These offences cannot be construed to be merely private or civil disputes but rather will have an effect on the society at large. In crimes which seriously endangers the well-being of the society, it is not safe to leave the crime doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute amicably.
The respondent No.2/complainant filed a complaint at Police Station Prem Nagar on December 10, 2020 stating that the petitioner/accused met her and revealed that his name is Shiva and promised her that he would marry her.
Further, the petitioner became intimate and established physical relationship with her on the pretext of promised marriage.
However, the complainant alleged that she only came to know later on, that the petitioner had concealed his identity and his real name is Akhtar.
In her FIR, she stated that the petitioner took her to Arya Samaj Mandir and they both got married there and in the marriage certificate he gave his name as Akhtar. It was also stated that after the marriage, the petitioner started demanding money and when she visited his parents, she was driven away by them.
FIR & Compromise
By way of a petition under Section 482 CrPC, the petitioner-accused sought quashing of FIR registered against him for offences under Sections 419, 467, 471, 474, 376 354,506 read with Section 34 IPC stating that the parties have amicably settled their dispute.
A compromise deed was also filed along with S. 482 application which stated that that the respondent No.2/complainant has pardoned the petitioner/accused and they are willing to lead their peaceful marital life.
Delhi High Court
At the outset, the Court underlined that the Supreme Court has time and again held that High Court has to keep in mind the subtle distinction between the power of compounding offences given to the Court under Section 320 CrPC and the quashing of criminal proceedings and the jurisdiction conferred upon it under Section 482 CrPC.
As reported by Livelaw, the court then went on to note that the allegation of the complainant that the petitioner Akhtar falsely represented himself as Shiva and promised marriage to the respondent No.2/complainant and had physical relationship with her.
Thereafter, the Court observed that in an offence of rape is an offence against the society at large and apart from offence under Section 376, the petitioner is also accused of committing offences under Sections 419, 467, 468, 471, 474, 506 and 34 IPC.
Further, while refusing to quash the FIR on the basis of compromise entered into between the parties, the court remarked,
It has been repeatedly stated by the Supreme Court that when parties reach settlement and on that basis a petition is filed for quashing criminal proceedings, the guiding factor for the High Court before quashing the complaint in such cases would be to secure; a) ends of justice, b) to prevent abuse of process of any court. The High Court has to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives.
It may be noted that in the year 2019, the Supreme Court had emphasized that compromise between rape accused and victim is of no relevance in deciding criminal cases.
The bench of Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice Krishna Murari observed thus while disposing of a criminal appeal.
Before the bench, it was submitted that during the pendency of the appeals, both the accused have paid Rs 1.5 lakhs each in favour of the prosecutrix and she has accepted the same willingly for getting the matter compromised. It said:
However, it is imperative to emphasise that we do not accept such compromise in matters relating to the offence of rape and similar cases of sexual assault. Hence the aforesaid compromise is of no relevance in deciding this matter.
Last week, the same Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad held that the court cannot permit quashing of FIR merely on the ground that the parties have entered into a compromise where the FIR relates to heinous offences against small children under sec. 377 of Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act.
The Bench, in this case, thus dismissed the petition filed under sec. 482 Cr.P.C. praying for quashing of an FIR dated 22.11.2019 registered in Patel Nagar police station under sec. 377 of IPC read with sec. 4 of POCSO Act.
MDO Opinion | According to us, not permitting to quash FIRs in crimes such as rape is a positive sign from court. Either a man is guilty or he is innocent and the judges must act as per evidences on record. Legal system should not encourage women to threaten men for any kind of settlement – be it monetary or emotional – by filing random cases against them. Similarly, Men too, if guilty, should not be permitted to get away by pressurising women in such cases.
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