Matrimonial row: The Supreme Court has quashed criminal proceedings pending against the ex-husband of a woman following an amicable settlement between the parties.
While relying on a judgement of 2003, the top court bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna granted relief to the ex-husband and quashed all proceedings initiated against him concerning sections 498A, 427, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and invoked its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.
“…if the Court is satisfied that the parties have genuinely settled the disputes amicably, then for the purpose of securing ends of justice, criminal proceedings inter-se parties can be quashed by exercising the powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India1 or even under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,” Justice MM Sundresh of the bench, added.
Settlement agreement reached
The SC noted that it was apparent the parties had resolved their disputes and had reached a settlement agreement, after which a decree of mutual divorce was granted in 2012. The man then approached the High Court of Karnataka seeking to quash the criminal proceedings against him but his prayer was rejected. The top court noted that this was done despite the settlement between the parties.
According to the Supreme Court order, the woman had already remarried and though she was served, she did not appear before it. Taking note of precedent and the fact that the man is an officer in the Border Security Force, which is a demanding job requiring him to serve in different parts of the country, criminal proceedings that were pending against him were quashed.
“In the facts of the case, we do not feel that any useful purpose would be served by continuation of the prosecution. The appellant, who is an officer in the Border Security Force and as per the job requirement, has to serve in different parts of the country, would be put to harassment,” the Supreme Court noted.
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