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Sh. Naveen Gautam & Ors. vs State & Anr. on 12 July, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Decided on:- 12th July, 2019
+ CRL.M.C. 227/2019
SH. NAVEEN GAUTAM ORS. ….. Petitioners
Through: Ms. Anuradha Yadav, Adv.
with petitioners in person.
versus
STATE ANR. ….. Respondents
Through: Mr. Kewal Singh Ahuja, APP
for the State with SI Amit Dutt,
PS Lajpat Nagar.
Mr. Gautam Chakraverty, 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 07.09.2005. From out of the said
wedlock, a male child named Deepanshu took birth on 14.10.2008.
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.350/2013 having been
registered on 21.10.2013 by police station Lajpat Nagar on her
complaint involving offences punishable under Sections 498A, Section406,
Section34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (SectionIPC), the case being directed against
her husband (first petitioner), his brother (second petitioner) and his
mother (third petitioner). On conclusion of the investigation, police

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 1 of 7
filed report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 (Cr. PC) on which cognizance was taken.

2. It appears that the parties also came to be involved in certain
other cases including a petition under Sectionsection 12 of Protection of
Women from SectionDomestic Violence Act, 2005 and a case for divorce
filed by the first petitioner. The parties, however, were persuaded to
enter into an amicable settlement, they having executed a settlement
deed /MOU on 21.03.2018. In terms of the said settlement, the second
respondent agreed to forego all her claims and allegations against the
petitioners for consideration of Rs.8,00,000/- being paid to her as full
and final settlement on account of stridhan, maintenance of self and
child, the custody of the child having been agreed to be given to her.

3. Pursuant to the above settlement, the parties approached the
family court by petition for divorce by mutual consent, a decree to that
effect having been granted in HMA Petition No.87/2018 by judgment
dated 22.11.2018.

4. In terms of the settlement, the second respondent was to receive
the above mentioned amount in three instalments, first two of Rs.2.5
lacs each at the time of first motion and second motion on petition for
divorce by mutual consent and the balance Rs.3 lacs at the time of
quashing of the criminal case arising out of the above mentioned FIR.

5. The second respondent on notice has entered appearance and
pursuant to the directions given in the last order, has sworn an
affidavit on 28.02.2019, which has come on record. By the said

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 2 of 7
affidavit she has confirmed that she has already received Rs.5 lacs in
two instlament before the family court and that the domestic violence
case has also been withdrawn, the decree of divorce having been
granted.

6. She is present in person in the court with her counsel. On being
asked, she has shown copy of her aadhar card as proof of her identity,
its self-attested copy having been kept on record. It may be mentioned
that copy of her election identity card was submitted earlier with the
petition (page 68).

7. At the hearing, the first petitioner has handed over and the
second respondent has received demand draft in the sum of Rs.3 lacs,
it bearing No.178728, dated 08.07.2019, drawn on Central Bank of
India, Bhogal, this satisfying her claim under the settlement.

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
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

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 3 of 7
“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
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

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 4 of 7
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
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

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 5 of 7
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”.

(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

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 6 of 7
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 350/2013 under Sections
406, Section498A, Section34 IPC of Police Station Lajpat Nagar and the proceedings
emanating therefrom against the petitioners are hereby quashed.

13. The petition and the application filed therewith are disposed of
accordingly.

Dasti to both sides.

R.K.GAUBA, J.

JULY 12, 2019/vk

Crl. M.C. No.227/2019 Page 7 of 7

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