Compromise quashing is filed in case of Non-Bailable Offence and non-compoundable Offences (S. 320 Cr.P.C.) or Offences under the Special Act which are non-compoundable in nature. In Case of compromise quashing when the parties compromise the matter with each other and deed of compromise is written between then they approach the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh for quashing of the case FIR or Complaint lodged by one party against the other party. Partial compromise is not permitted, though these are not beyond the vast powers of the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh U/s 482 Cr.P.C. When the parties approach the competent court of Jurisdiction and ask for the relief of quashing of FIR or complaint then keeping in view of the gravity of the Offence the High court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh grants the relief of quashing. In cases in which Offence is of grave nature and involves the moral turpitude the compromise quashing is not done. Also where the state has no objection in that case only compromise quashing is permitted, otherwise objection is dealt with by the Hon’ble Court. In Kulwinder Singh vs State of Punjab 2007 (3) RCR(Criminal) has held that High Court has wide powers to quash the proceeding even in non-compoundable Offences. In Gian Singh vs the State of Punjab and Anr the Apex court on 24th September 2012 in SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 8989 OF 2010. The inherent powers of the High Court U/s 482 are not limited to only matrimonial disputes, the court has wider jurisdiction in order to avoid the abuse of process of law and for the interest of justice. On the other hand, the Hon’ble Supreme Court also held that in case of heinous and serious Offences like murder rape, dacoity etc. cannot be quashed even though the compromise has been effected between the parties. Also, in case of special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or Offences committed by Public Servant in that capacity criminal proceedings cannot be quashed.
The High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in CRM-M No. 23862/2016 decided on 28.2.2017, in the case titled as GIAN SINGH AND ORS Versus STATE OF PUNJAB AND ORS the Hon’ble Court observed the inherent powers which can be exercised even in case of Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder). Some principles have been laid down by the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in the present matter whether the Offence/ FIR is to be quashed or not. The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh will not refuse to entertain the matter whether the matter is of section 307 IPC or some other grave Offence. The High Court has held that it has to see the gravity of the Offence, whether the Prosecution has collected sufficient piece of evidence to prove the matter i.e whether the conviction will probably be passed or whether section 307 has been put like this without any kind of piece of evidence proving the Offence committed by the concerned person. In the earlier case the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh will not hesitate to quash the matter whether the same is of section 307 but in another case, the High Court will restrain itself for passing the order of quashing in the interest of Justice.
In Narinder Singh and Others Vs. The state of Punjab and Another (2014) 6 SCC 466, it has been observed by the Apex Court that the High Court would be guided for giving adequate treatment for the settlement of the parties. The high court has inherent powers U/s 482 Cr.P.C. to quash even the non-compoundable Offences, but this power should be exercised sparingly. In Criminal Appeal NO. 1723 of 2017 (arising out of SLP (CRL) NO. 9549 of 2016 in the case titled as Parbatbhai Aahir @ Parbatbhai Bhimsinhbhai karmur and ors. The Supreme Court not only given the guiding factors for the High Courts for quashing the Criminal Proceedings or not but also set aside the decision of the High Court of Gujrat which rejected the Petition U/s 482 quashing the FIR of the Applicant U/s 384, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 506(2) of the Penal Code. The High Court observed that it had been given a fair idea about the ‘modus operandi’ adopted by the appellants for grabbing the land, in the course of which they had opened bogus bank accounts. The High Court held that the case involves extortion, forgery, and conspiracy and all the appellants have acted as a team. Hence, in the view of the High Court, it was not in the interest of society at large to accept the settlement and quash the FIR. The High Court held that the charges are of a serious nature and the activities of the appellants render them a potential threat to society. On this ground, the prayer to quash the First Information Report has been rejected. The Supreme Court observed in para 10 of its Judgment that Section 482 is prefaced with an overriding provision. The statute saves the inherent power of the High Court, as a superior court, to make such orders as are necessary
(i) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court; or
(ii) otherwise to secure the ends of justice. In Gian Singh (supra) a bench of three learned Judges of this Court adverted to the body of precedent on the subject and laid down guiding principles which the High Court should consider in determining as to whether to quash an FIR or complaint in the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction. The considerations which must weigh with the High Court are
“61 the power of the High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct and different from the power given to a criminal court for compounding the Offences under Section 320 of the Code. Inherent power is of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be exercised in accord with the guideline engrafted in such power viz.: (i) to secure the ends of justice, or (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any court. In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or FIR may be exercised where the offender and the victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. However, before the exercise of such power, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious Offences of mental depravity or Offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such Offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise between the victim and the offender in relation to the Offences under special statutes like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the Offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity, etc; cannot provide for any basis for quashing criminal proceedings involving such Offences. But the criminal cases having overwhelmingly and predominately civil flavor stand on a different footing for the purposes of quashing, particularly the offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry, etc. or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of cases, the High Court may quash the criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the compromise between the offender and the victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of the criminal case would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal case despite full and complete settlement and compromise with the victim. In other words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and the wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that the criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in the affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding”.
In a subsequent decision in State of Tamil Nadu v R Vasanthi Stanley 5 2016 (1) SCC 376 the court rejected the submission that the accused is a woman and who was following the command of her husband only without knowing the Offences which are being committed. Rejecting the submission, this Court held that:
” Lack of awareness, knowledge or intent is neither to be considered nor accepted in economic Offences. The submission assiduously presented on gender leaves us unimpressed. An Offence under the criminal law is an Offence and it does not depend upon the gender of an accused. True it is, there are certain provisions in Code of Criminal Procedure relating to the exercise of jurisdiction Under Section 437, etc. therein but that altogether pertains to a different sphere. A person committing a murder or getting involved in a financial scam or forgery of documents, cannot claim discharge or acquittal on the ground of her gender as that is neither constitutionally nor statutorily a valid argument. The Offence is gender neutral in this case. We say no more on this score. A grave criminal offence or serious economic offence or for that matter the offence that has the potentiality to create a dent in the financial health of the institutions, is not to be quashed on the ground that there is delay in trial or the principle that when the matter has been settled it should be quashed to avoid the load on the system”
The Supreme Court in para no. 15 has laid down the broad principles as mentioned below the broad principles which emerge from the precedents on the subject may be summarised in the following propositions :
“(i) Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. The provision does not confer new powers. It only recognizes and preserves powers which inhere in the High Court;
(ii) The invocation of the jurisdiction of the High Court to quash a First Information Report or a criminal proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been arrived at between the offender and the victim is not the same as the invocation of jurisdiction for the purpose of compounding
an Offence. While compounding an Offence, the power of the court is governed by the provisions of Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The power to quash under Section 482 is attracted even if the Offence is non-compoundable.
(iii) In forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint should be quashed in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482, the High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power;
(iv) While the inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude it has to be exercised; (i) to secure the ends of justice or (ii) to prevent an abuse of the process of any court;
(V) The decision as to whether a complaint or First Information Report should be quashed on the ground that the offender and victim have settled the dispute, revolves ultimately on the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated;
(vi) In the exercise of the power under Section 482 and while dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the Offence. Heinous and serious Offences involving mental depravity or Offences such as murder, rape, and dacoity cannot appropriately be quashed though the victim or the family of the victim have settled the dispute. Such Offences are, truly speaking, not private in nature but have a serious impact upon society. The decision to continue with the trial in such cases is founded on the overriding element of public interest in punishing persons for serious Offences;
(vii) As distinguished from serious Offences, there may be criminal cases which have an overwhelming or predominant element of a civil dispute. They stand on a distinct footing in so far as the exercise of the inherent power to quash is concerned;
(Viii) Criminal cases involving Offences which arise from commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions with an essentially civil flavor may in appropriate situations fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute;
(ix) In such a case, the High Court may quash the criminal proceeding if in view of the compromise between the disputants, the possibility of a conviction is remote and the continuation of a criminal proceeding would cause oppression and prejudice; and
(x) There is yet an exception to the principle set out in propositions (viii) and) above. Economic Offences involving the financial and economic well-being of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants. The High Court would be justified in declining to quash where the offender is involved in an activity akin to a financial or economic fraud or misdemeanor. The consequences of the act complained of upon the financial or economic the system will weigh in the balance”.