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Vikram Sodhi vs State And Another on 14 December, 2018

HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

AT JAMMU

CRMC No.555/2018 IA No.01/2018
Date of order: 14.12.2018
Vikram Sodhi Vs. State of JK and another
Coram:
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judge
Appearing counsel:

For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Rohit Kohli, Advocate.
For respondent (s) : Mr. C. M. Koul, Sr. AAG for respondent No.1.

Mr. Pawan Kumar Maini, Advocate for respondent
No.2.

i) Whether to be reported in
Digest/Journal : Yes/No.
ii) Whether approved for reporting
in Press/Media : Yes/No.

1. Through the medium of instant petition filed under Section 561-A of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, petitioner seeks quashing of
Challan/Charge Sheet No.11/Session, titled State Vs. Vikram Sodhi
under Section 452/307/109 RPC 4/25 Arms Act pending before the
Court of learned Sessions Judge, Jammu, presented pursuant to FIR
No.146/2016 of Police Station Domana, Jammu, on account of
compromise.

2. Pursuant to order dated 04.12.2018, Registrar Judicial of this Court has
placed on record the statements of the petitioner, respondent No.2 and
their respective Advocates. These statements read as under:-
Statement of Vikram Sodhi (petitioner no.1), Age : 35 years ; S/o
Sh.Thoru Ram R/o Near Government Middle School, PouniChak,
Jammu on oath today i.e.04.12.2018.

Stated that I and the respondent no.2 were husband and wife and
we have settled all matrimonial dispute before the Additional District
Sessions Judge (Matrimonial Cases), in a petition u/s 15 of Hindu

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 1 of 10
Marriage Act, resultant into decree of divorce by mutual consent vide
order dated 03.12.2018. Besides this, parties to the petition have also
executed a compromise deed dated 31.08.2018 whereby the parties have
settled all their matrimonial disputes and also agreed to settle all other
litigations including Criminal Challan / Charge-sheet no. 11/Sessions
titled State V/s Vikram Sodhi pending before the Court of Learned
Principal Sessions Judge, Jammu and since the challan pending before
the Court of Learned Principal Sessions Judge having offences which are
not compoundable, as such the petitioner has preferred the present
petition before the Hon’ble Court and since all the disputes inter-se
parties with regard to their marital status, alimony and custody of the
child already stand settled, as such the parties have also compromised in
the petition. Thus, the present petition is prayed to be allowed as
compromised.

Statement of Jyoti Kumari (respondent no.2), Age : 30 years ; D/o
Late Sh.Tara Chand R/o H.No.141, Sector 2, Lane no.4, Anuradha-
Puram, Ward no.65, Upper Barnai, Jammu on oath today
i.e.04.12.2018.

Stated that I and the petitioner were wife and husband, and we
have settled all matrimonial dispute before the Additional District Judge
(Matrimonial Cases) Jammu in a petition u/s 15 of Hindu Marriage Act,
resultant into decree of divorce by mutual consent vide order dated
03.12.2018. Beside this, parties to the petition have also executed a
compromise deed dated 31.08.2018 whereby the parties have settled all
their matrimonial disputes and also agreed to settle all other litigations
including Criminal Challan / Charge-sheet no. 11/Sessions titled State
V/s Vikram-Sodhi pending before the Court of Learned Principal
Sessions Judge, Jammu and since the challan pending before the Court of
Learned Principal Sessions Judge have offences which are not
compoundable, as such, I have no objection in case the present petition in

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 2 of 10
allowed and the charge-sheet pending before the Principal Sessions
Judge Jammu in the case titled State v/s Vikram Sodhi is quashed as
compromised, moreover, I have no grievance against the petitioner now
being already settled and divorce decree stand already passed between
the parties as above stated.

Statement of J.P. Nanda, Advocate for petitioner (Vikram Sodhi), on
oath today i.e.04.12.2018.

Stated that I was engaged as counsel by the petitioner before the
Hon’ble High Court in the present petition and also pursued the matter
on behalf of petitioner before the trial court. The parties have mutually
entered into compromise whereby they have already settled their all
disputes voluntarily and also depose the same facts while recording his
statement before the Registrar Judicial. I endorse the said statement and
also identify the petitioner who is present in the Court.

Statement of Pawan Kumar Manni, Advocate for respondent no.2
(Jyoti Kumari), on oath today i.e.04.12.2018.

Stated that I was engaged as counsel by the respondent no.2 before
the Hon’ble High Court in the present petition and also pursued the
matter on behalf of respondent no.2 before the trial court. The parties
have mutually entered into compromise whereby they have already
settled their all disputes voluntarily and also depose the same facts while
recording her statement before the Registrar Judicial. I endorse the said
statement and also identify the respondent no.2 who is present in the
Court.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner has placed on record certified copy of
the judgment dated 03.12.2018 passed by Additional District Judge
(Matrimonial Cases) Jammu by virtue of which the mutual divorce has
been granted, as also original compromise deed dated 31.08.2018 arrived
at between the parties.

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 3 of 10

4. From bare perusal of compromise deed dated 31.08.2018, would reveal
that the parties have mutually agreed that after the divorce they shall
have the right to lead their lives as per their own wish without any kind
of interference or claim from each other. Besides this, it is also agreed
that in case FIR No.146/2016 u/s 452, 307, 109 RPC 4/25 Arms Act,
which had resulted into presentation of charge-sheet/challan before the
competent Court, is not dismissed then petitioner has to approach the
High Court for quashing of challan and respondent No.2 will cooperate
with petitioner for dismissal of challan.

5. A Coordinate Bench of this Court has already considered a similar issue
in 561-A No.345/2017 vide order dated 09.06.2017 wherein the petition
was allowed and the charge sheet and the proceedings against the
petitioners therein were quashed. It is apt to reproduce operative part of
the said order as under:

“Offence under Section 307 RPC is also the offence
relating to use of weapons by the petitioners are non
compoundable. However, it is stated that parties are next-
door neighbours to each other. They have buried the
hatchets and want to live as friendly neighbours. Learned
counsel for the petitioners cites a judgment of the Supreme
Court in the case of “Narinder Singh ors. v. State of
Punjab anr.” 2014(2) Crimes (SC) 67.

Parties having entered into a compromise, trial of the
petitioners may not be fruitful. That apart, it would be in
the better interest of both the parties in case they are given
chance to materialise their intention to live as friendly
neighbours. Allowing compensation would be profitable as
compared to continuing with the trial.

Viewed thus, this petition is allowed the charge sheet
and the proceedings against the petitioners (supra) are
quashed.”

6. In Yogendra Yadav ors. Vs. State of Jharkhand anr. reported in
2014 AIR (SC) 3055, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held has under:-

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 4 of 10

4. Now, the question before this Court is whether this Court
can compound the offences under Sections 326 and 307 of the
IPC which are non-compoundable. Needless to say that
offences which are non-compoundable cannot be compounded
by the court. Courts draw the power of compounding offences
from Section 320 of the Code. The said provision has to be
strictly followed (Gian Singh v. State of Punjab1 ). However, in
a given case, the High Court can quash a criminal proceeding
in exercise of its power under Section 482 of the Code having
regard to the fact that the parties have amicably settled their
disputes and the victim has no objection, even though the
offences are non-compoundable. In which cases the High
Court can exercise its discretion to quash the proceedings will
depend on facts and circumstances of each case. Offences
which involve moral turpitude, grave offences like rape,
murder etc. cannot be effaced by quashing the proceedings
because that will have harmful effect on the society. Such
offences cannot be said to be restricted to two individuals or
two 1 (2012) 10 SCC 303 4 Page 5 groups. If such offences are
quashed, it may send wrong signal to the society. However,
when the High Court is convinced that the offences are entirely
personal in nature and, therefore, do not affect public peace or
tranquility and where it feels that quashing of such
proceedings on account of compromise would bring about
peace and would secure ends of justice, it should not hesitate to
quash them. In such cases, the prosecution becomes a lame
prosecution. Pursuing such a lame prosecution would be waste
of time and energy. That will also unsettle the compromise and
obstruct restoration of peace.

6. Learned counsel for the parties have requested this Court
that the impugned order be set aside as the High Court has not
noticed the correct position in law in regard to quashing of
criminal proceedings when there is a compromise. Affidavit
has been filed in this Court by complainant-Anil Mandal, who
is respondent No. 2 herein. In the affidavit he has stated that a
compromise petition has been filed in the lower court. It is
further stated that he and the appellants are neighbours, that
there is harmonious relationship between the two sides and

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 5 of 10
that they are living peacefully. He has further stated that he
does not want to contest the present appeal and he has no
grievance against the appellants. Learned counsel for the
parties have confirmed that the disputes between the parties
are settled; that parties are abiding by the compromise deed
and living peacefully. They have urged that in the
circumstances pending proceedings be quashed. State of
Jharkhand has 6 Page 7 further filed an affidavit opposing the
compromise. The affidavit does not persuade us to reject the
prayer made by the appellant and the second respondent for
quashing of the proceedings.

7. In view of the compromise and in view of the legal position
which we have discussed hereinabove, we set aside the
impugned order dated 4/7/2012 and quash the proceedings in
S.C.No.9/05 pending on the file of 2nd Additional Sessions
Judge, Godda. The appeal is disposed of.”

7. In case Narinder Singh and ors. Vs. State of Punjab anr. reported
in 2014 Cr.L.J. (SC) 2436, it is held as under:-

“26. The two rival parties have amicably settled the disputes between
themselves and buried the hatchet. Not only this, they say that since they
are neighbours, they want to live like good neighbours and that was the
reason for restoring friendly ties. In such a scenario, should the court give
its imprimatur to such a settlement. The answer depends on various
incidental aspects which need serious discourse.

The Legislators has categorically recognized that those offences which are
covered by the provisions of section 320 of the Code are concededly those
not only do not fall within the category of heinous crime but also which
are personal between the parties. Therefore, this provision recognizes
whereas there is a compromise between the parties the Court is to act at
the said compromise and quash the proceedings. However, even in
respect of such offences not covered within the four corners of Section
320 of the Code, High Court is given power under Section 482 of the Code
to accept the compromise between the parties and quash the proceedings.
The guiding factor is as to whether the ends of justice would justify such
exercise of power, both the ultimate consequences may be acquittal or
dismissal of indictment. This is so recognized in various judgments taken
note of above.

29. At this juncture, we would like also to add that the timing of
settlement would also play a crucial role. If the settlement is arrived at
immediately after the alleged commission of offence when the matter is

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 6 of 10
still under investigation, the High Court may be somewhat liberal in
accepting the settlement and quashing the proceedings/investigation. Of
course, it would be after looking into the attendant circumstances as
narrated in the previous para. Likewise, when challan is submitted but
the charge has not been framed, the High Court may exercise its
discretionary jurisdiction. However, at this stage, as mentioned above,
since the report of the I.O. under Section 173,Cr.P.C. is also placed
before the Court it would become the bounding duty of the Court to go
into the said report and the evidence collected, particularly the medical
evidence relating to injury etc. sustained by the victim. This aspect,
however, would be examined along with another important
consideration, namely, in view of settlement between the parties, whether
it would be unfair or contrary to interest of justice to continue with the
criminal proceedings and whether possibility of conviction is remote and
bleak. If the Court finds the answer to this question in affirmative, then
also such a case would be a fit case for the High Court to give its stamp of
approval to the compromise arrived at between the parties, inasmuch as
in such cases no useful purpose would be served in carrying out the
criminal proceedings which in all likelihood would end in acquittal, in
any case.”

8. In case titled Central Bureau of Investigation vs Sadhu Ram Singla
ors reported in 2017 AIR (SC) 1312. It is apt to reproduce paragraphs 8
to 16 as under:

“8. We have heard learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for
the CBI and learned senior counsel appearing for the respondents at
length and carefully examined the materials placed on record. We have
also taken notice of the fact that the counsel for the appellant in High
Court had sought time for filing the reply but no reply was filed. We have
also taken notice of the fact that the High Court while quashing the said
FIR and consequential proceedings, has relied on the Full Bench
judgment of that High Court in the case of Kulwinder Singh Ors Vs.
State of Punjab Anr., 2007 (4) CTC 769, in which reliance was placed
on the judgment delivered by this Court in the case of Mrs. Shakuntala
Sawhney Vs. Mrs. Kaushalya Sawhney Ors., (1980) 1 SCC 63.

9. Learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the CBI has
drawn our attention to the decision of this Court in Manoj Sharma Vs.
State Ors., (2008) 16 SCC 1, wherein it was observed by this Court:

“22. Since Section 320 CrPC has clearly stated which
offences are compoundable and which are not, the High
Court or even this Court would not ordinarily be justified
in doing something indirectly which could not be done
directly. Even otherwise, it ordinarily would not be a
legitimate exercise of judicial power under Article 226 of

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 7 of 10
the Constitution or under Section 482 CrPC to direct doing
something which CrPC has expressly prohibited. Section
320(9) CrPC expressly states that no offence shall be
compounded except as provided by that Section. Hence, in
my opinion, it would ordinarily not be a legitimate exercise
of judicial power to direct compounding of a non-
compoundable offence.”

10. We further wish to supply emphasis on the judgment delivered by
this Court in the case of State of Tamil Nadu Vs. R. Vasanthi Stanley
Anr., (2016) 1 SCC 376, wherein it was observed:

“15. As far as the load on the criminal justice dispensation
system is concerned it has an insegregable nexus with
speedy trial. A grave criminal offence or serious economic
offence or for that matter the offence that has the
potentiality to create a dent in the financial health of the
institutions, is not to be quashed on the ground that there is
delay in trial or the principle that when the matter has
been settled it should be quashed to avoid the load on the
system. That can never be an acceptable principle or
parameter, for that would amount to destroying the stem
cells of law and order in many a realm and further
strengthen the marrows of the unscrupulous litigations.
Such a situation should never be conceived of.”

11. Further reliance was placed on the decision of this Court in the
case of Central Bureau of Investigation Vs. A. Ravishankar Prasad
Ors., (2009) 6 SCC 351, wherein it was held:

“39. Careful analysis of all these judgments clearly reveals
that the exercise of inherent powers would entirely depend
on the facts and circumstances of each case. The object of
incorporating inherent powers in the Code is to prevent
abuse of the process of the court or to secure ends of
justice.”

12. Lastly, reliance was placed upon another judgment of this Court
in Central Bureau of Investigation Vs. Maninder Singh, (2016) 1 SCC
389, wherein it was held by this Court:

“19. In this case, the High Court while exercising its
inherent power ignored all the facts viz. the impact of the
offence, the use of the State machinery to keep the matter
pending for so many years coupled with the fraudulent
conduct of the respondent. Considering the facts and

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 8 of 10
circumstances of the case at hand in the light of the
decision in Vikram Anantrai Doshi case, (2014) 15 SCC 29,
the order of the High Court cannot be sustained.”

13. Resisting the aforesaid submissions it was canvassed by Mr.
Bishwajit Bhattacharya, learned senior counsel appearing for the
respondents that High Court has judiciously and rightly considered the
facts and circumstances of the present case. Relying upon the judgment
of this Court in Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab Anr., (2012) 10 SCC
303, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondents strenuously
urged that the offences in the present case are not heinous offences. He
further drew our attention towards the relevant part of Full Bench
judgment of the High Court in Kulwinder Singh Ors. Vs. State of
Punjab Anr. (supra), which was reproduced in the impugned
judgment and the same is reproduced hereunder:

“26. In Mrs. Shakuntala Sawhney v. Mrs. Kaushalya
Sawhney Ors.,(1980) 1 SCC 63, Hon’ble Krishna Iyer, J.
aptly summed up the essence of compromise in the
following words :-

The finest hour of justice arrives propitiously when parties,
despite falling apart, bury the hatchet and weave a sense of
fellowship or reunion.

27. The power to do complete justice is the very essence of
every judicial justice dispensation system. It cannot be
diluted by distorted perceptions and is not a slave to
anything; except to the caution and circumspection, the
standards of which the Court sets before it, in exercise of
such plenary and unfettered power inherently vested in it
while donning the cloak of compassion to achieve the ends
of justice. No embargo, be in the shape of Section 320(9) of
the Cr.P.C. or any other such curtailment, can whittle
down the power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.”

14. Since the present case pertains to the crucial doctrine of judicial
restraint, we are of the considered opinion that encroaching into the right
of the other organ of the government would tantamount clear violation of
the rule of law which is one of the basic structure of the Constitution of
India. We wish to supply emphasis on para 21 of the Manoj Sharma’s
case (supra) which is as follows:

“21. Ordinarily, we would have agreed with Mr. B.B.
Singh. The doctrine of judicial restraint which has been
emphasised repeatedly by this Court e.g. in Aravali Golf

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 9 of 10
Club v. Chander Hass (2008) 1 SCC 683 and Govt. of A.P.
v. P. Laxmi Devi (2008) 4 SCC 720, restricts the power of
the Court and does not permit the Court to ordinarily
encroach into the legislative or executive domain. As
observed by this Court in the above decisions, there is a
broad separation of powers in the Constitution and it
would not be proper for one organ of the State to encroach
into the domain of another organ.”

15. Having carefully considered the singular facts and circumstances
of the present case, and also the law relating to the continuance of
criminal cases where the complainant and the accused had settled their
differences and had arrived at an amicable arrangement, we see no
reason to differ with the view taken in Manoj Sharma’s case (supra) and
several decisions of this Court delivered thereafter with respect to the
doctrine of judicial restraint. In concluding hereinabove, we are not
unmindful of the view recorded in the decisions cited at the Bar that
depending on the attendant facts, continuance of the criminal
proceedings, after a compromise has been arrived at between the
complainant and the accused, would amount to abuse of process of Court
and an exercise in futility since the trial would be prolonged and
ultimately, it may end in a decision which may be of no consequence to
any of the parties.”

9. Further, as the parties have arrived at a compromise, so there would be
no chance of conviction in near future in case trial is held and concluded.

10. In view of the above, this petition stands allowed.

11. Consequently, Challan/Charge Sheet No.11/Session, titled State Vs.
Vikram Sodhi under Section 452, 307, 109 RPC 4/25 Arms Act,
pending before the Court of learned Sessions Judge, Jammu, in FIR
No.146/2016 of Police Station Domana, Jammu, is quashed in view of
compromise arrived at between the parties.

12. Copy of this order be sent to Court below for compliance.

(Sanjay Kumar Gupta)
Judge
Jammu
14.12.2018
Narinder

CRMC No.555/2018 Page 10 of 10

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