Gujarat HC: Criminal Proceedings of Private Nature can be Quashed U/S 482 Even if Trial Has Concluded in Conviction

Khushi Doshi

Published on: April 28, 2022 at 16:54 IST

Despite the fact that the Trial had ended and a Criminal Appeal was ongoing, the Gujarat High Court recently dismissed a First Information Report and a Conviction Order in a Matrimonial dispute, stating that the charges involved were minor and personal in nature.

The First Information Report filed under Sections 498(a), 323, 294(b), 506(1), and 114 of the Indian Penal Code, as well as Sections 3 and 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, was cancelled by Justice Ilesh Vora, who also overturned the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Order of conviction.

Regardless of whether the Trial has already finished or an Appeal against conviction has been dismissed, the Court determined that Criminal Procedures involving Non-Heinous Offences or Offences that are primarily of a private nature might be cancelled.

The impugned First Information Report was filed by Respondent No. 2, who claimed that she married the original Accused No. 1 (Applicant) and that after four days of marriage, all of the Accused began pressuring her for home chores and dowry payment.

Following the Testimony of Witnesses, the Trial Court found the Accused Nos. 1 and 2 guilty of violating Sections 498(a), 323 of the Indian Penal Code, and the Dowry Prohibition Act, while accused No. 3 was found not guilty.

The accused claimed that the disagreement had already been resolved peacefully, and that continuing Criminal Proceedings was therefore an obvious violation of due process.

In Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab 2012 10 SCC 303 and Madhya Pradesh Vs. Laxmi Narayan & Ors 2019 5 SCC 688, Justice Vora referred to the scope of Section 482, where it was confirmed that under Section 482, the Court could Quash Criminal Proceedings for Non-Compoundable Offences of primarily ‘civil character’.

The Bench set aside and invalidated the Criminal Proceedings and the challenged First Information Report, based on this well-established legal norm and the fact that no compulsion was utilised during the settlement.

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