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Compromise can be made even in cognizable and non compoundable offences : Allahabad High Court

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The Allahabad High Court has said that if the victim and the accused are leading a happy married life along with their four-and-a-half-year-old son then it is not appropriate to run a case against the husband for rape and kidnapping of a minor.

A Single Bench of Justice Manju Rani Chauhan passed this order while hearing an application under Section 482 filed by Rajiv Kumar.

The application under Section 482 CrPC has been filed to quash the charge sheet dated 25.06.2015 and the cognizance order dated 30.07.2015 as well as the entire proceedings of Criminal Case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 IPC and Section 3/4 of POCSO Act, P.S- Doghat, District Baghpat, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Baghpat.

On 13.09.2022, the following order was passed:-

“As per office report dated 13.09.2022, notice has been personally served upon opposite party no 2.

Counsel for the applicant submits that the applicant has married opposite party no 3 and they are living a happy married life.

An FIR has been lodged by opposite party no 2 (maternal uncle of opposite party no 3) who is trying to ruin the married life of the parties by not appearing before the Court. In such a situation and in view of various judgments of the Apex Court, continuance of proceedings in the present case would amount to abuse of process of law.

In view of the above, let the applicant as well as opposite party no 3 be present before the Court on the next date.

List on 21.09.2022.

Interim order is extended till the next date of listing.”

In compliance with the order of the Court dated 13.09.2022, the applicant, namely, Rajiv Kumar and the opposite party no 3, namely, Upasana are present along with her son, who is four and half years old, in the Court.

On query being raised in the Court, the opposite party no 3/ Upasana has stated that she has married the applicant out of her own sweet will and is living a happy married life. Out of their wedlock, they are blessed with a male child, who is presently four and half years old. As per her date of birth, she was nearly 17 and half years old at the time of marriage. She has also stated that her in-laws have accepted their marriage and she is staying happily with them.

She has also stated that FIR has been lodged by her maternal uncle, i.e opposite party no 2, who is trying to ruin the married life of Upasana.

She has further stated that she has entered into compromise and deposed before the Court, out of her free will, consent and without any external pressure, coercion or threat of any kind.

Counsel for the applicants submitted that on account of compromise entered into between the parties concerned, all disputes between them have come to an end, and therefore, further proceedings against the applicant in the aforesaid case is liable to be quashed by the Court.

In support of his contention, counsel for the applicant has relied upon the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Mafat Lal and another vs State of Rajasthan report on 2022 LawSuit(SC) 463 and also relied upon the judgment of the Court in the case of Gufran Shaikh @ Gani Munawwar vs State of U.P and another decided on 28.07.2022 passed in Application U/s 482 No 10258 of 2021.

Additional Government Advocate does not dispute the aforesaid fact and submitted at the Bar that since the parties concerned have settled their dispute as mentioned above, therefore, he has no objection in quashing the impugned criminal proceedings against the applicants.

Before proceeding any further it shall be apt to make a brief reference to the case of Gian Singh Vs State of Punjab reported in (2012) 10 SCC 303, wherein the Apex Court has categorically held that the compromise can be made between the parties even in respect of certain cognizable and non compoundable offences, the Court noted.

The Court held that,

In the case, no doubt offences under the relevant sections 363, 366 and 376 of IPC and Sections 3/4 of POCSO Act are not compoundable under Section 320 CrPC.

However, as explained by the Apex Court in Gian Singh’s, Narinder Singh, Parbatbhai Aahir’s and Laxmi Narayan’s cases (supra), power of High Court under Section 482 CrPC is not inhibited by the provisions of Section 320 CrPC and FIR as well as criminal proceedings can be quashed by exercising inherent powers under Section 482 CrPC, if warranted in given facts and circumstances of the case for ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court, even in those cases which are not compoundable where parties have settled the matter between themselves.

In the case of Madan Mohan Abbot vs State of Punjab, reported in (2008) 4 SCC 582, the Apex Court emphasized and advised that in the matter of compromise in criminal proceedings, keeping in view of nature of the case, to save the time of the Court for utilizing to decide more effective and meaningful litigation, a commonsense approach, based on ground realities and bereft of the technicalities of law, should be applied.

“In the aforesaid judgments, the Apex Court has categorically held that compromise can be made between the parties even in respect of certain cognizable and non compoundable offences. The present case is also a case where two societal interests are in clash. To punish the offenders for a crime, involved in the case, is in the interest of society, but, at the same time, husband is taking care of his wife and in case, husband is convicted and sentenced for societal interest, then, wife will be in great trouble and their future would be ruined. It is also in the interest of society to settle and resettle the family for their welfare.

Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, as noted herein above, and also the submissions made by the counsel for the parties, the court is of the considered opinion that the victim/opposite party no 3, herself, has stated before the Court that she has married the applicant out of her own sweet will and is living happy married life. Out of their wedlock, they are blessed with a male child, who is presently four and half years old. Therefore, no useful purpose shall be served by prolonging the proceedings of the above mentioned criminal case as the parties have already settled their dispute”, the Court observed while allowing the application.

“Accordingly, the charge sheet dated 25.06.2015 and the cognizance order dated 30.07.2015 as well as the entire proceedings of Criminal Case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 IPC and Section 3/4 of POCSO Act, P.S- Doghat, District-Baghpat, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Baghpat are hereby quashed”, the Court ordered.

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