The Delhi High Court in its order dated April 12, 2022 has observed that FIR or complaints can be quashed even in respect of non-compoundable offences pertaining to matrimonial disputes if the Court is satisfied that the parties have settled their disputes amicably, without any pressure.
While quashing the FIR filed by wife under Section 498A, 406 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh observed,
Even in non- compoundable offences pertaining to the matrimonial disputes, if Court is satisfied that parties have settled the disputes amicably and without any pressure, then for the purpose of securing ends of justice, FIRs or complaints or subsequent criminal proceedings in respect of offences can be quashed.
Parties got married in April 2003 but due to some temperamental differences between them, they started living separately since May 2005. The couple has a daughter – who is now a major.
Despite several efforts of reconciliation, both the parties could not settle the differences.
Wife lodges Complaint with Women’s Cell in 2006
The wife then lodged a complaint in C.A.W. (Crime Against Women) Cell which culminated into the aforesaid FIR against all the petitioners in September 2006.
Parties Agree To Settle Mutually
W the intervention of family members and relatives, both the parties entered into settlement before Mediation Centre, Tis Hazari Courts.
In pursuance of the said settlement, the parties moved for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The husband and wife had filed their first motion of the divorce petition under sec. 13B(1) which was allowed in August 2021.
The Petition to quash criminal cases under section 13B(2) of HMA was filed by the parties and their marriage was dissolved by mutual consent vide order dated December 2021.
It was submitted that the wife had settled all her claims in respect of her dowry articles, stridhan, marriage expenses, jewellery, gift items and claims of past, present and future maintenance and permanent alimony with the husband and other family members for
- A total sum of Rs 15,50,000
- Out of which Rs 10,00,000 were already paid while remaining Rs 5,50,000 was agreed to be paid at the time of quashing of the FIR
It was therefore prayed that the FIR be quashed on the basis of Memorandum of Understanding and as per the Judgment of the Supreme Court in Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab.
Learned APP for the State submitted that there is no opposition to the prayer made by the petitioners seeking quashing of the FIR in question in view of the settlement arrived at between the parties.
Delhi High Court
The high court noted the settlement between parties and said,
The instant criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences are private in nature and do not have a serious impact on the society especially when there is a settlement/compromise between victim (wife) and accused (husband).
In such cases, it is settled law that High Court is also required to consider the conduct and antecedents of the accused in order to ascertain that the settlement has been entered into by her own free will and has not been imposed upon her by the petitioner or any person related to him.
The Court also noted that there was no allegation from the wife that the conduct and antecedents of petitioners had been bad towards her after the compromise and that according to the settlement, she had received the entire settled amount. Thus quashing the FIR against husband, the court concluded,
In the instant case, as stated above, the parties have reached on the compromise and amicably settled the entire disputes without any pressure. In view of the settlement arrived at between the parties and the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the present petition is allowed.
- Most criminal cases against husbands and their families are nothing but tools to arrive at monetary settlements
- The entire system is aided legally, where the man is let off the hook, once he pays up
- If the wife had filed criminal complaint against her husband and in-laws, the investigation should have led to their conviction or acquittal
- However, such cases keep lingering on for years, until the man and his family are pushed to a point that they agree to pay up and end their ordeal
- Ironically, the women rights champions who call themselves crusaders against Dowry, do not utter a word when cases under Section 498-A are quashed, after money is received by the wife
Leave your thoughts on this case below:
READ ORDER | Delhi High Court Quashes Section #498A Against Husband After He Pays Rs 15 Lakh As Settlement— Men’s Day Out (@MensDayOutIndia) April 21, 2022
"Instant criminal proceedings are private & don't hv serious impact on society when there's settlement between victim (wife) & accused (husband)"https://t.co/m1hwGcCnX6
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