Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Mukta Gupta, J., quashed an FIR on noticing that the matter was being dragged only with the purpose of harassing one of the parties by the other.

In the instant petition, directions to respondent 2 were sought with regard to abiding the settlement terms arrived between the parties before the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre for quashing of FIR under Sections 406/420/467/468/471/506/120-B of Penal Code, 1860.

What were the allegations in the above-stated FIR?

FIR lodged by respondent 2 contained allegations that complainant’s father was the owner of a property and had given the said property on license basis to his real brother (R.N. Chopra) in light of his brother’s financial condition not being good.

Complainant’s father passed away in 2001 and later in 2010, the complainant came to India and requested the petitioners to vacate the property. But the petitioners refused to do the same. Further in the FIR, it was alleged that with the intention to cheat, the petitioners executed a sale deed in 2005, which was executed by the petitioner 2, as attorney of late R.N. Chopra in favour of respondent. However, the father of the complainant passed away on 29-07-2001, the said GPA was invalid.

Since respondent 2 was not coming forward and claimed further money on the ground that he had to undergo visits to India, for settling the matter, the parties were referred to mediation and on 28-09-2017, a settlement agreement was entered into between Satish Kumar Chopra and Ashok Kumar Sehgal, as first-party and Anil Chopra, as second party.

Respondent 2 did not deny the settlement and repeatedly did not appear before the Court. Every time his grievance has been that he requires to be paid more money as he had to spend money on the travel for the settlement.

Bench stated that since the matter has already been settled and respondent 2 has just been dragging his feet only to delay the quashing and to harass the petitioners, therefore, Court quashed the FIR in view of the settlement deed arrived at between the parties before the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre.

In view of the above discussion, the petition was disposed of. [Satish Kumari Chopra v. State, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 203, decided on 22-01-2021]

Advocates for the parties:

Petitioners: Gaganmeet Singh Sachdeva and H.S. Sachdeva, Advocates

Respondent: Rahul Mehra, Standing Counsel (Crl.) with Chaitanya Gosain, Advocate for State.

Rajeev K. Agarwal, Advocate for R-2.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Anu Malhotra, J., addressed a matter wherein the husband and wife reach a settlement and the wife agrees to a clause wherein her minor daughter would also not be liable to claim anything against the petitioners.

In the instant application, petitioners have been stated to be under judicial custody, Vaibhav Jaiswal was alleged under Section 376 of Penal Code, 1860 and under POCSO Act, 2012.

Other petitioners were alleged to have committed offences under Sections 498 A, 406 and 34 of IPC.

The above-stated FIR was sought to be quashed in light of a settlement arrived between the petitioners and respondent 2 and that the marriage between the petitioner 1 and respondent 2 has been dissolved.

Respondent 2 affirmed the factum of the settlement arrived between her and petitioner 1.

Bench stated that in view of the above there appears no reason to disbelieve that the statement made by respondent 2 that she has arrived at a settlement with petitioners was made of her own accord.

Hence, all the proceedings against the petitioners are quashed.

However, in regard to the settlement deed, it was observed that under clause 7 states as follows:

“It is agreed between the parties that the above settlement is with respect to all claims of wife past, present, future, alimony, stridhan, maintenance, executions, articles property etc. and neither she nor her relatives shall claim anything from husband or from his family members in future for herself or on behalf of Child/children.”

Court stated that it is essential to observe that respondent 2 gave up all the rights of the minor child Vaishanvi qua the petitioners.

But the above could not have been done so in light of the Supreme court decision in Ganesh v. Sudhi Kumar Shrivastava, Civil Appeal Nos. 4031-4032/2019 arising out of SLP (C)  Nos. 32868-32869/2018, a verdict dated 22.4.2019 adhered to by this Court in Rakesh Jain  v. State, Crl. MC No. 2935 of 2019.

Hence, the minor child would be entitled to seek her claims against the petitioners and respondent 2 qua maintenance or otherwise in accordance with the law. [Vashno Jaishwal v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2020 SCC OnLine Del 1504, decided on 20-11-2020]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

High Court of South Africa, Free State Division: This case was filed before a Bench of Mhlambi, J., where the question before Court was whether a deed of settlement which was incorporated in a final decree of divorce constitute a court order which could give rise to the authorisation of a writ.

Facts of the case were that parties were divorced and divorce incorporated a deed of settlement which mentioned that both parties will be liable for 50% of the two children’s tertiary education and post-schooling training. Respondent later had caused registrar to issue a warrant of execution that applicant should give a specified amount to respondent due to non-payment of fees of their children. Thus, execution steps were taken against the applicant and this application was filed. Applicant contended that the respondent lacked locus standi to claim payment of amount allegedly owed to him. The case of Eke v. Parsons, 2016 (3) SA 37 (CC) was referred to where it was held that once a settlement agreement had been made an order of Court, it was like any other order and to be interpreted as such.

High Court was of the view that there is no justification as to why Court should accede to applicant’s prayers as in notice of motion. Court observed that arguments advanced by the applicant are without substance as the applicant’s liability for payment of the tertiary or after school expenses is clearly established in clause 2.3 of the deed of settlement. Therefore, the application was dismissed. [MM v. MM, Case No. 3019 of 2014, decided on 06-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: While upholding the impugned judgment of the Family Court granting divorce to the parties, the Division Bench of Pradeep Nandrajog, Yogesh Khanna, JJ. found that the unilateral withdrawal of consent by the appellant from a settlement deed for divorce by mutual consent, without any sufficient cause, amounted to mental cruelty.

The respondent wife had filed a petition for divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of Hindu Marriage Act alleging that the appellant demanded dowry from her, took away her money and belongings, and casted aspersions on her character. On the other hand, the appellant denied the allegations of cruelty and rather alleged that the respondent was getting rid of him by filing divorce since he is a heart patient. Later, the appellant gave an apology letter to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, admitting his wife’s allegations and seeking reconciliation. However, he contended that the letter was written merely to satisfy false ego of his wife. The appellant had also entered into a settlement with the respondent agreeing to divorce on mutual consent on satisfaction of certain conditions. However, before the Family Court, the appellant withdrew his consent from the settlement deed.

The Court noted that no prudent man would write such an apology, as written by the appellant, for the acts he never committed, and found his contention that such writing was merely to satisfy the ego of his wife, to be frivolous. The Court also noted that though the appellant asserted his right to withdraw his consent at any time prior to the divorce being granted by mutual consent, but when there was no allegation that he signed the Settlement due to force, fraud or under influence and also when the respondent had acted upon the Settlement by forsaking her claim to custody of their son and of her permanent alimony, then the withdrawal of consent would have a different connotation as it adds to the cruelty meted to her. The Court thus concluded that the totality of the evidence established the mental cruelty upon the Respondent by the Appellant, and there was no infirmity in the impugned judgment passed by the Family Court. The appeal was accordingly dismissed. [Rajiv Chhikara v. Sandhya Mathur, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 6224, decided on 08.12.2016]