Offences u/s 377 of the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act are heinous/grave and the FIR for the same cannot be quashed merely on the grounds of compromise between the parties. Delhi High Court gave the judgment in the case of Sunil Raikwar vs. State & others [CRL M.C 186 of 2021] headed over by the bench of Hon’ble Justice Subramonium Prasad.
In the above-cited case, the petitioner had filed a petition for quashing FIR filed against him for the offences charged u/s 377 of IPC and u/s 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO). The respondent in the case had filed the FIR against the petitioner alleging that the petitioner sodomized his 7 years old son. In the further investigation, it was observed that there was enough material evidence to prove the charges against the petitioner under IPC and POCSO Act.
Later on, an instant petition was filed by the parties to quash the FIR against the petitioner on the ground that due to the intervention of elders of the society and friends, the parties have decided to amicably put an end to the disputes and differences. Respondents agreed to let go of the petitioner despite his wrong doings and made an affidavit stating the same.
Referring to the case of State of Maharashtra v. Vikram Anantrai Doshi & Ors. (2014) 15 SCC 29), High Court bench stated that offences u/s 377 IPC and u/s 4 of POCSO Act are non-compoundable and for quashing the criminal proceedings under said act, scanning of the entire facts must be done to find out the thrust of allegations and the crux of the settlement.
Court held that merely on the facts of compromise between the parties, FIR cannot be quashed for non-compoundable offences. HC contended that even though u/s 482 CrPC gives the power to quash the proceedings for non-compoundable offences but in the present case, such power cannot be exercised because it involves heinous offence and mental depravity which is not private in nature but affects the entire society.
HC stated that “While exercising its powers, the High Court is to examine as to whether the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal cases would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal cases”.
The court observed that in the decision of whether FIR should be quashed in the criminal proceedings or not, that too on the grounds of compromise between the parties, it revolves around the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated.
While giving the judgment in the case, HC stated that the petitioner had been accused of offences under IPC and POCSO Act and the victim was a 7-year-old child, and the offence alleged on the petitioner is grave and heinous. HC contended that “The POCSO Act was enacted only because sexual offences against children were not being adequately addressed by the existing laws and the purpose of the Act was to provide protection to children from sexual assault and sexual harassment and for safeguarding the interest and well being of children. Permitting such offences to be compromised and quashing FIRs will not secure the interest of justice”.
The court said that the act done with the child shows the mental depravity of the offender which cannot be excused.
Hence, HC gave the judgment that the father of the victim has no right to quash the FIR against the offender because he himself is not the victim and the court has to safeguard and protect the interest of children against the onslaught by bad forces.
Therefore, the petition was dismissed and costs were imposed on both the parties for filing a petition under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR in respect of a heinous offence against a small child on the ground that they entered into a compromise as it will cause serious prejudice to the rights of the petitioner.