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Private settlement between a couple in 376 IPC cannot be a ground to quash FIR

ANANDA D.V. V STATE & ANOTHER, W.P. (CRL) 2382/2019 & Crl. M.A. 34350/2019 – 14th November, 2019

It was Decided by a single judge, HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE BRIJESH SETHI. The Hon’ble High court of delhi held that the offences which are heinous, cruel some and gruel some in nature, such cases cannot be quashed even if the dispute between the parties has been mutually and privately settled down.

A First Information was filed by the Respondent No.2, in which the facts enlisted are that she met the Petitioner in January 2013 due to official purposes & afterwards they met many times & she revealed that she was a widow. The petitioner then proposed of marrying to her & that his parents have no objection in him marrying her. She started trusting him & they started living together. But he never spoke to them, rather started leashing out his violent & abusive nature on her & brutally raped her & forcibly made her to undergo abortion. She underwent severe stress & depression & it became so traumatic that she slashed her arm. One day, after her night duty, she tried calling him, but couldn’t reach him & later discovered he fled away with all of her belongings & valuables. Plus she came to know that he has filed a fraudulent extortion of Rs. 3, 50,000. Even after all this, she has tried to avail reconciliation but it was of no avail. Later they somewhat settled the dispute privately.

The Petitioner later upon settling dispute with Respondent No.2 filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution read with Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code to quash the FIR which had already been registered in Delhi & consequential proceedings emanating there from.

The question in this matter is whether if the parties have got married? If yes, later, if they settled the dispute within themselves, can the FIR be quashed under S.482 of Cr. PC

Legal provisions of Section 376 & Section 380 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as S.482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) were looked upon by the Hon’ble Court

Under The Indian Penal Code S.376 deals with the punishment which is to be given for rape. Normally if it is proved that a person who is charged of rape has committed it, except for certain cases, then he shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment for not less than 7 years and it can be extended up to 10 years or even be sentenced to life imprisonment.

It is clear that the offence committed by petitioner clearly falls under the category of heinous and serious one.  Rape not only causes serious injury to a woman’s body, her honour and dignity and even if such an offence is settled by the offender and victim, this offence being not  private in nature but has serious impact on the society and, therefore, cannot be quashed.  Thus, despite the alleged marriage of the petitioner with the complainant/respondent No.2, the offence in question cannot be quashed in exercise of powers vested in this Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

IPC Section 380 says that a person committing theft from a building or tent or vessel used as a human dwelling shall be punished with an imprisonment of 7 years or shall be held to be liable equivalent to the value of the article he stole. Cr. Pc Section 482 preserves the powers of the High Court & prevents abuse of any process of the court.

The Petitioner contends that they solemnized their marriage in Kodanda Ramjanma bhoomi temple in Bangalore in presence of friends and well wishers and so they are married and since they settled the dispute amongst themselves, the FIR is to be quashed

Cases such as Parbatbhai Bhimsinbhai Karmur v. St of Gujarat, Narinder Singh v St of Punjab and most importantly Gian Singh v. St of Punjab were looked upon, where in it was held that heinous offences like rape, murder & dacoity

Upon the examination of the above cases, the Court observed that she had been deceived by a false promise of marriage and has been subjected to mental harassment and later raped. Such an offence is not only injury to her body, but also to her honour & dignity.This offence is not at all private and rather a grievous evil that affects the society.

So, in spite of the false marriage existing & the settlement of the dispute has occurred between the parties, based upon the above reason, the Court decided to not to quash the First Hand Report. Therefore the petition along with the pending application is therefore dismissed.

View/Download Judgment: ANANDA D.V. V STATE & ANOTHER,

Nardhana Ram

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