The Delhi High Court on 12th March 2021 decided a petition for quashing an FIR under Sec.307 of IPC-Attempt to Murder.
In March of 2020, the complainant while going to his neighbour’s house saw that the accused, Mohd Umair was arguing with his mother. When the complainant asked the accused not to argue, Umair started abusing the complainant and arguing with him. He eventually slapped the complainant and threatened him in front of the people gathered from their locality.
It was alleged that around noon the accused stabbed the complainant in the stomach. The complainant was thus taken to the hospital. The doctor recorded the case as of physical assault, with a stab injury in the abdomen. An FIR was filed under Sec.307 of IPC. He was released on bail in late April 2020.
A petition was filed on the ground that after the intervention of parents and well-wishers, the parties had decided to settle their dispute. A settlement deed was filed in October 2020.
Proceedings in the Court:
Hon’ble Justice, Subramonium Prasad stated that it was well-settled that the High Court can quash an FIR on basis of a compromise between two parties while exercising its jurisdiction under Sec.482 of Cr. P.C.
However, the current FIR was registered under Sec.307 of the IPC – Attempt to Murder. It was observed that there was a conflict in various proceedings in the Apex Court as to whether such an offence could be quashed by the HC while exercising its powers under Sec.482.
It was seen that in the case of State of Rajasthan v. Shambhu Kewat, (2014)4 SCC 149, the SC stated that the HC could not quash an FIR under Sec.307, stating that such an offence cannot be taken leniently as it will leave a wrong impression that one can get away with such a serious offence by paying monetary compensation.
A larger Bench of SC, in the case of the State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688 laid down guidelines for HCs to take a view as to under what circumstances it could accept a settlement between parties and quash proceedings and under what circumstances it should refrain from doing so.
It stated, “Offences under Sec.307 IPC and the Arms Act, etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as a crime against the society and not against the individual alone…thus, cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Sec.482, on the ground that the parties have resolved their dispute amongst themselves. However, the HCs would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Sec.307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the HC to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. It would be open to the HC to go by the nature of the injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delicate parts of the body, nature of weapons used, etc. However, such an exercise by the HC would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge-sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation.”
Decision of the Court
The court stated that the petitioner was a youngster of 21 years, had his entire life ahead of him, had no criminal antecedents, and had not absconded. The parties were living in the same area. During the investigation, it was also seen that the accused stated that the complainant had also slapped him. He thus felt insulted and in anger stabbed the complainant. He had already spent a day in custody and expressed regret in court. Even the complainant stated that if he was charged, the young boy’s life would be ruined.
Thus, a quashing of FIR was allowed by the court. It was directed that the accused must learn to control his anger and was to do one month of community service at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Costs of Rs.1, 00, 000 were also imposed.
Story by Sai Kulkarni-Intern