Delhi High Court Sets Guidelines on Quashing FIRs and Responsible Mediation Practices

Title: Abhishek & Ors. v. The State NCT of Delhi & Ors.

Decided on:  16th August, 2023

+  CRL.M.C. 5720/2023



In a recent case, the Delhi High Court, while addressing a petition filed under Section 482 of the CrPC seeking the quashing of an FIR, highlighted the importance of responsible mediation practices in resolving serious offenses. The court observed that non-compoundable offenses cannot be resolved solely through monetary agreements and emphasized the need for upholding lawful and principled mediation practices.


The petitioners sought the quashing of an FIR filed against them for alleged offenses under Sections 308/34 of the IPC. The parties had settled the matter amicably and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a monetary settlement of Rs. 40,000. It was revealed that Rs. 30,000 in cash was intended for the purpose of quashing the FIR.


The court examined the principles of law related to quashing FIRs based on settlements as laid down in cases such as Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, and Parbhatbhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat. It differentiated between compounding offenses under Section 320 and quashing under Section 482 of the CrPC, emphasizing that the latter is discretionary and aimed at preventing process abuse while ensuring justice.

The court scrutinized the mediated settlement agreement, noting that the mediator had exceeded their jurisdiction by attempting to compound a non-compoundable offense. The agreement’s language suggested that serious offenses could be resolved through payments, which misled the parties involved. The court highlighted that quashing non-compoundable offenses is a discretionary decision that must adhere to established principles.


The court held that serious offenses cannot be settled through monetary agreements alone. It stressed that the mediator’s role is not to compound non-compoundable offenses but to facilitate lawful and responsible mediation practices. While the court decided to quash the FIR based on unique circumstances, it imposed costs on the petitioners for misinterpreting the agreement.

The court laid down guidelines for mediators, emphasizing the importance of clarity in mediated settlement agreements. It directed mediators to specify that quashing of FIRs for non-compoundable offenses is at the court’s discretion and depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. The court urged mediators to ensure that parties understand the legal consequences and enforceability of agreements.


The Delhi High Court’s ruling underscores the significance of responsible mediation practices and the proper interpretation of mediated settlement agreements. The judgment establishes that serious offenses cannot be resolved through monetary agreements and encourages mediators to uphold lawful principles while facilitating settlements.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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