Delhi High Court quashes FIR lodged with Economic Offences Wing Delhi in view of deposition made by complainant regarding settlement

Delhi High Court

   

Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by Jaideep Singh (’Petitioner’) for quashing of FIR registered by Shaildendra Singh (‘Respondent 2’) with Economic Offences Wing, New Delhi under Sections 120-B r/w 406 and 420 Penal Code, 1860 (’IPC’), Anu Malhotra, J. quashed FIR filed by, EOW under Sections 406/420/120-B of IPC and all consequential proceedings emanating therefrom against the Petitioner , in view of the deposition of the respondent 2 that settlement has been arrived and the terms of the settlement dated 10-02-2022 have been adhered to by the parties.

The Petitioner is one of the directors of Global Mega Ventures Private Limited, a construction company located in Bhopal and entered into Builder-builder agreement with Respondent 2 for purchase of 4 flats under a subvention scheme in Bhopal at a consideration of INR 2.30 crores, out of which 1.53 crores was paid by bank and rest by respondent 2.

The projects were scheduled for completion by 29-04-2022, however, respondent 2 approached Madhya Pradesh RERA by pleading non-payment of EMI and refund of money against the petitioner, wherein vide order dated 15-07-2019, RERA directed the petitioner to pay the outstanding EMI within a period of 3 months. It is interesting to note that RERA remarked “as per trimester report the development of tower A is 90%. Hence, this work can be completed in the near future as the agreement date is 29-04-2022”. Also “there is much time in completion of the scheduled period and hence, this complaint for refund is pre-matured”

Thereafter, respondent 2 lodged a complaint with Economic Offences Wing, Delhi on 19-06-2019 when the reply was directed to be filed, which was duly complied with, by the petitioner. Then, in December 2019, a notice was issued under Section 41-A Criminal Procedure Code against the petitioner, but the petitioner sought anticipatory bail, which was thereby granted by Additional Sessions Judge, Tis Hazari Court. The summon notices were sent, documents were demanded by the IO which was duly complied with, by the petitioner.

However, during the proceedings, a settlement was entered between the parties vide agreement dated 10-02-2022. Hence, the present petition was filed seeking quashing of the said FIR.

Justice Subramonium Prasad vide order dated 11-02-2019 noted that the petitioner is seeking quashing based on settlement stating that “the petitioner will pay a sum of Rs. 10,28,000/- to the complainant. The last instalment of Rs. 2,78,000/- to be paid on 15-06-2022.”

Further, placing reliance on Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, the Court directed that if the entire payment is made before 15-06-2022, the parties and the investigating officer have to be present in Court to record implementation of the settlement and FIR can thus be quashed.

Thus, vide the latest order dated 12-09-2022, Anu Malhotra J. noted that the proceedings dated 11-02-2022 indicate that it has already been submitted by the counsel for the State that the State would not be filing the charge sheet if the parties have already entered into a settlement and if the entire amount is paid by the due date fixed.

It was also noted that respondent 2 affirms having signed the settlement document dated 10-02-2022 voluntarily of his own accord without any duress, coercion or pressure from any quarter and affirms the factum that in terms of the said settlement document dated 10-02-2022, the total sum of Rs. 1.53 Crores has since been paid by the petitioner to the financial institutions involved and a sum of Rs. 10.28 lakhs has been received by the respondent 2 from the petitioner as compensation in terms of the said settlement document.

The State reiterated that in view of the terms of the settlement document dated 10-02-2022 having been adhered to by the parties to the petition, the State does not oppose the prayer made by the petitioner seeking the quashing of the FIR in question.

The Court, thus, found it appropriate to put a quietus to the litigation between the parties qua the FIR in question as the offences punishable under Sections 406/420 of IPC are per se compoundable in terms of Section 320 CrPC, with the deposition of the respondent 2 that apart from the petitioner arrayed to the present petition, the other persons mentioned in the FIR were not in any manner connected with the alleged commission of the offences along with the deposition regarding settlement having been adhered to by the parties.

[Jaideep Singh v. The State of NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2977, decided on 11-02-2022 and 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2978 decided on 12-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

For petitioner- Ms. Sonia Mathur, Senior Advocate with Mr. Swarnendu Chatterjee AOR, Advocate with Ms. Vatsala Bhatt, Advocate

For respondent- Mr. Saransh, Advocate on behalf of Ms. Nandita Rao, ASC for State with Insp. Satish Kumar, EOW, Mandir Marg. R-2 in person with Mr. Prashant Kanha & Mr. Arnav Kumar, Advocates for R-2.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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