The Bombay High Court on Tuesday quashed an FIR filed against a 25-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy after the father of the victim and the accused reached an amicable settlement.
Division bench of Justice ZA Haq and Justice SM Modak of the Nagpur bench also directed the registry to deposit the amount of Rs.50,000 submitted partly on behalf of the accused and on behalf of the victim for showing bona-fides, with the District Bar Association, Nagpur for disbursement to advocates in need.
The bench was hearing an application for quashing of FIR under Section 482 of CrPC filed by the accused, who has been booked for offences punishable under Sections 364-A, 342, 347, 212, 201, 120-B, 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 8,12 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and Section 66(k)(d) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
According to the applicant accused and the father of the victim, the matter is amicably worked out between them. However, in the previous hearing, the Additional Public Prosecutor SS Doifode had raised an objection to entertaining the plea for quashing and submitted that the Court should not show any indulgence at a belated stage, that is after the filing of the charge-sheet as the Investigating Agency has invested sufficient time in investigation.
Following this, the Court passed an order on July 10, 2020 and recorded willingness of the applicant and victim's father to deposit Rs.25,000 each with the Registry to show the bona fides. Accordingly, both parties deposited the amount by cheque which are said to be issued from the accounts of Advocates representing the applicant and the victim's father.
Advocate PW Mirza appeared on behalf of the applicant and Advocate RD Dharmadhikari for the victim's father. Both the advocates assured the Court that the cheques will be encashed and in case any cheque is dishonoured the concerned Advocate would be responsible to make the payment.
Finally, the bench noted-
"Considering the nature of accusations made by the non-applicant No.2, the fact that the victim boy, though minor, was aged about 17 years at the time of the incident and as the parties have amicably worked out the matter and the trial has not yet commenced, we are of the view that no fruitful purpose would be achieved by keeping the trial pending and interests of justice would be sub-served by quashing the proceedings subject to utilising the amount deposited by the applicant and non-applicant No.2 for some appropriate purpose."
Therefore, the FIR was quashed and after deliberations, both Advocate Mirza and Advocate Dharmadhikari submitted before the bench that the amount of Rs.50,000 deposited with the Registry should be given to the District Bar Association, Nagpur for disbursement to Advocates in need.
Thus, Court directed the Registry to give the amount of Rs.50,000 to the District Bar Association, Nagpur and said-
"We leave it to the wisdom of the Executive Body of the District Bar Association, Nagpur to utilize the amount. We hope and trust that it would be disbursed to the needy Advocates. We make it clear that this amount will not be utilized by the Bar Association for any other purpose."
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