Court:PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE Jaswant Singh
Devender Pal Singh and Ors. vs. State of Punjab and Anr. On 17 December 2010
In Disputes where the Question Involved is of a Purely Personal Nature, the Court should Ordinarily Accept the terms of the Compromise even in Criminal Proceedings. This is a Common Sense Approach to the Matter Based on Ground of Realities and Bereft of the Technicalities of the Law.
1. Prayer under Section 482 Cr.PC is for quashing of FIR No. 99 dated 31.08.2010 under Sections 406, 498A, 354 and 34 of Indian Penal Code registered with Police Station Gate Hakima, Amritsar and all consequential proceedings arising therefrom on the basis of compromise arrived at between the parties.
2. As per allegations levelled in the FIR, Petitioner No. 1-Devender Pal Singh(being husband), Petitioners No. 2 & 3(being parents-in-law) and Petitioner No. 4(being brother-in-law) of the Respondent No. 2-complainant used to harass, maltreat and gave beatings to her on account of bring insufficient dowry articles. Although the parents of the Respondent No. 2-complainant fulfills the demands of the Petitioners even then they did not stop their activities of harassing and maltreating the Respondent No. 2-complainant. As such the aforesaid FIR was registered.
3. While issuing notice of motion parties were given liberty to appear before the learned Illaqa Magistrate for getting their statements recorded in terms of the compromise who after recording their statements was required to submit its reports regarding genuineness of compromise.
4. Report (Mark-A) in the shape of letter dated 15.12.2010 of learned Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, Amritsar duly forwarded by the learned District & Sessions Judge, Amritsar vide his endorsement dated 16.12.2010 has been received wherein it is stated that the parties appeared before that court and suffered statements recorded separately in terms of the compromise thereby stated that the matter between the parties has been compromised in the FIR and complainant has no objection if the aforesaid FIR and all consequential proceedings are quashed against the Petitioners.
5. From the report submitted it is evident that the dispute between the Petitioners-accused and the complainant has been amicably resolved by entering into compromise wherein the complainant has stated that he has no objection if the present FIR against the Petitioners-accused is quashed.
6. Learned State Counsel on instructions from ASI Balwinder Singh submits that challan has not been presented in the instant case and is unable to raise any serious objection in view of the statement recorded in terms of the aforesaid compromise whereby the complainant is not willing to support the case of the prosecution.
7. Hon’ble Supreme Court in B.S. Joshi & Others v. State of Haryana and Anr. MANU/SC/0230/2003 : (2003)4 SCC 675 has made it explicitly clear in para 15 of its judgment that the High Court in exercise of its inherent powers can quash criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint and Section 320 of the Code does not limit or effect the powers under Section 482 of the Code.
8. A Full Bench of this Court in Kulwinder Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab and Anr. 2007(3) RCR 1052 has also held that this Court, in appropriate cases, while exercising powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C., may quash an FIR disclosing the commission of non-compoundable offences. The relevant extracts read as under:
The only inevitable conclusion from the above discussion is that there is no statutory bar under the Cr.P.C., which can affect the inherent power of this Court under Section 482. Further, the same cannot be limited to matrimonial cases alone and the Court has the wide power to quash the proceedings even in non-compoundable offences notwithstanding the bar under Section 320 of the Cr.P.C., in order to prevent the abuse of law and to secure the ends of justice.
9. Hon’ble Apex Court in another case in Nikhil Merchant v. Central Bureau of Investigation and Anr. MANU/SC/7957/2008 : J.T. 2008(9) S.C. 192 while relying upon its decision in B.S. Joshi’s case(supra) has also held that in view of the compromise arrived at between the parties, the technicalities should not be allowed to stand in the way in the quashing of criminal proceedings and the continuance of the same after compromise between the parties would be a futile exercise.
10. Similar views were expressed by Hon’ble the Apex Court in Madan Mohan Abot v. State of Punjab MANU/SC/1204/2008 : 2008(4) SCC 582, the relevant extract of which is as under:
We need to emphasise that it is perhaps advisable that in disputes where the question involved is of a purely personal nature, the court should ordinarily accept the terms of the compromise even in criminal proceedings as keeping the matter alive with no possibility of a result in favour of the prosecution is a luxury which the courts, grossly overburdened as they are, cannot afford and that the time so saved can be utilised in deciding more effective and meaningful litigation. This is a common sense approach to the matter based on ground of realities and bereft of the technicalities of the law.
11. Keeping in view the above settled legal position and taking into account the fact that the dispute between the parties is a matrimonial dispute the both the parties have desired to live in peace and harmony and carry on with their lives without any ill will or rancour by resolving their differences and entering into the aforesaid compromise, it is evident that it is a fit case where there is no legal impediment in the way of the Court to exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C., for quashing of the FIR in the interest of justice.
12. Accordingly, the present petition is allowed and FIR No. 99 dated 31.08.2010 under Sections 406, 498A, 354 and 34 of Indian Penal Code registered with Police Station Gate Hakima, Amritsar and the subsequent proceedings arising there from are quashed against the Petitioners