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SC Quashes Cruelty Charges Against Husband Based On Compromise:

SC Quashes Cruelty Charges Against Husband Based On Compromise:

The Apex Court has quashed charges of Cruelty by a wife against her husband basis a mutual settlement between them.

The divisional bench comprising of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice R. Banumathi heard the matter through video conferencing. Where, the bench held that since husband and wife have amicably settled the matter thus, the FIR so filed is quashed. The FIR was registered against the husband in the Criminal case under following sections.

  • Sections 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty)
  • section 506 (Criminal Intimidation)
  • section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt)
  • section 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) read with section 34 (Common Intention) of IPC.

Another point made by court was with regard to the appellant who was a distant relative of husband and wife. As a compromise had already been reached between the couple, the FIR against the appellant stood quashed as well.

Both appellant and respondent had submitted before the court that the wife and the husband have already compromised the matter. Mr. Rahul Chitnis appearing for the state submitted that he has instruction the same to his client. Further he added that the state

During proceedings,

relevance was sought to an earlier decision of the apex court in  B.S. Joshi vs. State of Haryana. Where court examined the inherent powers of the HC under Sec.482 of the CrPc read with Art.226 of the Constitution.

Court had decided on the question whether quashing of criminal proceedings filed under sec.498A & 406 IPC can be declined. On the  ground that since the offences are non-compoundable, therefore would it be permissible for the court to quash the Criminal proceedings or complaint after the husband and wife agree for a mutual settlement of disputes?

The bench comprising of justices YK Sabharwal & HK Sema answered the question in the affirmative. And thus, reiterated the observations made in the case of G.V. Rao v. L.H.V. Prasad & Ors. [(2000) 3 SCC 693] for determining the approach required to be kept in view in matrimonial dispute by the Courts.

“….it was said that

there has been an outburst of matrimonial disputes in recent times. Marriage is a sacred ceremony, the main purpose of which is to enable the young couple to settle down in life and live peacefully. But little matrimonial skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume serious proportions resulting in commission of heinous crimes. In which elders of the family are also involved. With the result that those who could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being arrayed as accused in criminal case.

There are many other reasons which need not be mentioned here. For not encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties may ponder over their defaults and terminate their disputes amicably by mutual agreement. Instead of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and years to conclude. And in that process the parties lose their “young” days in chasing their “cases” in different courts.”

The Court stated that object of introducing Sec.498A in IPC was to prevent torture of woman by her husband/his relatives. A “hyper-technical view would be counter-productive and act against interests of women and object for which this provision was added”.