Read Order: Jarnail Singh and others v. State of Punjab and another 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has suspended the trial in a case of immigration fraud worth around Rs 14 lakh on the ground that the accused have returned the fraud money to the complaint and thus no useful purpose will be served by continuing with the trial.

“In view of the fact that the parties have settled the dispute, the amount has been returned to the complainant and instead of pursuing the litigation, the parties decided to buy peace of mind. No useful purpose would be served by continuing with the trial,” the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan said, while quashing the FIR and the proceedings arising from it. 

The case pertained to a petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of an FIR dated 18.1.2019, under Sections 406, 420 read with Section 120-B IPC, registered at Police Station Shalla, District Gurdaspur, along with all subsequent proceedings arising therefrom on the basis of the compromise dated 7.12.2019.

The FIR was at the instance of Sarbjeet Singh. As per the allegations, the petitioners duped the complainant of Rs.13,80,000 for sending the family members of the complainant abroad. Neither were the family members sent abroad nor was the amount returned.

During the pending proceedings, the parties resolved the issue and a compromise was reached on 7.12.2019. On 14.1.2020, a notice of motion was issued and the parties were directed to get their statements recorded before the trial court.

In compliance with the order of the High Court, a report dated 9.3.2020 was received from Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, Gurdaspur. As per the report, the parties affected the compromise without any pressure or coercion.

Citing a full bench judgement of the High Court in Kulwinder Singh and others vs. State of Punjab, the bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan stated that the only inevitable conclusion from the above discussion is that there is no statutory bar under the Cr.P.C. which can affect the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482. 

“Further, the same cannot be limited to matrimonial cases alone and the Court has the wide power to quash the proceedings even in non -compoundable offences notwithstanding the bar under Section 320 of the Cr.P.C., in order to prevent the abuse of law and to secure the ends of justice,” the HC said.

“In view of the fact that the parties have settled the dispute, the amount has been returned to the complainant and instead of pursuing the litigation, the parties decided to buy peace of mind. No useful purpose would be served by continuing with the trial. To meet the ends of justice, the present petition is allowed and the above mentioned FIR along with all consequential proceedings arising therefrom are hereby quashed,” held the bench.

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