Kerala High Court: R. Narayana Pishardi, J. allowed a petition seeking the quashing of prosecution proceedings in view of the settlement of the matter between the petitioners and the respondent.

The petitioners and some other persons had trespassed into the second respondent’s property and threatened her and committed theft of some trees from the property. After completing the investigation of the case, a chargesheet was filed against the petitioners for offences punishable under Sections 447 (criminal trespass), 379 (punishment for theft) and 506 (criminal intimidation) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Penal Code, 1860. The Magistrate took cognizance of the aforesaid offences. The prayer in this petition was to quash the entire proceedings in the case against the petitioners.

The learned counsel for the petitioners, V.G. Arun, produced an affidavit in which the respondent stated that the matter had been compromised with the accused in the presence of mediators and that she did not want to prosecute the case further and that she had no objection to quash further proceedings in the case.

The counsel for the respondent, Dileep D Bhat, did not dispute the genuineness of the said affidavit or the contents therein. The learned Public Prosecutor produced before the Court, a copy of the statement given to the police by the second respondent on 06-12-2017 in which it was mentioned that the person who had really caused trouble to her was no more and that she had got no complaint against the other person.

The Court observed that the offences alleged against the petitioners were not heinous and had no serious impact on society. The Court relied on Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, to hold that under the given circumstances, though the offences were non-compoundable, prosecution proceedings could be quashed by invoking the power of the Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

In view of the settlement of the matter between the petitioners/accused and the second respondent, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the entire proceedings pending before the lower court.[Stanly v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1614, decided on 23-05-2019]

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