Karnataka High Court: While deciding a criminal petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC, a Single Judge Bench comprising of K.N. Phannendra, J. quashed a criminal case registered against the petitioner-accused, based on the compromise entered into between the parties.
The petitioner was accused in a criminal case registered under Sections 366A, 376, and 120B of IPC along with Section 4 of POCSO Act. The petitioner submitted that he has entered into a compromise with the prosecutrix-wife of the petitioner. He contended that based on the said compromise, the case registered against the petitioner should be quashed.
The High Court referred to a few Supreme Court decisions to understand as to under what circumstances the Court can record a compromise between the parties, even in the cases where offences alleged are serious in nature. The High Court, after perusal of such decisions, was of the opinion that cases involving heinous or serious offences of mental depravity and the like can not be quashed by the Court even if the victim and the offender have settled the dispute because such offences are not private in nature and have serious impact on the society at large. However, cases having overwhelmingly and predominantly civil flavor stand on a different footing; offences that are basically private in nature can be quashed by the Courts on the basis of settlement between the parties. In such circumstances, the Court should see whether the continuation of criminal proceedings would tantamount to abuse of process of law, and whether it is appropriate to end the proceedings to secure ends of justice.
In the instant case, the Court found that the prosecutrix was the wife of the petitioner. The alleged forceful sexual intercourse was committed after the marriage. The prosecutrix was almost seventeen years of age at the time of commission of alleged offence. Exception to Section 375 IPC, at the relevant time said that sexual intercourse with the wife if she is not less than 15 years of age, does not amount to rape. Also, at the relevant time, the provisions concerned of the POCSO Act were not in force. Further, a compromise was already entered into between the parties concerned.
On basis of the facts and circumstances of instant case, the Court thought it to be a fit case to exercise its discretion in favour of the petitioner. Accordingly, proceedings against him in the said criminal case were quashed. [Jameel Jabbar alias Mirza v. State of Karnatka, Crl. Petition No. 3269 of 2017, order dated 12.12.2017]