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Palakbhai Kamleshbhai Patel vs State Of Gujarat on 3 December, 2018

R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

R/SPECIAL CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO. 2499 of 2018

PALAKBHAI KAMLESHBHAI PATEL
Versus
STATE OF GUJARAT

Appearance:
MR NV GANDHI(1693) for the PETITIONER(s) No. 1,2,3,4
MR P P MAJMUDAR(5284) for the RESPONDENT(s) No. 2
MR. MANAN MEHTA, APP (2) for the RESPONDENT(s) No. 1

CORAM: HONOURABLE MS JUSTICE SONIA GOKANI

Date : 03/12/2018

ORAL ORDER

1. This is an application seeking quashment of

the First Information Report being I­C.R. No. 20

of 2018 registered at Mahidharpura Police

Station, District: Surat for the offences

punishable under sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 (2)

r/w. 114 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3

and 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

2. The petition under section 13 (B) of the

Hindu Marriage Act has already been filed by both

the spouses. The respondent No.2 – Kinnari w/o.

Palakbhai Patel is present before this Court with

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

her father and also filed her affidavit. They

both confirmed that the settlement has been

arrived at by and between the parties. She is not

desirous to join her husband and other part has

confirmed that she is determined not to continue

the relationship with petitioners, and therefore,

they have decided to dissolve the marriage and

get divorce, therefore filed an application for

mutual consent. On a specific query raised by

this Court, she states that she has received the

permanent alimony and Stridhan and nothing has

remained as due.

3. The applicants, resident of Surat are not

present, they have represented by the learned

advocate Mr. N.V. Gandhi.

4. This Court has heard learned advocate Mr.

N.V. Gandhi for the applicants, learned advocate

Mr. P.P. Majmudar for the respondent no.2 – wife

and learned advocate Mr. Manan Mehta for the

respondent – State.

5. Having heard both the sides and also

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

considering the broad guidelines issued by the

Apex court in the case of Gian Singh v. State of

Punjab and Another reported in (2012) 10 SCC 303

and Narinder Singh and others v. State of Punjab

and another reported in (2014) 6 SCC 466, the

request of the applicants of the aforesaid

application is acceded to.

6. Considering the findings and observations of

the Apex Court in the case Gian Singh (supra) in

paragraphs 53, 54 and 57 read as under:

“53. Quashing of offence or criminal proceedings on
the ground of settlement between an offender and
victim is not the same thing as compounding of
offence. They are different and not interchangeable.
Strictly speaking, the power of compounding of
offences given to a court under Section 320 is
materially different from the quashing of criminal
proceedings by the High Court in exercise of its
inherent jurisdiction. In compounding of offences,
power of a criminal court is circumscribed by the
provisions contained in Section 320 and the court is
guided solely and squarely thereby while, on the
other hand, the formation of opinion by the High
Court for quashing a criminal offence or criminal
proceeding or criminal complaint is guided by the
material on record as to whether the ends of justice
would justify such exercise of power although the
ultimate consequence may be acquittal or dismissal of
indictment.

54. Where High Court quashes a criminal
proceeding having regard to the fact that dispute
between the offender and victim has been settled
although offences are not compoundable, it does so as
in its opinion, continuation of criminal proceedings

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

will be an exercise in futility and justice in the
case demands that the dispute between the parties is
put to an end and peace is restored; securing the
ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor. No
doubt, crimes are acts which have harmful effect on
the public and consist in wrong doing that seriously
endangers and threatens well­being of society and it
is not safe to leave the crimedoer only because he
and the victim have settled the dispute amicably or
that the victim has been paid compensation, yet
certain crimes have been made compoundable in law,
with or without permission of the Court. In respect
of serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc;
or other offences of mental depravity under IPC or
offences of moral turpitude under special statutes,
like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences
committed by public servants while working in that
capacity, the settlement between offender and victim
can have no legal sanction at all. However, certain
offences which overwhelmingly and predominantly bear
civil flavour having arisen out of civil, mercantile,
commercial, financial, partnership or such like
transactions or the offences arising out of
matrimony, particularly relating to dowry, etc. or
the family dispute, where the wrong is basically to
victim and the offender and victim have settled all
disputes between them amicably, irrespective of the
fact that such offences have not been made
compoundable, the High Court may within the framework
of its inherent power, quash the criminal proceeding
or criminal complaint or F.I.R if it is satisfied
that on the face of such settlement, there is hardly
any likelihood of offender being convicted and by not
quashing the criminal proceedings, justice shall be
casualty and ends of justice shall be defeated. The
above list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Each
case will depend on its own facts and no hard and
fast category can be prescribed.

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.

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding
or complaint or F.I.R may be exercised where the
offender and victim 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 pre­dominatingly
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 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.”

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

7. Considering the findings and observations of

the Apex Court in the case Narinder Singh

(supra) in paragraphs 11, 12 and 27 read as

under:

“11.As to under what circumstances the
criminal proceedings in a non­ compoundable
case be quashed when there is a settlement
between the parties, the Court provided the
following guidelines:

“Where the High Court quashes a criminal
proceeding having regard to the facts that
the dispute between the offender and the
victim has been settled although the
offences are not compoundable, it does so
as in its opinion, continuation of
criminal proceedings will be an exercise
in futility and justice in the case
demands that the dispute between the
parties is put to an end and peace is
restored; securing the ends of justice
being the ultimate guiding factor. No
doubt, crimes are acts which have harmful
effect on the public and consist in
wrongdoing that seriously endangers and
threatens the well­being of the society
and it is not safe to leave the crime­doer
only because he and the victim have
settled the dispute amicably or that the
victim has been paid compensation, yet
certain crimes have been made compoundable
in law, with or without the permission of
the court. In respect of serious offences
like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. or other
offences of mental depravity under IPC or
offences of moral turpitude under special
statutes, like the Prevention of
Corruption Act or the offences committed
by public servants while working in that
capacity, the settlement between the
offender and the victim can have no legal
sanction at all. However, certain offences

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

which overwhelmingly and predominantly
bear civil flavor having arisen out of
civil, mercantile, commercial, financial,
partnership or such like transactions or
the offences arising out of matrimony,
particularly relating to dowry, etc. or
the family dispute, where the wrong is
basically to the victim and the offender
and the victim have settled all disputes
between them amicably, irrespective of the
fact that such offences have not been made
compoundable, the High Court may within
the framework of its inherent power, quash
the criminal proceeding or criminal
complaint or FIR if it is satisfied that
on the face of such settlement, there is
hardly any likelihood of the offender
being convicted and by not quashing the
criminal proceedings, justice shall be
casualty and ends of justice shall be
defeated. The above list is illustrative
and not exhaustive. Each case will depend
on its own facts and no hard­and­fast
category can be prescribed.”

12.Thereafter, the Court summed up the
legal position in the following words:

“The position that emerges from the above
discussion can be summarized 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 plentitude
with no statutory limitation but it has to
be exercised in accord with the guidelines
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 FIR may be
exercised where the offender and the
victim have settled their dispute would

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

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 a serious impact on
society. Similarly, any compromise between
the victim and the offender in relation to
the offences under special statutes like
the 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 predominatingly civil
flavor stand on a 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, the High Court may quash the
criminal proceedings if in its view,
because of the compromise between the
offender and the victim, the possibility
of conviction is remote and bleak and
continuation of the criminal case would
put the 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

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

the criminal proceeding or continuation of
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 the wrongdoer and whether to
secure the ends of justice, it is
appropriate that the criminal case is put
to an end and if the answer to the above
question(s) is in the affirmative, the
High Court shall be well within its
jurisdiction to quash the criminal
proceeding.”

27.At this juncture, we would like also to
add that the timing of settlement would
also play a crucial role. If the
settlement is arrived at immediately after
the alleged commission of offence when the
matter is still under investigation, the
High Court may be somewhat liberal in
accepting the settlement and quashing the
proceedings/investigation. Of course, it
would be after looking into the attendant
circumstances as narrated in the previous
para. Likewise, when challan is submitted
but the charge has not been framed, the
High Court may exercise its discretionary
jurisdiction. However, at this stage, as
mentioned above, since the report of the
I.O. under Section 173,Cr.P.C. is also
placed before the Court it would become
the bounding duty of the Court to go into
the said report and the evidence
collected, particularly the medical
evidence relating to injury etc. sustained
by the victim. This aspect, however, would
be examined along with another important
consideration, namely, in view of
settlement between the parties, whether it
would be unfair or contrary to interest of
justice to continue with the criminal
proceedings and whether possibility of
conviction is remote and bleak. If the
Court finds the answer to this question in
affirmative, then also such a case would

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

be a fit case for the High Court to give
its stamp of approval to the compromise
arrived at between the parties, inasmuch
as in such cases no useful purpose would
be served in carrying out the criminal
proceedings which in all likelihood would
end in acquittal, in any case.”

8. Noticing that the dispute has been settled

amicably, therefore, no purpose is likely to be

served continuing the litigation. Therefore, the

request of the parties is acceded to.

9. For the foregoing reasons, the present

application is allowed and First Information

Report being I­C.R. No. 20 of 2018 registered at

Mahidharpura Police Station, District: Surat is

hereby quashed and set aside alongwith all the

proceedings emanating therefrom.

10. The applicants shall remain present before

the Investigating Officer with this order within

a period of one week from the date of receipt of

the order.

11. In the event of respondent no.2 – wife

finding it difficult to obtain the decree of

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R/SCR.A/2499/2018 ORDER

divorce on account of non­cooperation on behalf

of the applicants, the respondent no.2 is at

liberty to make a request for revival of this

order.

12. The applicants shall pay the cost to the

respondent no.2 which is being quantified to the

sum of Rs.5,000/­ (rupees Five Thousand only)

each within a period of one week from the date of

receipt of the order, before approaching the

Investigating Officer.

This application is allowed, accordingly.

Direct service is permitted.

(MS SONIA GOKANI, J)
pradhyuman

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