Delhi High Court Narender Singh Chaudhary & Ors. vs State & Anr. on 6 August, 2014Author: Sudershan Kumar Misra
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ CRL.M.C. 3375/2014
NARENDER SINGH CHAUDHARY & ORS. ….. Petitioners Through Ms. Karuna Chhatwal, Advocate.
STATE & ANR. ….. Respondent Through Mr. P. K. Mishra, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State.
ASI D. Kumar.
Mr. Pramod Ahuja and Mr. Umesh Tyagi,
Advocates for complainant.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA
% SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA, J. (ORAL)
Exemption, as prayed for, is allowed, subject to all just exceptions. This application is disposed off.
1. This petition has been filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking quashing of FIR No.870/2006 dated 14.10.2006 under Section 498-A/406 IPC registered at Police Station Dwarka on the ground that the matter has been settled between the parties.
2. Issue notice.
3. Mr. P.K. Mishra, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State, and Mr. Pramod Ahuja, Advocate for the complainant, accept notice.
4. It is stated that the aforesaid FIR came to be registered by the second respondent on account of certain matrimonial disputes. Further, the petition Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 1 of 7 bearing M No.118/2009 under Section 125 Cr.P.C. seeking maintenance was instituted by the second respondent before the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. That matter came to be disposed off on 03.12.20013 by the Family Court after recording a settlement. The terms of the settlement, which were duly recorded by the court below on 26.11.2013, envisaged a total payment of Rs.17 lakhs by the first petitioner to the complainant. It is also stated by both parties that out of the said amount, an amount of Rs.10 lakhs has been since been received by the complainant; a further sum of Rs.3 lakhs has been handed over by the petitioner to the complainant by way of a demand draft bearing No.442191, dated 07.07.2014, drawn on Oriental Bank of Commerce, favouring the complainant/ respondent No.2, in Court today. As regards the remaining amount of Rs.4 lakhs, it is stated that the said amount was deposited in the form of a Fixed Deposit Receipt favouring Ms. Navita Kumari, Metropolitan Magistrate, P.H.C, in terms of the directions issued by the High Court on 19.04.2007 in that behalf in Bail Appln.No.522/07 moved by the petitioner No.1, Narender Singh Chaudhary. A photocopy of the said Receipt containing these particulars has also been handed over by counsel for the petitioners in Court today, with a copy to counsel for respondent No.2.
5. Both parties are agreed that the said amount of Rs.4 lakhs is now the only outstanding amount which has to be paid to the respondent No.2 in terms of the aforesaid settlement; and pray for directions to the concerned Metropolitan Magistrate, including the successor courts, for the encashment of the Fixed Deposit and release of the amount along with interest to the complainant / respondent No2.
6. Counsel for the petitioners, on instructions from the petitioners, who
Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 2 of 7 are present in Court, states that her clients have no objection to the release of the aforesaid amount of Rs.4 lakhs along with interest that may have accrued thereon, to the complainant / respondent No.2.
7. The second respondent is also present in person in Court. She states that she does not wish to pursue the matter any further, and has no objection if the aforesaid FIR, and all the proceedings emanating therefrom, are brought to an end.
8. Counsel for the State submits that looking to overall circumstances, and since the matter primarily concerns the matrimonial dispute, which has been settled between the parties on terms recorded by the Family Court on 26.11.2013, no useful purpose will be served in continuing with the present proceedings.
9. Looking to the overall circumstances, and keeping in mind the decision of the Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, which has referred to a number of matters for the proposition that even a non-compoundable offence can also be quashed on the ground of a settlement agreement between the offender and the victim, if the circumstances so warrant; and also Narinder Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Anr. 2014(2) Crimes 27 (SC) where the Supreme Court held as follows:-
“31. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we sum up and lay down the following principles by which the High Court would be guided in giving adequate treatment to the settlement between the parties and exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code while accepting the settlement and quashing the proceedings or refusing to accept the settlement with direction to continue with the criminal proceedings:
Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 3 of 7 (I) Power conferred under Section 482 of the Code is to be distinguished from the power which lies in the Court to compound the offences under Section 320 of the Code. No doubt, under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court has inherent power to quash the criminal proceedings even in those cases which are not compoundable, where the parties have settled the matter between themselves. However, this power is to be exercised sparingly and with caution.
(II) When the parties have reached the settlement and on that basis petition for quashing the criminal proceedings is filed, the guiding factor in such cases would be to secure:
(i) ends of justice, or
(ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court.
While exercising the power the High Court is to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives.
(III) Such a power is not be exercised in those prosecutions which involve 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. Similarly, for offences alleged to have been committed under special statute like the 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) On the other, those criminal cases having overwhelmingly and pre-dominantly civil
character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of
Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 4 of 7 matrimonial relationship or family disputes should be quashed when the parties have resolved their entire disputes among themselves.
(V) While exercising its powers, the High Court is to examine as to whether the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal cases would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal cases.
(VI) Offences under Section 307 Indian Penal Code would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore is to be generally treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 Indian Penal Code 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 307Indian Penal Code is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to proving the charge under
Section 307 Indian Penal Code. 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. Medical report in respect of injuries suffered by the victim can generally be the guiding factor. On the basis of this prima facie analysis, the High Court can examine as to whether there is a strong possibility of conviction or the chances of conviction are remote and bleak. In the former case it can refuse to accept the settlement and quash the criminal proceedings whereas in the later case it would be permissible for the High Court to accept the plea compounding the offence based on complete settlement between the parties. At this stage, the
Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 5 of 7 Court can also be swayed by the fact that the settlement between the parties is going to result in harmony between them which may improve their future relationship.
(VII) While deciding whether to exercise its power under Section 482 of the Code or not, timings of settlement play a crucial role. Those cases where the settlement is arrived at immediately after the alleged commission of offence and the matter is still under investigation, the High Court may be liberal in accepting the settlement to quash the criminal proceedings/investigation. It is because of the reason that at this stage the investigation is still on and even the charge sheet has not been filed. Likewise, those cases where the charge is framed but the evidence is yet to start or the evidence is still at infancy stage, the High Court can show benevolence in exercising its powers favourably, but after prima facie assessment of the
circumstances/material mentioned above. On the other hand, where the prosecution evidence is almost complete or after the conclusion of the evidence the matter is at the stage of argument, normally the High Court should refrain from exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code, as in such cases the trial court would be in a position to decide the case finally on merits and to come a conclusion as to whether the offence under Section 307 Indian Penal Code is committed or not. Similarly, in those cases where the conviction is already recorded by the trial court and the matter is at the appellate stage before the High Court, mere compromise between the parties would not be a ground to accept the same resulting in acquittal of the offender who has already been convicted by the trial court. Here charge is proved under Section 307 Indian Penal Code and
conviction is already recorded of a heinous crime and, therefore, there is no question of sparing a convict found guilty of such a crime.”
Crl.M.C. No.3375/2014 Page 6 of 7 I am of the opinion that no useful purpose will be served in continuing with these proceedings since there is hardly any likelihood of the prosecution succeeding in a matter where the complainant is not interested in supporting the prosecution, and also since the dispute has arisen out of a domestic discord which the parties have now settled amongst themselves.
10. Accordingly, the petition is allowed and FIR No.870/2006 dated 14.10.2006 under Section 498-A/406 IPC registered at Police Station Dwarka, and all the proceedings emanating therefrom, are hereby quashed.
11. The aforesaid Fixed Deposit in respect of the Receipt bearing No.381354, dated 30.05.2007 issued by the UCO Bank, be duly encashed, and proceeds thereof be handed over to the complainant / respondent No.2.
12. The petition stands disposed off in the aforesaid terms.
SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA
AUGUST 06, 2014
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