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Allahabad High Court quashes FIR under sections of IPC, Dowry Prohibition Act

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The Allahabad High Court recently quashed an FIR under Sections 323, 354, 498A, 504 IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, in terms of the settlement agreement between parties before the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the HC.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajeev Singh allowed the application  filed by Ishwar Singhal @ Tinu & Others.

The application has been filed with request that the matter may be referred to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the High Court in relation to FIR  under Sections 323, 354, 498A, 504 IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Police Station Mandion, District Lucknow and also quashed the entire proceeding in relation to FIR.

The AGA raised a preliminary objection that in the present case, FIR and its consequential proceedings are challenged as the investigation is still pending, therefore, application is not maintainable in terms of law laid down by the full bench of the High Court in the case of Ram Lal Yadav and Others vs. The State of UP and Others reported in 1989 Cr. LJ 1013, decided on 01.02.1989 and answered that after lodging the FIR, no interference is permissible by the High Court in exercise of its inherent powers, hence, no relief can be granted despite the issue is already resolved in the Mediation Centre.

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Durgesh Kumar Singh, counsel for the applicants, submitted that the marriage of applicant 1 (the husband)  was solemnized with the opposite party 4 (wife of applicant 1) on July 1, 2009 and they were enjoying their matrimonial life and out of their wedlock, two children were born. But due to some trivial issues, FIR in question was lodged on June 14, 2019 by the opposite party 4. In the present case, investigation was started and mediation was also initiated before the court below, but the applicant 1 was not satisfied with the mediation proceeding initiated before the court below, hence, present application  was filed.

The counsel for the applicants has submitted that mediation was successfully concluded and opposite party 4 joined her matrimonial home with her husband and children on March 7, 2021 and the settlement agreement was signed at the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the High Court by applicant 1 (husband) and opposite party 4 (wife) along with their respective counsels and they also agreed to withdraw the proceedings of the case.

The counsel for the applicants has relied on the decisions of  Supreme Court in the Case of Narinder Singh and Others vs. State of Punjab and Another reported in (2014) 6 SCC 466, Jitendra Raghuvanshi And Others vs. Babita Raghuwanshi and another reported in (2013) 4 SCC 58, Parbatbhai Aahir and Others vs. State of Gujrat and Another reported in (2017) 9 SCC 641 , B.S. Joshi And Others vs. State of Haryana And Another reported in (2003) 4 SCC 675.

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Considering the arguments of  counsel for the applicants,  counsel for the opposite party 4 as well as learned AGA and going through the record, the Court noted that it is evident that FIR was lodged by the wife of applicant 1 due to some trivial issues and during the course of investigation, the FIR and its consequential proceedings were challenged before this Court, and thereafter, matter was referred to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the High Court with the consent of counsel for the opposite party 4 on the first date and it was successfully concluded and settlement agreement was executed between the parties and opposite party No.4 join her matrimonial home on 07.03.2021 and enjoying her life with her husband (applicant No.1) and children.

The Bench observed that As in Criminal Procedure Code 1898, there was no such provision in relating to inherent jurisdiction of High Court, but the legislature added Section 561-A by inserting in 1923 Act No.XVII of 1923. Section 561-A of the Criminal Procedure Code 1898, which reads as under:- “Saving of inherent power of High Court-Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent power of the High Court to make such orders as ma be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice”.

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The Law Commission in its 40th report observed that the statutory power under Section 561 A Cr.P.C. is extended only the inherent power of High Court. One may compare it with the recognition of the inherent powers of all civil courts by Section 151 Cr.P.C. Later on, Law Commission in its 41st reports recommended that inherent power of Section 561-A Cr.P.C. be extended to all Criminal Courts to prevent abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, but the legislature did not accept the recommendation of commission to extend the inherent power as mentioned in Section 561-A of Criminal Procedure Code, 1898.
Citing  the case of Ram Lal Yadav (supra) the High Court observed that the provision of anticipatory bail, under Section 438 Cr.P.C. was not existing, therefore, there was a delima to get the remedy of pre arrest during investigation, then it was clarified by this Court that High Court has no inherent powers, under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to interfere with the arrest of accused persons during the course of investigation, but it was clarified that High Court can always issue a writ of mandamus, under Article 226 of the Constitution restraining the police officer for misusing his legal power in relation to arrest and FIR can be quashed, under Section 482 Cr.P.C., which is covered under the principle laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the Case of Bhajan Lal (supra).
Therefore the High Court  is  of the view that impugned FIR and its consequential proceedings is liable to be quashed in terms of settlement agreement of parties before Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the High Court.

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