The Supreme Court has held that the High Court u/s 482 of the Code has the inherent power to quash criminal proceedings even in cases which are not compoundable where the parties have settled the matter between themselves. However, this power has to be exercise to secure ends of justice as upheld by the Hon’ble High Court of Meghalaya through the learned bench lead by Justice W. Diengdoh in the case of Shri Dapyooki Dkhar & Anr Vs. State of Meghalaya & Anr. (Crl. Petn. No.34 of 2021).
The brief facts of the case are that the Petitioner No 1 is a police constable serving in the Meghalaya Police. Petitioner No 2 is the Complainant who has lodged an FIR at the Sadar Police Station, Shillong which was registered under sections 279/337/338/304(A) IPC bringing to the notice of the police the fact about the occurrence of a motor accident in which his father was dashed by the Scooty of the Petitioner No 1 and he succumbed to his injuries on 20.06.2020. That the Petitioner No 1 and the Petitioner No 2 have decided to settle the matter outside court and consequently, an Agreement was drawn up between the parties, one of the terms being that the Petitioner No 1 would compensate the Petitioner No 2 for the loss of life of his deceased father which was agreed at ₹ 4,00,000/- (Rupees four lakhs) and that the Petitioner No 2 would withdraw the said FIR filed and would not pursue the matter in court.
However, in the meantime, the Investigating Officer had filed the Charge Sheet before the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shillong which matter was then registered and the same was endorsed to the Magistrate for trial. It is further stated in the petition that since the case involving the Petitioner No 1 also includes sections 279 and 304(A) IPC which are non-compoundable, the Magistrate under section 320 Cr.P.C. has no jurisdiction to allow the compromise between the parties. Hence this instant petition.
Mr. A.S. Siddique learned Counsel for the Petitioners relying on the cases of Avinash Chawla v. State & Anr. and Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab has submitted that since the Petitioners have already compromised therefore there is no futility in proceeding with the criminal case and as such, this is a fit case for this Court to exercise its inherent power under section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the same.
Mr. H. Kharmih, learned GA on the other hand has submitted that since some of the sections involved in the said criminal case against the Petitioner No 1 are non-compoundable, therefore no compromise can be affected and as such, this application is liable to be rejected.
After hearing the learned counsel for the respective parties at length, the Hon’ble Court held, “This Court is of the considered opinion that the application of the Petitioners is entitled to be allowed. In view of the above, the dispute between the parties having been resolved, it would be futile to proceed with the said criminal proceeding against the Petitioner No. 1. Accordingly, the proceedings of pending in the court of the learned Judicial Magistrate is hereby quashed and bail bond executed if any stands discharged against the accused therein.”
Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani