* + IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI CRL.M.C. 2266/2016 & Crl.M.A.No.9524/2016 SHYAM LAL & ORS Date of Decision: October 17th, 2016 ........ Petitioner
s Through: Mr. V.V. Manoharan, Mr. Amit, Advocate Versus THE STATE (N.C.T) OF DELHI & ANR ........ RESPONDENTS
Through: Mr. M.P. Singh, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State with Sub- Inspector Yogesh Kumar, Police Station Timarpur, Delhi CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE P.S.TEJI P.S.TEJI, J.
1. The present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the petitioners, namely, Sh. Shyam Lal, Sh. Ghanshyam, Smt. Yashodha Devi, Ms. Kamla, Smt. Saroj Arya @ Champa, Sh. Nandan Ram Arya, Smt. Geeta and Sh. Kailash Chand for quashing of FIR No.392/2014 dated 13.06.2014, under Sections 498-A/4
IPC registered at Police Station Timarpur on the basis of the Settlement Deed executed between petitioner no.1 and respondent no.2, namely, Smt. Babita on 09.09.2015.
2. respondent-State submitted that the respondent No.2, present in the Court has been identified to be the complainant/first-informant of the FIR in question by her counsel.
3. The factual matrix of the present case is that the marriage was solemnized between petitioner no.1 and respondent no.2 on Learned Additional Public Prosecutor for Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 1 of 9 09.12.2010. It is the case of the complainant that soon after their marriage, the husband as well as in-laws of the complainant started harassing her for dowry. Every now and then the accused persons used to ask the complainant to leave the matrimonial home. On 20.02.2012, the accused persons broke the electricity wire as well as water pipe line of the house and shifted somewhere else, leaving the complainant all alone in the matrimonial home. Thereafter, the parents of the complainant came and took her back from the matrimonial home. Since then the complainant has been living with her parents. Respondent No.2, present in the Court, submitted that Thereafter, the complainant got lodged the complaint following the petitioners. the matter was settled which the FIR in question was registered against During the pendency of the proceedings, between the petitioners and respondent no.2.
4. the dispute between the parties has been amicably resolved. As per the Settlement Deed, the parties have agreed to dissolve their marriage by way of mutual consent. It is agreed that petitioner no.1 shall pay a sum of Rs.4.6 Lacs to respondent no.2 towards full and final settlement against her dowry articles, stridhan, maintenance (past, present and future), permanent alimony etc. qua this marriage. It is agreed between the parties that after signing of the present settlement deed, respondent no.2 shall not claim any right, title or interest whatsoever in respect of any of the properties of petitioner no.1, his father, mother or other family members. It is agreed that petitioner no1, his family members, agents, representatives etc. shall be absolutely free to deal with any of the properties owned/inherited/ancestral as per his/her wish and Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 2 of 9 respondent no.2 shall not raise any claim to the same. The parties have agreed to withdraw all the litigations/cases/complaints (civil or criminal) pending anywhere before any court of law and undertake to appear before the concerned courts as and when required and also to co-operate with each other in this regard. It is agreed that respondent no.2 shall vacate the premises i.e. 1st Floor, House No.2992, Gali No.70, E-2 Block, Molar Band Extension, Badarpur, New Delhi-110044 and shall hand over the peaceful possession of the same to petitioner no.3 positively by 30.09.2015. It is agreed that the above said final settlement amount of Rs.4.6 Lacs shall not include the interim maintenance paid as of date by petitioner no.1 under the orders of the court. It is agreed that respondent no.2 shall co-operate with petitioner no.1 in quashing of the FIR in question and that a sum of Rs.90,000/- shall be paid by the petitioner no.1 to respondent no.2 at the time of quashing of the FIR in question. Respondent No.2 affirmed the contents of the aforesaid settlement and of her affidavit dated 24.05.2016 supporting this petition. In the affidavit, she has stated that she has no objection if the FIR in question is quashed. All the disputes and differences have been resolved through mutual consent. Now no dispute with petitioners survives and so, the proceedings arising out of the FIR in question be brought to an end. Statement of the respondent no.2 has been recorded in this regard in which she stated that she has entered into a compromise with the petitioners and has settled all the disputes with them. She further stated that she has no objection if the FIR in question is quashed. Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 3 of 9 In Gian Singh v. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC303Apex 5. Court has recognized the need of amicable resolution of disputes in cases like the instant one, by observing as under:-
"In other words, the High Court must consider “61. whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceedings or continuation of criminal proceedings would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and the wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in the affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceedings.” The aforesaid dictum stands reiterated by the Apex Court in a 6. recent judgment in Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC466 The relevant observations of the Apex Court in Narinder Singh (Supra) are as under:-
"“29. 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:
29. 1 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. 29.2. 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 Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 4 of 9 (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. 29.3. Such a power is not to 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 private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, for the offences alleged to have been committed under 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. 29.4. On the other hand, those criminal cases having overwhelmingly 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. predominantly special and civil 7. The inherent powers of the High Court ought to be exercised to prevent the abuse of process of law and to secure the ends of justice. The respondent no.2 agrees to the quashing of the FIR in question without any threat or coercion or undue influence and has stated that the matter has been settled out of her own free will. As the matter has been settled and compromised amicably, so, there would be an extraordinary delay in the process of law if the legal proceedings between the parties are carried on. So, this Court is of the considered opinion that this is a fit case to invoke the jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to prevent the abuse of process of law and to secure the ends of justice.
8. The incorporation of inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is meant to deal with the situation in the absence of express provision Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 5 of 9 of law to secure the ends of justice such as, where the process is abused or misused; where the ends of justice cannot be secured; where the process of law is used for unjust or unlawful object; to avoid the causing of harassment to any person by using the provision of Cr.P.C. or to avoid the delay of the legal process in the delivery of justice. Whereas, the inherent power is not to be exercised to circumvent the express provisions of law. It is settled law that the inherent power of the High Court under 9. Section 482 Cr.P.C. should be used sparingly. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of State of Maharashtra through CBI v. Vikram Anatrai Doshi and Ors. MANU/SC/0842/2014 and in the case of Inder Singh Goswami v. State of Uttaranchal MANU/SC/0808/2009 has observed that powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. must be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution. Only when the Court comes to the conclusion that there would be manifest injustice or there would be abuse of the process of the Court if such power is not exercised, Court would quash the proceedings.
10. It is a well settled law that where 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, pursuing prosecution would be waste of time and energy. Non-compoundable offences are basically an obstruction in entering into compromise. the main offence is compoundable but the connected offences are not. In the case of B.S. In certain cases, Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 6 of 9 Joshi and others v. State of Haryana and another 2003 (4) SCC675the Hon’ble Apex Court observed that even though the provisions of Section 320 Cr.P.C. would not apply to such offences which are not compoundable, it did not limit or affect the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. The Hon’ble Apex Court laid down that if for the purpose of securing the ends of justice, quashing of FIR becomes necessary, section 320 Cr.P.C. would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. justified the exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings to secure the ends of justice in view of the special facts and circumstances of the case, even where the offences were non- compoundable. the Hon’ble Apex Court In the nutshell, In the light of the aforesaid, this Court is of the view that notwithstanding the fact the offence under Section 498A IPC is a non- compoundable offence, there should be no impediment in quashing the FIR under this section, if the Court is otherwise satisfied that the facts and circumstances of the case so warrant. The Courts in India are now normally taking the view that 11. endeavour should be taken to promote conciliation and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs such as, matrimonial disputes between the couple or/and between the wife and her in-laws. India being a vast country naturally has large number of married persons resulting into high numbers of matrimonial disputes due to differences in temperament, life-styles, opinions, thoughts etc. between such couples, due to which majority is coming to the Court to Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 7 of 9 to adopt an approach radically different get redressal. In its 59th report, the Law Commission of India had emphasized that while dealing with disputes concerning the family, the Court ought from that adopted in ordinary civil proceedings and that it should make reasonable efforts at settlement before the commencement of the trial. Further it is also the constitutional mandate for speedy disposal of such disputes and to grant quick justice to the litigants. But, our Courts are already over burdened due to pendency of large number of cases because of which it becomes difficult for speedy disposal of matrimonial disputes alone. As the matrimonial disputes are mainly between the husband and the wife and personal matters are involved in such disputes, so, it requires conciliatory procedure to bring a settlement between them. Nowadays, mediation has played a very important role in settling the disputes, especially, matrimonial disputes and has yielded good results. The Court must exercise its inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to put an end to the matrimonial litigations at the earliest so that the parties can live peacefully.
12. Since the subject matter of this FIR is essentially matrimonial, which now stands mutually and amicably settled between the parties, therefore, continuance of proceedings arising out of the FIR in question would be an exercise in futility and is a fit case for this Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction.
13. In the facts and circumstances of this case, in view of statement made by the respondent No.2 and the compromise arrived at between Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 8 of 9 the parties, the FIR in question warrants to be put to an end and proceedings emanating thereupon need to be quashed. this petition is allowed and FIR No.392/2014 14. Accordingly, dated 13.06.2014, under Sections 498-A/4
IPC registered at Police Station Timarpur and the proceedings emanating therefrom are quashed against the petitioners.
15. This petition is accordingly disposed of.
16. Application Crl.M.A.No.9524/2016 is also disposed of. OCTOBER17 2016 dd (P.S.TEJI) JUDGE Crl.M.C. 2266/2016 Page 9 of 9