Mohan abbot Vs. State of
INSC 520 (26 March 2008)
TARUN CHATTERJEE & HARJIT SINGH BEDI REPORTABLE CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 555/2008 (arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No.
4579/2006) HARJIT SINGH BEDI,J 1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal is directed against the judgment dated 14th February 2006
whereby an application for quashing of FIR No.155 dated 17th November 2001
registered at Police Station Kotwali, Amritsar under Sections
379,406,409,418,506/34 of the Indian Penal Code on account of the compromise
entered into between the complainant and the accused, has been declined on the
ground that Section 406 was not compoundable as the amount involved was more
than Rs.250/- and that the case was already fixed on 28th April 2006 for the
examination of the prosecution witnesses.
3. Notice was issued in this case on 21st August 2006 and the operation of
the order was stayed in the meanwhile. A counter affidavit has been filed by
the sole respondent i.e. State of Punjab and it has been pointed out,
inter-alia, that the investigating officer had no information about the
compromise between the parties, that the case was ripe for the recording of the
prosecution evidence and that Section 406 was not compoundable as the amount
involved was more than Rs.250/-.
4. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties.
Concededly a compromise deed has been executed between the parties on 25th
January 2002 in which it has been inter-alia recorded as under:
"Whereas for the past some time some dispute had arisen in between both
the parties regarding which first party has got an FIR No.155/2001 registered
under Sections 379/406/409/418/34 of IPC in P.S. Kotwali Amritsar. After the
registration of aforesaid criminal case a compromise has been arrived at in
between both the parties. As a result of which both the parties have resolved
their differences once for all.
Now second party does not owe anything to the first party and first party
has undertaken to cooperate with second party in every manner to get the
aforesaid FIR cancelled/quashed from appropriate Forum. Further more first
party has no objection if the Bail of second party be accepted. Rather first
party shall cooperate with second party in every manner to secure bail for him.
In view of the compromise arrived at in between the parties entire differences
and tensions those had arisen in between both the parties stands resolved and
both the parties have undertaken not to file any proceedings either civil or
criminal or any other such like proceedings against one another in any court of
law at Amritsar or any other place within or outside India. This compromise is
hereby executed in between both the parties in the presence of marginal
witnesses on this 25th day of January 2002 at Amritsar."
5. It is on the basis of this compromise that the application was filed in
the High Court for quashing of proceedings which has been dismissed by the
impugned order. We notice from a reading of the FIR and the other documents on
record that the dispute was purely a personal one between two contesting
parties and that it arose out of extensive business dealings between them and
that there was absolutely no public policy involved in the nature of the
allegations made against the accused. We are, therefore, of the opinion that no
useful purpose would be served in continuing with the proceedings in the light
of the compromise and also in the light of the fact that the complainant has,
on 11th January 2004, passed away and the possibility of a conviction being
recorded has thus to be ruled out. We need to emphasize that it is perhaps
advisable that in disputes where the question involved is of a purely personal
nature, the Court should ordinarily accept the terms of the compromise even in
criminal proceedings as keeping the matter alive with no possibility of a
result in favour of the prosecution is a luxury which the Courts, grossly
overburdened as they are, cannot afford and that the time so saved can be
utilized in deciding more effective and meaningful litigation. This is a common
sense approach to the matter based on ground of realities and bereft of the
technicalities of the law. We see from the impugned order that the learned
Judge has confused a compounding of an offence with the quashing of
proceedings. The outer limit of Rs.250/- which has led to the dismissal of the
application is an irrelevant factor in the later case. We accordingly allow the
appeal and in the peculiar facts of the case, direct that FIR No.155 dated 17th
November 2001 P.S. Kotwali, Amritsar and all proceedings connected therewith
shall be deemed to be quashed.