7 April 2023 2:30 PM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has observed the quashing of a Rape case or cases POCSO Act on the basis of the compromise entered between the accused and the victim is legally impermissible. The bench of Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I observed thus while it refused to quash a 9 year old rape case filed by the victim against the accused on the ground that the matter had been compromised between...
The Allahabad High Court has observed the quashing of a Rape case or cases POCSO Act on the basis of the compromise entered between the accused and the victim is legally impermissible.
The bench of Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I observed thus while it refused to quash a 9 year old rape case filed by the victim against the accused on the ground that the matter had been compromised between the parties.
In this regard, the Court also took into account the decision of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Om Prakash vs. State of U.P. and Another 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 104, wherein it has been held that the criminal proceedings under Section 376 I.P.C. and POCSO Act cannot be quashed on the basis of the compromise entered into between the accused and the victim.
The Court also noted that whether a case under POCSO Act can be compromised between the accused and the victim is engaging the attention of the Apex Court in the case of Ramji Lal Bairwa and another vs. State of Rajasthan and another.
The case before the Court
Essentially, 3 accused had moved the High Court seeking quashing of a criminal case wherein Applicant no. 1 is facing charges under Sections 376, 363, 366, 504, 506 I.P.C. and 3/4 POCSO Act and Applicant 2 and 3 are facing charges under Sections 504, 506 I.P.C. They pleaded that the matter has been compromised between the victim and the accused.
It was further submitted that the accused/applicant no.1 and the opposite party no.2, victim have married and are living happily together as husband and wife, and therefore, the impugned criminal proceeding deserves to be quashed.
On the other hand, the State vehemently opposed the prayer by submitting that the POCSO Act has been enacted by the Legislature for the prevention and protection of children as defined in the said Act. It was further submitted that the charge sheet has been submitted against the present applicants.
At the outset, the Court observed that the power of quashing of criminal proceedings should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases. Further, the HC also referred to the Supreme Court's order in the case of Satish Kumar Jatav vs. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 488, wherein the top court had observed that when a clear case is made out for the offences alleged, the criminal proceedings cannot be quashed merely on the ground that "no useful purpose will be served by prolonging the proceedings of the case.
The Court also referred to the top Court's decision in the case of Narinder Singh and others vs. State of Punjab and another reported in (2014) 6 SCC 466, wherein the Apex Court had specifically held that the offence under Section 376 I.P.C., though committed in respect of a particular victim, cannot be termed to be a private dispute between the parties.
Lastly, the Court also took note of the Supreme Court's judgment in the case of Daxaben vs State of Gujarat 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 642 wherein it was inter alia held that an FIR under Section 306 IPC (abetment of suicide) and Rape (Section 376 IPC) cannot be quashed under Section 482 CrPC on the basis of settlement.
Thus, having regard to the aforesaid settled legal position, the Court held that quashing of a case under Section 376 I.P.C. read with Sections 3/4 POCSO Act on the basis of the compromise entered between the present accused/ applicant no.1 and opposite party no.2, the victim, is not legally permissible.
Therefore, the instant application was dismissed.
Counsel for Applicant: Ajeet Kumar Yadav, Ashish Kumar Gupta
Counsel for Opposite Party: G.A
Case title - Pravin Kumar Singh @ Pravin Kumar And 2 Others vs. State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Deptt., Lko. And Another [APPLICATION U/S 482 No. - 2941 of 2023]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 120
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