Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of S.S. Shinde and Abhay Ahuja, JJ., reiterated the observation of Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, while quashing an FIR registered for offences under Sections 498(A), 406, 504, 323, 34 of the Penal Code and Sections 3, 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, on the ground of matter being resolved amicably.

Factual Matrix

Due to differences between the husband and wife, they sought a divorce and a petition was filed before the Family Court, Bandra which was later converted into mutual consent divorce petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

High Court stated that considering the fact that a matrimonial dispute which sought to be amicably resolved, the Court deemed it appropriate to seek guidance from the Supreme Court decision in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, wherein it was observed that:

“…the criminal cases having overwhelmingly and pre-dominatingly civil favour stand on different footing for the purposes of quashing, particularly the offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of cases, High Court may quash criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the compromise between the offender and victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of criminal case would put accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal case despite full and complete settlement and compromise with the victim. In other words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in affrmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding.”

Bench added that the present matter involved offences arising out of matrimony and was basically private in nature and the parties sought to resolve their entire dispute and due to the compromise between them, the possibility of conviction would be remote and bleak and continuation of criminal case would lead to great prejudice or injustice.

Therefore, in view of the above discussion, petition was allowed while allowing the below prayer clause:

“a. That this Hon’ble Court be pleased to quash and set aside the FIR No.256 of 2019, registered by Vikhroli Police Station at Mumbai, under Sections 498(A), 406, 504, 323, 34 of Indian Penal Code, and 3, 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act dated 19.06.2019 and Criminal Case No.959/PW/2020 and pending before Ld. 31st Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Vikhroli, Mumbai, and further be pleased to discharge the Petitioners from C.C. No.256 of 2019 under Sections 498(A), 406, 504, 323, 34 of Indian Penal Code, and 3, 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.” 

Petition was disposed of in the above terms. [Yuvraj Raman Jadhav v. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 780, decided on 1-06-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

Ms. Anushka Shreshtha for the Petitioners.

Mr.J.P. Yagnik, APP for the Respondent-State.

Mr. Jayesh Bhosle for Respondent No.2.

Mr. Yuvraj R. Jadhav – Petitioner No.1 present through V.C.

Mrs. Madhuri Jadhav (maiden name–Madhuri Sawant)-Respondent No.2 present through V.C.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: Lok Pal Singh, J. dismissed a writ petition where mandamus was sought to direct the Principal Judge of Family Court to decide the matter of petitioner under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and grant a decree of divorce based on mutual consent.

The factual matrix of the case was the petitioner and respondent both filed a joint petition in the Family Court for divorce by mutual consent. The petitioner contended that on the first date of hearing in Family Court both parties appeared and a due date after six months was fixed for the appearance. But on subsequent dates the respondent-wife was absent, hence he had no knowledge that whether the case is pending or divorce had been granted.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, Karan Anand, relied on a judgment in Suman v. Surendra Kumar, 2002 SCC OnLine Raj 111, where Rajasthan High Court decided a similar matter where the respondent was the husband and he absented himself from the Court hearing, in such case the Court had held, “This is a case of total silence on the part of the husband on the question of consent at the stage of the second motion. Should we infer the negative from silence? We are of the view that if the husband wanted to withdraw his consent he should have taken a positive stand for that purpose. There was nothing which prevented him from informing the Court that he was withdrawing his consent for decree of divorce by mutual consent. When the husband has himself left the matter for inference, the inference ought to be drawn in favor of consent rather than for absence of consent. The husband had already given his consent for the decree of divorce at the time of the first motion and he alone could withdraw the consent by a positive act, otherwise, the inference would be that the consent which was initially given continues.” Thus, the Court granted a divorce by mutual consent ex-parte.

The Court observed that case referred by the learned counsel for petitioner i.e. Suman v. Surendra, 2002 SCC OnLine Raj 111,, initially the appeal filed by the wife against the decision of the Family Court rejecting an application under Section 13-B of Act, 1955 was dismissed by the Rajasthan High Court. Subsequently, on the review application, a decree of divorce was granted on the basis of mutual consent thereby dissolving the marriage between the parties under Section 13-B of the Act, whereas, in the present case, there is no such order of the Family Court, on record, rejecting or allowing the petition under Section 13-B. Court further noted that although petitioner filed an order sheet stating that respondent was absent on several dates and in the interest of justice adjournments were made, the fact that whether the initial divorce petition is decided by the Court in any form is still a question which was not known to the Court. Based on aforementioned observations Court held that “direction sought by the petitioner is not legally maintainable as no higher court can issue a direction to a subordinate court to pass judgment or decree in favour of either of the parties.”[Rajeev Mandrawal v. Renu Mandrawal, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 442, decided on 10-05-2019]