Arun Singh vs State Of U.P. on 10 February, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Arun Singh vs State Of U.P. on 10 February, 2020

Author: Krishna Murari

Bench: Navin Sinha, Krishna Murari

                                                                                                        1

                                                                                         REPORTABLE

                                                IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                             CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                          CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.__250_ OF 2020
                              ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL) NO. 5224 OF 2017

                         Arun Singh & Others                                ........    Appellant(s)

                                                             VERSUS

                         State of U.P. through its Secretary & Another      .....…      Respondent(s)


                                                        JUDGMENT

KRISHNA MURARI, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal is directed against the impugned judgment and order dated

24.11.2016 passed by the High Court1 dismissing the petition filed by the

appellants under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (in short ‘the

CrPC) challenging the charge sheet filed against them. The High Court while

rejecting Section 482 CrPC petition directed the accused appellants to

surrender before the Court concerned within 30 days from the date of order

and in case they do so within the stipulated period and apply for bail the same

was liable to be considered and decided in view of law laid down by full

bench of High Court in case of Amrawati & another versus State of U.P. 2

affirmed by this court in Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh versus State of U.P.3

Signature Not Verified
______________________________
Digitally signed by
RAJNI MUKHI
1
Date: 2020.02.10
15:44:16 IST High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
Reason:

2

2004 (57) ALR 290
3
2009 (3) ADJ 322 (SC)
2

3. Shorn of unnecessary details the brief facts which led to the filling of

this appeal can be summarised as under:-

Respondent No. 2 lodged First Information Report with Police

Station Izzat Nagar, District Bareilly under Section 493 I.P.C. read

with Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against the appellants

herein which was registered as case crime No. 431 of 2014. The

allegations made in the F.I.R. were that Respondent No.-2 approached

Appellants with the proposal of marriage of his daughter Jyoti with

Appellant No.-1. On 30th June, 2013 the appellants visited the house

of Respondent No.-2 and after meeting his daughter the proposal was

finalised. On 21.07.2013, ring ceremony was performed and date of

marriage was scheduled for 19.11.2013. Thereafter, Appellant No.-2

started visiting the house of complainant/respondent no.-2. frequently

and misleading his daughter Jyoti that now since the marriage is

finalised and only ceremony of ‘feras’ remains to be performed took

her for outings on various occasions. On 16.08.2013 appellant No.-2

induced Jyoti to his room and established physical relationship with

her. However, subsequently thereto the appellant started making

demand of dowry of Rs. 5 Lakh. A complaint in this regard was made

before Mahila Thana but no action was taken. On coming to know that

marriage of Appellant No.-2 was settled with some other girl for a

handsome amount of dowry, the First Information Report was being

lodged.

3

4. The matter was investigated by the concerned Police Station and a

charge sheet was filed against the appellants, which was challenged before the

High Court by way of petition under Section 482 CrPC.

5. The case set up by the appellants before the High Court was that

behaviour of the complainant and his family members changed after the date

of marriage was fixed and they refused to share the expenses of marriage,

which was settled between the parties to be shared equally. Further, a demand

of Rs. 10 Lakhs was made from the appellants with a threat to implicate them

in a false case in case the demand was not fulfilled. It was further pleaded that

Appellant No.-2 made an application under Section 156(3) CrPC before the

ACJM against the complainant and his other family members. During the

pendency of proceedings under Section 156(3) CrPC a complaint was made by

Respondent No.-2 in the Mahila Thana. The inspector incharge of Mahila

Thana summoned both the parties where the dispute between them was

compromised. In view of the compromise arrived, the appellants did not press

the application under Section 156 (3) CrPC. However, the Complainant-

Respondent No.-2 filed the First Information Report after about 10 months of

the compromise.

6. The High Court finding that there was no justification for quashing the

charge sheet dismissed the petition.

4

7. Learned counsel for the appellant vehemently contended that the High

Court has failed to appreciate and consider that the fresh criminal action can

not be launched on the basis of the same cause of action, which was already

settled 10 months back by way of compromise which was acted upon by both

the parties.

8. Learned counsel further submits that the High Court has failed to

consider and appreciate that the allegations as contained in the First

Information Report even if taken on the face value and assumed to be correct

in entirety, do not prima-facie disclose commission of any offence, much less

a cognizable offence. It is also submitted on behalf of the appellants that the

High Court did not appreciate and consider the fact at all that the allegations in

the F.I.R., prima-facie, do not constitute commission of any offence and

dismissed the 482 petition without adverting itself to this aspect of the matter.

9. Learned counsel for the respondent refuting the arguments advanced on

behalf of appellants submitted that the First Information Report was filed

under Section 493 of the Indian Penal Code (in short the “I.P.C.”) read with

Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and both the aforesaid offences are

non-compoundable in nature and thus could not have been compromised. The

allegations made in the First Information Report were found to be

substantiated on investigation and thus a charge sheet filed by the Police and

the High Court rightly dismissed the petition for quashing of the same.
5

10. We have considered the rival submissions and perused the facts on

record.

11. The offence under Section 493 is non-compoundable. Similarly, the

offence under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is also non-

compoundable, in view of Section 8(2) of the said Act, which provides that

every offence under this Act, shall be non-bailable and non-compoundable.

12. Though the offence in question are non-compoundable but the power

of the High Court under Section 482 CrPC of the Court to quash the

proceedings in such offences is well recognised by various decision of this

court and the issue is no longer res integra. Reference may be made to the

observations of Three Judge Bench of this Court in Gian Singh versus State

of Punjab.4

“Quashing of offences or criminal proceedings on the ground of

settlement between an offender and victim is not the same thing as

compounding of the offence. They are different and not

interchangeable. Strictly speaking the power of compounding of

offence given to a Court under Section 320 is materially different

from the quashing of criminal proceedings by the High Court in

exercise of the inherent jurisdiction. In compounding of offence,

power of a criminal court is circumscribed by the provisions

_________________
4
(2012) 10 SCC 303
6

contained in Section 320 and the Court is guided solely and

squarely thereby while, on the other hand, the formation of opinion

by the High Court for quashing a criminal offence or criminal

proceedings or criminal complaint is guided by the material on

record as to whether the ends of justice would justify such exercise

of power although the ultimately consequence may be acquittal or

dismissal of indictment.

B.S. Joshi, Nikhil Merchant, Manoj Sharma and Shiji to illustrate

the principle that High Court may quash the criminal proceedings or

F.I.R. or complaint in exercise of its inherent power under Section

482 of the Code and Section 320 does not limit or effect the powers

of the High Court under Section 482. Can it be said that by

quashing criminal proceedings in B.S. Joshi, Nikhil Merchant,

Manoj Sharma and Shiji this Court has compounded the non-

compoundable offences indirectly? We do not think so. There does

exists the distinction between compounding of an offence under

Section 320 and quashing of a criminal case by a High Court in

exercise of inherent power under Section 482. The two powers are

distinct and different although the ultimate consequence may be the

same viz. acquittal of the accused or dismissal of the indictment.
7

13. Another Three Judge Bench of this Court in Parbatbhai Aahir &

Others versus State of Gujarat & Others.5 After analysing the

precedents on, the above issue has summarised the broad principles in

paragraph 15 of the reports as under:-

15. “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
recognises 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
criminalproceeding or complaint should be
quashed in 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;

_________________
5
(2017) 9 SCC 641
8

(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
flavour 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
9

(x) There is yet an exception to the principle set out in
propositions (viii) and (ix) 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 misdemeanour. The consequences
of the act complained of upon the financial or
economic system will weigh in the balance.”

14. In another decision in the case of Narinder Singh Vs. State of

Punjab6 it has been observed that in respect of offence against the society

it is the duty to punish the offender. Hence, even where there is a

settlement between the offender and victim the same shall not prevail

since it is in interests of the society that offender should be punished

which acts as deterrent for others from committing similar crime. On the

other hand, there may be offences falling in the category where the

correctional objective of criminal law would have to be given more

weightage than the theory of deterrent punishment. In such cases, the

court may be of the opinion that a settlement between the parties would

lead to better relations between them and would resolve a festering

private dispute and thus may exercise power under Section 482 CrPC for

quashing the proceedings or the complaint or the FIR as the case may be.

15. Bearing in mind the above principles which have been laid down,

we are of the view that offences for which the appellants have been

_________________
6
(2014) 6 SCC 466
10

charged are infact offences against society and not private in nature. Such

offences have serious impact upon society and continuance of trial of such

cases is founded on the overridding effect of public interests in punishing

persons for such serious offences. It is neither an offence arising out of

commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or such similar transactions or

has any element of civil dispute thus it stands on a distinct footing. In such

cases, settlement even if arrived at between the complainant and the accused,

the same cannot constitute a valid ground to quash the F.I.R. or the charge

sheet.

16. Thus the High Court cannot be said to be unjustified in refusing to

quash the charge sheet on the ground of compromise between the parties.

17. The next issue which arises for consideration is whether the allegations

made in the F.I.R constitute commission of an offence. As already stated

hereinabove, the appellants have been charged with Section 493 of the Indian

Penal Code and Section 3 read with Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Section 493 reads as under:-

“Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief
of lawful marriage. – Every man who by deceit causes any
woman who is not lawfully married to him to believe that she is
lawfully married to him and to cohabit or have sexual
intercourse with him in that belief, shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend
to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

18. A plain reading of the Section goes to show that in order to constitute

an offence under this Section, it has to be demonstrated that a man has

deceitfully caused any woman, who is not lawfully married to him, to believe
11

that she is lawfully married wife and thereby co-habit with him. In other

words, the accused must induce a woman, not lawfully married to him, to

believe that she is married to him and as a result of such mis-representation,

woman should believe that she was lawfully married to the man and thus there

should be co-habitation or sexual intercourse.

19. A three-Judge Bench of this Court in the case of Ram Chandra Bhagat

Vs. State of Jharkhand7 after analysing the provisions of Section 493 of I.P.C,

has observed as under:-

“Upon perusal of Section 493 IPC, to establish that a
person has committed an offence under the said section, it
must be established that a person had deceitfully induced a
belief to a woman, who is not lawfully married to him, that
she is a lawfully married wife of that person and thereupon
she should cohabit or should have had sexual intercourse
with that person. Looking at the aforestated section, it is
clear that the accused must induce a woman, who is not
lawfully married to him, to believe that he is married to her
and as a result of the aforestated representation, the
woman should believe that she was lawfully married to him
and there should be cohabitation or sexual intercourse as a
result of the deception.”
“If a woman is induced to change her status from that of an
unmarried to that of a married woman with all the duties
and obligations pertaining to the changed relationship and
that result is accomplished by deceit, such woman within
the law can be said to have been deceived and the offence
under Section 493 IPC is brought home. Inducement by a
person deceitfully to a woman to change her status from
unmarried woman to a lawfully married woman and on
that inducement making her cohabit with him in the belief
that she is lawfully married to him is what constitutes an
offence under Section 493. The victim woman has been
induced to do that which, but for the false practice, she
would not have done and has been led to change her social
_________________
7
(2013) 1 SCC 562
12

and domestic status. The ingredients of Section 493 can be
said to be fully satisfied when it is proved – (a) deceit
causing a false belief of existence of a lawful marriage, and

(b) cohabitation or sexual intercourse with the person
causing such belief. It is not necessary to establish the
factum of marriage according to personal law but the proof
of inducement by a man deceitfully to a woman to change
her status from that of an unmarried to that of a lawfully
married woman and then make that woman cohabit with
him establishes an offence under Section 493 IPC.”

20. The essence of an offence under Section 493 IPC is, therefore,

practice of deception by a man on a woman as a consequence of which the

woman is led to believe that she is lawfully married to him although she is not

and then make her cohabit with him.

21. Deceit can be said to be a false statement of fact made by a person

knowingly and recklessly with the intent that it shall be acted upon by another

who on believing the same after having acted thereupon suffers an injury. It is

an attempt to deceive and includes such declaration and statement that

misleads others or causes him to believe which otherwise is false and

incorrect.

22. In other words, to constitute an offence under Section 493 I.P.C., the

allegations in the FIR must demonstrate that appellant had practiced

deception on the daughter of the complainant causing a false belief of

existence of lawful marriage and which led her to cohabit with him.
13

23. From a perusal of the F.I.R., we do not find that allegations made

therein can be said to constitute any offence under Section 493 IPC. There are

no allegation of any inducement or any deceit to make the victim believe that

she was lawfully married to the appellant, which mislead her to have sexual

intercourse with the accused appellant no.1. Only allegations in the First

Information Report in this regard are that “after the marriage was settled, the

appellant no.1 started visiting the house of the complainant frequently and

would mislead and instigate his daughter that relation is final and only ‘Feras’

remains to be performed. On the fateful day, i.e., 16.08.2013, the appellant

no.1 took leave and enticed and instigated his daughter took her to his room

and promising that she is being his wife established physical relations.”

24. A perusal of the averments would go to show that ingredients to

constitute an offence under Section 493 I.P.C. are missing from the

averments. The allegations do not even prima-facie, cull out any inducement

of belief in the victim that she is lawfully married to the appellant no.1 and on

account of this deceitful misstatement, the victim co-habited with the accused.

Since the essential ingredients to constitute an offence under Section 493

I.P.C. are missing from the allegations made in the F.I.R., offence under the

said Section can not be said to be made out against the appellants.

25. It is also to be taken note that whatever the allegations, in this regard,

have been made only against the accused-appellant no. 1 which also do not
14

constitute an offence and there are no allegations in this regard in respect of

other five accused-appellants.

26. The High Court having failed to advert itself to the aforesaid aspects

discussed hereinabove and to that extent, the judgment is not liable to be

sustained.

27. The other charge against the appellants are under Section 3/4 of the

Dowry Prohibition Act. The said sections read as under:-

“Section 3 -Penalty for giving or taking dowry.— [1] If
any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or
takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be
punishable [with imprisonment for a term which shall not
be less than [five years], and with fine which shall not be
less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the
value of such dowry, whichever is more:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special
reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a
sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than [five
years].

[(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to, or in
relation to,—

(a) presents which are given at the time of a marriage to
the bride (without any demand having been made in that
behalf): Provided that such presents are entered in a list
maintained in accordance with the rules made under this
Act;

(b) presents which are given at the time of marriage to
the bridegroom (without any demand having been made
in that behalf):

Provided that such presents are entered in a list
maintained in accordance with the rules made under this
Act:

Provided further that where such presents are made by or
on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride,
such presents are of a customary nature and the value
thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial
15

status of the person by whom, or on whose behalf, such
presents are given.]

Section 4- Penalty for demanding dowry—If any person
demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or other
relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the
case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six
months, but which may extend to two years and with fine
which may extend to ten thousand rupees:

Provided that the court may, for adequate and special
reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a
sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six
months.”

28. The allegations in the First Information Report in respect of Section

3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act are very specific. The relevant allegations

are being reproduced hereunder :-

“Not only this applicant also finalised Barat Ghar OM

Lawn for marriage party and made advance payment of

Rs.20,000/- but Arun along with his parents and all the

opposite parties stick to their demand of Rs. 5 Lakhs cash.

Applicant is a poor employee. He showed his inability to

pay such a huge amount. But despite a very humble

request and praying opposite parties could not be

persuaded and they made demand for Rs.5 Lakh in full

Panchayat….”
16

29. A reading of the above provisions shows that essential ingredients of

the offence under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act are that the

persons accused should have made demand directly or indirectly from the

parents or other relatives or guardians of a bride or a bridegroom as the case

may be any dowry and/or abets the giving and taking of dowry. The

allegations of the F.I.R. quoted hereinabove clearly go to show that a demand

of dowry of Rs.5 Lakhs was made by the appellants from the complainants

and thus it can not be said that no offence under the Dowry Prohibition Act are

made out against the appellants. There being direct allegations of demand of

Dowry in the First Information Report, the allegations prima-facie constitute a

commission of an offence under the Dowry Prohibition Act and thus the

charges leveled against the appellants under Section 3/4 of the said Act, are

not liable to be quashed.

30. In view of the above facts and discussions, we are of the considered

view that insofar as offence under Section 493 I.P.C. is concerned, since F.I.R.

does not disclose the commission of any offence under the said Section and

thus continuance of the criminal prosecution under said section would amount

to abuse of process of the Court and the order of the High Court to that extent

is liable to be set aside. However, insofar as offence against the appellants

under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is concerned, since the

allegations disclose the commission of cognizable offence in the F.I.R., it is

not a fit case to exercise power under Section 482 Cr.PC and to quash criminal

proceedings against the appellants for the said offence.
17

31. As a result of our aforesaid discussion, the charge sheet insofar as

Section 493 I.P.C is concerned stands quashed. However, in respect of charge

sheet under Section 3 read with Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, the

Appeal stands dismissed.

……………………………J.

(NAVIN SINHA)

……………………………J.

(KRISHNA MURARI)

NEW DELHI;

10th FEBRUARY, 2020.



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