Serious offences of mental depravity cannot be quashed on ground of settlement between the parties: High Court of Bombay

Rare and serious offences such as assassination, kidnapping, dacoity, Rape etc. cannot be properly disregarded even if the case has been resolved between the victim or relatives of the victim and the perpetrator. These crimes are not private and have significant social implications. This was held in ABC vs The State of Maharashtra and others [CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 1399 OF 2021] in the High Court of Bombay by Honourable Justice S. S. SHINDE & MANISH PITALE.

The facts, in this case, are that the petitioner has deceived the victim from the beginning by making a false marriage commitment and not meeting the promise. Secondly, the petitioner committed a serious offence under Section 313 of the IPC apart from the violation under Section 376 of the IPC, in which they had compelled the victim on two occasions to end her pregnancy. The charges of the FIR reveal not only the offence punishable in accordance with Article 376 of the IPC.

Learned counsel for the petitioner and respondent submits that the parties have amicably settled the dispute and therefore, the FIR registered under sections 376, 313 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code may be quashed. Respondent has filed an affidavit in which she stated that the settlement is a voluntary act and, thus, the disputed FIR can be abrogated.

Learned APP submits that there are serious allegations made against the petitioner in the FIR. The petitioner has not only committed an offence punishable under Section 376 but even under Section 313 of the IPC. It is submitted that outcome of the impugned FIR has a great impact on society. Therefore, the prayer for quashing FIR may not be entertained.

The court relied on the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab stated that “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.” The court also remarked that in the case of Anurag Soni Vs. The State of Chattisgarh stated that “if an accused from the very beginning has given a promise of marriage without any intention to fulfil that promise and in lieu of such promise that the accused will marry her, she gave her consent for sexual intercourse with the accused, then such consent would not amount to valid consent.”

While rejecting the petition court opined that “the offences are very serious and heinous in nature. Therefore, the FIR cannot be quashed on the basis of amicable settlement or on merits. Hence, the writ petition stands rejected.”

Click here for the judgment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *