Supreme Court of India had to quash the FIR filed by the mother of the victim for abducting her daughter because all the allegations were taken back against the accused. The decision was taken by the bench of Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Ravindra Bhat in the case of Vishwas Bhandari vs. State of Punjab [Criminal Appeal no. 105 of 2021].
In the instant case, an FIR was lodged by the mother of the victim against two accused of forcefully kidnapping her 17-year-old daughter by alluring her for the purpose of marriage. An FIR was lodged u/s 363 and 366 A of the Indian Penal Code. On further investigation, a report u/s 173 of CrPC was also filed against the accused. In the High Court of Punjab & Haryana, the accused were held u/s 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
But when the matter reached the Supreme Court, the complainant (Mother of the victim) gave the statement restricting the allegations against one accused only stating that “My daughter has solemnized marriage with accused Vikram on 4 August 2013 both the families had solemnized the said marriage at Gurudwara Sahib of Khera Road, Phagwara. I have attended the said marriage; we prepared CD and also clicked photos of the said marriage. Thereafter, Lunch was served at Poonam Hotel, Phagwara. After marriage, my daughter and accused Vikram stayed with us”.
When the same was asked from the victim, she also refused all the allegations against the accused (Vikram) and stated that the accused had promised to marry her and then took her to his parents’ house and kept her in his house until she was 18 years of age and only then contacted her parents. It was on 24.7.2013 that the accused Vikram Roop Rai called her parents and it was decided that both of them would get married. Subsequently, she married the accused on 4.8.2013.
It was observed that there were no signs of forceful abduction and the victim herself agreed to the fact that she was known to the accused and wasn’t forced to marry him. Their marriage also got solemnized by the consent of both the families. Hence, the court considered all the facts and decided to acquit Vikram Roop Rai (Accused 1).
The second accused (appellant) made an appeal in Supreme Court for quashing the FIR against him too because the victim and the complainant’s mother had already taken back all the charges against both the accused.
Hence, Court came to the conclusion to quash the FIR of the appellant too on the grounds of no allegations left against him. The court contended that “The main allegation was against Vikram Roop Rai but the prosecutrix married him on 4.8.2013 and had given birth to two children out of that wedlock. In the absence of any allegation against the appellant, we find that the continuation of proceedings against him is nothing but an abuse of the process of law. Since there is no evidence against the appellant; the proceedings initiated against him on the basis of FIR would be untenable”.
Therefore, Supreme Court set aside the orders of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana and quashed the FIR against the accused.