In its recent order this month, the Allahabad High Court quashed an FIR against a man accused of rape, after recording submissions that the alleged accused and the victim have married each other after a compromise. The court also noted that the complaint involved false and frivolous allegations by the woman’s father.
While allowing the application filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, Justice Manju Rani Chauhan observed,
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and also the submissions made by the counsel for the parties, the court is of the considered opinion that no useful purpose shall be served by prolonging the proceedings of the above mentioned criminal case as the parties have already settled their dispute.
It was stated that the two applicants had got married and were living happily as husband and wife. The FIR lodged by father of the woman was alleged to be false and frivolous.
After the compromise, an application was moved to quash the FIR before the concerned lower court. This was rejected on the ground that the court did not have jurisdiction to pass such an order when it comes to non-compoundable offences.
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The applicants had challenged the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hathras as well as the proceedings arising out offences mentioned under Sections 363, 366, 376 IPC, pending before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hathras on the basis of the compromise between the accused and the complainant.
The High Court, however, referred to the case of Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab wherein the Supreme Court had held that the compromise can be made between the parties even in respect of certain cognizable and non-compoundable offences, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
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Whereas the top Court had clarified that heinous offences which have a serious impact on society like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute. According to the Supreme Court order in such cases, the judgement quoted:
The High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding.
The Allahabad High Court thus allowed the application and quashed the rape FIR.