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FIR U/S 377 IPC Can Be Quashed In Matrimonial Cases After Settlement Between Parties: Delhi High Court

Arundhathi ,
  19 September 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Delhi High Court
Brief :

Citation :
CRL.M.C. 1356/2022

Case Title:
Aneesh Gupta & Ors Vs State Of NCT Of Delhi & Ors

Date of Order:
September 6, 2022

Bench:
Hon'ble Justice Talwant Singh

Parties:
Petitioners- Aneesh Gupta & Ors
Respondents- State of NCT of Delhi &Ors

SUBJECT

This petition was filed for quashing all offences against the petitioners in an FIR registered at Police Station Crime Women Cell, Nanak Pura. This was on the ground that the complainant-respondent had settled all disputes she had with the petitioners on the basis of a settlement they had arrived at as of 18.09.2021. The co-ordinate bench viewed that in matrimonial cases even Section 377 and the FIR can be quashed if the parties agree to settle. As it was clear that the respondent had received all due compensation and that she had taken the decision to settle out of her free will, and the parties understand the implications of these proceedings, the Court allowed the petition and stated that the parties shall remain bound by the terms of the settlement submitted.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

  • Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973- This Section dealt with the inherent power of the High Court to make such orders in order to prevent abuse of any Court procedures or to secure ends of justice. If considered necessary nothing would limit the Court from making such orders as it considers necessary.
  • Section 377 in The Indian Penal Code- This Section dealt with unnatural offences. It states that voluntary carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life, or with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. It is further explained that penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse mentioned in this Section.

OVERVIEW

  • According to the settlement made on 18.0921 the respondent would be paid Rs.74,00,0000 as the full and final settlement towards all claims which include Stridhan, child maintenance, compensation, permanent alimony, and child care maintenance for past, present, and future.Rs.20,00,000 was paid at the time of signing the settlement agreement. The rest of the payment would be in three phases. Rs.20,00,000 will be paid at the time of recording of statements in the first motion. Rs.20,00,000 will be paid before the recording of statements of the second motion. Rs.14,00,000 will be paid at the time of quashing of the FIR. A sum of Rs.10,00,000 would also be invested in the name of the minor child for his benefit till he attains majority.
  • A petition to quash the agreement would be filed within seven days of granting the decree of divorce. If the petitioner does not file such petition within the said period, the Rs.14,00,000 to be given at the time of quashing the FIR shall be paid within fifteen days of granting the decree of divorce.
  • On receiving this amount, the respondent shall not have any further demand for alimony and shall also give no-objection to quashing the FIR.
  • In order to waive the statutory six months period before divorce, the parties shall jointly file an application within ten days after recording statements in the first motion.
  • All documents and trophies shall be returned to each other by both parties before the second motion.
  • The joint account in their names at Punjab National Bank shall be closed, and any amount in it can be taken by respondent no.2.
  • The sole custodian of their minor child shall be the mother. The petitioner may have a one hour video call or may meet the child for one hour on the week in which his birthday comes.
  • Any cases filed in any court, police station or anywhere else, against each other or their family members shall be quashed and upon entering this agreement no further legal action or complaint shall be taken against each other or their family members.
  • An affidavit was submitted by the respondent stating her no-objection in quashing the FIR as all her claims have been settled.

ISSUES RAISED

  • Whether an FIR invoking Sections 354 and 377 of IPC can be quashed if both parties of a matrimonial dispute decide to make a settlement?

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS

  • The Court pointed out that in this case, apart from the usual Sections invoked in matrimonial disputes Sections 354 and 377 of IPC have also been invoked in the FIR.
  • The Court cited a judgement pronounced by a co-ordinate bench in Rifakat Ali &Ors Vs. State &Anr. [CRL.M.C. No. 599/2021] on 26.02.2021, which was also regarding quashing an FIR with similar charges, on the basis of a petition filed. The bench was of the view that when the concerned parties file a petition to quash criminal proceedings and to settle, the High Court can use its powers under Section 482 of CrPC to grant the petition in order to secure the ends of justice or to prevent the misuse of court proceedings in any manner.
  • However, this power cannot be exercised in cases that involve heinous offences, as judgements in such cases have a serious effect on the society. This also applies to offences coming under special statutes like Prevention against Corruption Act.
  • This power can be applied if necessary, in cases that have predominantly civil character, such as commercial or matrimonial disputes. The Court considered this in this petition and observed that even an FIR invoking Section 377 can be quashed in the interest of the parties who wish to settle and move ahead in their lives.

CONCLUSION

Thus, the Court concluded that in view of the respondent’s statement that she has settled all disputes and out of her free will, wishes to discontinue any further proceedings in the present case, the FIR can be quashed. The remaining payment was also given to the respondent. The Court was of the view that it would be unnecessary to continue with any legal proceedings in this case as it would affect the lives of both parties who wish to settle all disputes and continue with their lives. Thus, the petition was disposed of.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE

 
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