Continuation Of Criminal Proceedings After Compromise Would Cause Oppression & Prejudice To Parties: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday reiterated that once the parties had decided to enter into a compromise, it would be oppressive and prejudicial to continue the proceedings.
The single-judge bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh said,
"After compromise/settlement arrived at between the parties in the present case, the chance of ultimate conviction is bleak and therefore, no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing a criminal prosecution against the applicants to continue, as the same would be futile exercise and a sheer wastage of precious time of the Court. The continuation of a criminal proceedings after compromise would cause oppression and prejudice to the parties concerned."
This position is a trite law, reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan & Ors., AIR 2019 SC 1296, whereby guidelines were laid down for quashing of criminal proceedings arising out of non-compoundable offences under Section 320 Cr.P.C. on the basis of compromise and amicable settlement of criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transaction with an essentially civil flavour dispute, etc. between the parties concerned.
Therefore, the court allowed the application filed by Gomti Devi under Section 482 of CrPC, taking note of the affidavit filed by the Respondent that he had no objection w.r.t. quashing of the impugned criminal proceedings, and said,
"on account of compromise entered into between the parties concerned, all disputes between them have come to an end and on the aforesaid facts continuance of criminal proceedings pursuant to impugned charge-sheet against the applicants after compromise arrived at between the parties would be a futile exercise, therefore, same is liable to be quashed by this Court.
When the complainant of a case or the victim of the offence itself expresses its resolve not to give evidence against the accused in the back drop of the compromise between the parties inter-se or if the fact of inter-se compromise in between the parties is apparent on the face of record, and they are still called upon the depose in the Court, they in all probability, go back on their words and resile from their previous statements, the truthfulness of which is best known only to themselves…The solemn proceedings of the Court often get reduced to a sham exercise and farce in such circumstances."
Stating that it may not be necessary to mete out punishment in every criminal offence, particularly, if the parties concerned wants to bury the hatchet, Justice Singh said,
"even in the cases which involved non compoundable offences…The inherent jurisdiction of this Court may be suitably exercised if the parties inter-se have mutually decided to bury the hatchet and settle the matter amicably in between them in a criminal litigation emanating from such dispute which are quintessentially of civil nature and other criminal litigations, which do not have grave and deleterious social fall-outs."
The Applicant, represented by Advocate Vinod Sinha, had been indicted under Section 420 of IPC for execution of illegal sale deed with the Respondent's daughter-in-law.
The Private Respondent was represented by Advocate Rajeev Chaddha.