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Objective of law is to maintain peace, tranquility, prosperity and harmony in society and not just punishing curlprit: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court while allowing the petition observed that the aim and object of law is not only to punish the culprit, but, the objective of the law is also to maintain peace, tranquility, prosperity and harmony in society as well as in the country. If there is a compromise between two parties and they are living happily, then such demeanour should be encouraged as it tends to promote social harmony.

A Single Bench of Justice Shiv Shanker Prasad passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Kamal Kumar.

The criminal revision has been filed for setting aside the order dated 30.09.2022 passed by the Additional District and Session Judge, Meerut in Criminal Appeal (Kamal Kumar Vs State of U.P and Others) and impugned judgment and order dated 18.10.2017 passed by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut in Complaint Case (Atul Rastogi Vs M/s Maci Organics Limited and Others), under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act.

Pursuant to the above order, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut vide order dated 10.08.2023 has verified the compromise so entered into between the parties.

Counsel for the revisionist submitted that in view of compromise so entered into between the parties, which has also been verified by the concerned Magistrate, the entire proceedings of the aforesaid case are liable to be quashed.

Counsel for opposite party no 2 has also not denied the aforesaid facts. On instructions received from opposite party no 2, he submitted that he has no objection, if the proceedings in the aforesaid case are quashed.

Having considered the submissions made by the counsel for the parties and gone through the records of the criminal revision, the Court opined that since both the parties have entered into compromise and the same has also been verified by the court below referred to above, no purpose would be served by keeping the entire criminal proceedings pending, which culminated into the judgment and orders of the appellate court as well as concerned Magistrate convicting the revisionist.

The Court noted that, however, for quashing the entire criminal proceedings which have been initiated by opposite party no 2 against the revisionist which culminated into the judgment and orders of the appellate court as well as concerned Magistrate convicting the revisionist, an issue is cropped up before the Court as to whether the Court while exercising its revisional power under Section 397/401 of Code of Criminal Procedure can quash the same or not on the basis of compromise so entered into between the parties?.

The Court further opined that the aim and object of law is not only to punish the culprit, but, the objective of the law is also to maintain peace, tranquility, prosperity and harmony in society as well as in the country. If there is a compromise between two parties and they are living happily, then such demeanour should be encouraged as it tends to promote social harmony. Tranquil setting where there is no conflict or animosity among the citizens of any country is a vital part of society, which enables the citizens to find stability in life and live harmoniously. But as soon skirmish erupt between two persons it often assume serious proportions, resulting in commission of heinous crimes in which family members/relatives/ neighbours/friends are also involved with the result that those who could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There are many other reasons which need not be mentioned here for not encouraging the litigation cropped up due to money so that the parties may ponder over their defaults and terminate their disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and years to conclude and in that process the parties lose their “young” days in chasing their “cases” in different courts.

The Court held that,

In view of the aforesaid discussion, the parties, in reference to offence under Section 138 N.I Act read with Section 147 of the said Act are at liberty to compound the matter at any stage. The complainant i.e the person or persons affected can pray to the court that the accused, on compounding of the offence may be released by invoking jurisdiction of the Court under Section 397/401 CrPC.

Generally, the powers available under Section 397/401 Cr.P.C would not have been exercised when a statutory remedy under the law is available, however considering the peculiar set of facts and circumstances it would not be in the interest of justice to relegate the parties to appellate court. Additionally when both the parties have invoked the jurisdiction of the Court and there is no bar on exercise of powers and then the inherent powers of this court can always be invoked for imparting justice and bringing quietus to the issue between the parties.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition under Section 397/401 Cr.P.C in terms of the compromise arrived at between the parties to this litigation out of court.

“The conviction and sentence under Section 138 N.I Act 1981 in Complaint Case under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act stands annulled as this court intends, otherwise to secure the ends of justice as provided under Section 397/401 CrPC.

The revisionist shall be treated as acquitted on account of compounding of the offence with the complainant/person affected. The revisionist shall pay costs of Rs 5000/- (Rs Five thousand Only) to the Opposite party- State.

Further, the amount of Rupees 37,500/-, if any deposited by the revisionist, as awarded, before the court below while filing the appeal shall be released in favour of the opposite party no 2″, the Court ordered.

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