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Quashing of non-compounding case when parties are settled their issues out of the court

My wife has filed a false case against me to compel me for meeting her demand. She is not willing to live with me because she has an affair with a man and she wants to live with him. Her parents are also taking her favour therefore they demand a huge amount of money for mutual divorce.

I was unable to fulfil their demand so that they started fighting and threatened me to face dire consequences. After some time, she approached me to return all the goods and money expended in her marriage. I denied returning a single penny because it was unfair to demand.

Thereafter she filed a false case of cruelty and sodomy against me. We have settled our disputed consequently we want to get rid of criminal cases. My advocate says that sodomy is a non-compoundable offence, therefore, it cannot be compounded under section 320 crpc, please advise.

Question from: Punjab (Criminal law)

This criminal case is an undesirable consequence of the matrimonial dispute. Therefore if victim i.e. your wife is ready to withdraw this case to start a new life then the court may quash it under section 482 of the CrPC. The court will admit your petition irrespective of the fact that some offences are non-compoundable.

Section 482 of the code of criminal procedure confers wide power to the High Court. Generally, the court does not quash the non-compoundable offence because it gives the wrong signal in society. More serious offences are categorized as a non-compoundable offence because they affect society at large. Section 320 of the code of criminal procedure provides a list of compoundable offence. The offences not mentioned in the list are non-compoundable offence.

Since it is a false case and your wife is ready to withdraw then you should initiate a proceeding for quashing. Your petition is maintainable however sodomy is a non-compoundable offence. 

In Yogendra Yadav vs State of Jharkhand, (2014) 9 SCC 653; the Supreme Court has held that

“The High Court can quash a criminal proceeding in the exercise of its power under Section 482 of the Code having regard to the fact that the parties have amicably settled their disputes and the victim has no objection, even though the offences are non-compoundable.” 

The Supreme Court has reiterated the same decision in Gian Singh vs State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303. Above all where the alleged offence is wholly personal and does not affect the society then the court can quash the case in exercise of its power under Section 482 of the Code.

But in B.S. Joshi vs State of Haryana, (2003) 4 SCC 675; the supreme court has held that court can quash the criminal proceeding between parties to the marriage (husband-wife) if they have concluded that their marriage should be dissolved and a compromise deed has prepared by them to settle their issue out of the court.

The court can quash the criminal proceeding when there is no probability of conviction. A lame proceeding does not serve the interest of justice therefore any need to carry on that lame proceeding.

In Narinder Singh vs State of Punjab, (2014) 6 SCC 466; the High Courts accepted the compromise between the parties and quash the non-compoundable offence. When a victim has no objection to quash the proceeding then quashing becomes justified to:

  • Secure ends of justice, or
  • Prevent abuse of process of the court.

Therefore, in the interest of justice, the High Court can quash the proceeding if some non-compoundable offences are alleged therein. So in your case, you should file a petition before the High Court under section 482 of the code of criminal procedure for quashing of a criminal proceeding.

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