The decision that if the dispute is settled by the parties mutually is in the interest of justice, but the parties have to pay some compensation for using the police and judicial mechanism for settling their personal disputes is upheld by the High Court of Bombay through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE NITIN W. SAMBRE & HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL L. PANSARE in the case of Akshay Padmakar Naik & Ors. Versus The State of Maharashtra & Anr. (WRIT PETITION NO. 1421 OF 2021)
Brief facts of the case are such that the Petitioner no. 1, Akshay Padmakar Naik and the Respondent no.2, Swapnalee Akshay Naik were married. Due to a matrimonial dispute, the Respondent no.2 had filed an FIR on 3rd August 2020 at Dadar Police Station, accusing her husband, Petitioner no. 1, her mother-in- law, Petitioner no.2 and her sister-in-law, Petitioner no. 3 of offences punishable under Section 498-A, 406 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. This matter is now settled between both the parties and they have filed for a divorce by mutual consent in the Family Court. Since the matter is now settled between both the parties, they have filed an application for quashing the FIR which accused the Petitioners against the alleged offence under Section 498-A, 406 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The counsel for Petitioner, Mr. Bharat Bhatia i/b. Ms. Ankita Phadke, has contended that the FIR had arisen because of matrimonial issues between the Petitioner no. 1 and Respondent no. 2 and since the issue has been resolved now, the court may quash the FIR. The counsel for petitioner further contended that Petitioner no. 3 is a permanent resident of Canada and is due for Citizenship Oath. The FIR would prevent the Petitioner No.3 from doing so and travelling abroad.
The counsel for Respondent no. 2, Ms. Trupti Chavan i/b. Mr. Pradeep Chavan & Associates, stated that the Respondent no.2 consented for such a quashing of the FIR and further added that she has received a permanent alimony of Rs.25 lakhs from the Petitioner No.1 and admitted that there is no exchange pending between the parties. Respondent No.2, further stated that she does not wish to pursue the proceeding that arose out of the FIR registered with Dadar Police Station against the Petitioners.
The court, after interacting with Respondent no. 2 and hearing both the parties, came to a conclusion that the FIR should be quashed. The Hon’ble judges referred to the case of State of Madhya Pradesh v/s. Laxmi Narayan and Others (Criminal Appeal No.349 of 2019), which dealt with the power of the High Court to quash the FIR under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in case of compromise between the parties, while giving such decision. The judges further added that the conflict is personal in origin and has no significant societal implications. The parties wish to put an end to the marital problems and challenges that have arisen in the past and to live a harmonious life in the future. The State of Maharashtra, Respondent No. 1, has not filed any evidence to establish that the Petitioners have any criminal history. The parties appear to have reached an authentic agreement. In these situations, it would be in the interests of justice if the parties’ agreement was followed through on. At the same time, the Petitioners and Respondent No.2 must bear the cost of employing the police and legal systems to resolve their personal disagreements.
Giving this judgement, the Court quashed the said FIR and ordered Petitioners and Respondent No.2 to pay a cost of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) proportionately to Mumbai Police Welfare Fund.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY- ATIVA GOSWAMI