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Sourabh Harkut And Ors vs The State Of Maharashtra And Anr on 12 March, 2019

Apl-175/19.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPLICAITON NO. 175 OF 2019

Sourabh Harkut and Others. ..Applicants.
Versus
State of Maharashtra Another. ..Respondents.

Mr. Prashant Badade for the Petitioner.
Mr. F.R. Shaikh, APP for the Respondent-State.
Mr. J. G. Damani for Respondent No. 2.

Coram : RANJIT MORE
SMT. BHARATI H. DANGRE, JJ.

Date : March 12, 2019.

P. C. :

1. Heard the learned counsel for the Applicants, learned
APP for the Respondent-State and the learned counsel for Respondent
No. 2.

2. The Applicants have approached this Court invoking the
jurisdiction of this Court under section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 seeking to quash and set aside the FIR bearing No. CR
No. 617 of 2018, registered with Kandivali Police Station, Mumbai. The
said FIR is registered at the instance of Respondent No.2 against the
Applicants herein, for the offence punishable under
sections 3, 4,
498A, 323, 504, 506 and 406 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860.

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3. Applicant No.1 and Respondent No.2 got married in the
year 2016. Rest of the Applicants are the relations of Applicant No.1
and in-laws of Respondent No. 2. The matrimonial disputes between
the parties gave rise to the filing of civil as well as criminal proceedings
and the present FIR is one of them.

4. The learned Counsel appearing for the respective parties
submitted that during the pendency of investigation into above FIR,
with the help and intervention of family members, friends and well-
wishers, the parties amicably settled their differences by way of
mutual settlement and pursuant to the understanding arrived at
between them, present application is filed for quashing the above FIR
by consent of Respondent No. 2. They submitted that consent terms
are already filed before the Family Court at Bandra, Mumbai in
Petition No.A-134 of 2018. Under the said consent terms, parties
agreed to obtain divorce by mutual consent under
section 13(1)(b) of
the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. By way of settlement, Applicant No.1
has agreed to pay to Respondent No.2, a sum of Rs.25 lakh towards
the one time lumpsum permanent alimony. The Pay Order for the
said amount drawn in the name of Respondent No.2 is kept in
ESCROW account with Mr. Ghanshyam Rander, Mediator. Respondent
No.2 is entitled for receiving this amount after the FIR is quashed and
the divorce by mutual consent is granted.

5. In terms of the understanding arrived at between the

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parties, Respondent No. 2 has filed her affidavit dated 12 th March
2019. In paragraph 2, she has given no objection to quash the said
FIR. Respondent No.2 is personally present before the Court. On
specific query made by us, she submitted that she has made the said
affidavit on her own free will, without there being any pressure or
undue influence. She has further confirmed that she has no objection
for quashing the subject FIR initiated by her against the Applicants.

6. The Apex Court in B. S. Joshi vs. State of Haryana
reported [AIR 2003 SC 1386] has held that in the event of settlement of
matrimonial dispute, the FIR under
Section 498A can be quashed,
even though the said offence is not compoundable in terms of
Section
320 of the Cr.P.C. The relevant observations of the Apex Court are
contained in Paras 14 and 15 which are reproduced herein below:

“14. There is no doubt that the object of introducing
Chapter XX-A containing Section 498A in
the Indian Penal
Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her
husband or by relatives of her husband.
Section 498A was
added with a view to punishing a husband and his
relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or
her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The
hyper-technical view would be counter productive and
would act against interests of women and against the
object for which this provision was added. There is every
likelihood that non-exercise of inherent power to quash
the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent
women from settling earlier. That is not the object
of
Chapter XXA of Indian Penal Code.

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

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of the Code does not limit or affect the powers under
Section 482 of the Code.”

Similar view has been taken by the Full Bench of this Court in
Abasaheb Yadav Honmane vs. State of Maharashtra [2008(5) LJ.Soft
46].

7. It can, thus, be seen that the matter has been amicably
settled between the parties. From the perusal of complaint, it
transpires that the allegations are totally personal in nature. There is
no element of public law involved in the crime. The offence alleged
cannot be said to have any impact on the society. In these
circumstances, and especially, in view of the law laid down by the Apex
Court in the case of
Madan Mohan Abbot vs. State of Punjab, [(2008) 4
SCC 582], we find that no purpose would be served by keeping the
subject FIR alive except ultimately burdening the Criminal Courts
which are already overburdened.

8. In the light of the principles laid down by the Apex Court
in the aforesaid decision as well as in the case of
Narinder Singh vs.
State of Punjab [2014 AIR SCW 2065] we are of the considered view
that there is no impediment in quashing the subject FIR. Accordingly,
application is allowed in terms of prayer clause (b).

9. At this stage, Mr. Damani, learned counsel for

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Respondent No.2 pointed out that during the investigation of subject
FIR, Kandivali Police Station has recovered some golden ornaments
from the Applicants under a Panchnama dated 16 th December 2018.
Copy of the said Panchnama is annexed at page 29 of this application.
Mr. Damani submitted that since the subject FIR is quashed, those
belongings be directed to be given to Respondent No. 2. Mr. Badade,
the learned counsel for the Applicants submitted that his clients have
no objection if the golden ornaments are given to Respondent No. 2.
In these circumstances, we direct Kandivali Police Station to hand
over the said golden ornaments to Respondent No. 2 within two days
from today.

[SMT. BHARATI H. DANGRE, J.] [RANJIT MORE, J.]

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