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Reserved On : 22.4.2019 vs State Of Himachal Pradesh on 1 May, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AT SHIMLA

Cr. MMO No. 101of 2019.

Reserved on : 22.4.2019.

Decided on:_1st May, 2019.

Manpreet Kaur anr. …Petitioners.

.

Versus

State of Himachal Pradesh …Respondent.

Coram

The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Judge.
1 Whether approved for reporting? Yes.

For the petitioners: Mr. Parveen Chauhan, Advocate.
For the respondent: Mr. S.C. Sharma, Mr. Shiv Pal

Manhans, Additional Advocate
Generals with Mr. Raju Ram Rahi,
Deputy Advocate General, for
the respondent.

Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Judge

The present petition is maintained by the petitioners

under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure

(hereinafter to be called as “the Code”) for quashing of F.I.R

No. 93 of 2014, dated 06.05.2014, under Sections 365, 366, 376,

324, 506, 356 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code, registered at

Police Station, Sadar Bilaspur, District Bilaspur, H.P.

2. Briefly stating the facts, giving rise to the present

petition, as per the prosecution story, are that a complaint was

lodged by the prosecutrix to the effect that on 17.4.2014 while

she was going from Bilaspur to Chandigarh in a bus, petitioner

1 Whether reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment? Yes.

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2

No.2-accused took a seat adjacent to her. The accused was

her classmate in 10+2 and was therefore, somewhat known to

her. She was given fruity juice by the accused and on

consuming the same, she got intoxicated and was made to

.

deboard the bus at Nauni and was in fact taken to Shimla.

When she told that she wanted to go to Chandigarh, she was

subjected to beatings and was confined in a room of a hotel

where she was raped. Next day she was told by him to obey his

command, lest he would upload her photographs on the

internet taken during the previous night. On 18th she was also

raped whereafter she returned back to home but out of fear,

she did not disclose this fact to her parents. On 25th it is alleged

that she was again forcibly taken by the accused to Shimla,

where she was asked to smoke and drink which she objected

resulting in merciless beatings. She was kept confined in a room

of a hotel for three days. It is only after her repeated persuasion

that accused left her at Chandigarh on 29.4.2014. On 1.5.2014

the accused had come to her college and snatched her bag.

She called her friends, who took her in a Car to P.G. Later the

prosecutrix told all these facts to her parents on 5.5.2014,

pursuant thereto, the FIR came to be registered against

petitioner No.2. Now, the parties have entered into a

compromise and are married with whom they are living

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happily. Prosecutrix is not supporting the prosecution case and

as family is happy family compromised the matter and

prosecutrix do not want to pursue the case against petitioner

No.2. Hence, the present petition.

.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioners has argued

that as the parties have compromised the matter, no

purpose will be served by keeping the proceedings against

the petitioners and the FIR/Challan, may be quashed and

set aside.

4. On the other hand, learned Additional Advocate

General has argued that the offence is not compoundable,

so the petition may be dismissed.

5. To appreciate the arguments of learned counsel

appearing on behalf of the parties, I have gone through the

entire record in detail.

6. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court B.S.

SectionJoshi and others vs. State of Haryana and another, (2003) 4

SCC 675, have held that if for the purpose of securing the

ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section

320 would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing.

It is well settled that the powers under Sectionsection 482 have no

limits. Of course, where there is more power, it becomes

necessary to exercise utmost care and caution while

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invoking such powers. Their Lordships have held as under:

[6] SectionIn Pepsi Food Ltd. and another v. Special Judicial Magistrate and
others ((1998) 5 SCC 749), this Court with reference to Bhajan Lal’s
case observed that the guidelines laid therein as to where the Court
will exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code could not be

.

inflexible or laying rigid formulae to be followed by the Courts.

Exercise of such power would depend upon the facts and
circumstances of each case but with the sole purpose to prevent
abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of

justice. It is well settled that these powers have no limits. Of course,
where there is more power, it becomes necessary to exercise
utmost care and caution while invoking such powers.

[8] It is, thus, clear that Madhu Limaye’s case does

not lay down any general proposition limiting power of quashing the
criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint as vested in Section 482 of
the Code or extraordinary power under SectionArticle 226 of the

Constitution of India. We are, therefore, of the view that if for the
purpose of securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes

necessary, Section 320 would not be a bar to the exercise of power
of quashing. It is, however, a different matter depending upon the
facts and circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not

such a power.

[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.

7. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

SectionPreeti Gupta and another vs. State of Jharkhand and another,

(2010) 7 SCC 667, have held that the ultimate object of

justice is to find out the truth and punish the guilty and

protect the innocent. The tendency of implicating the

husband and all his immediate relations is also not

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uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of the

criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the real truth.

Experience reveals that long and protracted criminal trials

lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship

.

amongst the parties. The criminal trials lead to immense

sufferings for all concerned. Their Lordships have further held

that permitting complainant to pursue complaint would be

abuse of process of law and the complaint against the

appellants was quashed. Their Lordships have held as under:

[27] A three-Judge Bench (of which one of us, Bhandari, J. was the
author of the judgment) of this Court in SectionInder Mohan Goswami and

Another v. State of Uttaranchal Others, 2007 12 SCC 1

comprehensively examined the legal position. The court came to
a definite conclusion and the relevant observations of the court
are reproduced in para 24 of the said judgment as under:-

“Inherent powers under Sectionsection 482 Cr.P.C. though wide

have to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution
and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically
laid down in this section itself. Authority of the court exists for the

advancement of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to
injustice is brought to the notice of the court, then the Court would

be justified in preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers in
absence of specific provisions in the Statute.”

[28] We have very carefully considered the averments of

the complaint and the statements of all the witnesses recorded at
the time of the filing of the complaint. There are no specific
allegations against the appellants in the complaint and none of
the witnesses have alleged any role of both the appellants.

[35] The ultimate object of justice is to find out the truth and
punish the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a
herculean task in majority of these complaints. The tendency of
implicating husband and all his immediate relations is also not

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uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is
difficult to ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremely
careful and cautious in dealing with these complaints and must
take pragmatic realities into consideration while dealing with
matrimonial cases. The allegations of harassment of husband’s
close relations who had been living in different cities and never

.

visited or rarely visited the place where the complainant resided

would have an entirely different complexion. The allegations of the
complaint are required to be scrutinized with great care and
circumspection.

36. Experience reveals that long and protracted criminal
trials lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship
amongst the parties. It is also a matter of common knowledge that
in cases filed by the complainant if the husband or the husband’s

relations had to remain in jail even for a few days, it would ruin the
chances of amicable settlement altogether. The process of
suffering is extremely long and painful.

[38] The criminal trials lead to immense sufferings for all

concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may also not be

able to wipe out the deep scars of suffering of ignominy.
Unfortunately a large number of these complaints have not only
flooded the courts but also have led to enormous social unrest
affecting peace, harmony and happiness of the society. It is high

time that the legislature must take into consideration the
pragmatic realities and make suitable changes in the existing law.
It is imperative for the legislature to take into consideration the

informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities in
consideration and make necessary changes in the relevant

provisions of law. We direct the Registry to send a copy of this
judgment to the Law Commission and to the Union Law Secretary,

Government of India who may place it before the Hon’ble Minister
for Law Justice to take appropriate steps in the larger interest of
the society.

8. Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

SectionJitendra Raghuvanshi and others vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and

another, (2013) 4 SCC 58, have held that criminal

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proceedings or FIR or complaint can be quashed under

Section 482 Cr. P.C. in appropriate cases in order to meet

ends of justice. Even in non-compoundable offences

pertaining to matrimonial disputes, if court is satisfied that

.

parties have settled the disputes amicably and without any

pressure, then for purpose of securing ends of justice, FIR or

complaint or subsequent criminal proceedings in respect of

offences can be quashed. Their Lordships have held as

under:

[13] As stated earlier, it is not in dispute that after filing of a
complaint in respect of the offences punishable under Sections

498A and Section406 of IPC, the parties, in the instant case, arrived at a

mutual settlement and the complainant also has sworn an affidavit
supporting the stand of the appellants. That was the position before
the trial Court as well as before the High Court in a petition filed
under Section 482 of the Code. A perusal of the impugned order of

the High Court shows that because the mutual settlement arrived
at between the parties relate to non-compoundable offence, the
court proceeded on a wrong premise that it cannot be

compounded and dismissed the petition filed under Section 482. A
perusal of the petition before the High Court shows that the

application filed by the appellants was not for compounding of
non-compoundable offences but for the purpose of quashing the
criminal proceedings.

[14] The inherent powers of the High Court under Section
482 of the Code are wide and unfettered. In B.S. Joshi , this Court
has upheld the powers of the High Court under Section 482 to
quash criminal proceedings where dispute is of a private nature
and a compromise is entered into between the parties who are
willing to settle their differences amicably. We are satisfied that the
said decision is directly applicable to the case on hand and the
High Court ought to have quashed the criminal proceedings by

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accepting the settlement arrived at.

[15] In our view, it is the duty of the courts to encourage
genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes, particularly, when the
same are on considerable increase. Even if the offences are non-
compoundable, if they relate to matrimonial disputes and the
court is satisfied that the parties have settled the same amicably

.

and without any pressure, we hold that for the purpose of securing

ends of justice, Section 320 of the Code would not be a bar to the
exercise of power of quashing of FIR, complaint or the subsequent
criminal proceedings.

[16] There has been an outburst of matrimonial disputes in
recent times. The institution of marriage occupies an important
place and it has an important role to play in the society. Therefore,
every effort should be made in the interest of the individuals in

order to enable them to settle down in life and live peacefully. If
the parties ponder over their defaults and terminate their disputes
amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a court
of law, in order to do complete justice in the matrimonial matters,

the courts should be less hesitant in exercising its extraordinary

jurisdiction. It is trite to state that the power under Section 482
should be exercised sparingly and with circumspection only when
the court is convinced, on the basis of material on record, that
allowing the proceedings to continue would be an abuse of the

process of the court or that the ends of justice require that the
proceedings ought to be quashed. We also make it clear that
exercise of such power would depend upon the facts and

circumstances of each case and it has to be exercised in
appropriate cases in order to do real and substantial justice for the

administration of which alone the courts exist. It is the duty of the
courts to encourage genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes

and Section 482 of the Code enables the High Court and SectionArticle
142 of the Constitution enables this Court to pass such orders.

[17] In the light of the above discussion, we hold that the
High Court in exercise of its inherent powers can quash the
criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint in appropriate cases in
order to meet the ends of justice and Section 320 of the Code does
not limit or affect the powers of the High Court under Section 482 of
the Code. Under these circumstances, we set aside the impugned
judgment of the High Court dated 04.07.2012 passed in M.C.R.C.

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No. 2877 of 2012 and quash the proceedings in Criminal Case No.
4166 of 2011 pending on the file of Judicial Magistrate Class-I,
Indore.”

9. Similarly, Hon’ble Supreme Court in Parbatbhai

.

Aahir alias SectionParbatbhai Bhimsinhbhai Karmur and others vs. State

of Gujarat and another, (2017) 9 Supreme Court Cases 641,

wherein it has been held as under :

“16. The broad principles which emerge from the
precedents on the subject, may be summarised in the
following propositions:

16.1. Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the
High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any
court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does
not confer new powers. It only recognises and preserves
r powers which inhere in the High Court;

16.2. The invocation of the jurisdiction of the High Court
to quash a First Information Report or a criminal
proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been
arrived at between the offender and the victim is not the

same as the invocation of jurisdiction for the purpose of
compounding an offence. While compounding an
offence, the power of the court is governed by the

provisions of Section 320 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973. The power to quash under Section 482

is attracted even if the offence is non-compoundable.
16.3. In forming an opinion whether a criminal
proceeding or complaint should be quashed in exercise

of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must
evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the
exercise of the inherent power;

16.4 While the inherent power of the High Court has a
wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised; (i) to
secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent an abuse of
the process of any court;

16.5 The decision as to whether a complaint or First

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Information Report should be quashed on the ground
that the offender and victim have settled the dispute,
revolves ultimately on the facts and circumstances of
each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles
can be formulated;

16.6. In the exercise of the power under Section 482 and

.

while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been

settled, the High Court must have due regard to the
nature and gravity of the offence. Heinous and serious
offences involving mental depravity or offences such as

murder, rape and dacoity cannot appropriately be
quashed though the victim or the family of the victim
have settled the dispute. Such offences are, truly
speaking, not private in nature but have a serious impact

upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in
such cases is founded on the overriding element of
public interest in punishing persons for serious offences;
16.7. As distinguished from serious offences, there may

be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or

predominant element of a civil dispute. They stand on a
distinct footing in so far as the exercise of the inherent
power to quash is concerned;

16.8. Criminal cases involving offences which arise from

commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar
transactions with an essentially civil flavour may in
appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties

have settled the dispute;

16.9 In such a case, the High Court may quash the

criminal proceeding if in view of the compromise
between the disputants, the possibility of a conviction is

remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding
would cause oppression and prejudice; and
16.10. There is yet an exception to the principle set out in
propositions 16.8 and 16.9 above. Economic offences
involving the financial and economic well-being of the
state have implications which lie beyond the domain of
a mere dispute between private disputants. The High
Court would be justified in declining to quash where the
offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or

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economic fraud or misdemeanour. The consequences of
the act complained of upon the financial or economic
system will weigh in the balance.

Even if, the trial is allowed to be continued, as the

.

parties have compromised the matter, there are bleak chances

of conviction to secure the ends of justice.

10. From the perusal of records, it is clear that the

parties have solemnized their marriage out of their free will and

volition and a ‘marriage certificate’ (Annexure P-3) and

‘Marriage Registration Certificate’ (Annexure P-4) evidencing

such marriage has also been issued in their favour. When the

parties have reached the settlement, then the guiding factor in

such cases would be to secure the ends of justice or to prevent

the abuse of process of any Court. After-all, the Court ought

not to interfere or even intervene when petitioner No.1 and

petitioner No.2 are husband and wife in the eyes of law. This

Court is convinced that the continuation of the proceedings

would tantamount to abuse of process of law and would play

havoc with the married life of petitioner No.1 as also petitioner

No.2.

11. Thus, taking into consideration the law as

discussed hereinabove, I find that the interest of justice will

be met, in case, the proceedings are quashed, as the parties

have already compromised the matter

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12. Accordingly, looking into all attending facts and

circumstances, I find this case to be a fit case to exercise

jurisdiction vested in this Court, under Section 482 of the

Code and accordingly F.I.R No. 93 of 2014, dated 06.05.2014,

.

under Sections 365, Section366, Section376, Section324, Section506, Section356 and Section323 of the Indian

Penal Code, registered at Police Station, Sadar Bilaspur, District

Bilaspur, H.P; is ordered to be quashed and consequently, the

proceedings pending before the learned Additional District

Sessions Judge, Bilaspur, arising out of the aforesaid FIR, are

also ordered to be quashed.

13. The petition is accordingly disposed of alongwith

pending applications, if any.

(Chander Bhusan Barowalia)
Judge

1st May, 2019
(CS)

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