Criminal proceedings in a matrimonial dispute quashed on the basis of a compromise between the parties: Allahabad High Court

Criminal Proceedings related to non-compoundable offences quashed on the basis of compromise between the parties involved in a matrimonial dispute. The High Court in this case was dealing with the application filed under Section 482 of the CrPC to quash the criminal proceedings that were verified by the lower court. The Allahabad High Court presided over by J. R.N. Tilhari quashed the proceedings in the case of Smt. Pooja Mishra Vs. State of U.P. & Anr., [Application u/s 482 No. – 19739 of 2017].

The brief facts of this case are that the Applicant was married to the son of the complainant who filed an application under Section 156(3) of CrPC and later was directed to file an FIR. The Applicant later filed an FIR under Section 498-A of IPC (cruelty to women), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 307 (attempt to murder), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against the husband and her family. Later on the husband and the applicant settled the disputes amicably between them and decided to end their marriage through filing a divorce by mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act. hence, the Applicant filed an application under section 482 for quashing the criminal proceedings filed against her husband.

The Court relied on few landmark judgments like the (i) B.S. Joshi & Ors vs State Of Haryana & Anr (2003) 4 SCC 675; (ii) Gian Singh vs State Of Punjab & Anr (2012) 10 SCC 303; (iii) Narinder Singh & others versus State of Panjab & another (2014) 6 SCC 46; (iv) Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai vs The State Of Gujarat & Ors 2017 (9) SCC 641; and (v) Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar & others versus Union of India, 2018 (10) SCC 443 and stated that non-compoundable offences can be quashed if the parties amicably settle or make a compromise between them. The cases can be quashed keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of every case.

The Court in the present case after observing that the lower court had verified the settlement was of the opinion that no useful purpose would be served in keeping the criminal proceedings and hence stated that, “Having regard to the factors that the dispute between the parties is predominantly a matrimonial dispute; the parties have amicably settled the dispute by entering into compromise settlement; the nature of the offence being personal; the FIR being counter blast to the FIR lodged by the applicant against the opposite party no.2 and his family members; the proceeding of criminal case filed by the applicant, having been quashed by this Court on the basis of the same compromise, and the possibility of conviction being remote and bleak; as well as considering the legal position as settled in the cases of….to the effect that the proceedings of even a non-compoundable offence can be quashed on the basis of compromise, such as matrimonial dispute in which type of cases the settlement is to be encouraged, this Court finds it a fit case to quash the proceedings of the criminal case alongwith the charge-sheet.”

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