"Anger No Licence To Take Law In Hand": Delhi High Court Order Community Service For Young Petitioners

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 11:57 PM, 18 Mar 2021

Read Time: 12 minutes

The Delhi High Court while recently quashing the FIR registered for offences under S. 308 (Attempt to Culpable Homicide) r/w 34 IPC ordered young petitioners to perform community service for at least one month at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to make them understand that anger does not give them a license to take law in their hands. 

“A perusal of the above judgments would show that the Courts must be slow in exercising their jurisdiction under Section 482 for quashing the proceedings arising out of offences punishable under Section 307/308 IPC. The parameters laid down in the State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan (supra) states that the powers conferred on the High Courts under Section 482 Cr.P.C can be exercised keeping in mind the injuries sustained, nature of weapons used, etc.”, Single Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad noted. 

In the present matter, an FIR was registered against the petitioner/accused on 27.01.2018 for offences registered u/s 308 r/w 34 IPC upon a complaint made by the complainant on 26.01.2018. The petitioner,accused on 04.02.2018 was granted anticipatory bail. After intervention of the parents & well wishers of the parties, the petitioner vide settlement deed dated 16.02.2021 decided to settle their dispute & approached this Court to quash the FIR u/s 482 CrPC. 

In order to deal with the issue as to whether the High Court while exercising its power u/s 482 CrPC can quash an FIR u/s 307 IPC firstly relied on conflicting judgement of the Supreme Court in State of Rajasthan v. Shambhu Kewat, (2014) 4 SCC 149, in which it was held that an offence under Section 307 IPC cannot be quashed by the High Court while exercising its powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C on the ground that the parties have settled their disputes.

Further, reliance was placed on the judgement passed by the Top Court in Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 466, in which the Bench observed that: 

“23. As there is a close relation between equality and justice, it should be clearly discernible as to how the two prosecutions under Section 307 IPC are different in nature and therefore are given different treatment.

The legislators have categorically recognised that those offences which are covered by the provisions of Section 320 of the Code are concededly those which not only do not fall within the category of heinous crimes but also which are personal between the parties. Therefore, this provision recognises where there is a compromise between the parties, the court is to act at the said compromise and quash the proceedings. However, even in respect of such offences not covered within the four corners of Section 320 of the Code, the High Court is given power under Section 482 of the Code to accept the compromise between the parties and quash the proceedings. The guiding factor is as to whether the ends of justice would justify such exercise of power, both the ultimate consequences may be acquittal or dismissal of indictment. This is so recognised in various judgments taken note of above.􏰂”

The Bench also referred to the Apex Court judgement in the State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688 which resolved the conflict related to power of HC u/s 482 CrPC in quashing the FIR registered u/s 307 IPC. In this judgement, the Court observed that

“15.4. Offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act, etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act, etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delicate parts of the body, nature of weapons used, etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge-sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation. 

15.5 While exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impact on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise etc.”

Thus taking into consideration that the injuries sustained by the complainants were simple & minor in nature, the Bench while allowing the petition to quash the FIR ordered the petitioner to do community service in RML hospital & also imposed a cost of Rs.25,000/-(Rupees Twenty Thousand Only) each on the petitioner which would be paid to 􏰄the 􏰍A􏰃rm􏰆y Welfare Fund Battle Casualties. 

Case Title: Mahinder Singh alias Sunny & Anr v. The State & Ors 

Law Point/ Statute Involved: Section 34 & 308 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 & Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973.

Access Copy of Judgment Here