The Karnataka High Court in its order dated May 23, 2022 held that closure of proceedings on account of settlement arrived at between the parties even for offence of Rape, punishable under Section 376 of the IPC, is permissible.
The High Court subsequently quashed the proceedings pending against four persons on the complaint made by a woman belonging to the same family.
In February 2022, a woman (2nd respondent) registered an FIR for the offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC (rape) against the petitioner No.1/accused No.1 and other offences against other accused.
Both the accused (appellant) and respondent No.2 were living together for a considerable while. The complainant’s allegation is that the appellant duped her by misrepresenting to her that he is divorced. The complainant, according to the accused, is not unmarried and her marriage subsists.
The parties were referred to mediation having regard to the fact that a child was born in 2018. As a consequence, a mediated settlement limited to the maintenance and upkeep of the child was arrived at by them.
During the pendency of the rape case proceedings, the parties to the lis – petitioner No.1, the complainant and all other accused have entered into a settlement and have produced such settlement by way of an affidavit before this Court. A joint memo and an application under Section 483 read with Section 320 of the Cr.P.C. are also filed before the Court seeking to compound the offences alleged.
The petitioners thus approached the Karnataka High Court to quash the FIR registered against them under Sections 376, 384, 504, 506 read with Section 34 of the IPC.
Karnataka High Court:
A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna allowed the petition to quash rape FIR after settlement between parties.
The counsel for the petitioners placed reliance upon several judgments rendered by the Apex Court, as well as High Courts, in order to buttress his submission that when a settlement is arrived at even in case of offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC, the proceedings can be terminated.
The Judge observed,
The proceedings against the petitioners in Crime No.87 of 2022 of Byadarahalli Police Station pending before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bangalore Rural District, Bangalore stand quashed. Consequently all further proceedings taken pursuant to registration of impugned crime also stand quashed.
Referring to the affidavit filed by the complainant woman, the bench said,
In view of the judgments rendered by the Apex Court and that of this court and the peculiar facts of this case, the complainant is said to have married and is leading her life with another man within the family itself and the accused being members of the same family, I deem it appropriate to accept the application seeking compounding of offences aforesaid and terminate the proceedings against the petitioners.
- This is an absolute mockery of rape laws in India
- Allowing settlement between parties, is only giving a legal stamp for exchange of money or compelling the accused men to agree to all demands of the complainant woman
- The messaging given by Indian courts is that women can use Rape Laws as tools to settle score, and once the ‘settlement’ is arrived at, she will permit quashing of the said charges
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READ ORDER | Rape Charges Can Be Quashed On Account Of Settlement Between Parties: Karnataka High Court— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 1, 2022
▪️FIR was against four persons by a woman belonging to the same family#VoiceForMen #SpeakUpMen #FalseRape #GenderBiasedLaws https://t.co/d4BhqjafUS
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