(Prayer: Petition filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure to call for the records relating to Crime No.8 of 2016 on the file of the respondent police and quash the same as illegal.)
1. Section 482 Cr.P.C., saves inherent power of the Court. Such inherent power can be exercised either to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Invoking such inherent power, this petition has been filed to quash the proceedings on the ground that the continuance would amount to abuse of the process of the Court.
2. Acase in Crime No.8 of 2016 has been registered under Sections 498(A), 294(b), 323 and 506(ii) IPC and Section 4 of TNPHW Act by the 1st respondent against the petitioner.
3. Alleging dowry harassment in the matrimonial home, a complaint has been preferred by the defacto complainant / 2nd respondent against her husband. On the basis of the complaint, the aforesaid FIR came to be registered against the petitioner/sole accused.
4. When the matter is taken up for hearing, the petitioner and the second respondent, appeared in person and their identifications were verified by this Court, in addition to the confirmation of the identity of the parties by the learned Government Advocate (Crl.Side) through the respondent police.
5. Learned counsel appearing for the parties filed a joint memo of compromise dated 29.08.2016, duly stating that the parties have arrived at an amicable settlement, under which the second respondent has agreed to withdraw the above case in Crime No.8 of 2016 pending on the file of the first respondent.
5.1. Even in respect of matrimonial disputes, there are two kinds of cases, a) one kind relates to existing and continuing relationship between the parties; in this type of case; having regard to the preservation of family tie and in the interest of welfare of children, the Court might have to consider the claim of settlement between the parties, b) yet another kind of case is, where there is dowry death and abetment to commit suicide, where the implication is felt more seriously by the society, in which the permission to compound cannot be considered at all.
5.2. So far as this case is concerned, the defacto complainant has stated that she has decided to live jointly with her husband in consequences of the compromise and therefore, she is not interested in prosecuting the case. The settlement would help the parties to continue the relationship as husband and wife and therefore, the dispute is personal in nature and the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak. Therefore, the proceedings must be quashed.
5.3. From the compromise, this Court can safely infer that the chances of the defacto complainant deposing against the petitioner is less and therefore, the chance of conviction of the accused is bleak.
6. When such a situation arose in similarly placed matters in Crl.O.P.(MD) Nos.406, 530 and 864 of 2016 (Prabu and others vs. State Rep. By The Inspector of Police and others), decided on 28.01.2016, this Court considered the various decisions rendered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in this regard in several cases, namely, Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab and another [(2012) 10 SCC 303], B.S.Joshi vs. State of Haryana [(2003) 4 SCC 675], Nikhil Merchant vs. CBI [(2008) 9 SCC 677], Narinder Singh and others vs. State of Punjab and another [(2014) 6 SCC 466] and State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Manish and others [(2015) 8 SCC 307] and observed as under:
11.....As held by the Apex Court, insofar the offences arising out of matrimonial dispute, relating to dowry or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature, are concerned, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak, in case the parties resolve their entire disputes amicably among themselves......
7. Therefore, considering, a) the nature of relationship between the parties, b) nature of offences alleged c) the settlement arrived at and d) the ultimate result of the prosecution, this Court is of the view that quashing of the First Information Report will be in the ends of justice and accordingly, the same is ordered to be quashed.
8. In the result, this Criminal Original Petition is allowed and the entire proceeding in Crime No.8 of 2016 dated 22.02.2016 on the file of the 1st respondent police in respect of the petitioner is hereby quashed.