HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Court No. – 70
Case :- APPLICATION U/S 482 No. – 38707 of 2019
Applicant :- Mohammad Iqball @ Iqball Khan And 2 Others
Opposite Party :- State Of U.P. And 2 Others
Counsel for Applicant :- A.Z.Khan
Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.
Hon’ble Sanjay Kumar Singh,J.
Sri Azhar Hussain, learned Advocate has filed his Vakalatnama alongwith short counter affidavit on behalf of opposite party nos. 2 and 3(informant/victim), which is taken on record.
Heard learned counsel for the applicants, learned Additional Government Advocate for the State/opposite party No.1 and learned counsel for 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 applicants to quash entire proceedings of Case No. 93 of 2010 (State Vs. Iqball Khan) arising out of case crime no. 230 of 2009, under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and ¾ D.P. Act, Police Station Juhi, District Kanpur Nagar pending in the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Court No.3, Kanpur Nagar in terms of compromise dated 27.01.2016 arrived at between the parties.
Filtering out unnecessary details, the basic facts, in brief, which are necessary for disposal of this case are that there is a matrimonial dispute between the applicants and opposite party No.3.
It is submitted by learned counsel for the applicants that applicant no.1 is husband, applicant no.2 is brother-in-law and applicant no.3 is mother-in-law of opposite party no.3. Marriage of applicant no.1 was solemnized with opposite party no.3 on 7.1.2007, but on account of their acrimonious relations at that time opposite party no.2 (father of opposite party no.3) lodged FIR on 20.08.2009 against the applicants under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and ¾ D.P. Act making allegations of her harassment and torture by the accused persons in her matrimonial home, in which Investigating Officer after investigation submitted charge-sheet on 25.10.2019.
The aforesaid charge-sheet was challenged by the applicants before this Court by means of Application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. No.20187 of 2010, in which vide order dated 27.07.2010 matter was referred to mediation, but mediation between the parties concerned had been failed. Thereafter, aforesaid application has been dismissed in default on 9.11.2011 due to want of prosecution. It is further submitted that on 30.11.2015 opposite party no.3/victim moved an application before the trial court mentioning that she does not want to contest the case and prayed for referring the matter to mediation center. Thereafter, vide order dated 1.12.2015 matter was referred by Metropolitan Magistrate, Court No.7, Kanpur Nagar to Mediation Center District Court Kanpur, where parties have settled their dispute on 19.02.2016. The report of mediation center has been appended as Annexure No. 6 to the application. It is further submitted that on account of settlement made between the parties concerned, applicant no.1 and opposite party no.3 are living together as husband and wife and all disputes between them have come to an 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 opposite party Nos.2 and 3 do not dispute the aforesaid fact. Learned counsel for opposite party Nos. 2 and 3 has also submitted at the Bar that since the parties concerned have settled their dispute as mentioned above, therefore, opposite party Nos. 2 and 3 have no grievance and have no objection in quashing the impugned criminal proceedings against the applicant. Opposite party nos.2 and 3 in their short counter affidavit has also accepted the factum of compromise as stated above.
After having heard the arguments of learned counsel for the parties, before proceedings further, it is apposite to give reference of some 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 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 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, Case No. 93 of 2010 (State Vs. Iqball Khan) arising out of case crime no. 230 of 2009, under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and ¾ D.P. Act, Police Station Juhi, District Kanpur Nagar pending in the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Court No.3, Kanpur 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 :- 31.10.2019