Court:Punjab-Haryana High Court
Bench: JUSTICE Mehinder Singh Sullar
RAJNEESH & ORS. Vs. STATE OF HARYANA & ORS. Decided on 24 September 2012
Complainant has no Objection if Impugned FIR and all other Consequent Proceedings Arising Thereto Against Petitioners are Quashed — Since the compromise is in their welfare and interest, there is no impediment in translating their wishes into reality and to quash criminal prosecution to set the matter at rest to enable them to live in peace and to enjoy life and liberty in a dignified manner — Impugned and subsequent proceedings quashed — Petitioners acquitted of charges framed against them.
Tersely, the facts and material, culminating in the commencement, relevant for the limited purpose of deciding the instant petition and emanating from the record, are that, in the wake of complaint of complainant Manavi respondent No. 2 (for brevity “the complainant”), a criminal case was registered against the petitioner-accused, by means of FIR No. 13 dated 12.1.2007 (Annexure P1), on accusation of having committed the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 406 read with Section 34, IPC by the police of Police Station City Narnaul, District Mahendergarh.
2. After the completion of the investigation, the police submitted the challan/final police report, in terms of Section 173, Cr.P.C. Accordingly, the petitioners were charge-sheeted for the trial of indicated offences by the Trial Court and the case was slated for evidence of the prosecution.
3. During the pendency of the criminal case, good sense prevailed and the parties, have amicably settled their matrimonial dispute, by virtue of compromise (Annexure P2) recorded in the divorce petition for dissolution of their marriage by mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (hereinafter to be referred as “the Act”).
4. Having compromised the matter, now the petitioners-accused have preferred the present petition to quash the impugned FIR (Annexure P1) and all other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom, invoking the provisions of Section 482, Cr.P.C., inter alia pleading that due to intervention of the respectables and family members, the parties have entered into compromise. In pursuance thereof, they have already filed a joint petition for divorce, by way of mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Act and made their statements (Annexure P4) in it. The complainant-wife has agreed to withdraw the petition under Section 125, Cr.P.C. and petitioner-husband has also agreed to pay a sum of Rs. 3,50,000 as maintenance allowance. On the strength of aforesaid grounds, the petitioner-accused sought to quash the impugned FIR (Annexure P1) and all other consequent proceedings arising thereto in the manner depicted here-inabove.
5. During the course of preliminary hearing, the Trial Court was directed to record the statements of all the concerned parties with regard to genuineness and validity or otherwise of the compromise, vide order dated 27.7.2012.
6. In compliance thereof, the Trial Court has submitted its report, bearing No. 677 dated 24.8.2012, which, in substance, is as under:
“That on 24.8.2012, both the parties appeared before the Court and suffered their joint statement with regard to the compromise effected between them before the Court of Mr. Rajneesh Bansal, learned ADJ, Narnaul on 19.7.2012. They also stated that the said statement before the learned Judge was genuine and valid and they bound themselves by the said statement for the purpose of compliance of order dated 27.7.2012. It is also submitted that they again made a statement before the Court with regard to their compromise, which bears their signatures duly identified by their Counsel and was entered by them with their free consent and in the interest of both the parties.”
7. That means, it stands proved on record that the parties have amicably settled their dispute, by means of compromise (Annexure P4).
8. Above being the position on record, now the short and significant question, though important, that arises for determination in the present case is, as to whether the impugned FIR (Annexure P1) and all other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom deserve to be quashed in view of the settlement or not?
9. Having regard to the contentions of learned Counsel for parties, to me, it would be in the interest and justice would be subserved, if the instant criminal prosecution is quashed and the parties are allowed to live in peace. Moreover, learned Counsel for the parties are ad idem that in view of the settlement of disputes between the parties, the criminal prosecution is liable to be quashed as per the compromise between them.
10. What cannot possibly be disputed here is that the law with regard to quashing such criminal prosecution on the basis of settlement between the parties, by way of compromise, has now been well-settled by the Hon’ble Apex Court in cases Shiji @ Pappu and Others v. Radhika and Another, VIII (2011) SLT 378=IV (2011) CCR 246 (SC)=IV (2011) DLT (Crl.) 554 (SC)=2012 (1) RCR (Cr.) 9; Manoj Sharma v. State & Ors., IV (2008) CCR 597 (SC)=2008 (4) RCR (Cr.) 827; B.S. Joshi v. State of Haryana, I (2003) DMC 524 (SC)=II (2003) SLT 689=II (2003) CCR 57 (SC)=2003 (2) RCR (Cr.) 888 (SC) and Full Bench of this Court in case Kulwinder Singh and Others v. State of Punjab and Another, IV (2007) CCR 280=2007 (3) RCR (Cr.) 1052, wherein it was ruled that the High Court has vast inherent power to quash the criminal prosecution on the basis of settlement of disputes between the parties.
11. The crux of the law laid down in the indicated judgments is that the power under Section 482, Cr.P.C. has no limits. However, the High Court will exercise it sparingly and with utmost care and caution. The Court is a vital and an extraordinary effective instrument to maintain and control social order. The Courts play role of paramount importance in achieving peace, harmony and ever-lasting congeniality in society and resolution of a dispute by means of a compromise between two warring groups, therefore, should attract the immediate and prompt attention of a Court which should endeavour to give full effect to the same, unless such compromise is abhorrent to lawful composition of the society or would promote savagery, if the statement is fair being free from under pressure.
12. Meaning thereby, the High Court has unlimited power to quash the criminal proceedings, relatable to such matrimonial disputes, on the basis of lawful settlement. The law laid down in the aforesaid judgments “mutatis mutandis” is applicable in the instant case and is the complete answer to the problem in hand.
13. As is evident from the record, that the parties have amicably settled their disputes, vide compromise (Annexure P4). They have filed a joint petition for divorce by mutual consent, in which, their statements have been recorded by the Trial Court. The complainant has no objection if the impugned FIR (Annexure P1) and all other consequent-proceedings arising thereto against the petitioners are quashed. The parties have lawfully agreed to settle the dispute. Since the compromise is in their welfare and interest, so to my mind, there is no impediment in translating their wishes into reality and to quash the criminal prosecution to set the matter at rest to enable them to live in peace and to enjoy the life and liberty in a dignified manner.
14. In the light of the aforesaid reasons, the instant petition is hereby accepted. Consequently, the impugned (Annexure P1) and all other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom, are quashed and the petitioner-accused are acquitted of the charges framed against them, in the obtaining circumstances of the case.
15. Needless to mention that, both the parties will abide by the terms and conditions of the compromise (Annexure P4) in letter and spirit. In case of breach of any terms and conditions of the settlement by any of the parties, the aggrieved party would be at liberty to file the fresh petition to obtain appropriate relief in this relevant connection.