Delhi High Court Sunil Kumar & Ors vs State & Anr on 8 August, 2014Author: Sudershan Kumar Misra
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI + CRL.M.C. 3476/2014
SUNIL KUMAR & ORS ….. Petitioner Through Ms. Rekha Bisht, Advocate.
STATE & ANR ….. Respondents Through Ms.Nishi Jain, Additional Public Prosecutor. SI Man Mohan, P.S. Dabri
Complainant in person.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA
% SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA, J. (Oral)
Exemption, as prayed for, is allowed, subject to all just exceptions. This application is disposed off.
1. This petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of FIR No.380/2013 dated 12.07.2013 registered under Section 498-A/34 IPC Police Station Dabri, as well as all proceedings emanating therefrom, since the parties have amicably settled their disputes.
2. Issue notice.
3. Ms. Nishi Jain, Additional Public Prosecutor, accepts notice. The second respondent, Geeta, is present in person.
4. The Investigating Officer, SI Man Mohan Yadav, Police Station Dabri, identifies the complainant.
5. The aforesaid FIR is stated to be registered as a result of domestic discord. The FIR was registered by the complainant / respondent No.2 Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 1 of 6 against her husband, Sunil Kumar, who is the first petitioner herein; as well as petitioners 2 and 3, who are the complainant’s mother-in-law and sister- in-law.
6. On 09.10.2013, the first petitioner, Sunil Kumar, was granted anticipatory bail on a statement that he has taken a separate accommodation on rent, and that he is ready to reside in that accommodation along with the complainant. The statement of the complainant was also noted to the effect that she is willing to join her husband in the new accommodation.
7. Today, the complainant states that she has been living with her husband Sunil Kumar ever since, and that she has no further grievance; she therefore prays that the proceedings be dropped, and the matter be closed.
8. The petitioner, Sunil Kumar also states that he will ensure that his wife, Smt. Geeta, shall have no cause for complaint in future also, and that he will look after her appropriately. They are also stated to have a child who is aged about 2 ½ years. The first petitioner is stated to be a Graduate in B.Com.(Pass).
9. Counsel for the State also submits that the charge sheet has yet not been filed. He further states that the looking to the overall circumstances, and since the parties have settled the matter amongst themselves; and the complainant is not interested in supporting the prosecution in a matter which is purely a domestic dispute; no useful purpose will be served in continuing with the present proceedings.
10. Under the circumstances, and in view of the decisions of the Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, which has referred to a number of matters for the proposition that even a non- compoundable offence can also be quashed on the ground of a settlement agreement between the offender and the victim, if the circumstances so
Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 2 of 6 warrant; and also Narinder Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Anr. 2014(2) Crimes 27 (SC) where the Supreme Court held as follows:-
“31. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we sum up and lay down the following principles by which the High Court would be guided in giving adequate treatment to the settlement between the parties and exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code while accepting the settlement and quashing the proceedings or refusing to accept the settlement with direction to continue with the criminal proceedings:
(I) Power conferred under Section 482 of the Code is to be distinguished from the power which lies in the Court to compound the offences under Section 320 of the Code. No doubt, under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court has inherent power to quash the criminal proceedings even in those cases which are not compoundable, where the parties have settled the matter between themselves. However, this power is to be exercised sparingly and with caution.
(II) When the parties have reached the settlement and on that basis petition for quashing the criminal proceedings is filed, the guiding factor in such cases would be to secure:
(i) ends of justice, or
(ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court.
While exercising the power the High Court is to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives.
(III) Such a power is not be exercised in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not
Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 3 of 6 private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, for offences alleged to have been committed under special statute like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by Public Servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender.
(IV) On the other, those criminal cases having overwhelmingly and pre-dominantly civil
character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes should be quashed when the parties have resolved their entire disputes among themselves.
(V) While exercising its powers, the High Court is to examine as to whether the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal cases would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal cases.
(VI) Offences under Section 307 Indian Penal Code would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore is to be generally treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 Indian Penal Code in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307Indian Penal Code is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to proving the charge under
Section 307 Indian Penal Code. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is
Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 4 of 6 inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. Medical report in respect of injuries suffered by the victim can generally be the guiding factor. On the basis of this prima facie analysis, the High Court can examine as to whether there is a strong possibility of conviction or the chances of conviction are remote and bleak. In the former case it can refuse to accept the settlement and quash the criminal proceedings whereas in the later case it would be permissible for the High Court to accept the plea compounding the offence based on complete settlement between the parties. At this stage, the Court can also be swayed by the fact that the settlement between the parties is going to result in harmony between them which may improve their future relationship.
(VII) While deciding whether to exercise its power under Section 482 of the Code or not, timings of settlement play a crucial role. Those cases where the settlement is arrived at immediately after the alleged commission of offence and the matter is still under investigation, the High Court may be liberal in accepting the settlement to quash the criminal proceedings/investigation. It is because of the reason that at this stage the investigation is still on and even the charge sheet has not been filed. Likewise, those cases where the charge is framed but the evidence is yet to start or the evidence is still at infancy stage, the High Court can show benevolence in exercising its powers favourably, but after prima facie assessment of the
circumstances/material mentioned above. On the other hand, where the prosecution evidence is almost complete or after the conclusion of the evidence the matter is at the stage of argument, normally the High Court should refrain from exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code, as in such cases the trial court would be in a position to decide the case finally on merits and to Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 5 of 6 come a conclusion as to whether the offence under Section 307 Indian Penal Code is committed or not. Similarly, in those cases where the conviction is already recorded by the trial court and the matter is at the appellate stage before the High Court, mere compromise between the parties would not be a ground to accept the same resulting in acquittal of the offender who has already been convicted by the trial court. Here charge is proved under Section 307 Indian Penal Code and
conviction is already recorded of a heinous crime and, therefore, there is no question of sparing a convict found guilty of such a crime.”
I am of the opinion that the matter, which has arisen out of a domestic discord; and where the parties have settled the matter; deserves to be given a quietus. The complainant appears to be residing happily with her husband, i.e., the first petitioner, ever since October, 2013, along with their child; no useful purpose will be served in continuing with these proceedings.
11. Consequently, the petition is allowed and FIR No.380/2013 dated 12.07.2013 registered under Section 498-A/34 IPC Police Station Dabri, as well as all proceedings emanating therefrom, are hereby quashed.
12. The petition is disposed off.
SUDERSHAN KUMAR MISRA
AUGUST 08, 2014
Crl.M.C. No.3476/2014 Page 6 of 6