w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Kartik Sharma & Others v/s State of Himachal Pradesh & Another


    Criminal Miscellaneous Petition (Main) No. 578 of 2019

    Decided On, 03 January 2020

    At, High Court of Himachal Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ANOOP CHITKARA

    For the Appearing Parties: Naresh K Thakur, Karan Veer Singh, Ashwani K Sharma, Nand Lal Thakur, Anubhav Chopra, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. The accused (petitioners herein), after compromising the entire matter with the complainant (respondent No. 2 herein), have come up before this Court under Section 482 CrPC, by invoking inherent powers of this Court, seeking quashing of FIR No. 204 of 2013, dated Dec 30, 2013, under Sections 307, 323, 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, in the file of Police Station Amb, Distt. Una, Himachal Pradesh, charges framed thereupon, and all subsequent proceedings, given the compromise arrived at between them and also based on the medical evidence of the lacerated wounds, the offence would fall under 326 IPC, that the Trial Court wrongly framed charges for the offence of 307 IPC.2. The present F.I.R. stands registered based on the information given by the complainant, Satwinder Sharma. The Petitioner has arrayed the injured as 2nd respondent in the present petition, and Mr. Anubhav Chopra, Advocate, duly represents him.FACTS:3. The gist of the facts apposite to decide the present petition is as follows:(a) The present FIR (Annexure P-1) was registered based on the information given by complainant Satwinder Sharma, a shop-keeper who made a phone call to Police Station Amb, District Una, informing that on Dec 30, 2013, at around 2.30 p.m., day time, Aruj Sharma had parked his motorcycle near his shop. In the meantime, one Logan car came and stopped near Aruj Sharma. From the said car accused Kartik Sharma (petitioner No. 1), who had a sharp-edged weapon in his hand, Rishav (petitioner No. 2), who had a hockey stick in his hand, Gifty (petitioner No. 3) and Aftab (petitioner No.4) alighted from the car and attacked Aruj Sharma.(b) Accused Kartik inflicted blow with the sharp-edged weapon on his head, accused Rishav beat him with a hockey stick, and accused Gifty& Aftab inflicted kick and fist blows. After that, all the four accused ran away.(c) On receipt of this information, Police registered the FIR mentioned above. After conducting a medical examination, based on medical opinion, the Police found ingredients of Section 307 IPC. After completion of the investigation, the SHO of Police Station Amb, Distt. Una filed a report under Section 173(2) CrPC (Annexure P-2) against all the four accused persons for commission of offences punishable under Sections 307, 323, 324, 325, 326 read with Section 34 IPC.(d) In the summary of the report under Section 173 (2) CrPC, the police mentioned that the Medical Officer of CHCAmb noticed fracture oblique of the frontal bone, and resultantly the expert opined the injuries No. 1 and 2 to be grievous in nature; however, the expert opined that the weapon used was blunt. After that, the police requested for the constitution of a Medical Board. On Jan 21, 2014, the Medical Board gave the following opinion:" Patient appeared before the Medical Board constituted by S.M.O. I/C RH Una under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ashok Daroch, SMO I/C & three other members & on examination the patient is conscious & well oriented to TPP. BP 120/84 mm hg. Pulse rate 72 per minute good in volume. Chest, CVS, CNS per abdomen WNL.1. L/E healed scar mark 7x.03 cm obliquely on forehead left side.2. Healed scar on scalp size 6x02 cm on Let PosteriorParietal region/position.3. POP cast on Left hand & thumb & Left upper limb fore mid arm to left fore arm with ARM Sling in position.After going through all the record of Mr. Aruj Sharma s/o Parmod Sharma resident of VPO& Tehsil Amb district Una the medical Board has come to the conclusion that the injuries sustained are grievous in nature & not dangerous to life."(e) Even after the Medical Board, the crucial question that injuries No. 1 and 2 were caused by a weapon that was blunt or not remained unanswered. Consequently, the Expert opinion mentions that a blunt weapon caused injury No. 1 and 2 caused on the skull. On the face of it, this is in contradiction to the earliest report of an eye-witness, namely Satwinder Sharma, shop-keeper, who has explicitly mentioned that Kartik Sharma had inflicted blows on the skull with a sharp-edged weapon.(f) Needless to say, that the FIR contained an eye witness account to the occurrence and not of the injured.(g) During the investigation, the police had recovered one Kudali based on the statement made under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act made by injured Kartik Sharma.(h) Despite the weapon of the offence having been recovered, the moot question remains that in the earliest report complainant Satwinder Sharma did not mention that accused Kartik was carrying a 'Kudali.'(i) Now the injured has entered into an out of Court compromise with the accused. A copy of the said compromise has been placed on the record as Annexure P-3.(j) The injured Aruj Sharma (respondent No. 2), as well as the accused persons, namely Kartik, Shivam @ Gifty, Rishav, and Aftab (petitioners No. 1 to 4), had put in an appearance in Court and made statements on oath that they have compromised the entire matter. The statements have been placed on record.ANALYSIS AND REASONING:4. The following aspects would be relevant to conclude this petition: -a) The injured, who is the 2nd respondent, stated that after the registration of FIR, the parties, who were previously known to each other, want to keep good relations. The injured has resolved all his disputes with the accused persons.b) The injured and the accused have amicably settled the matter between them in terms of the compromise deed (Annexure P/3).c) The parties do not dispute the compromise deed (Annexure P-3), attached to this petition. As per the contents of this compromise deed, the injured Aruj Sharma is related to accused No. 1 to 3. It further mentioned that due to some misunderstanding, this case was registered. It also indicates that the accused are unemployed young people, and due to this case, they are finding it difficult to get employment. Paragraph-2 of the compromise deed mentions that injured, as well as their relations, had met and have resolved all misunderstandings between them. It specifically says that now the accused and injured have become good friends, and their associations have also become very cordial. Paragraph-3 mentions that they have duly compensated the wounded. In paragraph-4, it is averred that the continuation of this litigation can again lead to spoiling the relationship, and as such, they want this matter to be compromised.d) On this, the injured and the accused had appeared before this Court, and the statements to such effect on oath were recorded on Oct 25, 2019, which form part of the record.e) Although, the injuries were on the skull which is vital part of the body and also that the charges have been framed under Section 307 IPC along with other Sections, but the fact remains that the injury was not caused by a sharp-edged weapon, which is substantiated by the presence of lacerated wound and not the incised wound. It should make out an offence under Section 326 IPC and not under Section 307 IPC. Furthermore, there is a material contradiction in the version of the eye witness, who explicitly stated that Kartik was carrying a sharp-edged weapon, and accused Kartik alone had inflicted a blow on the head with the said sharp-edged weapon. The eye witness did not describe the said weapon, although it was broad daylight. The wound noticed by the experts was a lacerated wound. Based on the statement of Kartik, recorded under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, he got discovered a kudali, which is agriculture equipment, and does not have sharp edges because it is made to dig earth/mud. Be that as it may, all this would have been the subject matter of trial, depending upon the quality and appreciation of evidence, proved by parties.f) One factor which is crucial is the narration of the events, which shows that the accused had come and hit the injured without any provocation. The investigation does not mention that any of the accused is a Gangster, Goonda, Badmash, or a Bhai, or a history sheeter. It infers that prima facie the possibility of assault as a result of some instigation, or older incident, which the injured appears to have kept close to his chest.g) It was the first offence of all the injured, who do not have any criminal history.h) In the given facts, the occurrence was limited and confined between relatives and does not affect public peace or tranquility.i) The addresses of the parties reveal that they are residents of the same Tehsil, and it has come in the compromise deed that accused No. 1 to 3 are related to the injured.j) The accused persons are facing prosecution for the last six years. At the time of the incident, they were very young.k) If this Court shirks in exercising its inherent jurisdiction under section 482 CrPC, then it might lead to bitterness in relations. Every time the accused will be summoned in the Court, they may blame the injured/complainant for the FIR, and the financial and other expenditure incurred, and not getting jobs, due to this case.l) If these proceedings are continued, the injured is not going to support his allegations also because FIR was not based on his statement.m) The rejection of compromise may also lead to ill will, and the purpose of criminal jurisprudence is reformatory in nature and to work for bringing peace and happiness in society.n) The pendency of trial is not only affecting their career, but after the settlement of all disputes with the injured, who is related to them, the prosecution is most likely to end in acquittal.o) Even if this case is put to trial, the parties are likely to maintain the stand which they have taken in this compromise, which is expected to result in the acquittal of the accused.p) The present case stands on many different footings than other similarly situated compromises.q) Given the cumulative effect of all the factors mentioned above, it is one of the exceptional cases, where this Court should exercise its inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and intervene, given the age of the accused, three of them being related to the injured, and the fact that the trial is pending for long time and is affecting the entire career of the accused persons.NON-COMPOUNDABLE OFFENCES CAN BE QUASHED:5. In the present case, the offence under Section 307 IPC is not compoundable under Section 320 CrPC. However, the following precedents are relevant:a) In Kailash Chand v. State of Rajasthan, (2018) 4 RCR(Criminal) 292, Supreme Court holds,7. Upon perusal of the record, it appears that the incident has occurred almost 30 years ago. Since the complainant/s and the appellant-accused belong to the same family and are living in the same house, they have buried their animosity and settled their disputes amicably in writing under an agreement letter dated 28.07.2017, copy of which is already placed on the file. The injured victims are brother and sister-inlaw of the appellant. It is also stated in the aforesaid application for compromise/compounding of offence that there is no untoward incident has ever taken place after the date of incident.8. Though the offences under sections 307 and 326 of the IPC are non-compoundable, having regard to the fact that the incident in the present case did not have an impact on the society in general, and having regard to the fact that the dispute between the parties has been settled amicably and there is no likelihood of the repetition of such incident, we allow the application for compromise/compounding of offence and set aside the orders of conviction and sentence passed by the courts below against the appellant by exercising our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. The appellant is ordered to be acquitted of the charges levelled against him. Since the appellant is confined in jail, he is ordered to be released from custody forthwith if not required in any other case.b) In Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab,2014 2 RCR (Cri) 482, Supreme Court holds,31. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we sum up and lay down the following principles by which the High Court would be guided in giving adequate treatment to the settlement between the parties and exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code while accepting the settlement and quashing the proceedings or refusing to accept the settlement with direction to continue with the criminal proceedings :(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.35. We have gone through the FIR as well which was recorded on the basis of statement of the complainant/victim. It gives an indication that the complainant was attacked allegedly by the accused persons because of some previous dispute between the parties, though nature of dispute etc. is not stated in detail. However, a very pertinent statement appears on record viz., "respectable persons have been trying for a compromise up till now, which could not be finalized". This becomes an important aspect. It appears that there have been some disputes which led to the aforesaid purported attack by the accused on the complainant. In this context when we find that the elders of the village, including Sarpanch, intervened in the matter and the parties have not only buried their hatchet but have decided to live peacefully in future, this becomes an important consideration. The evidence is yet to be led in the Court. It has not even started. In view of compromise between parties, there is a minimal chance of the witnesses coming forward in support of the prosecution case. Even though nature of injuries can still be established by producing the doctor as witness who conducted medical examination, it may become difficult to prove as to who caused these injuries. The chances of conviction, therefore, appear to be remote. It would, therefore, be unnecessary to drag these proceedings. We, taking all these factors into consideration cumulatively, are of the opinion that the compromise between the parties be accepted and the criminal proceedings arising out of FIR No. 121 dated 14.7.2010 registered with Police Station LOPOKE, District Amritsar Rural be quashed.c) In Yogendra Yadav v. State of Jharkhand, 21.7.2014, Supreme Court holds,4. Now, the question before this Court is whether this Court can compound the offences under Sections 326 and 307 of the IPC which are non-compoundable. Needless to say that offences which are noncompoundable cannot be compounded by the court. Courts draw the power of compounding offences from Section 320 of the Code. The said provision has to be strictly followed (Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 4 RCR(Criminal) 543 : 2012(4) Recent Apex Judgments (R.A.J.) 549 : (2012)10 SCC 303). However, in a given case, the High Court can quash a criminal proceeding in exercise of its power under section 482 of the Code having regard to the fact that the parties have amicably settled their disputes and the victim has no objection, even though the offences are non-compoundable. In which cases the High Court can exercise its discretion to quash the proceedings will depend on facts and circumstances of each case. Offences which involve moral turpitude, grave offences like rape, murder etc. cannot be effaced by quashing the proceedings because that will have harmful effect on the society. Such offences cannot be said to be restricted to two individuals or two groups. If such offences are quashed, it may send wrong signal to the society. However, when the High Court is convinced that the offences are entirely personal in nature and, therefore, do not affect public peace or tranquillity and where it feels that quashing of such proceedings on account of compromise would bring about peace and would secure ends of justice, it should not hesitate to quash them. In such cases, the prosecution becomes a lame prosecution. Pursuing such a lame prosecution would be waste of time and energy. That will also unsettle the compromise and obstruct restoration of peace.5. In Gian Singh this Court has observed that where the High Court quashes a criminal proceeding having regard to the fact that the dispute between the offender and the victim has been settled although the offences are not compoundable, it does so as in its opinion, continuation of criminal proceedings will be an exercise in futility and justice in the case demands that the dispute between the parties is put to an end and peace is restored; securing the ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor. Needless to say that the above observations are applicable to this Court also.6. Learned counsel for the parties have requested this Court that the impugned order be set aside as the High Court has not noticed the correct position in law in regard to quashing of criminal proceedings when there is a compromise. Affidavit has been filed in this Court by complainant-Anil Mandal, who is respondent No. 2 herein. In the affidavit he has stated that a compromise petition has been filed in the lower court. It is further stated that he and the appellants are neighbours, that there is harmonious relationship between the two sides and that they are living peacefully. He has further stated that he does not want to contest the present appeal and he has no grievance against the appellants. Learned counsel for the parties have confirmed that the disputes between the parties are settled; that parties are abiding by the compromise deed and living peacefully. They have urged that in the circumstances pending proceedings be quashed. State of Jharkhand has further filed an affidavit opposing the compromise. The affidavit does not persuade us to reject the prayer made by the appellant and the second respondent for quashing of the proceedings.7. In view of the compromise and in view of the legal position which we have discussed here in above, we set aside the impugned order dated 4/7/2012 and quash the proceedings in S.C. No. 9/05 pending on the file of 2nd Additional Sessions Judge, Godda. The appeal is disposed of.d) In Dimpey Gujraj v. Union Territory through Administrator, (2013) 11 SCC 497, Supreme Court holds,2. Petitioner 1 is a fashion designer and is a resident of Chandigarh. Petitioners 2 and 3 are the daughters of petitioner 1. Respondent 2 is the complainant. He is residing in the neighborhood of petitioner 1 and is the son of a retired Judge of the High Court.3. From the facts disclosed in the petition and as communicated to us by learned counsel for the parties, it is apparent that the petitioners and the complainant are educated and respectable citizens, who enjoy high social status. Certain unfortunate incidents relating to pet dogs of the petitioners have dragged them to this court. These incidents took ugly turn which resulted in the lodging of FIR No. 163 dated 26/10/2006 under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 307, 452 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code at Police Station Sector 3, Chandigarh by the complainant. Since the offences involved in this case are of a personal nature and are not offences against the society, we had enquired with learned counsel appearing for the parties whether there is any possibility of a settlement. We are happy to note that due to efforts made by learned counsel, parties have seen reason and have entered into a compromise. In view of the compromise, we do not wish to narrate the facts of the case. Counsel for the petitioners has filed an application praying for quashing of the said FIR and all consequential proceedings arising therefrom including the final report presented under Section 173 of the Code and charges framed by the trial court. To this application is annexed a compromise deed, which is duly signed by the complainant, his wife, the petitioners and respondents 3, 4 and 5. Paragraph 5 of the compromise deed reads thus :"5. That both the parties agree and assure that henceforth, they would maintain healthy relationship with each other while garnering no ill will or malice against each other. Both the parties have resolved to accord quietus to the proceedings relating to the incident. Both the parties reiterate that there remains no acrimony/grudge between them."4. The question which now remains to be answered is whether since one of the offences alleged in the FIR is non-compoundable, the FIR could be quashed. In certain decisions of this court in view of the settlement arrived at by the parties, this court quashed the FIRs though some of the offences were noncompoundable. A two Judges Bench of this court doubted the correctness of those decisions. Learned Judges felt that in those decisions, this court had permitted compounding of non-compoundable offences. The said issue was, therefore, referred to a larger bench. The larger Bench in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab &Anr., in SLP (Cri.) No. 8989 of 2010 along with other connected matters, decided on 24/09/2012, considered the relevant provisions of the Code and the judgments of this court and concluded as under :"57. The position that emerges from the above discussion can be summarised thus: the power of the High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct and different from the power given to a criminal court for compounding the offences under Section 320 of the Code. Inherent power is of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be exercised in accord with the guideline engrafted in such power viz; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court. In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or F.I.R may be exercised where the offender and victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. However, before exercise of such power, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim's family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature and have serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise between the victim and offender in relation to the offences under special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity etc; cannot provide for any basis for quashing criminal proceedings involving such offences. But the criminal cases having overwhelmingly and predominatingly civil flavourstand on different footing for the purposes of quashing, particularly the offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of cases, High Court may quash criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the compromise between the offender and victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal case would put accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal case despite full and complete settlement and compromise with the victim. In other words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding.5. In light of the above observations of this court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab and another, (2012) 4 RCR(Criminal) 543 : 2012(4) Recent Apex Judgments (R.A.J.) 549 : 2012(5) CTC 526 (SC) we feel that this is a case where the continuation of criminal proceedings would tantamount to abuse of process of law because the alleged offences are not heinous offences showing extreme depravity nor are they against the society. They are offences of a personal nature and burying them would bring about peace and amity between the two sides. In the circumstances of the case, FIR No. 163 dated 26/10/2006 registered under Section 147, 148, 149, 323, 307, 452 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code at Police Station Sector 3, Chandigarh and all consequential proceedings arising therefrom including the final report presented under Section 173 of the Code and charges framed by the trial court are hereby quashed.e) In Mahesh Chand v. State of Rajasthan,1990 SCC 781, the Hon'ble Supreme Court holds as under:2. The accused were acquitted by the trial court, but they were convicted by the High Court for the offence under section 307 Indian Penal Code This offence is not compoundable under law. The parties, however. want to treat it a special case, in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case. It is said and indeed not disputed that one of the accused is a lawyer practising in the lower court. There was a counter case arising out of the same transaction. It is said that this case has already been compromised. The decision of this Court in Suresh Babu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1987) 2 JT 361, has been also referred to in support of the plea for permission to compound the offence.3. We gave our anxious consideration to the case and also the plea put forward for seeking permission to compound the offence. After examining the nature of the case and the circumstances under which the offence was committed, it may be proper that the trial court shall permit them to compound the offence.f) In Y. Suresh Babu v State of A.P., 2005 (1) SCC 347, Hon'ble Supreme Court, while dealing with section 326 of IPC, which was non-compoundable offence, permitted the parties to compound the offence.g) In Ram Prasad v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1982) 2 SCC 149, Supreme Court holds,The appellants, who are the accused and the complainant, Shri Ram, who was the person injured as a result of firing, have appeared before us and stated that they wish to compound the offence. The offence for which both the appellants have been convicted is one under Section 307 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, but having regard to the nature of the injury sustained by Shri Ram, we think that the proper offence for which the appellants should have been convicted was under Section 324 read with Section 34. Shri Ram received only one injury on the shoulder and that was also in the nature of simple hurt. We would, therefore, convert the conviction of the appellants to one under Section 324 read with Section 34. Since the parties belong to the same village and desire to compound the offence, we think, in the larger interest of peace and harmony between the parties and having regard to the nature of the injury, that it would be proper to allow the parties to compound the offence.JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS ON JURISPRUDENCE OF QUASHING:6. The law is almost settled by a larger benches judgements of Supreme Court that the offences, those are not listed as compoundable, under Section 320 CrPC, can also be compounded, and the procedure to follow would be by quashing the FIR, and consequent proceedings.a) In R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab, (1960) AIR SC 866, a three-member Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court holds,6. . ...It is well established that the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court can be exercised to quash proceedings in a proper case either to prevent the abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Ordinarily, criminal proceedings instituted against an accused person must be tried under the provisions of the Code, and the High Court would be reluctant to interfere with the said proceedings at an interlocutory stage. It is not possible, desirable or expedient to lay down any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of this inherent jurisdiction. However, we may indicate some categories of cases where the inherent jurisdiction can and should be exercised for quashing the proceedings. There may be cases where it may be possible for the High Court to take the view that the institution or continuance of criminal proceedings against an accused person may amount to the abuse of the process of the Court or that the quashing of the impugned proceedings would secure the ends of justice. If the criminal proceeding in question is in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by an accused person and it manifestly appears that there is a legal bar against the institution or continuance of the said proceeding, the High Court would be justified in quashing the proceedings on that ground. Absence of the requisite sanction may, for instance, furnish cases under this category. Cases may also arise where the allegations in the First Information Report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety, do not constitute the offence alleged; in such cases no question of appreciating evidence arises; it is a matter merely of looking at the complaint or the First Information Report to decide whether the offence alleged is disclosed or not. In such case, it would be legitimate for the High Court to hold that it would be manifestly unjust to allow the process of the criminal Court to be issued against the accused person. A third category of cases in which the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court can be successfully invoked may also arise. In cases falling under this category the allegations made against the accused person do constitute an offence alleged but there is either no legal evidence adduced in support of the case or evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge. In dealing with this class of cases, it is important to bear in mind the distinction between a case where there is no legal evidence or where there is evidence which is manifestly and clearly inconsistent with the accusation made and cases where there is legal evidence which on its appreciation may or may not support the accusation in question. In exercising its jurisdiction under S. 561- A, the High Court would not embark upon an enquiry as to whether the evidence in question is reliable or not. That is the function of the trial magistrate, and ordinarily it would not be open to any party to invoke the High Court's inherent jurisdiction and contend that on a reasonable appreciation of the evidence the accusation made against the accused would not be sustained. Broadly stated that is the nature and scope of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court under S. 561-A in the matter of quashing criminal proceedings, and that is the effect of the judicial decisions on the point (Vide : In Re: Shripad G. Chandavarkar, (1928) AIR Bombay 184, Jagat Chandra Mozumdar v. Queen Empress, 26 ILR(Cal) 786, Dr. Shankar Singh v. State of Punjab, (1954) AIR(P&H) 193 : 56 Pun LR 54, NripendraBhusan Roy v. GobinaBandhu Majumdar, (1924) AIR Calcutta 1018 and Ramanathan Chettiyar v. SivaramaSubramania,1925 AIR Madras 39 47 Mad ILR 722b) In MadhavraoJiwaji Rao Scindia v. SambhajiraoChandrojiraoAngre, (1988) 1 SCC 692, a three judges' bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court holds: -7. The legal position is well-settled that when a prosecution at the initial stage is asked to be quashed, the test to be applied by the court is as to whether the uncontroverted allegations as made prima facie establish the offence. It is also for the court to take into consideration any special features which appear in a particular case to consider whether it is expedient and in the interest of justice to permit a prosecution to continue. This is so on the basis that the court cannot be utilised for any oblique purpose and where in the opinion of the court chances of an ultimate conviction is bleak and, therefore, no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing a criminal prosecution to continue, the court may while taking into consideration the special facts of a case also quash the proceeding even though it may be at a preliminary stage.c) A three Judges bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court, in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, has settled the law on quashing on account of compromise/compounding, in the following terms:"53. Section 482 of the Code, as its very language suggests, saves the inherent power of the High Court which it has by virtue of it being a superior court to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. It begins with the words, 'nothing in this Code' which means that the provision is an overriding provision. These words leave no manner of doubt that none of the provisions of the Code limits or restricts the inherent power. The guideline for exercise of such power is provided in Section 482 itself i.e., to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. As has been repeatedly stated that Section 482 confers no new powers on High Court; it merely safeguards existing inherent powers possessed by High Court necessary to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or to secure the ends of justice. It is equally well settled that the power is not to be resorted to if there is specific provision in the Code for the redress of the grievance of an aggrieved party. It should be exercised very sparingly and it should not be exercised as against the express bar of law engrafted in any other provision of the Code...... ..... ..... ..... .....57. Quashing of offence or criminal proceedings on the ground of settlement between an offender and victim is not the same thing as compounding of offence. They are different and not interchangeable. Strictly speaking, the power of compounding of offences given to a court under Section 320 is materially different from the quashing of criminal proceedings by the High Court in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction. In compounding of offences, power of a criminal court is circumscribed by the provisions contained in Section 320 and the court is guided solely and squarely thereby while, on the other hand, the formation of opinion by the High Court for quashing a criminal offence or criminal proceeding or criminal complaint is guided by the material on record as to whether the ends of justice would justify such exercise of power although the ultimate consequence may be acquittal or dismissal of indictment.58. Where High Court quashes a criminal proceeding having regard to the fact that dispute between the offender and victim has been settled although offences are not compoundable, it does so as in its opinion, continuation of criminal proceedings will be an exercise in futility and justice in the case demands that the dispute between the parties is put to an end and peace is restored; securing the ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor. No doubt, crimes are acts which have harmful effect on the public and consist in wrong doing that seriously endangers and threatens well-being of society and it is not safe to leave the crime- doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute amicably or that the victim has been paid compensation, yet certain crimes have been made compoundable in law, with or without permission of the Court. In respect of serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc; or other offences of mental depravity under Indian Penal Code or offences of moral turpitude under special statutes, like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity, the settlement between offender and victim can have no legal sanction at all. However, certain offences which overwhelmingly and predominantly bear civil flavour having arisen out of civil, mercantile, commercial, financial, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony, particularly relating to dowry, etc. or the family dispute, where the wrong is basically to victim and the offender and victim have settled all disputes between them amicably, irrespective of the fact that such offences have not been made compoundable, the High Court may within the framework of its inherent power, quash the criminal proceeding or criminal complaint or F.I.R if it is satisfied that on the face of such settlement, there is hardly any likelihood of offender being convicted and by not quashing the criminal proceedings, justice shall be casualty and ends of justice shall be defeated. The above list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Each case will depend on its own facts and no hard and fast category can be prescribed."d) In ParbatbhaiAahir @ ParbatbhaiBhimsinhbhaiKarmur and Ors. vs. State of Gujarat &anr., (2017) 9 SCC 641, a Three Judges Bench of Hon'ble Supreme Court, laid down the broad principles for quashing of FIR, which are reproduced as follows:"16. The broad principles which emerge from the precedents on the subject, may be summarised in the following propositions :16 (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;16 (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.16 (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;16 (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;16 (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;16 (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;16 (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;16 (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;16 (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; and16 (x) There is yet an exception to the principle set out in propositions (viii) and (ix) above. Economic offences involving the financial and economic wellbeing of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court

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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."7. In the present case, the offences are not compoundable under section 320 CrPC. Be that as it may, in the peculiar facts and circumstances, this Court is inclined to invoke the inherent jurisdiction under section 482 CrPC to quash the FIR and all subsequent proceedings.8. In Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (2018) 4 Crimes(SC) 324, Hon'ble Supreme Court holds as under:-47. As far as Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 135 of 2017 is concerned, the appellants came to this Court challenging the order of cognizance only because of the reason that matter was already pending as the appellants had filed the Special Leave Petitions against the order of the High Court rejecting their petition for quashing of the FIR/Chargesheet. Having regard to these peculiar facts, writ petition has also been entertained. In any case, once we hold that FIR needs to be quashed, order of cognizance would automatically stands vitiated."CONSEQUENCES:9. In Shakuntala Sawhney v. Kaushalya Sawhney, (1979) 3 SCR 639, Hon'ble Supreme Court observed,The finest hour of Justice arise propitiously when parties, despite falling apart, bury the hatchet and weave a sense of fellowship or reunion.10. The Petitioner and the accused are known to each other because the injured is in relations of accused No. 1,2, &3. They and their families live in close vicinity, in a small town. The investigation is complete. The accused have learnt a lesson for life, by facing the consequences of FIR and criminal trial till framing of charges. They are young persons and possibility of reformation is writ large. Given the entirety of the facts of the case, as well as judicial precedents, a few of which have been mentioned hereinabove, I am of the considered opinion that continuation of these proceedings will only cause unnecessary burden on the trial Courts but in all likelihood is going to cause distressing hardship on both the victim as well as the accused, without resulting into any fruitful purpose whatsoever. Moreover, our trial Courts are already burdened with so many cases, and it will be a total wastage of the valuable time of the Courts. If these types of proceedings are permitted to be continued, and the accused are prosecuted, it will serve no purpose whatsoever. Therefore, I am of the considered opinion that this is a fit case where the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is invoked to quash the FIR mentioned above and all consequent proceedings.11. Furthermore, this compromise is subject to the petitioners/accused depositing an amount of Rs. 2,00,000/- (Rs. Two lacs only), out of which a sum of Rs 1,00,000/- (Rs. One Lac), shall be paid as compensation to the Himachal Pradesh Legal Services Authority, and an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rs. One Lac), as compensation to the Police Station Amb, District Una, HP. The compromise deed mentions that the accused persons have already suitably compensated the injured. This amount must be deposited in a single installment of Rs. 1,00,000/-, each, on or before April 3, 2020, failing which, this petition shall be deemed to have been dismissed, without any further orders from this Court. The reasons for burdening the accused with compensation is that due to their illegal acts, the Police machinery, as well as the Courts spent their valuable time, and instead of taking the trial to its logical end, where the accused were liable to pay compensation under Section 357 CrPC, apart from fine, accused persons would be saving that entire amount. The total amount of Rs. 2,00,000/-, jointly payable by four accused/petitioners, is kept on the lowest side, keeping in view the contention that the accused persons are unemployed. However, the fact remains that they had come in a sedan while attacking the injured. Resultantly, they can arrange the funds from their families or from each other. The Petitioners to file the receipt of the deposit in the Registry of this Court on or before Apr 6, 2020.12. It is also made clear that in case any of the accused gets involved in any offence where the sentence prescribed is more than three years, then they shall not be entitled to get the said matter compromised, subject to exception of cases mentioned in the first part of Section 320 CrPC.13. Consequently, this petition is allowed, and the F.I.R. No. 204 of 2013, dated Dec 30, 2013, under Sections 307, 323, 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, in the file of Police Station Amb, Distt. Una, Himachal Pradesh, is quashed. Since FIR has been quashed, all the consequential proceedings, including the order of framing charges, is also quashed and set aside. Petition is allowed subject to the aforesaid terms and conditions. All pending application(s), if any, stand closed.
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