10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

XYZ Vs. State of Gujarat and Ors.

MANU/SC/1476/2019

25.10.2019

Criminal

FIR cannot be quashed, when complainant has a case that, settlement arrived between parties was made under guise of threat and coercion

The Appellant herein, is the informant in crime registered in FIR on the file of Mahila Police Station. On her complaint, the aforesaid crime is registered against the 2nd Respondent for the alleged offence punishable under Sections 376, 499 and 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). By the impugned order, High Court has allowed Criminal Application by quashing FIR registered on the file of Mahila Police Station.

Primarily, it was the case of the 2nd Respondent before the High Court that, there was absolutely no truth in the allegation of rape as alleged by the Appellant and it was only consensual sex between the parties. It is further alleged that in view of the allegations made by the Appellant, a settlement is purported to have been arrived at, between them in the month of July, 2016. A written agreement was also entered into and the same is signed by the parties. It is stated in the agreement that the dispute between the parties is settled and the 2nd Respondent has allegedly paid a huge amount to the Appellant.

The High Court has recorded a finding that, the case of the 2nd Respondent falls under Exceptions 5 and 7 as carved out in the judgment of this Court in State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal and Ors. and further the allegations and facts as mentioned in the FIR, appear to be improbable and the same is malicious prosecution, quashed the proceedings registered against the 2nd Respondent.

The High Court exceeded the scope of its jurisdiction conferred under Section 482 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) and quashed the proceedings. Even before the investigation is completed by the investigating agency, the High Court entertained the Writ Petition, and by virtue of interim order granted by the High Court, further investigation was stalled. In view of the serious allegations made in the complaint, High Court should not have made a roving inquiry while considering the application filed under Section 482 of CrPC.

From a perusal of the order of the High Court, it is evident that the High Court has got carried away by the agreement/settlement arrived at, between the parties, and recorded a finding that the physical relationship of the Appellant with the 2nd Respondent was consensual. When it is the allegation of the Appellant, that such document itself is obtained under threat and coercion, it is a matter to be investigated. Further, the complaint of the Appellant about interference by the 2nd Respondent by calling Shoukin Malik and further interference is also a matter for investigation. By looking at the contents of the complaint and the serious allegations made against the 2nd Respondent, the High Court has committed error in quashing the proceedings.

Section 114-A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 makes it clear that, where sexual intercourse by the Accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of the woman alleged to have been raped, and such woman states in her evidence before the Court that she did not consent, the Court shall presume that she did not consent.

Whether in a given case power under Section 482 of CrPC is to be exercised or not, depends on the contents of the complaint, and the material placed on record. In that view of the matter, it is a fit case to set aside the order passed by the High Court and allow the investigating agency to proceed with the further investigation in accordance with law. The impugned order passed by the High Court is set-aside. Appeal allowed.

Relevant

State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal and Ors. MANU/SC/0115/1992

Tags : FIR Quashing Legality

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