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Sahil Sharma & Ors vs State & Anr on 1 August, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 1st August, 2019

+ CRL.M.C. 1776/2019
SAHIL SHARMA ORS ….. Petitioners
Through: Mr. Phillip Massey, Advocate
with Mr. Dev Suman
Mohanpuria, Adv. with
petitioners in person.
versus

STATE ANR ….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Kewal Singh Ahuja, APP
for the State with SI Vinod, PS
Sarai Rohilla.
Mr. Vikram Jit Saini, Adv. with
Mr. Anuraj Sharma, 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 25.07.2013. 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.1250/2014 having been registered on
28.11.2014 by Police Station Sarai Rohilla, on her complaint
involving offences punishable under Sections 498-A/406/34 of Indian

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 1 of 8Section
Penal Code, 1860 (SectionIPC), the case being directed against her husband
(first petitioner), his parents (second and third petitioners), his sister
(fourth petitioner), his uncle (fifth petitioner) and his cousin (sixth
petitioner).

2. On conclusion of the investigation, police filed report (charge-
sheet) under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
(SectionCr.PC) on which cognizance was taken, the said matter being pending
on the file of the Metropolitan Magistrate.

3. The parties also came to be involved in certain other cases
including petition under Protection of Women from SectionDomestic
Violence Act, 2005 and a petition for maintenance under Sectionsection 125
of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (SectionCr.P.C.) by the second
respondent, besides a petition under Sectionsection 11 of Hindu Marriage Act,
1955 filed by the first petitioner. They, however, entered into a
compromise on 18.08.2018 and executed its terms formally by a
document described as “Deed of Compromise”.

4. It is in the wake of the said settlement that the present petition,
has been moved by the petitioners before this court invoking Section
482 Cr. PC seeking quashing of the FIR No.1250/2014, under
Sections 498-A/Section406/Section34 IPC of Police Station Sarai Rohilla.

5. On notice, the second respondent has entered appearance. She
has filed an affidavit sworn on 15.07.2019, which was found to be
deficient, it not indicating the terms of settlement or compliance
therewith. In this view, on request of the parties, the matter was passed

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 2 of 8
over. It has been taken up again post-lunch session. During the
interregnum, the second respondent has sworn another affidavit which
has come on record. Along with the fresh affidavit, she has also filed
copy of her aadhar card as proof her identity, which is also taken on
record.

6. The parties had earlier approached the family court by two
separate petitions to seek divorce by mutual consent. At that stage the
first petitioner had paid to the second respondent and she had received
in two installments a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- each. This fact has been
recorded in the judgment dated 28.01.2019 of the family court in
HMA Petition No.93/2019, whereby the marriage of the parties was
dissolved by a decree of divorce by mutual consent.

7. By the fresh affidavit sworn and filed by the second respondent
today, she has acknowledged that she has already received another
installment of Rs.2,00,000/- from the petitioner, by way of a demand
draft bearing No.008601, dated 02.03.2019, drawn on Axis Bank,
Shastri Nagar, Delhi, this satisfying her entire claim under the
compromise deed.

8. 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.

9. The scope and ambit of the power conferred on this court by
Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC) read

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 3 of 8
with Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, in the particular
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:–

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 4 of 8

(i). The inherent jurisdiction vested in the High
Court, as recognized and preserved by Section 482
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

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 5 of 8
that elements of settlement exist, and the parties
are willing, they are to be directed to the process of
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

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 6 of 8
thereof is essential due to “overriding element of
public interest”.

(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.”

10. 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.

11. The case at hand passes the muster of the above-noted tests.

12. In the above facts and circumstances, the petition is allowed.
The crime registered by the police vide FIR No.1250/2014, under
Sections 498A/Section406/Section34 IPC of Police Station Sarai Rohilla and the

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 7 of 8
proceedings emanating therefrom against the petitioners are hereby
quashed.

13. The petition stands disposed of accordingly.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

AUGUST 01, 2019
vk

Crl. M.C. No.1776/2019 Page 8 of 8

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