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Section 498A in The Indian Penal Code
The Indian Penal Code
Section 406 in The Indian Penal Code
Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
B.S. Joshi & Ors vs State Of Haryana & Anr on 13 March, 2003

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Punjab-Haryana High Court
Mohinder Singh And Ors. vs State Of Punjab And Anr. on 19 January, 2006
Equivalent citations: 2 (2006) DMC 486
Author: N Yadav
Bench: N Yadav

JUDGMENT Nirmal Yadav, J.

1. Petitioners, who are parents-in-law/relatives/husband of respondent No. 2-complainant, by filing the present petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C, pray for quashing of FIR No. 7 dated 15.1.2004 under Sections 406, 498A IPC, Police Station Adampur, District Jalandhar, stating that they have ended up their matrimonial disputes by reaching a compromise (Annexure P-2).

2. The petitioners allege that Meena Rani, respondent No. 2 was married to Harjinder Singh, petitioner No. 6 on 21.12.1997 as per Sikh religious rites and ceremonies at village Daroli Khurd. At the time of marriage, petitioner No. 6 was a Non-Resident Indian and was settled in Austria. Respondent No. 2 got the aforesaid FIR registered against her husband and his family members. Later on, with the intervention of relatives and respectable persons from both the sides, both the parties resolved to end all the litigation pending between them. On 30.4.2005, a written compromise (Annexure P-2) was entered into between the parties to end up all the litigation arising out of the marriage of respondent No. 2 with petitioner No. 6. As per compromise, respondent No. 2 agreed to withdraw all the cases filed by her against the petitioners and a sum of Rs. 3 lacs has been deposited in her saving account as security. She has returned to her matrimonial home and is residing there happily with her in-laws. It is further stated that petitioner No. 6 will come back to India after the withdrawal of the FIR and will make all efforts to take respondent No. 2 abroad. It is, thus, stated that when respondent No. 2 has entered into compromise, no useful purpose would be served by keeping the case registered vide aforesaid FIR pending and, therefore, it would be in the interest of both the parties if the FIR in question and subsequent proceedings taken thereon are quashed.

3. Admitting the factum of compromise having been effected between the parties, complainant has stated in her statement recorded in Court today, separately, that she lodged the FIR in question due to temperamental differences. With the intervention of her relatives, friends and well wishers, good sense prevailed upon her and she entered into a compromise with the petitioners. She has further stated that all the terms and conditions settled in the compromise have been fulfilled and now she is residing in her matrimonial home. She has, therefore, prayed that to enable her to settle happily in her matrimonial home, the FIR in question and all subsequent proceedings taken thereon be quashed. The complainant has further stated that she has made the statement out of her free will and without any coercion and duress.

4. I have heard the learned Counsel for the parties and perused the paper-book.

5. In support of their prayer to quash the First Information Report on the basis of compromise (Annexure P-2), learned Counsel for the parties refer to a decision rendered by the Supreme Court in B.S. Joshi and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Anr. . In para 14 of the said judgment, the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed as under:

14. There is no doubt that.the object of introducing Chapter XXA containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The hypertechnical view would be counter-productive and would act against interests of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is every likelihood that non-exercise of inherent powers to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XXA of Indian Penal Code.

6. On the basis of aforementioned undisputed facts of the instant case, there is no likelihood of the accused being convicted of the offences mentioned in the First Information Report when the case would be put on trial. The wife is not likely to support the imputation made against her husband/in-laws. The complainant-wife in her statement made in Court today has stated that the FIR in question was lodged due to temperamental differences and the same be quashed along with all subsequent proceedings taken thereon, to enable her to live happily in her matrimonial home. In such an eventuality, there would almost be no chance of conviction. In these circumstances, it would be in the interest of justice to quash the proceedings. In the cases where the parties have settled their matrimonial litigation and want to terminate the matrimonial dispute amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a Court of law, the Court must exercise its inherent powers to quash the proceedings as well as the First Information Report. In such cases, Section 320 of the Indian Penal Code does not limit or affect the powers of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

7. Considering the facts and circumstances of the instant case in the light of the observations of the Hon'ble Apex Court in B.S. Joshi's case (supra), I am of the view that it would be a futile exercise and an abuse of the process of law to continue with the proceedings in respect of FIR No. 7 dated 15.1.2004 under Section 406, 498A, IPC, Police Station Adampur, District Jalandhar.

8. Consequently, the petition is allowed and the aforesaid FIR No. 7 dated 15.1.2004 as also the subsequent proceedings taken thereon are quashed.