioned affidavit, and at the hearing in person,
the second respondent confirms the settlement in terms of the MoU
dated 21.01.2019, copy whereof has been filed as Annexure P-2 to the
petition. She further confirmed that in terms of the said settlement,
she has to receive from the first petitioner a total sum of Rs. one crore
twenty five lakhs, which includes Rs. Sixty five lakhs to be paid to her
on account of her claim towards permanent alimony and stridhan etc.,
the balance amount of Rs. Sixty lakhs to be paid in the form of fixed

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 2 of 8
deposit receipt (FDR) taken out in the name of the minor child of the
parties, who is in her care and custody.

5. The other cases involving the parties have already been
withdrawn and their marriage has been dissolved by a decree of
divorce granted by the Family Court on 16.02.2019 in HMA No.
411/2019. The second respondent acknowledges and confirms that she
has already received amount of Rs. Sixty five lakhs and her
expectation in the present hearing being only for the balance amount
of Rs. Sixty lakhs which is to be held by her in the name of the minor
child as per the MoU. The FDR no. 396603060030324 dated
11.02.2019 issued by Union Bank of India, Ashok Vihar, New Delhi
in the name of the minor child had been prepared and was handed for
safe custody to Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Senior Advocate on behalf of the
parties. At the hearing, Mr. Bharat Sharma, associate of Mr. Ramesh
Gupta, has handed over to the second respondent, the above-
mentioned FDR against proper acknowledgement, a copy thereof
having been submitted on record as Annexure P-4 (page 68 of the
paper book).

6. The learned counsel on both sides having taken instructions
from their respective clients, jointly submit for record their mutual
agreement and understanding that the minor child of the parties i.e.
Rishita Mittal, will be entitled to encash the proceeds of the FDR upon
attaining the age of majority.

7. Pertinent to note here that offence under Section 498A IPC is
not compoundable. The parties are constrained to move this court for

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 3 of 8
quashing on the basis of amicable resolution arrived at by them in the
facts and circumstances noted above.

8. 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, has been the
subject matter of scrutiny and comment by the Supreme Court in a
catena of judgments. It is well settled that in exercise of this
“inherent” and “wholesome power”, the touchstone is as to whether
“the ends of justice so require”. This court had the occasion to trace
the relevant law on the subject in a batch of matters led by SectionYashpal
Chaudhrani vs. State (Govt. of NCT Delhi), 2019 SCC Online Del
8179 wherein after taking note, inter alia, of State of Karnakata v. L
Muniswamy, (1977) 2 SCC 699; SectionState of Karnataka v. M.
Devendrappa, (2002) 3 SCC 89; SectionB.S. Joshi v. State of Haryana,
(2003) 4 SCC 675; Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab and Anr. (2012) 10
SCC 303; SectionJitendra Raghuvanshi v. Babita Raghuvanshi, (2013) 4 SCC
58; SectionK Srinivas Rao v. D.A. Deepa, (2013) 5 SCC 226; SectionNarinder Singh
v. State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 466; SectionState of Rajasthan v. Shambhu
Kewat, (2014) 4 SCC 149; Parbhatbhai Aahir Parbatbhai
Bhimsinhbhai Kurmur, (2017) 9 SCC 641 and SectionState of Madhya
Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan and others, (2019) 5 SCC 688; the broad
principles were culled out as under :-

“55. Though the above-noted authoritative pronouncements
of the Supreme Court have consistently laid down the broad
principles governing the exercise of power of the High Court

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 4 of 8
under Section 482 of the Cr. PC for bringing an end to the
criminal process, for addressing the concerns noted at the
outset and future guidance of trial courts, some of the crucial
ones may be flagged as under:–

(i). The inherent jurisdiction vested in the High
Court, as recognized and preserved by Section 482
Cr. PC, is primarily to “prevent abuse of the
process of court” or to “otherwise secure the ends
of justice”.

(ii). The ends of justice are higher than the ends of
mere law, the prime principle governing the
exercise of inherent power being “to do real,
complete and substantial justice” for which the
court exists.

(iii) It is the duty of the court to give “adequate
treatment to the settlement between the parties”
particularly in cases involving compoundable
offences, the exercise of inherent power of the High
Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C., however, not
being inhibited in case of non-compoundable
offences though, for the latter category, such power
is to be “exercised sparingly and with caution”.

(iv). If the criminal case has “overwhelmingly and
predominantly civil character”, particularly if it
arises out of “commercial” (financial, mercantile,
partnership or such other) transaction – and this
would include the “cheque bouncing cases” under
Section 138 N.I. Act – or “matrimonial dispute” or
“family dispute”, genuine resolution on equitable
terms, in entirety, by the parties should result in
criminal proceedings being quashed.

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 5 of 8

(v). Since the institution of marriage has an
important role to play in the society, the court is to
make every effort to encourage the parties to
terminate such discord amicably and if it appears
that elements of settlement exist, and the parties
are willing, they are to be directed to the process of
mediation to explore the possibility of settlement, it
being desirable to do so even at the “pre-litigation
stage”.

(vi). While examining the prayer for quashing of a
non compoundable offence, on the basis of
settlement of the dispute between the wrongful doer
and the victim, the High Court is to bear in mind as
to whether the possibility of conviction is “remote
and oblique” and further, if the continuation of the
criminal case would lead to “oppression and
prejudice” or “extreme injustice” for the accused.

(vii). The considerations which would weigh with
Court include the antecedents of the accused,
possible lack of bona fides, his past conduct and
that includes the question as to whether he had
earlier absconded and as to how he had managed
with the complainant to enter into a compromise.

(viii). But, the High Court, when called upon to
exercise the power under Section 482 Cr. PC to
bring the criminal case to an end on the basis of
settlement, must steer clear of intervention in
“heinous” or “serious” offences, including those
involving “mental depravity”, as indeed
“economic offences” affecting “the financial and
economic well being of the State”, such as murder,
attempt to murder, extortion, forgery, rape,

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 6 of 8
dacoity, financial or economic frauds, cases under
SectionArms Act, etc., the reason being that such offences
are “not private in nature” but have “a serious
impact upon society”, and continuation of trial
thereof is essential due to “overriding element of
public interest”.

(ix). The court, however, is not to go by mere use of
label of a serious offence (e.g. offence under
Section 307 IPC), it being open to it to examine, by
scrutiny of the evidence gathered, to find as to
whether there are sufficient grounds to frame
charge for such offence and, in this view, it being
“not permissible” to intervene till the matter has
been properly investigated.”

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

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

11. In the above facts and circumstances, the petition is allowed.
The crime registered by the police vide FIR 02/2016 under Sections

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 7 of 8
406, 498A, 34 SectionIPC of Police Station CAW Cell, Nanak Pura, New
Delhi and the proceedings emanating therefrom against the petitioners
are hereby quashed.

12. The petition is disposed of accordingly.

13. Dasti under the signatures of Court Master.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

AUGUST 06, 2019
nk

Crl. M.C. No.995/2019 Page 8 of 8

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