The High Court of Delhi in the matter of BITU YADAV@ VIKAS YADAV VS. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) & Anr (Criminal M.C. 1761/2020 quashed an FIR lodged under Section 376/506 IPC based on the settlement between the Complainant and the accused, who later on entered into marital relation.
One Bitu Yadav filed a petition for the issuance of a direction by the Court for quashing FIR no 384/2029 dated 31.07.2020 for the offence punishable under the section of 376/509 IPC.
The Complainant submitted before the Court that the FIR was lodged due to misunderstanding arose between the petitioner and Complainant. She submitted that they had settled their dispute amicably and did not wish to prosecute the matter any further. The Complainant also submitted an undertaking to the effect in which she stated that the FIR was lodged due to misunderstanding and that she would have no objection if the petition of the petitioner is allowed by the Court.
In this case, the petitioner and the respondent no.2 (Complainant) had been in a relationship since 2013, which was also in the knowledge of both the family of petitioner and respondent. They had been in regular touch with each other over the phone and also used to meet as and when they got time from their jobs. The petitioner was working as a constable in U.P. Police and the Respondent no. 2 was employed as ground staff in the I.G.I Airport, New Delhi. They had always been in a happy and loving relationship as any of they had ever filed no complaints from 2013 till date except the present one.
On 31.07.2020, the Respondent no.2 lodged the FIR no. 384/2020, against the petitioner for the offence punishable under 376/509 IPC at police station, Dwarka North, Delhi.
The main issue involved in this petition was whether the FIR lodged against the petitioner under section 376/509 IPC could be quashed on the ground that the parties had settled their dispute and also on the basis of the undertaking given by the petitioner that they were married and living a happy life.
CONTENTION OF THE PARTIES
The petitioner submitted that the marriage of the petitioner and respondent no.2 was solemnized on 2.08.2020 which had been registered before the office of the registrar on 4.08.2020. The petitioner relied upon the judgment of Avinash Haribhau Shinde vs. The state of Maharashtra & Anr in criminal writ petition no. 5848/2018.
The state contended that the petition ought to be dismissed on the observation made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court where it held that “the power of High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or complaints in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct from the power given to a criminal court in compounding the offences under section 320 of the code.
In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or FIR or complaints may be exercised where the offender and the victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, and no category can be prescribed.
However, before exercising such power, the Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. cannot be fitting quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such crimes are not private and have a serious impact on society.
FINDINGS OF THE COURT
1. The Court found out that the misunderstanding started arising between the petitioner and respondent no.2, when the petitioner was posted in Etawah during March 2020, as the petitioner was unable to give time to the respondent due to his long and rigorous working hours during the lockdown.
2. The petitioner also suffered from pyrexia with Jaundice during those days, and he was advised to take rest for 62 days. Despite being suffering from Jaundice, the petitioner had no option except to continue his job as the U.P. police department had a shortage of staff during that time. Due to these reasons, the petitioner remained disconnected from his family and also from the respondent no.2.
3. The petitioner also explained the situation to the respondent no.2 over the phone, but the respondent misunderstood the situation and under the wrong impression thought that the petitioner was ignoring her. Under the impression of such thoughts, the respondent no. 2 started believing that the petitioner was cheating her.
DECISION OF THE COURT
The Court held that there would not be any ground for not quashing the FIR no. 384/2020, when the respondent no.2/complainant/ prosecutrix took the initiative and made affidavit before this Court stating that she made the complaints due to some misunderstanding and now wanted to give quietus to the misunderstanding which arose between the petitioner and respondent no.2. The Court further observed that if the trial is continued, it will result in the acquittal of the accused and public time would be wasted.
The Court being conscious about the dictum of the Supreme Court in terms of the seriousness of the case, however, held that in the present case no rape was committed by the petitioner upon the respondent no. 2 and the FIR was registered based on false allegations arising out of misunderstandings. The Court also stated that respondent no. 2 was liable to be prosecuted but keeping the view of the relationship of the petitioner and respondent no. 2, Court refrained from taking any legal action against respondent no.2. The Court relied upon the case of Danish Ali vs State and Anr. in criminal M.C.1727/2019 and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the FIR.