Delhi High Court: Stating that, Rape is an act against society, Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., held that simply entering into a compromise allegation of rape will not lose its gravity.
The instant petition was filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for quashing and cancelling the FIR under Sections 376, 323 and 506 of Penal Code, 1860.
Information was received from PCR wherein it was reported that Complainant was not telling anything about the complaint but was asking for urgent police assistance and on reaching the place of the incident she said that she had a scuffle with her male friend (petitioner herein) who tried to assault her.
Complainant later disclosed the act of sexual assault having been committed upon her by the accused (petitioner herein) in his ICD Patparganj Office when she had gone to talk to him regarding their marriage.
Petitioner was a customs officer and met the complainant through the website Jeevansathi.com. He concealed the fact regarding his first love marriage and that his first wife committed suicide for which case was going on this Court.
After a few meetings and conversations, the complainant asked him to proceed with marriage talks, he called her to Faridabad and took the complainant to Vivanta by Taj Hotel and that night petitioner/accused raped her against her will.
Petitioner/accused also told the complainant that he would marry her in Arya Samaj Mandir, but later on, he made excuses that the mandir was closed and also told her to return to Ayodhaya. Later, he stopped picking her phone calls.
In March 2021, petitioner/accused reached Bhopal and put vermilion on the complainant and said that now they were husband and wife, but he did not let her meet his family. Further, in April, petitioner/accused raped her in a car. Complainant again lodged a complaint against petitioner/accused in NCW which finally reached Mahila Thana, Faridabad. In June, petitioner/accused came to that police station and again he made a promise to marry the complainant and accordingly she withdrew her complaint.
Again after a few days, the petitioner/accused molested the complainant and started fingering inside her private parts forcible after which the complainant lodged a PCR call but the petitioner/accused gave threats of dire consequences and ran away from the spot.
In view of the above, FIR was registered, and an investigation went underway.
Analysis, Law and Decision
High Court noted that the petitioner was a Government Servant, working as Superintendent with Customs & CGST Department, Govt. of India, holding a Gazetted post. Being a Government Servant was expected to maintain high moral rectitude and a decent standard of conduct in his personal/private life and not bring discredit to his service by his misdemeanours.
The charges of rape are of grave concern and cannot be treated in a casual manner.
The Bench observed that whether the High Courts, while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC should quash an offence under Section 376 IPC came for consideration before the Supreme Court in a number of cases.
Supreme Court has, time and again, directed that the High Court should not exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C to quash an offence of rape on the ground that the parties have entered a compromise.
Catena of decisions were referred, such as:
- Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303
- Shimbhu v. State of Haryana, (2014) 13 SCC 318
- State of M.P. v. Madanlal, (2015) 7 SCC 681
- State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688
- Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 466
In the present matter, the parties compromised amicably and respondent 2 filed an affidavit stating that she and the petitioner married each other and that she had no objection if the present FIR was quashed as she did not wish to pursue any proceedings.
“…by simply entering into a compromise, charges cannot be said to have been mitigated or that the allegations leveled by the respondent 2 regarding the alleged offence lost its gravity by any means. Act of rape is not an act against individual, but this is an offence against the society.”
In view of the legal position enumerated in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303 along with other cases referred above, the criminal proceedings from FIR registered with allegations of rape cannot be quashed in exercise of powers vested in this Court under Section 482 CrPC on the basis of settlement and subsequent marriage as it would not waive off the offence alleged by the complainant.
Therefore, petition was dismissed. [Swatantara Kumar Jaysawal v. State, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 30, decided on 3-1-2022]
Advocates before the Court:
For the Petitioner:
Mr. Manoj Chaudhary and Mr. Sachin Anand, Adv.
Petitioner in person.
For the Respondents:
Mr Rajesh Mahajan, ASC with Ms Jyoti Babbar, Adv.
Mr Lalit Valecha, Adv. for R-2
R-2 in person.