* + IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI CRL.M.C. 2416/2016 ATUL VERMA Date of Decision: November 10th, 2016 ........ Petitioner
Through: Mr. Jagat Rana, Mr. Yashwardhan Singh Ratore, Mr. Abhinav Dang, Advocate Versus STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ANR ........ RESPONDENTS
Through: Mr. G.M. Farooqui, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State with ASI Devender, Police Station Dabri, Delhi CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE P.S.TEJI Learned Additional Public Prosecutor P.S.TEJI, J.
1. The present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the petitioners, namely, Sh. Atul Verma for quashing of FIR No.13/2013 dated 04.01.2013 under Sections 498-A/4
IPC registered at Police Station Dabri on the basis of settlement arrived at between the petitioner and respondent no.2, namely, Ms. Sneh Verma on 08.04.2016.
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 ASI Devendra.
3. The factual matrix of the present case is that the marriage was solemnized between petitioner/husband of the complainant and the complainant/respondent no.2 on 17.11.2009. On 04.09.2010 daughter named Kanishka was born out of the said wedlock. It is alleged by the complainant that her in-laws would torture her on several occasions for Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 1 of 8 for dowry and money and that her husband was having illicit relations with another woman. It is alleged that on 11.08.2011, the complainant had gone to her parental home for two weeks on the festival of Rakhi and when she informed her parents about all the abuse and torture she was being subjected to at her matrimonial home, the complainant’s brother had a heated argument with her brother-in-laws. It is alleged that after such altercation, the complainant was not allowed to enter her matrimonial home by her husband. Respondent No.2, present in the Court, submitted that Thereafter, the complainant got lodged a complaint following which, the FIR in question was registered against the petitioner. An amicable settlement was arrived at between the parties during the pendency of the matter.
4. the dispute between the parties has been amicably resolved. As per the settlement arrived at the Counseling Cell, the parties had agreed to live separately for a period of one year. It was agreed that the petitioner shall pay a sum of Rs. 4,500/- to respondent no.2 in the as maintenance w.e.f. April 2016 and deposit the said amount at Punjab and Sindh Bank bearing A/c No.11791000005581 before the 15th of every month. It is also agreed that both the parties shall approach this Court in quashing the FIR in question within a month of the settlement i.e. May 2016. It is agreed that respondent no.2 shall withdraw her case of maintenance pending in the Court of Sh. P.K. Barthwal on the next date of hearing i.e. 11.04.2016. It is also agreed that the petitioner shall pay a sum of Rs. 5 Lakhs to respondent no.2 within a time frame of 6 months for which a FDR will be made in the name of minor Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 2 of 8 daughter Kanishka. It is agreed that the petitioner is paying an amount of Rs. 2 Lakhs to respondent no.2, in the form of cheque bearing no.155916 dated 08.04.2016. It is agreed that after this one year of separation the parties shall start living together with their daughter. It is also agreed that the custody shall remain with the respondent no.2 and petitioner no.1 shall have visitation rights to meet the child at any mutually agreed place and time. Respondent No.2 affirmed the contents of the aforesaid settlement and of her affidavit dated 08.07.2016. 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 petitioner 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 settlement with the petitioner and has settled all the disputes with him. She further stated that she has no objection if the FIR in question is quashed. 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, “61. the High Court must consider 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.” Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 3 of 8 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 (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. special Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 4 of 8 and civil predominantly 29.4. On the other hand, those criminal cases having character, overwhelmingly 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. The inherent powers of the High Court ought to be exercised to 7. 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. The incorporation of inherent power under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
8. is meant to deal with the situation in the absence of express provision 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.
9. It is settled law that the inherent power of the High Court under Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 5 of 8 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. It is a well settled law that where the High Court is convinced 10. 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. 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 the Hon’ble Apex Court In certain cases, In the nutshell, Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 6 of 8 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. 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 get redressal. In its 59th report, the Law Commission of India had emphasized that while dealing with disputes concerning the family, the from that Court ought 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 to adopt an approach radically different Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 7 of 8 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. Since the subject matter of this FIR is essentially matrimonial, 12. 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 settlement arrived at between the the FIR in question warrants to be put parties, to an end and proceedings emanating thereupon need to be quashed. Accordingly, this petition is allowed and FIR No.13/2013 dated 14. 04.01.2013 under Sections 498-A/4
IPC registered at Police Station Dabri and the proceedings emanating therefrom are quashed against the petitioner.
15. This petition is accordingly disposed of. NOVEMBER10 2016/dd (P.S.TEJI) JUDGE Crl.M.C. 2416/2016 Page 8 of 8