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It Would Be Extreme Injustice To Parties If Despite Settlement Criminal Proceedings Continue: JKL High Court Quashes FIR U/S 498A RPC

Sparsh Upadhyay
19 March 2022 5:34 AM GMT
It Would Be Extreme Injustice To Parties If Despite Settlement Criminal Proceedings Continue: JKL High Court Quashes FIR U/S 498A RPC
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Quashing an FIR under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code [offence of cruelty], the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently observed that it would amount to extreme injustice if despite settlement having been arrived at by the parties, the criminal proceedings are allowed to continue.The Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar further observed that refusing to quash an FIR in such a case would...

Quashing an FIR under Section 498A of Ranbir Penal Code [offence of cruelty], the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently observed that it would amount to extreme injustice if despite settlement having been arrived at by the parties, the criminal proceedings are allowed to continue.

The Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar further observed that refusing to quash an FIR in such a case would amount to frittering away of the fruits of compromise that has been arrived at between the parties.

Essentially, the Court was hearing a plea filed by one Abdullah Danish Shervani who had sought quashing of an FIR (lodged by her wife) registered against him under section 498A RPC, and the consequent criminal proceedings pending before the Court of Special Mobile Magistrate 13th Finance Commission(Sub Judge), Srinagar.

It was submitted that during the pendency of criminal proceedings, a compromise was arrived at between the parties and, accordingly, a compromise deed was executed by the parties in November 2018, wherein the parties settled their disputes amicably and also withdrew the cases pending between them as they want to live peacefully without involving themselves in further litigation.

It was further stated in the compromise deed, the complainant had stated that she does not want to pursue the impugned FIR.

The HC took into account two rulings of the Apex Court to come to the conclusion that the HC has the power to quash the criminal proceedings in connection with alleged offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute.

Adverting to the facts of the instant case, the Court observed that the parties to the matrimonial dispute i.e., petitioner and the complainant, have entered into a compromise and that compromise has also been acted upon by the parties, inasmuch as the cases and counter cases lodged by the parties against each other have been withdrawn/compounded.

In view of this, the Court observed thus as it allowed the plea and quashed the FIR and criminal proceedings:

"Merely because the offences under Section 498A RPC, for which petitioner is facing trial on the basis of the complaint made by the complainant, is non-compoundable, if an end is not put to the criminal proceedings, it would amount to grave injustice to the petitioner and, in fact, it will amount to frittering away of the fruits of compromise that has been arrived at between the parties. The continuance of criminal proceedings against the petitioner, in these circumstances, will be nothing but an abuse of process of law."

Case title - Abdullah Danish Shervani v. UT of J&K and Anr.

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 11

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