IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI Cr. M. P. No.1869 of 2013 ------ Praveen Kumar, S/o Late Dr. Prashu Prasad Agrawal Resident of “Parijaat”, Opp. Birla Ground, Indrapuri, Road No.2, Ratu Road, P.O.Hehal, P.S.Sukhdeonagar, District-Ranchi ... ... … Petitioner Versus 1. The State of Jharkhand 2. Jayanti Kumari, W/o Praveen Kumar, D/o Yashoda Nandan Wahadar, Resident of C/o Ravi Shankar Prasad, Bengali Durga Sthan, Kumhar Toli Road, Boddam Bazar, P.O., P.S. & District-Hazaribagh ... ... ... Opp. Parties CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE RAVI NATH VERMA For the Petitioner : Mr. P.P. N. Roy, Sr. Advocate Mr. Shekhar Sinha, Advocate For the State : A.P.P. For the O.P. No.2 : Mr. A.K. Sahani, Advocate Mr. Ajit Kumar, Advocate ------ Dated, 5th September, , 2016 By Court Invoking the inherent power of this Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (in short ‘the Code’) the petitioner has prayed for quashing of the entire criminal proceeding as well as the order dated 25.04.2013 passed by learned Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Hazaribagh in Complaint Case No.595 of 2011 whereby after taking cognizance of the offence under Sections 498A and 323 of the Indian Penal Code against the petitioner and other accused persons, direction has been given to file requisites for appearance of the accused persons.
2. Bereft of the unnecessary details, the facts, which is relevant for the proper adjudication of the issue between the parties, in short, is that at the instance of the present opposite party no.2- Jayanti Kumari, who is the wife of the petitioner, aforesaid complaint case was filed with the allegation that her marriage was solemnized with this petitioner on 27.04.2008 as per Hindu rituals and customs and thereafter she came to her matrimonial house at Ratu Road, Ranchi alongwith the petitioner and as her father was 2 Cr.M.P. No.1869 of 2013 not alive, her brother gifted cash and articles to the petitioner’s family and their conjugal life was happy till 10.05.2008 but thereafter the accused persons started teasing her and she called her brother and mother and only after two months of stay at Hazaribagh, she came back to her parents’ house on 12.07.2008 but at the instance of her brother she came back to her matrimonial house where she conceived. Even thereafter she was subjected to physical and mental torture and was treated like a maid and finally on 12.10.2008 she was ousted from her matrimonial house.
3. The learned court below after recording the statement of the complainant and other witnesses during enquiry under Section 202 of the Code, took cognizance of the offence as indicated above. It appears that before filing of complaint case, the petitioner had filed a Title Matrimonial Suit No.71 of 2011 for grant of divorce on the ground of continuous desertion and cruelty by the opposite party.
4. During pendency of this criminal miscellaneous petition, several steps were taken at the instance of the court to settle the dispute between the parties and finally the parties agreed to part their ways as the relations between them came to a stage from where there was no chance of normalcy in the relationship and a joint compromise petition was filed by both the parties by way of Interlocutory Application (Cr.) No.5493 of 2016 on certain terms and conditions, which is incorporated in the compromise petition.
5. The question which has come up for consideration is as to whether the criminal proceeding initiated on the basis of the complaint case filed at the instance of the opposite party no.2 wherein cognizance has been taken under Sections 498A and 323 of the Indian Penal Code can be allowed to be compounded? 6. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner as well as for the opposite party no.2 relying upon the case Gian Singh Vs. 3 Cr.M.P. No.1869 of 2013 State of Punjab & Anr.; (2012) 10 SCC303jointly submitted that the offence arising out of matrimony, particularly relating to dowry or the family dispute, where the wrong is basically to the victim and the offender and when the victim has settled all the disputes between them amicably, irrespective of the fact that such offences have not been made compoundable under the Code, can be compounded.
4. Both the parties were physically present in court and they accepted the factum of compromise as well as filing of joint compromise petition and informed that they have settled their dispute and none of them has now any grievance with each other. In the case B.S. Joshi & Ors. Versus State of Haryana & Anr; (2003) 4 SCC675 the Hon’ble Supreme Court while considering similar situation arising out of a case instituted under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code held in Para 14 as follows:- “There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-A containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The hypertechnical view would be counterproductive and would act against interests of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is every likelihood that non exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XX-A of the Indian Penal Code.” Section 320 of the Code sets out the details of offences in different tables, which are compoundable by the parties and those, which are compoundable with leave of the court. It is no doubt that Section 498 ‘A’ of the Indian Penal Code is not included in the above list of Section 320 of the Code but in view of the ratio decided in the above B.S. Joshi & Ors. Versus State of Haryana & Anr. (supra) it becomes the duty of the court to encourage the 4 Cr.M.P. No.1869 of 2013 genuine settlement of matrimonial disputes. Admittedly, if the parties have settled their dispute and either revived relationship or decided to part their ways, in such eventuality there would be almost no chance of conviction. In the instant case, the parties have settled their dispute and filed a joint compromise petition deciding to part their ways. In the case Gian Singh (supra) as cited above by the learned counsels appearing for the petitioner as well as by the opposite party no.2, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has widened the scope by bringing several other criminal proceedings within the ambit of inherent power of High Court as decided earlier in B.S. Joshi (supra) and held that offences which overwhelmingly and predominantly bear civil flavour having arisen out of civil, mercantile, commercial, financial, partnership or like such transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony particularly relating to dowry etc. or the family disputes and the parties have settled all the disputes amicably irrespective of the fact that such offences have not been made compoundable, the High Court may within the framework of its inherent power, quash the criminal proceeding or criminal complaint or F.I.R. if it is satisfied that on the face of such settlement, there is hardly any likelihood of the offender being convicted or whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tentamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and the wrongdoer. It is relevant to mention that this petitioner being aggrieved by order passed by the learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Ranchi in Matrimonial Suit No.71 of 2011 granting maintenance Pendente-lite had preferred one writ being W.P.(C) No.3287 of 2015. Both the cases were listed in this Court and finally parties settled their dispute by filing joint compromise petition. 5 Cr.M.P. No.1869 of 2013 5. In view of the discussions made above and considering the facts and circumstances, in my opinion, the continuation of proceeding would amount to abuse of process of law and sheer wastage of valuable time of the court and this case comes well within the ambit of the law down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the above cases. Hence, in the light of the ratio decided in the above two cases, order taking cognizance dated 25.04.2013 as well as the continuance of criminal proceeding in connection with Complaint Case No.595 of 2011 pending in the court of learned Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Hazaribagh are, hereby, quashed.
6. This criminal miscellaneous petition is, accordingly allowed. (R.N. Verma, J.) Jharkhand High Court, Ranchi Dated, 5th September, 2016 Anit/N.A.F.R.