Principles relating to quashing of proceedings under S. 307 IPC stated

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the High Court of Delhi comprising of Vinod Goel, J, quashed a proceeding under Section 307 IPC and Sections 25/27/54 and 59 of the Arms Act, 1959 under it’s inherent powers under Section 482 of the CrPC.

The petitioner had tried to commit suicide with his father’s licensed pistol before Respondent 2 and 3 after finding out that Respondent 3, though had led the petitioner on, was married to Respondent 2. Respondent 2 and 3 had received injuries when the pistol accidentally fired while Respondent 2 was trying to snatch the pistol away from the petitioner. The petitioner had then, shot himself in a bid to commit suicide. The petitioner failed, and all three injured were admitted to AIIMS, Delhi. Statements of Respondent 2 and 3 were recorded and the firearm was recovered from the crime scene along with live cartridges and empty shells. The parties subsequently entered into a compromise and decided to amicably settle their misgivings with the help and intervention of family members. The charge-sheet had also not been filed so far.

The Court referred to the case of Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 466 wherein the principles to be kept in mind while quashing an FIR under Section 307 of the IPC were laid down. The principles were that while exercising its powers, the High Court is to examine as to whether the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal cases would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal cases, also the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to proving the charge under Section 307 IPC. On the basis of this prima facie analysis, the High Court can examine as to whether there is a strong possibility of conviction or the chances of conviction are remote and bleak. In the former case it can refuse to accept the settlement and quash the criminal proceedings whereas in the latter case it would be permissible for the High Court to accept the plea compounding the offence based on complete settlement between the parties. At this stage, the Court can also be swayed by the fact that the settlement between the parties is going to result in harmony between them which may improve their future relationship.

The Court took note of the settlement between the parties and the negative effect the proceedings were having on the petitioner’s future career, quashing the FIR and proceedings arising out of it. [Kajal Sarkar v. State,  2017 SCC OnLine Del 11118, decided on 24.10.2017].

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