Exclusive; One of the Rapist married the Victim; P&H High Court quashed Rape Case against all 5 Accused based on the Compromise between parties [Read the Judgment]

Exclusive; One of the Rapist married the Victim; P&H High Court quashed Rape Case against all 5 Accused based on the Compromise between parties [Read the Judgment]

The Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday quashed the FIR under Sections 376/506/120B of Indian Penal Code, against accused persons on the ground that the matter has been compromised.  The single Bench had also taken in to account of the fact that one of the Accused had married the victim.

The Accused persons had approached the High Court to quash the proceedings with a copy of the Compromise entered in to between the victim and the Accused persons. The High Court  vide order dated 19.8.2015 had directed the parties to appear before a magistrate for recording the statements with regard to the compromise.  The Victim had appeared before the Magistrate and her statement had been recorded. Magistrate had forwarded his report dated 3.9.2015 to the effect that on the basis of the statements suffered by the parties, the compromise entered between them is genuine, voluntary and without any coercion or undue influence.

The victim made the following statement before the Magistrate

“The present case has been registered on my statement against five accused persons namely Dalbir Singh, Raj Kaur, Sukha Singh @ Sukhdev, Harjit Kaur and Harpreet Singh @ Gurpreet Singh. Now, the matter has been compromised with all the abovesaid accused persons with the intervention of respectable persons of the village.I have performed marriage with accused Harpreet Singh @ Gurpreet Singh. I have no objection if the FIR No.79 of 2015 and subsequent proceedings arising out of said FIR registered at Police Station, Beas are quashed by the Hon'ble High Court. I do not want to take further action against all the accused. I have made this statement out of mine own sweet will, without any threat or pressure. Compromise with accused persons have been suffered out of mine own sweet will and without any kind of pressure from any one”

Based on the above Statement the High Court held as follows;

“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, especially when the accused and the complainant have married and both have amicably settled their dispute, continuance of criminal proceedings would be an exercise in futility, as the chances of ultimate conviction are bleak, as the complainant is not likely to support the case of the prosecution and therefore, it would not be in the interest of justice to decline the prayer for quashing of the FIR on the ground that it would amount to permitting the parties to compound a non-compoundable offence. Rather, if the FIR is quashed, it would in the interest of the parties, to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. Reference may be made to judgment of this Court in the case of Bhupinder Kaur vs. State of Punjab and another, 2004(2) RCR (Criminal) 443. Thus, no useful purpose would be served to continue with the proceedings in the instant FIR.

Accordingly, following the principles laid down by the Full Bench judgment of this Court in Kulwinder Singh and others v. State of Punjab and another, 2007 (3) RCR (Criminal) 1052 (P&H), as approved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab and others, (2012)10 SCC 303, this petition is allowed and FIR No.79 dated 11.6.2015 under Sections 376/506/120-B IPC registered at Police Station Beas, District Amritsar (Annexure P-1) and all other consequential proceedings ASHWANI KUMAR arising therefrom are quashed in view of compromise dated 2015.09.15 17:09”

Actually the Full Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court in Kulwinder Singh and others v. State of Punjab and another held as follows;

“The offences against human body other than murder and culpable homicide where the victim dies in the course of transaction would fall in the category where compounding may not be permitted. Heinous offences like highway robbery, dacoity or a case involving clear-cut allegations of rape should also fall in the prohibited category.”

In Gian Singh Case, the Supreme Court held as follows;

“In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or F.I.R may be exercised where the offender and victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. However, before exercise of such power, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature and have serious impact on society”.

Regarding the cases in which the rape accused marries the victim, Supreme Court more recently observed,“Sometimes solace is given that the perpetrator   of   the   crime   has   acceded   to   enter   into   wedlock with her which is nothing but putting pressure in an adroit manner;   and   we   say   with   emphasis   that   the   Courts   are   to remain absolutely away from this subterfuge to adopt a soft approach to the case, for any kind of liberal approach has to be put in the compartment of spectacular error. Or to put it differently, it would be in the realm of a sanctuary of error. We are compelled to say so as such an attitude reflects lack of sensibility   towards   the   dignity,   the   elan   vital,   of   a   woman. Any kind of liberal approach or thought of mediation in this regard is thoroughly and completely sans legal permissibility.”

Read the Judgment here.