Read Order: Ajit Singh and Others v. State of Punjab and Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 22, 2022: In a case where a compromise was entered into between the parties wherein the complaint’s turban was pulled down and kicked by the petitioner in a scuffle between them, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the quashing of the FIR registered against accused-petitioner in 2016 on the ground that the dispute in the present case was in the nature of private dispute and did not have the overture of a public disorder or disruption of public tranquility. 

Besides, Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj also observed that both the petitioners as well as the respondents were residents of the same village and they settled the dispute amongst themselves to give a quietus to ill-will and spite.

The above observations were made by the Court while dealing with a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking quashing of an FIR under Sections 323, 295-A, 506, 147 and 149 of the IPC, based on a compromise entered between the parties.

The allegations resulting in registration of the present case owed its origin to the turban of the complainant having been pulled down in a scuffle amongst the parties and on the allegations against the accused of having kicked the turban. Later on a compromise was entered into between the parties. Hence, the quashing plea was filed. 

The State counsel did not dispute the factum of the compromise amongst the parties and did not have any serious objection to the resolution of the dispute amongst the parties. Similarly, the Counsel representing the third and fourth respondents reiterated the settlement and also his concurrence to the quashing of the FIR and all the other consequential proceeding arising therefrom. 

The Court at the outset looked at the Supreme Court case titled ‘Ramgopal And Another v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2021 SCC Online SC 834′, in which it was held that the matters which can be categorized as personal in nature or in the matter in which the nature of injuries do not exhibit mental depravity or commission of an offence of such a serious nature that quashing of which would override public interest, the Court can quash the FIR in view of the settlement arrived at amongst the parties. 

Coming to the factual aspects of the case, the Court opined that the dispute in the present case was in the nature of private dispute and did not have the overture of a public disorder or disruption of public tranquility. Also, the fact that the case in question was registered in the year 2016 and a period of nearly 6 years passed since registration thereof, was taken into consideration by the Court along with the fact that the report sent by the JMIC, Amritsar did not show that the proceedings in the case made any progress. 

In this backdrop, the Court observed that in view of the amicable resolution of the issues amongst the parties, no useful purpose would be served by continuation of the proceedings and that the furtherance of the proceedings was likely to be a waste of judicial time and there appeared to be no chances of conviction. 

Thus, in view of the report of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Amritsar terming the compromise to be valid and the principles laid down by the Apex Court in Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab and others (2012) 10 SCC 303, as well as Ramgopal And Another Vs State of Madhya Pradesh 2021 SCC Online SC 834 and also by the Full Bench of this Court itself in Kulwinder Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and another, 2007(3) RCR (Criminal) 1052, the instant petition was allowed. 

The aforesaid FIR and all other consequential proceedings arising therefrom, were ordered to be quashed in view of the compromise. However, the same was made subject to payment of costs of Rs. 10,000/- to be deposited with the ‘Poor Patients Welfare Fund’ of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, in a time bound manner. 

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