Justice Brijesh Sethi of the Delhi High Court opined that “Rape not only causes serious injury to a woman’s body, her honour and dignity and even if such an offence is settled by the offender and victim, this offence being not private in nature but has a serious impact on the society and, therefore, cannot be quashed.” During the same he dismissed the petition filed for quashing of FIR and the proceedings henceforth.
The case was between petitioner and two respondents. Respondent 2 had come to know the petitioner out of professional circumstances after which they were romantically involved. Respondent 2 even entered in a live-in relationship with the petitioner. Respondent 2 developed a situation where she was left behind by the petitioner. Respondent 2 thus filed a complaint which culminated into an FIR.
During the ongoing suit, the petitioner and the respondent got engaged in marital ties. However on grounds of their personal differences, the trial proceedings continued. It was upon the intervention of certain friends that the proceedings were stopped after a mutual agreement and the Respondent 2 submitted her ‘No Objection’ affidavit for cancelling out the aforementioned FIR and the legal course henceforth.
The HC, however, upon looking into the matters held that FIRs made because of mental, physical and emotional abuse could not be quashed. The HC said that it found explicit mentions of emotional, physical and mental abuse at the hands of the petitioner.
The question that the HC faced was that whether the settlement of dispute by the parties itself was a good reason for the quashing of the FIR.
The HC in this regard reiterated the Supreme Court decision of Parbathhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat held that the utilization of the powers vested upon High Courts under Section 482 CrPC to quash criminal proceedings is limited.
In the case of Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, Criminal Appeal no. 686/2014, the SC held that it was the duty of the state to punish the offender. However when there is an amicable settlement between the petitioner and the accused, the Court cannot quash the criminal proceeding since the offence committed is against the society. It is in the interest of the society that the offender should be punished so that others are deterred from committing such similar heinous crimes.
The HC held that in the present case it is clear that the petitioner was abused and exploited on the pretext of false promise of marriage. The crimes thus committed by the petitioner clearly fall under the ambit of serious and heinous crime. Thus in the opinion of the Court, the quashing of the criminal proceedings and the FIR cannot happen.