The Delhi High Court has expressed resentment against the filing of rape, sexual assault and cruelty cases, which are later on compromised, stating that this trend needs to be curbed.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma passed the order, while quashing a First Information Report (FIR) registered by a woman against her father-in-law in relation to the offence of rape and cruelty as punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Justice Sharma observed that ordinarily though cases under Section 376 IPC should not be quashed and taken as a crime against the society at large, however, in the peculiar circumstances of this matrimonial dispute case, where the complainant has stated that her future depends on quashing of the FIR and that rape was not committed upon her, it will be in the interest of justice that the FIR is quashed in its entirety.
She, however, took strong objection over the misuse of Sections 376 (rape) and 354, along with Section 498-A of IPC (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty).
Such cases, which later result in either compromise or quashing, should not be filed at the first instance, the High Court observed, while hearing the plea filed by the father-in-law of a woman, who accused him of rape.
An FIR had been registered on the instance of the woman at Police Station Mehrauli for offences punishable under Sections 376/377/498-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 34 IPC.
Justice Sharma emphasised that though any case coming to an end was a welcome step as it decreased the pendency of courts, quashing was more so welcome in matrimonial offences as it showed that parties have decided to put an end to the misery they undergo due to a matrimonial case pending between them.
The Court observed that the complainant was a young lady, who was looking for a bright future for herself, which depended on quashing of the present FIR pursuant to a settlement which she stated before this Court, she has entered out of her free will and without coercion, pressure or threat.
Justice Sharma appreciated the stand taken by the woman and said that quashing of the FIR in a matrimonial dispute will ensure better future for all parties.
The Bench directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 12,500 in the Delhi High Court Advocates Welfare Fund within a week.