Jammu and Kashmir High Court Quash the FIR Considering the Continuation of Investigation To Be Contrary To the Interest of Justice

Background

Petitioner No. 3 filed a complaint and registered an FIR No. 61 of 2015 dated 13.05.2015 at Police Station, Banihal, Ramban. The FIR was registered against petitioners 1 and 2 for the commission of offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472, 474, 109 RPC. They were alleged to have committed offences in connection with the appointment of a Rehbar-a-Taleem, Teacher. However, the parties had resolved the issues amicably amongst themselves only and had reduced it into writing by way of a deed of compromise which was executed on 31.01.2020. So, the petitioners sought quashing of the FIR taking the ground that the continuation of investigation in the FIR would be futile. The respondents filed a status report in response to this wherein it was stated that the accused persons have committed the said offences and that it has come to their notice that both the parties have entered into a compromise and have presented the deed of compromise before the Court. Furthermore, petitioners 1 and 2 had filed an application for a grant of bail in anticipation of their arrest on 10.06.2015, and they were granted the same on 12.06.2015.

Arguments before the Court

Mr Basit Manzoor Keng, the learned counsel of the petitioners contended that the parties have amicably resolved the issues and sought disposal of the instant petition in the light of the judgments passed by the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in 2012 (10) SCC 303, Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab and another and 2017 (9) SCC 641, Parbatbhai Aahir Alias Parbatbhal Bhimsinhbhai Karlmur and other vs. State of Gujarat and another.

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Mr Jamrodh Singh, the learned counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, opposed the same and instead contended that the case is covered by the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in 2020 (3) SCC 736, Arun Singh and others vs. State of U.P and another.

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that the case of the petitioners is covered by the judgments of Gian Singh’ case and Parbatbhai Aahir’s case, and not under Arun Singh’s case. This was so because Arun Singh’s case was a case under the Dowry Prohibition Act and offences against society. The Court directed the petitioners to appear before the Registrar Judicial of the Court along with their counsel. And their respective statements were recorded in support of the compromise stated to have been executed by them. 

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Further, the Court referred to the cases of Gian Singh and Parbhatbhai Aahir which dealt with the power of the High Court in quashing the criminal proceedings or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction in a very detailed manner. The Court observed and interpreted that in both these cases, it was mainly stated that the aforementioned powers of the High Court should be exercised in such a manner to secure the ends of justice and to prevent the abuse of the process of any Court. Further, that it depended on the facts and circumstances of each case as to whether the FIR or the criminal proceedings or the complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction can be quashed or not and no category as such can be prescribed. However, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime before the exercise of such power. Heinous and serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be quashed even if the dispute has been settled between the victim or victim’s family and the offender. But the criminal cases which have a predominant civil flavour stand on a different footing to quash. In such cases, the High Court may quash criminal proceedings if it is of the view that there is a very bleak possibility of conviction because of the compromise between the offender and the victim. And, that the continuation of the criminal case would cause injustice to the accused. 

Court’s Decision

Keeping in mind the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in Gian Singh’s and Parbatbhai Ashir’s cases and considering the deed of the compromise entered into by the parties, the Court believed that the instant case stands on a distinct footing from the heinous and serious offences. The Court further stated that the continuation of investigation would cause extreme injustice to the accused (petitioner No. 1 and 2), despite having settled the disputes and differences with petitioner No. 3. And that the continuation of investigation would be unfair and contrary to the interest of justice and would amount to an abuse of law. The Court decided that since the proceedings were still at an initial and nascent stage so it was the discretion of the Court to put it to an end and quashed the FIR in question. Thus, FIR in question was quashed. 

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE JUDGEMENT.


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