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Rajan Kochhar & Ors vs The State ( Govt Of Nct Of Delhi) & … on 30 July, 2019

$~15
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 30th July, 2019

+ CRL.M.C. 1733/2019

RAJAN KOCHHAR ORS ….. Petitioners
Through: Mr. Lovish Seth, Advocate with
petitioners in person

versus

THE STATE ( GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI)
ANR ….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Kewal Singh Ahuja, APP for
the State with ASI Sunil Kumar
Mr. Preet Singh Oberoi, 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 02.12.2009. 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.79/2018 having been registered on
01.03.2018 by police station Kirti Nagar on her complaint involving
offences punishable under Sections 498-A/Section406/Section34 of Indian Penal
Code, 1860 (SectionIPC), the case being directed against her husband (first
petitioner), his father (second petitioner) and his mother (third

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 1 of 8
petitioner). On conclusion of the investigation, police filed report
under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC)
on which cognizance was taken, the said matter being pending on the
file of the Metropolitan Magistrate.

2. It appears the parties amicably resolved the dispute by entering
into a memorandum of settlement agreement dated 27.03.2018, in
terms of which they decided, inter alia, to part ways peacefully. The
present petition has been filed for quashing the aforementioned
criminal case on the basis of the said settlement agreement.

3. The second respondent on notice has entered appearance and
filed an affidavit sworn on 31.05.2019. Since the said affidavit was
found to be deficient, she was called upon to file a fresh detailed
affidavit. The matter was passed over in the forenoon earlier today to
give her opportunity to come with such fresh affidavit. She has sworn
another affidavit today which has since been filed in the registry and
has been called for. Alongwith the said affidavit, she has submitted
self-attested copy of her aadhar card as proof of her identity.

4. By the aforementioned affidavits, and at the hearing through
counsel, the second respondent confirms that she has agreed by the
above mentioned settlement agreement to forego the dispute, the
marriage of the parties having already been dissolved by a decree of
divorce granted by the Family Court on 26.11.2018 in HMA
no.95/2018. The second respondent has also confirmed that in terms
of the settlement, Neharika Kochhar, daughter of the parties is to
remain in her care and custody. She also confirms that pursuant to the

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 2 of 8
settlement terms, she is to receive a total amount of Rs.28,00,000/-
(Rupees Twenty eight lakhs) from the first petitioner, this inclusive of
all her claims on account of maintenance of self and daughter and also
stridhan, etc. She has also confirmed that she has already received a
total amount of Rs.18,00,000/- (Rupees Eighteen Lakh) from the first
petitioner before the Family Court, the only amount remaining being
Rs.10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakh) which is to be paid in the form of
demand draft in the name of the daughter.

5. At the hearing, the first petitioner handed over and the second
respondent received two demand drafts bearing nos.207506 and
207507, each dated 26.07.2019, each for Rs.5,00,000/- (Rupees Five
lakh) each, in favour of Neharika Kochhar, daughter of the parties,
both drawn on Central Bank of India.

6. The petition, thus, has been moved before this court invoking
Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking
quashing of the FIR No.79/2018 under Sections 406, Section498A, Section34 IPC of
Police Station Kirti Nagar.

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

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 3 of 8
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
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

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 4 of 8
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.

(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

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 5 of 8
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,
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”.

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 6 of 8

(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 No.79/2018 under
Sections 406, Section498A, Section34 IPC of Police Station Kirti Nagar and the
proceedings emanating therefrom against the petitioners are hereby
quashed.

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 7 of 8

12. The petition is disposed of accordingly.

Dasti to both sides.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

JULY 30, 2019
yg

Crl. M.C. No.1733/2019 Page 8 of 8

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