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SUNITA & ORS versus STATE OF PUNJAB & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Sunita & Ors v. State of Punjab & Ors - CRM-25463-m-2004 [2006] RD-P&H 9666 (1 November 2006)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004

DATE OF DECISION: October 23, 2006

Sunita and others

.....Petitioners

VERSUS

State of Punjab and others

....Respondents

Criminal Misc.No.25465 M of 2004

Puran Singh @ Sampuran Singh and others

.....Petitioners

VERSUS

State of Punjab and others

....Respondents

CORAM:- HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE RANJIT SINGH
PRESENT: Mr. H. S. Bakshi, Advocate,

for the petitioners.

Mr. J. S. Chandail, AAG, Punjab.

Mr. J. S. Bedi, Advocate.

******

RANJIT SINGH, J.

Reply on behalf of the State filed in Criminal Misc.No.25465 M of Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 2 }: 2004 in Court is taken on record.

Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 (Sunita & others Vs.

State of Punjab etc.) has been filed seeking quashing of FIR No.70 dated 14.2.2003 registered under Sections 363, 366, 376/120-B, 506 IPC, Police Station Mohali, District Ropar whereas in Criminal Misc.No.25465 M of 2004 (Puran Singh @ Sampuran Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and another), the petitioners seek quashing of FIR No.74 dated 16.2.2003 registered under Section 306/34 IPC, P.S. Phase I, SAS Nagar, Mohali. Both the petitions are inter-connected. FIR No.70, referred to above, was registered at the instance of Raminder Kaur against the petitioners whereas FIR No.74 has been registered at the instance of Sher Singh father of Harjinder Singh.

In FIR No.70, allegations were made that Harjinder Singh had taken Raminder Kaur to Bombay, Pune and other places and had subjected her to rape. In FIR No.74, it was alleged that Harjinder Singh, accused in FIR No.70, was intimated, blackmailed etc., which led to his committing suicide. Accordingly, the FIR was lodged against the petitioners in Criminal Misc.No.25465 M of 2004.

A perusal of the record would show that Raminder Kaur, complaint in FIR No.70, is related to Sher Singh and others, who are the complainant in FIR No.74. They are residents of the same village.

Apparently, Raminder Kaur and Late Harjinder Singh appears to have developed some intimacy leading to their proceeding to Bombay, Pune etc. On return, FIR No.70 apparently was got registered against Harjinder Singh and his family by said Raminder Kaur, on the asking of her father, Puran Singh. It is on that account Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 3 }: that Harjinder Singh appears to have committed suicide, for which blame apparently was levelled against the petitioners in Criminal Misc.No.25465 M of 2004. It is, thus, clear that Harjinder Singh, who was accused of offence of rape, is no more. Since the parties were related/known to each other, they appear to have resolved their dispute, as is disclosed in the petitions. It is averred that with the intervention of respectables of the village, the parties have compromised the matter and decided to forget and forgive whatever happened earlier. Both the families have now desired to forget past.

This compromise for withdrawing prosecution launched at their instance in the above noted respective FIRs has been reduced into writing and copy thereof has been annexed on record as Annexure P-3 in both the petitions. After giving details of the FIRs lodged and the other litigation/petitions that were filed, it has been stated that both the parties now are not willing to pursue the cases initiated at their respective instance. They had also resolved to move the petitions, seeking quashing of the respective FIRs registered in these cases. They have also respectively undertaken to withdraw the cases filed/registered at their respective instance against each other. This has been done to restore good and friendly relations between the parties, especially so in the background that complainant, Raminder Kaur, has now got married and is settled in her life. Harjinder Singh, against whom were the main allegation, unfortunately is no more.

Since the matter has been compromised between the parties, obviously no useful purpose is likely to served by continuing the present respective criminal proceedings.

It may, however, require consideration if quashing of Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 4 }: the proceedings in a case under Sections 366, 376, 506 and 306/34 IPC can be allowed on the basis of a compromise. Basically, it is required to be seen if the FIRs and subsequent proceedings can be quashed in these cases, which are non-compoundable offences.

Reference in this regard may be made to the judgement of Haji Nihal Ahmad and others Vs. State of U.P and another, 1998 Crl. L.J.

2082. In this case, the question whether a proceeding in a criminal case arising out of non-compoundable offences can be quashed came up for consideration. It was observed that even if the proceedings in such case are allowed to be tried by the Court, the ultimate result would be an acquittal as the complainant party was not likely to support the prosecution case. It was accordingly observed that trial in such a case would be an exercise in futility. It can be noticed that in a case where the parties have settled their differences and dispute though outside the Court, it would rather be unnecessary and unwarranted to continue with this trial which ultimately would be a fruitless exercise. In S.M. Jayaram Vs. State of Karnataka, 1976 Crl. L.J. 217, it was observed that after the parties had compromised among themselves, the Police had no business to file a charge sheet etc. and to further represent that the case being under Section 379 IPC for theft can only be compounded with the permission of the Court.

By now, it is fully settled that High Court in exercise of its inherent powers can quash proceedings if it finds that allowing of any such proceedings to continue would be an abuse of process of the Court or that ends of justice require that the proceedings be Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 5 }: quashed. In this regard, observation of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in State of Karnataka Vs. L.Muniswami AIR 1977 SC 1489 can be referred. It was observed in this case, that the ends of justice are higher than ends of mere law. It was further said that though justice has got to be administered accordingly to the laws made by the legislature yet the Court proceeding ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution. As per the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the lame prosecution could be quashed. The relevant observation of the Hon'ble Supreme Court is reproduced below:-

"In the exercise of this wholesome power, the High Court is entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would be an abuse of the process of the Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. The saving of the High Court's inherent powers, both in civil and criminal matters is designed to achieve that a Court proceeding ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution. In a criminal case, the veiled object behind a lame prosecution, the very nature of the material on which the structure of the prosecution rests and the like would justify the High Court in quashing the proceeding in the interest of justice. The ends of justice are higher than the ends of mere law though justice has got to be administered according to laws made by the legislature.

The compelling necessity for making these observations Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 6 }: is that without a proper realisation of which seeks to save the inherent powers of the High Court to do justice between the State and its subjects it would be impossible to appreciate the width and contours of that salient jurisdiction."

It can be noticed that in various judgements, the Hon'ble Supreme Court and various High Courts have granted permission for compounding of offences in the non-compoundable offences. A Full Bench of this Court has gone into this aspect in detail in Dharambir Vs. State of Haryana, 2005 (3) RCR (Criminal) 426 and has held that criminal proceedings in prosecuting a case relating to matrimonial can be quashed in exercise of inherent jurisdiction under the provisions of Section 482 Cr.P.C. Though the Full Bench has ruled that High Court has no power to quash the proceedings or allow compounding of offences either under the Code of Criminal Procedure or the Constitution except in matrimonial cases, yet it went on to hold that High Court can quash criminal proceedings in the interest of justice and to prevent abuse of law. It was also observed that the terms `abuse of process of law' and `in the interest of justice' cannot be put in straight-jacket formula and Courts were left to decide as per the facts in each case. As per the said Full Bench, while exercising powers under Section 482 of the Code, the Court has, in given cases, quashed the criminal proceedings where it felt that the same were required to prevent the abuse of process of any Court or to otherwise secure ends of justice. The Full Bench further held that these decisions would necessarily involved an appraisal of the facts and circumstances of each case and Court Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 7 }: could not, while interpreting the statutory provisions, take upon itself the onerous responsibility of extending the powers of compounding of offences to cases other than those listed in Section 320 (1) and (2) of the Code. The Full Bench also noticed the requirement of making an endeavour to bring into operation the conciliation process. The necessary observations of the Full Bench in this regard may be noticed and these are as follows:-

"12.........The balance in each case will have to be struck to ensure that complete justice is done between the parties and for achieving this, each individual case will have to be scrutinised to find out whether it attracts any of the provisions incorporated in Section 482 of the Code to impel the Court to grant relief to a party either in the exercise of the aforesaid power or under Article 226 of the Constitution. Therefore, we would not like to launch an exercise for determining the scope of judicial intervention as provided under Section 482 of the Code in view of the terms "abuse of the process of law" and "in the interest of justice", as it would not be proper for us to provide a straightjacket formula for chennelising judicial responses to the facts and the circumstances of a given case. It would be more appropriate that the interpretation of these terms is left open to the response of an Hon'ble Judge to the facts and circumstances of a given case, as and when this Court is called upon to intervene in any matter for preventing the abuse of the process of law and Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 8 }: advancing the ends of justice."

It is, thus, clear that the Hon'ble Full Bench clearly left it to the discretion of the Judge to decide in each case to intervene under Section 482 Cr.P.C. depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case to see if quashing of the proceedings could be ordered in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to secure the ends of justice and to avoid abuse of process of the Court. While interpreting the sweep of Section 482 Cr.P.C, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Madhu Limaye Vs. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1978 SC 47 had observed that there are only two exceptions for exercise of power under this Section and these are:- "(1) That the power is not to be resorted to if there is a specific provision in the Code for the redressing of the grievance of the aggrieved party;

(2) That it should be exercised very sparingly to prevent abuse of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice."

Reference in this regard can also be made to Y. Suresh Babu Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, JT 1987(2) SC 361 and Mahesh Chand Vs. State of Rajasthan, (1990) 3 RCR 332 where permission to compound the offence was granted in a case of conviction under Section 326 IPC.

The facts in this case, as noted above, would disclose very different and a strange story, which had a tragic end. It can be made out that Late Harjinder Singh and Raminder Kaur had developed some intimacy and relationship. They had apparently Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 9 }: voluntarily gone together. On return, either being forced by the parents or otherwise, Raminder Kaur had made various allegations including that of rape. The pressure of allegations or intimidation etc.

led to another unfortunate incident and Harjinder Singh committing suicide. Concerned parents of Raminder Kaur have married her with another person and would rather be keen and concerned to see her settled in her married life. Obviously, Raminder Kaur does not want to carry any tale or weight of litigation either initiated by her or the one pending against her. The pendency of these proceedings is bound to effect her and her married life. With the death of Harjinder Singh, the allegation made by her would also ultimately see a dead end. Nothing substantial is going to come out of the allegations levelled by her. These are distinctive and peculiar features of these cases. These would also make the cases fit for exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to secure ends of justice. This would rather disclose the relevance of the observations of our Full Bench in Dharambir's case (Supra), whereby discretion has been left with the Court/Judge in each case to decide having regard to the facts and circumstances thereof to invoke the jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

I am of the considered view that allowing the proceedings to continue in these cases would not only be a wastage of time and exercise in futility but would rather he an abuse of the process of law.

Allowing the proceedings to continue in these cases would not in any manner advance the ends of justice. Since both the parties have now decided not to support the respective prosecutions, the end result in these cases would be acquittal. No useful purpose is likely to be Criminal Misc.No.25463 M of 2004 :{ 10 }: served in allowing the trial or prosecution to continue in the present case in the respective FIRs.

I would accordingly allow both the petitions and quash .

FIR No.70 dated 14.2.2003 registered under Sections 363, 366, 376/120-B, 506 IPC, Police Station Mohali, District Ropar at the instance of Raminder Kaur and FIR No.74 dated 16.2.2003 registered under Section 306/34 IPC, P.S. Phase I, SAS Nagar, Mohali, at the instance of Sher Singh and so also subsequent proceedings arising therefrom to ensure that the parties may now live in peace.

October 23, 2006 ( RANJIT SINGH )

khurmi JUDGE


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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