2014 ALL MR (Cri) 1827
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

NARESH H. PATIL AND V.L. ACHLIYA, JJ.

Rajesh Bhutani & Ors. Vs. Mrs. Ruchika Rajesh Bhutani & Ors.

Criminal Application No.14 of 2014

16th January, 2014

Petitioner Counsel: Mr. SUBODH DESAI
Respondent Counsel: Mr. GOPAL R. HEGDE
Other Counsel: Mrs. M.H. MHATRE

Penal Code (1860), Ss.498A, 406, 34 - Criminal P.C. (1973), S.482 - Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), S.3 - Offence of cruelty and dowry demand - Application for quashing of proceedings - Parties decided to amicably resolve all disputes and to obtain divorce by mutual consent - Held, it is matrimonial dispute of private and personal nature and fit case to invoke jurisdiction u/s.482.

2013 ALL SCR 171 Foll. (Para 6)

Cases Cited:
Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab & Anr., 2013 ALL SCR 171=2012 (10) SCC 303 [Para 6]


JUDGMENT

V. L. ACHLIYA, J. :- Rule. Rule returnable forthwith. By consent, taken up for final hearing.

2. The applicants (original accused) have filed this application u/s. 482 of Cr. P.C. seeking quashing of Criminal Case No. 1956/P.W./2005 (arising out of C.R. No.38 of 2005 registered with Kasturba Marg Police Station, Borivali, Mumbai for offences u/s. 498(A), 406 r/w. sec. 34 of IPC, at the instance of respondent no.1) now pending on the file of 68th Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Borivali, Mumbai, on the grounds set out in detail in the application.

3. In brief the facts of the case are as follows :-

(i) The marriage between the applicant no.1 and the respondent no.1 was solemnized at Delhi on 22nd January, 1999, as per Hindu Vedic rites and customs. Since 20th March, 2004, they were residing separately due to matrimonial dispute amongst them. The applicant nos. 2 to 9 are the parents and other relatives of the applicant no.1. On the complaint made by the respondent no.1 as against applicant nos. 1 to 9 with Kasturba Marg Police Station, Borivali, Mumbai, the offences punishable u/s. 498(A), 406 r/w. sec. 34 of IPC and sec. 3 of Dowry Prohibition Act came to be registered against the applicants vide C.R. No.38 of 2005. On completion of investigation, the chargesheet came to be filed against them in the Court of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, 68th Court, Borivali, Mumbai and same was numbered as Criminal Case No.1956/PW/2005. Since the year 2005 the said case is pending on the file of said Court. Besides, the Criminal proceeding, the case was also filed in the Family Court at Bandra, Mumbai. The said proceeding was registered as M.J. Petition No. A-1210 of 2004. During the pendency of the said proceeding, the applicant no.1 and the respondent no.1 have decided to amicably resolve all the disputes between them. It was decided to obtain divorce by mutual consent. Accordingly, the consent terms were prepared and filed before the Family Court at Bandra, Mumbai. As per the terms of settlement, it was decided that both the parties would get the said criminal proceeding quashed. In view of amicable settlement of matrimonial dispute, the applicants have approached this Court by way of this application u/s. 482 of Cr.P.C. seeking quashing of said criminal proceeding.

4. The respondent no.1 has appeared before this Court and filed affidavit in reply and supported the case of the applicants for quashing the proceeding.

5. We have heard the learned Advocates representing the applicants as well as respondent no.1 and the learned A.P.P. for the State and further perused the record and proceeding.

6. We have examined the facts of the present case, in the light of the broad guidelines laid down by the Apex Court in the case of Gian Singh V/s. State of Punjab and another reported in 2012 (10) SCC Page 303 : [2013 ALL SCR 171]. We are of the view that looking to the facts of the case, the nature of the offences registered against the applicants and the settlement arrived between the parties, it is a fit case to invoke our jurisdiction u/s. 482 of Cr.P.C. to quash the F.I.R./Complaint registered against the applicants. The subject matter of Criminal Case is outcome of a matrimonial dispute between the husband and wife, which has lead to filing of various proceeding, including present criminal case. The dispute between the parties is purely a family dispute and basically private and personal in nature. In view of the settlement, no fruitful purpose would be achieved by allowing the criminal proceeding to continue against the applicants. It would cause great prejudice and injustice to the applicants, if the proceeding is not quashed and they are forced to face the rigours of trial. It would be unfair to continue with the criminal proceeding despite settlement and compromise arrived in between the victim and alleged wrong doer. We are, therefore, of the view that in the interest of justice the criminal proceeding against the applicants be quashed. We, therefore, pass the following order:

ORDER

(i) The criminal case no. 1956/P.W./2005 (arising out of C.R. No. 38 of 2005 with Kasturba Marg Police Station, Borivali, Mumbai) pending on the file of 68th Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Borivali, Mumbai u/s. 498(A), 406 r/w. sec. 34 of IPC and sec. 3 of Dowry Prohibition Act registered at the instance of Mrs. Ruchika Rajesh Bhutani-respondent no.1 (orig. complainant) as against the applicants viz. (1) Mr. Rajesh Bhutani s/o Munshiram Bhutani; (2) Mr. Pramod Bhutani s/o Munshiram Bhutani; (3) Mrs. Shashi Bhutani w/o Pramod Bhutani; (4) Mr. Ashwin Bhayana s/o Jaikishan Bhayana; (5) Mrs. Meenakshi Bhayana w/o Ashwin Bhayana; (6) Mr. Munshiram Bhutani s/o Motiram Bhutani; (7) Mrs. Neelam Rawal w/o Ajit Rawal; (8) Mr. Jai Kishandas Bhayana; (9) Mrs. Lajwanti Bhutani w/o Munshiram Bhutani is hereby quashed.

(ii) The copy of order to be sent to Kasturba Marg Police Station, Borivali, Mumbai, for information and taking necessary steps.

Ordered accordingly.