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Compromise Quashing in High Court Chandigarh

Compromise Quashing in High Court

Recap- Quashing is term given to orders by High Court in general under Section 482 of CrPC exercising inherent powers where criminal proceedings before Trial Court (District Judge, Judicial Magistrate or Session Judge) are dropped or rejected as no prima facie offence is being made out and chances of accused committing the crime is to rare. In such circumstances the FIR stands cancelled and no further proceedings and investigations are allowed. Hence, you stand free from all sorts of charges arising out of that particular FIR quashed by Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh.

But what about Quashing of FIR based on Compromise? Is it possible to quash the FIR, if there is compromise between the parties? Where would be the petition lie? And how much will be the fee for entire proceedings?  Do both the parties have to be present before the court? I don’t know! Please assist.

That’s what for LegalSeva is here. I’ll Answer one by one, so hold on your horses for a while and be patient.

Also read- Quashing of FIR in High Court Chandigarh

 It is good that people are settling the disputes outside court going for Compromise Quashing but wait, before that you have to see what cases can be compromised? If yes, how and what kind of cases cannot be compromised?

Sec 320 of CrPC provides provision for compounding of offences with and without permission of the court.

Offences compoundable on the behest of victim- 298, 323, 334, 335, 341, 342,343, 344,346, 352,355,358, 379, 403, 407, 411, 414, 417, 419, 421, 422, 423, 424 , 426,427, 428, 429, 430, 447, 448,451, 482,483,486, 491, 497, 498, 500, 501, 502, 504,506, 508.

Offences compoundable with the permission of court- 312, 325, 337, 338, 357, 381, 406, 408, 418,420, 494,500, 509

Unfortunately 498-A being a non-cognizable offence is still not under any of the categories above. There your only resort in Dowry harassment i.e. 498-A cases is filing quashing petition before High Court at Chandigarh.

Remember heinous crimes like rape, crime against children, women, elders and against the interest of the State or National security are never quashed. In extreme exceptional situation where accused has married the rape victim and she doesn’t want to pursue the case, it is still done but rarest of rare cases rule applies.

Now, read about 498- A Compromise Quashing

498-A Quashing is only possible through High Court for residents of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur, and Kharar at Chandigarh Sector 1. So come to High Court with the other party and their advocate and the FIR stands quashed in maximum 3 dates.

 

Ground Zero-  First get your petition prepared by one of the top criminal lawyers or advocates in Tricity or High Court Chandigarh attorneys who deals with Quashing petitions. All the relevant records of Trial Court proceedings, affidavit of both accused and victim stating compromise has arrived , with most recent orders, stage of trial in lower court and other paraphernalia be annexed along with the petition. Both the parties have to put their signatures on compromise reached and come to court. Your counsel will file the petition and tell you when it is listed before High Court Chandigarh.


On First Date- Quote about the compromise entered between the parties, documents on record like agreement copy, payment made, check copy, draft copy, and all other relevant records. On perusing the file, court allow the notice of motion, the other party accepts the notice there and then when it is allowed and the case gets fixed for the next date. Court usually gives following instructions in the order:

1. As per date given by High Court parties are to be present in trial court where 498-A FIR is pending and give statements related to the Compromise to the trial court judge.

2 Then the trial court will submit report to the High Court regarding the genuineness of the compromise being entered into and on the next date of hearing in High Court parties have to give statements to that effect.


On Second Date - If all goes well as stated above, High Court would have received the report from trial court. Parties or advocate appearing on both sides will confirm the same as being present in the case and in the end the FIR will stand being Quashed by way of Compromise Quashing.


The best example of Compromise Quashing would be that under sections 498-A, 406, 503,  323 and Dowry Prohibition Act.

Supreme Court has issued guidelines for Compromise Quashing for Compoundable offences as well as Non-Compoundable offences. For quashing of serious offences, High Court’s discretionary powers have to be exercised. The best explanation of these powers were earlier explained in B.S. Joshi vs. State of Haryana.

 

Read the Supreme Court guidelines for Non-Compoundable Offences on the basis of settlement between the parties below taken from Narinder Singh vs. Sate of Punjab:

 

(I) Power conferred under Section 482 of the Code is to be distinguished from the power which lies in the Court to compound the offences under Section 320 of the Code. No doubt, under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court has inherent power to quash the criminal proceedings even in those cases which are not compoundable, where the parties have settled the matter between themselves. However, this power is to be exercised sparingly and with caution.

(II)When the parties have reached the settlement and on that basis petition for quashing the criminal proceedings is filed, the guiding factor in such cases would be to secure:

                     (i) ends of justice, or

                     (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court.

While exercising the power the High Court is to form an opinion on either of the aforesaid two objectives.

(III) Such a power is not be exercised in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, for offences alleged to have been committed under special statute like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by Public Servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender.

(IV) On the other, those criminal cases having overwhelmingly and pre-dominantly civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes should be quashed when the parties have resolved their entire disputes among themselves.

(V) While exercising its powers, the High Court is to examine as to whether the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal cases would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal cases.

(VI) Offences under Section 307 IPC would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore is to be generally treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court 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 proving the charge under Section 307 IPC. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. Medical report in respect of injuries suffered by the victim can generally be the guiding factor. On the basis of this prima facie analysis, the High Court can examine as to whether there is a strong possibility of conviction or the chances of conviction are remote and bleak. In the former case it can refuse to accept the settlement and quash the criminal proceedings whereas in the later case it would be permissible for the High Court to accept the plea compounding the offence based on complete settlement between the parties. At this stage, the Court can also be swayed by the fact that the settlement between the parties is going to result in harmony between them which may improve their future relationship.

(VII) While deciding whether to exercise its power under Section 482 of the Code or not, timings of settlement play a crucial role. Those cases where the settlement is arrived at immediately after the alleged commission of offence and the matter is still under investigation, the High Court may be liberal in accepting the settlement to quash the criminal proceedings/investigation. It is because of the reason that at this stage the investigation is still on and even the charge sheet has not been filed. Likewise, those cases where the charge is framed but the evidence is yet to start or the evidence is still at infancy stage, the High Court can show benevolence in exercising its powers favourably, but after prima facie assessment of the circumstances/material mentioned above. On the other hand, where the prosecution evidence is almost complete or after the conclusion of the evidence the matter is at the stage of argument, normally the High Court should refrain from exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code, as in such cases the trial court would be in a position to decide the case finally on merits and to come a conclusion as to whether the offence under Section 307 IPC is committed or not. Similarly, in those cases where the conviction is already recorded by the trial court and the matter is at the appellate stage before the High Court, mere compromise between the parties would not be a ground to accept the same resulting in acquittal of the offender who has already been convicted by the trial court. Here charge is proved under Section 307 IPC and conviction is already recorded of a heinous crime and, therefore, there is no question of sparing a convict found guilty of such a crime.

 

Supreme Court  guidelines on Quashing of FIR/Criminal Proceedings on the Ground of Settlement Between Parties in Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai ... vs The State Of Gujarat  below-

 

(i) Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does not confer new powers. It only recognises and preserves powers which inhere in the High Court;

(ii) The invocation of the jurisdiction of the High Court to quash a First Information Report or a criminal proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been arrived at between the offender and the victim is not the same as the invocation of jurisdiction for the purpose of compounding an offence. While compounding an offence, the power of the court is governed by the provisions of Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The power to quash under Section 482 is attracted even if the offence is non-compoundable.

(iii) In forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power;

(iv) While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court;

(v) The decision as to whether a complaint or First Information Report should be quashed on the ground that the offender and victim have settled the dispute, revolves ultimately on the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated;

(vi) In the exercise of the power under Section 482 and while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the offence. Heinous and serious offences involving mental depravity or offences such as murder, rape and dacoity cannot appropriately be quashed though the victim or the family of the victim have settled the dispute. Such offences are, truly speaking, not private in nature but have a serious impact upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in such cases is founded on the overriding element of public interest in punishing persons for serious offences;

(vii) As distinguished from serious offences, there may be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or predominant element of a civil dispute. They stand on a distinct footing in so far as the exercise of the inherent power to quash is concerned;

(viii) Criminal cases involving offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions with an essentially civil flavour may in appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute;

(ix) In such a case, the High Court may quash the criminal proceeding if in view of the compromise between the disputants, the possibility of a conviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice; and

(x) There is yet an exception to the principle set out in propositions (viii) and

(ix) above. Economic offences involving the financial and economic well-being of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court would be justified in declining to quash where the offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or economic fraud or misdemeanour. The consequences of the act complained of upon the financial or economic system will weigh in the balance.

                                                                                             ***********

Now over to you. Criminal Proceedings and the Criminal Trial is a torture in itself leave apart the detention. The uncertainty and daily humdrums in court further adds to plight of the accused and victim both. If compromise be it any manner (compensation, right awarded or partial relief that you seek) is granted, then I don’t see any purpose of steering a legal battle without any fruits. The only recourse in that eventuality would be quashing of FIR.


If you are in need any legal help or advice related to the Quashing of FIR/Criminal Proceedings, You may call at 99888-17966 or drop a line at satish@legalseva.net

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