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Court can quash criminal proceedings if the case is totally personal in nature, no public interest is affected and the parties have settled the matter between themselves : High Court of Kerala

High Court can quash criminal proceedings if no public interest or harmony will be adversely affected by quashing the proceedings where the parties have settled the matter between themselves notwithstanding the bar under Section320 of Cr.P.C. if it is warranted in the given facts and circumstances of the case and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE DR. JUSTICE KAUSER EDAPPAGATH in the case of VINAYAN vs. STATE OF KERALA (CRL.MC NO. 667 OF 2022) on 23rd March, 2022.

The offences alleged against the petitioners are under Sections 323 and 294(b) of IPC. The averments in the petition as well as the affidavit sworn in by the respondent No.2 would show that the entire dispute between the parties has been amicably settled and the de facto complainant has decided not to proceed with the crime further. The learned Prosecutor, on instruction, submits that the matter was enquired into through the investigating officer and a statement of the de facto complainant was also recorded wherein she reported that the matter was amicably settled.

In view of decision of apex court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab [2012 (4) KLT 108 (SC)], Narinder Singh and Others v. State of Punjab and Others (2014) and in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan and Others (2019) has held that the High Court invoking S.482 of Cr.P.C can quash criminal proceedings in relation to non compoundable offence where the parties have settled the matter between themselves notwithstanding the bar under S.320 of Cr.P.C. if it is warranted in the given facts and circumstances of the case or to ensure ends of justice or to prevent abuse of process of any Court.

The Court held that case is purely personal in nature. No public interest or harmony will be adversely affected by quashing the proceedings pursuant to Annexure 1 FIR. The offences in question do not fall within the category of offences prohibited for compounding in terms of the pronouncement of the Apex Court and no purpose will be served in proceeding with the matter further. Accordingly, the Crl.M.C. is allowed. Annexure 1 FIR in Crime No.1404/2021 of Narakkal Police Station stands hereby quashed.

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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