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An offence of rape is an offence against the society at large: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court has said, in crimes which seriously endangers the well being of society, it is not safe to leave the crime doer only because he and victim have settled the dispute amicably, while dismissing petition seeking quashing of FIR by a Muslim man who married a Hindu woman allegedly hiding his real identity. 

The Court pronounced its verdict on an appeal filed by Muslim man who had sought quashing of FIR registered against him under Sections 419, 467, 471, 474, 376, 354, 506 read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code. According to the Complainant, the accused met her and revealed his name as Shiva and had made physical relationship with her after promising to marry her. Later, the complainant came to know that the petitioner had concealed his identity and his real name is Akhtar

According to the complainant, accused took her to Arya Samaj Mandir and married her but soon after the marriage he started demanding money from her. Later her parents visited her and took her away and she had lodged the FIR against him. 

The Court noted in its order, that coming to the facts of the case, the petitioner/ accused has represented himself as Shiva and that pretext he entered into physical relationship with the Complainant. The Status report also indicates that the petitioner has prepared a forged marriage certificate. 

A single-judge bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad has noted in his judgment that An offence of rape is an offence against the society at large and apart from offence under Section 376, the petitioner is also accused of committing offences under Sections 419, 467,468,471,474,506 and 34 IPC. 

The Judge further said, this court is not in a position to quash the FIR on the basis of compromise entered into between the parties and wherein it is stated that the petitioner/accused and the respondent No.2/complaint have decided to stay as husband and wife and lead their peaceful marital life. It has been repeatedly stated by the Supreme Court that when parties reach settlement and on that basis a petition is filed for quashing criminal proceedings, the guiding factor for the High Court before quashing the complaint in such cases would be to secure; a) ends of justice, b) to prevent abuse of process of any court. The High Court has to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives. This is not a matrimonial dispute between the husband and wife for the reason that the petitioner has not married the respondent No.2.

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The Court said that the allegations in the FIR and the Status Report, it is evident that the petitioner has been accused of serious offences like rape and forgery having a bearing on vital societal interest and these offences cannot be construed to be merely private or civil disputes but rather will have an effect on the society at large. In crimes which seriously endangers the well being of the society, it is not safe to leave the crime doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute amicably.

Read the judgment here;

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