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whether since one of the offences alleged in the FIR is non-compoundable, the FIR could be quashed.

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English: The supreme court of india. Taken abo...

English: The supreme court of india. Taken about 170 m from the main building outside the perimeter wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

TRANSFER PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.115 OF 2012
DIMPEY GUJRAL
W/o.VIVEK GUJRAL & ORS. … PETITIONERS

Vs.

UNION TERRITORY
THROUGH ADMINISTRATATOR,
U.T. CHANDIGARH & ORS. … RESPONDENTS
JUDGMENT
(SMT.) RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, J.
1. In this petition filed under Section 406 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure 1973 (for short, “the Code”), the petitioners have prayed that
Criminal Case bearing S.C.No.121 of 2011 pending in the Court of J.S.
Sidhu, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandigarh arising out of FIR No.163
dated 26/10/2006 under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 307, 452, 506 of the
Indian Penal Code (for short, “the IPC”), be transferred to the Court of
competent jurisdiction at New Delhi.

2. Petitioner 1 is a fashion designer and is a resident of Chandigarh.
Petitioners 2 and 3 are the daughters of petitioner 1. Respondent 2 is the
complainant. He is residing in the neighborhood of petitioner 1 and is the
son of a retired Judge of the High Court.

3. From the facts disclosed in the petition and as communicated to us by
learned counsel for the parties, it is apparent that the petitioners and
the complainant are educated and respectable citizens, who enjoy high
social status. Certain unfortunate incidents relating to pet dogs of the
petitioners have dragged them to this court. These incidents took ugly
turn which resulted in the lodging of FIR No.163 dated 26/10/2006 under
Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 307, 452 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code at
Police Station Sector 3, Chandigarh by the complainant. Since the
offences involved in this case are of a personal nature and are not
offences against the society, we had enquired with learned counsel
appearing for the parties whether there is any possibility of a settlement.
We are happy to note that due to efforts made by learned counsel, parties
have seen reason and have entered into a compromise. In view of the
compromise, we do not wish to narrate the facts of the case. Counsel for
the petitioners has filed an application praying for quashing of the said
FIR and all consequential proceedings arising therefrom including the final
report presented under Section 173 of the Code and charges framed by the
trial court. To this application is annexed a compromise deed, which is
duly signed by the complainant, his wife, the petitioners and respondents
3, 4 and 5. Paragraph 5 of the compromise deed reads thus:

“5. That both the parties agree and assure that henceforth, they
would maintain healthy relationship with each other while garnering no
ill will or malice against each other. Both the parties have resolved
to accord quietus to the proceedings relating to the incident. Both
the parties reiterate that there remains no acrimony/grudge between
them.”
4. The question which now remains to be answered is whether since one of
the offences alleged in the FIR is non-compoundable, the FIR could be
quashed. In certain decisions of this court in view of the settlement
arrived at by the parties, this court quashed the FIRs though some of the
offences were non-compoundable. A two Judges’ Bench of this court doubted
the correctness of those decisions. Learned Judges felt that in those
decisions, this court had permitted compounding of non-compoundable
offences. The said issue was, therefore, referred to a larger bench. The
larger Bench in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab & Anr. in SLP (Cri.)
No.8989 of 2010 along with other connected matters, decided on 24/09/2012,
considered the relevant provisions of the Code and the judgments of this
court and concluded as under:

57. The position that emerges from the above discussion can
be summarised thus: the power of the High Court in quashing a
criminal proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent
jurisdiction is distinct and different from the power given to
a criminal court for compounding the offences under Section 320 of
the Code. Inherent power is of wide plenitude with no statutory
limitation but it has to be exercised in accord with the guideline
engrafted in such power viz; (i) to secure the ends of justice or
(ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court. In what cases
power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or F.I.R may be
exercised where the offender and victim have settled their dispute
would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no
category can be prescribed. However, before exercise of such power,
the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of
the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or
offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly
quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender
have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature
and have serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise
between the victim and offender in relation to the offences under
special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences
committed by public servants while working in that capacity etc;
cannot provide for any basis for quashing criminal proceedings
involving such offences. But the criminal cases having
overwhelmingly and pre-dominatingly civil flavour stand on
different footing for the purposes of quashing, particularly the
offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil,
partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of
matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or the family disputes where the
wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties
have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of cases, High
Court may quash criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the
compromise between the offender and victim, the possibility of
conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal case
would put accused to great oppression and prejudice and
extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal
case despite full and complete settlement and compromise with the
victim. In other words, 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.
5. In light of the above observations of this court in Gian Singh, we
feel that this is a case where the continuation of criminal proceedings
would tantamount to abuse of process of law because the alleged offences
are not heinous offences showing extreme depravity nor are they against the
society. They are offences of a personal nature and burying them would
bring about peace and amity between the two sides. In the circumstances
of the case, FIR No.163 dated 26/10/2006 registered under Section 147, 148,
149, 323, 307, 452 and 506 of the IPC at Police Station Sector 3,
Chandigarh and all consequential proceedings arising therefrom including
the final report presented under Section 173 of the Code and charges framed
by the trial court are hereby quashed.

6. Before parting, we record our appreciation for the efforts made
by learned counsel to accord a quietus to the dispute. We also
appreciate the conduct of the parties who have agreed to bury the
past and turn a new leaf.

7. The petition is disposed of in the aforestated terms.
……………………………………………..J.
(AFTAB ALAM)
……………………………………………..J.
(RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI)
NEW DELHI,
DECEMBER 6, 2012.
———————–
6

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