Despite settlement quashing of FIR when to be declined


TagTagline: Even when there is a settlement, the view of the offender and victim will not prevail since it is in the interest of society that the offender should be punished to deter others from committing a similar crime.

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

High Court was justified into entertain the application for quashing the First Information Reportin the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction. The High Court has adverted to twosignificant circumstances. Each of them has a bearing on whether theexercise of the jurisdiction under Section 482 to quash the FIR wouldor secure the ends of justice or prevent an abuse of the process of the court. The first is that the appellants were absconding and warrants had been issued against them under Section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The second is that the appellants have criminal antecedents, reflected in the chart which has been extracted in the earlier part of this judgment. The High Court adverted to the modus operandi which had been followed by the appellants in grabbing valuable parcels of land and noted that in the past as well, they were alleged to have been connected with such nefarious activities by opening bogus bank accounts. It was in this view of the matter that the High Court observed that in a case involving extortion, forgery and conspiracy where all the appellants were acting as a team, it was
not in the interest of society to quash the FIR on the ground that a settlement had been arrived at with the complainant. We agree with the view of the High Court. The present case, as the allegations in the FIR would demonstrate, is not merely one involving a private dispute over a land transaction between two contesting parties. The case involves allegations of extortion, forgery and fabrication of documents, utilization of fabricated documents to effectuate transfers of title before the registering authorities and the deprivation of the complainant of his interest in land on the basis of a fabricated power of attorney. If the allegations in the FIR are construed as they stand, it is evident that they implicate serious offences having a bearing on a vital societal interest in securing the probity of titles to or interest in land. Such offences cannot be construed to be merely private or civil disputes but implicate the societal interest in prosecuting serious crime. In these circumstances, the High Court was eminently justified in declining to quash the FIR which had been registered under Sections 384, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 506(2) of the
Penal Code.