The Supreme Court bench of Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice M.R. Shah has observed that in every case involving compromise between the accused and the complainant, it cannot be concluded the accused is acquitted from the charges against him. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh, whilst exercising its powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, quashed the FIR under Section 307, 294 and 32 of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court quashed the proceedings taking reference to the judgment of Shiji @ Pappu and others vs. Radhika and another, (2011) 10 SCC 705. The State Government of Madhya Pradesh filed the SLP being dissatisfied and aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court.
The Bench observed that the High Court had misread and misapplied the judgment in the Shiji Case and stated that the High Court quashed the FIR on the grounds that “there is no chance of recording conviction against the accused persons and the entire exercise of a trial would be exercise in futility,…..”. Furthermore the Bench observed that the High Court had erred in considering the fact that the offences as alleged in the FIR were non-compoundable and has also failed to take into consideration the seriousness and gravity of the offences as well as the social impact it had. On the point of non-consideration by the High Court of the distinction between a private wrong and a social wrong, the Bench stated that:
“As observed by this Court in the case of State of Maharashtra vs. Vikram Anantrai Doshi, (2014) 15 SCC 29, the Court’s principal duty, while exercising the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the criminal proceedings, should be to scan the entire facts to find out the thrust of the allegations and the crux of the settlement. As observed, it is the experience of the Judge that comes to his aid and the said experience should be used with care, caution, circumspection and courageous prudence. In the case at hand, the High Court has not at all taken pains to scrutinise the entire conspectus of facts in proper perspective and has quashed the criminal proceedings mechanically.”
The Bench further relied on the judgments submitted by the Appellants such as Gian Singh vs. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303; State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Deepak (2014) 10 SCC 285; State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Manish (2015) 8 SCC 307; Narinder Singh vs. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC 466, Parbatbhai Aahir vs. State of Gujarat (2017) 9 SCC 641.
The Bench concluded that the High Court had misinterpreted and wrongly applied the judgment in the Shiji Case and accordingly dismissed the order that quashed the FIR on the reasoning that:
“18.1 Therefore, the said decision may be applicable in a case which has its origin in the civil dispute between the parties; the parties have resolved the dispute; that the offence is not against the society at large and/or the same may not have social impact; the dispute is a family/matrimonial dispute etc. The aforesaid decision may not be applicable in a case where the offences alleged are very serious and grave offences, having a social impact like offences under Section 307 IPC and 25/27 of the Arms Act etc. Therefore, without proper application of mind to the relevant facts and circumstances, in our view, the High Court has materially erred in mechanically quashing the respective FIRs, by observing that in view of the compromise, there are no chances of recording conviction and/or the further trial would be an exercise in futility. The High Court has mechanically considered the aforesaid decision of this Court in the case of Shiji (supra), without considering the relevant facts and circumstances of the case.”
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