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Gujarat High Court: The Bench of Dr A.P. Thaker, J. while enlarging the appellant on bail disposed of a petition since the matter in dispute was already settled by the parties amicably.

In the pertinent matter, the appellant (accused -husband) and the original complainant (wife) got married while they both continued to reside separately at their respective homes and the same was not revealed to their families. Later the parents accepted them and they both were remarried. Subsequently, a complaint was made where it was alleged that the accused persons (in-laws and the husband) started abusing her regarding her caste and tortured her physically and mentally seeking dowry. An FIR was lodged after a 2 months delay to that effect. But later an affidavit was filed acknowledging the fact that the dispute has been amicably settled by the parties and that the complainant has no problem if the appeal is allowed.

The Court after considering the facts, presence of the original complainant and the affidavit so produced, was of the opinion that the husband and wife have amicably settled the dispute and the alleged offence under the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is not made out. Therefore, considered it to be a fit case to exercise its discretion under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code and thus the bail was granted. [Mauleshbhai Ramanbhai Raval v. State of Gujarat, R/Criminal Appeal No. 737 of 2019, decided on 15-04-2019]

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Uttaranchal High Court: The Bench of Narayan Singh Dhanik J. disposed a compounding application along with a criminal writ petition and quashed the First Information Report filed against the accused applicant on the ground of amicable settlement of the dispute between the parties.

The instant application had been filed for quashing FIR registered against the applicant under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused-applicant and respondent-complainant entered into a compromise whereby the loss suffered by respondent was duly compensated and dispute between both the parties had been amicably settled. The complainant had no grudge or grievance against the accused-applicant and hence he was not interested in further prosecution.

The Court observed that though the complainant can be permitted to enter into the compromise for offences under Sections 406 and 420 IPC, but for the offences under Sections 467, 468 and 471 IPC, the complainant has no right to enter into a compromise with the accused. However, it was opined that in the present case, as the complainant and accused had willingly and amicably arrived at compromise; and complainant was not interested in further prosecution, therefore it would be futile to permit future trial inasmuch as it would not reach to its logical and correct conclusion as there is great possibility of witnesses turning hostile.

In view of the above, compromise arrived at between the parties was accepted and the compounding application was allowed. [Akil Ahmad v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 10, Order dated 16-01-2019]

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Bombay High Court: A Division Judge Bench comprising of Ranjit More and Bharati H. Dangre, JJ., quashed the criminal proceedings for the offence punishable under Sections 354, 504, 506 and 509 of IPC,1860 on dispute being settled amicably by the parties.

The case was filed against Ness Nusli Wadia by the actress Preity Zinta for the offence under Sections 354, 504, 506 and 509 of IPC, 1860. It was stated that during the pendency of the case, the well-wishers, friends and family of the parties intervened for an amicable settlement after which the respondent 2 filed an affidavit in which it was expressed that she has no objection to quash the criminal proceeding.

Therefore, the Court on noting the affidavit filed for quashing the criminal proceeding with her own free will and respondent stating that the dispute is settled and she wants to move in life by not further proceeding for the case, the High Court quashed the subject criminal proceedings.

Further, the High Court by placing reliance on the decision of Supreme Court in Madan Mohan Abbot v. State of Punjab, (2008) 4 SCC 582 stated that no purpose would be served by keeping the subject FIR alive except ultimately burdening the Criminal Courts. The petition stands allowed. [ Ness Nusli Wadia v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 3361,  dated 10-10-2018]

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Uttaranchal High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of V.K. Bisht, J. allowed a criminal miscellaneous petition filed under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of the proceedings pending against the petitioner before the trial court in a criminal case.

The petitioner was booked as a co-accused in a criminal case registered for the commission of offences punishable under Sections 147, 323, 420, 468, 471, 504, 506 IPC. Along with the petition, a joint compounding application was also filed. The compounding application was supported by the affidavits filed by the petitioner-accused and the respondent-complainant. It was stated that the petitioner and the respondent had entered into an amicable settlement, and the respondent did not want to prosecute the case any further.

The High Court noted that the petitioner and the respondent were present in the Court and they were duly identified by their respective counsels. The parties admitted to an amicable settlement. The High Court relied on the Supreme Court decision in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, wherein it was held that criminal proceedings can be quashed by the Court, if the Court is satisfied that the matter has been settled between the parties amicably and the parties are interested to restore peace and harmony between them. Having considered the submissions and after going through the entire record, the High Court was satisfied that the parties had settled the dispute amicably. Thus, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the criminal proceedings pending against the petitioner before the trial court. The compounding application was disposed of accordingly. [Dilbagh Singh v. State of Uttarakhand,2018 SCC OnLine Utt 569, dated 19-6-2018]

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Uttaranchal High Court: The FIR registered against the petitioners for offences punishable under Sections 323, 452, 504 and 506 IPC was quashed by a Single Judge Bench of V.K. Bist, J.

The petitioners sought for quashing of the above-mentioned FIR and the proceedings arising therefrom. Affidavits were filed by the respondent and the injured in support of the application by the petitioners. Further, learned counsels for the parties submitted that parties had entered into a compromise and the matter had been amicably settled between them. Also, the respondent did not want to press the case further filed against the petitioners, they were left with no grudges and they wanted to live peacefully in future.

Referring to the Supreme Court decision in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, the High Court held that criminal proceedings can be quashed by the High Court if the Court is satisfied that the matter has been amicably settled between the parties and they are interested to restore peace and harmony between them. On the facts of the present case, the Court found that the matter, in fact, had been amicably settled between the parties and therefore the petition deserved to be allowed. Accordingly, the impugned FIR was quashed. [Saurabh Sharma v. State of Uttarakhand,  2018 SCC OnLine Utt 385, order dated 27-04-2018]

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Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Ajay Mohan Goel, J., allowed a criminal petition filed by the accused-petitioner praying for quashing of FIR registered under Sections 353 and 506 IPC as well as the consequential proceedings arising therefrom.

The petitioner submitted that the issue which led to registration of the FIR, stood amicably resolved between the complainant and the petitioner. Further, the complainant stated before the Court that a compromise was arrived at between the parties as per which the complainant submitted that she was no more interested in pursuing the case against the petitioner. She categorically stated that she had no objection in case the FIR and consequential proceedings against the petitioner are quashed. She submitted that she entered into the compromise out of her own free will and not under threat or coercion. Learned Additional Advocate General also submitted that the matter has been amicably settled between the parties, and the State had no objection in case the petition was allowed and the FIR was quashed.

The Court considered the submissions made by and on behalf of the parties and was of the considered view that since an amicable settlement was arrived at between the parties and since the complainant was no more interested in pursuing the case against the petitioner, it would be in the interest of justice to quash the FIR registered against the petitioner as well as consequential proceedings arising therefrom. Orders were passed accordingly. [Ved Prakash v. State of H.P., 2018 SCC OnLine HP 273, dated 21.3.2018]

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Uttaranchal High Court: A criminal writ petition filed by the petitioners for quashing the FIR registered for offences punishable under Sections 420,120-B and 506 of IPC, was allowed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of V.K. Bist, J.

In addition to the writ petition, a compounding application was also filed by the petitioners. In support of the said application, affidavits were filed by both the parties and it was submitted that they have entered into a compromise and the matter had been amicably settled between them. It was further submitted that the respondent no more wanted to press the case against the petitioners and the parties want to live peacefully in future. It was prayed that the offences mentioned in the FIR may be compounded and the proceedings arising therefrom may be quashed.

The High Court referred to the Supreme Court decision in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, and observed that criminal proceedings can be quashed by the Court, if it is satisfied that the matter has been amicably settled between the parties and they are interested to restore peace and harmony between them. On considering the submissions made on behalf of the parties and going through entire material available on record, the Court was satisfied that the matter had been amicably settled between the parties. It was held that the writ petition deserved to be allowed.

Hence, the writ petition was allowed, the above mentioned FIR was quashed and the compounding application was disposed of accordingly. [Rahat Ali v. State of Uttarakhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Utt 156, decided on 07-03-2018]

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Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court ruled that proceedings under Sections 498-A, 406 read with 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 can be quashed by the High Court upon request of the parties after reaching a settlement agreement  to obtain divorce by mutual consent.

Appellant 1 and Respondent  2 were married but had no issue out of the wedlock. Disputes arose between them, resulting in the FIR bearing No. 0615/2014 alleging offences under Sections 498-A, 406 read with 34  IPC. A petition under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was also filed. The parties later reached an amicable solution. The petitioner agreed to pay 1 lakh to Respondent 2 for the settlement of all her claims including maintenance. The said petition was withdrawn by Respondent  2.

Respondent 2 stated that she willingly settled the matter and not under any pressure or coercion. The Court was of the view that now that the parties have settled the matter, no further purpose is served in pursuing the matter further. Hence, the petition was disposed of. [Vijay v. State NCT of Delhi, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 9902, decided on 10.08.2017]

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Punjab and Haryana High Court: In two subsequent cases decided by the Bench of  Inderjit, J., dealing with offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471  IPC (pertaining to cheating and forgery) and Sections 365, 343, 506 IPC (pertaining to wrongful confinement), the Court decided to quash the FIRs under Section 482 CrPC on the ground that compromise had been concluded between the parties.

The Court thoroughly enquired the factum of compromise between both the parties and held that in case the parties have indeed settled their dispute, the State would have no objection to the quashing of the FIR in view of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303.

The Court worded its observations in both the cases as, “In a decision, based on compromise, none of the parties is a loser. Rather, compromise not only brings peace and harmony between the parties to a dispute, but also restores tranquility in the society. After considering the nature of offences allegedly committed and the fact that both the parties have amicably settled their dispute, continuance of criminal prosecution would be an exercise in futility, as the chances of ultimate conviction are bleak.” [Manjit Singh Saini v. State of Punjab, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 1707, decided on 18.07. 2017]

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Bombay High Court: Making observations in the Writ Petition filed before the court, as to the conduct of accused and subsequent circumstances, which had fortified the facts of the First Information Report, the Division Bench of Naresh H. Patil and Prakash D. Naik JJ. declined the prayer for quashing of the FIR. The FIR in question was filed by Mehjaben Abbas Khan against Mohd. Faizan Amir Khan under Section 376 and 420 of the Penal Code, 1860. The petitioner who is the accused named in the FIR had sought to quash the FIR on grounds that the parties have amicably settled the dispute.

The facts of the case showed that the accused had induced the complainant to have physical relationship with a false promise of marriage while they lived together in a rented place in Mumbai. He had no intention of marrying her and had left for Uttar Pradesh, his native home, without her knowledge. Further, he even had refused to fulfill his promise of marriage to the complainant.

It was also noted that after the FIR was registered on 2.02.2016, the accused was not available for investigation and had been absconding. It was only after realizing that the FIR had been registered against him and the investigating machinery was looking for him, he came to Mumbai and purportedly solemnised the marriage on 29.04.2016. The Court even noted that the present petition had been filed just the following day i.e. on 30.04.2016 along with the affidavit by complainant giving consent for quashing the FIR.

The Court held that the approach of the accused had been suspicious and though the accused and complainant had solemnised the marriage, it is not inclined to quash the FIR. Upholding the decision of the Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303, the Court held that in respect of serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. and other offences of moral turpitude, “the settlement between the offender and the victim can have no legal sanction at all.”. Therefore, having considered the factual aspects of the FIR and the law laid down by the Apex Court, the conduct of the accused and the subsequent events formed sufficient ground to decline the prayer made in the petition. Hence, the Court dismissed the petition with no order as to costs. [Mohammad Faizan Amir Khan v. State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 5020, Decided on: July 5, 2016]

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Jharkhand High Court: With the intent to protect the sanctity of marriage, the Court said that sometimes clash of ego between the couple turns out to be a cause of marital discord, therefore, while dealing with such type of cases, a sincere attempt is required to be made by the concerned Presiding Judge of the Family Court dealing with the case to settle the disputes amicably, if possible, in the very start of the matter.

The Court showed it’s concern on the marital discords resulting in divorce in the matter where the wife had sought reversal of the order of restitution of conjugal rights by taking the plea  that after even giving birth to a son out of this wedlock, the marriage being of 2008, she had completely withdrawn herself from the society of the husband without any reasonable excuse whereas the wife contended that at the time of marriage, she was hardly  20 years old and eager to build up her career, but her husband and his family members, who had initially agreed that they would permit her to go ahead with her further studies, refused and assigned her domestic work. Considering the facts of the case, the Court said that “if an attempt is made, perhaps this young couple can reunite.”

The division bench of Virender Singh J. and  Shree Chandrashekhar CJ., hence, directed the parties to appear in person and then persuaded them to stay together to which the appellant-wife willingly agreed. After 6 weeks the matter was called up again, where the couple made a joint statement that they are staying together very happily and if there was any misunderstanding between them, they have resolved it themselves. The couple also volunteered to work as Para Legal Volunteers (PLVs) Mediators/ Conciliators on behalf of the Jharkhand State Legal Service (JHALSA).

The Court was hence, of the view that this couple would be in abetter position to give effective counseling which would be in the larger interest of the Society. [Priyanka Sarkhel v. Baban Sarkhel, 2016 SCC OnLine Jhar 1620, decided on 17.06.2016]