PANCHAYATI COMPROMISE NO GROUND TO QUASH FIR IN MATRIMONIAL CASE
The Punjab and Haryana high court in a recent judgement has made it clear that a FIR in a matrimonial case cannot be quashed on the basis of any Panchayati compromise, as the genuineness and probability of such compromise is to be looked into during trial of the case.
FIR was registered against the Petitioner, Gurvinder Singh, a BSF soldier from Kaithal district of Haryana, on April 9, 2019, on the basis of the complaint submitted by his estranged wife alleging that her marriage was solemnized with the petitioner on November 13, 2016. The petitioner along with his parents was not happy with the dowry articles and she was being harassed and taunted on that score. As the petitioner continued to subject her to merciless beatings, her family members came to take her back on March 29, 2019, but he forcibly snatched their son and educational documents from her.
Gurvinder Singh then filed a petition for quashing the FIR No. 43, dated April 9, 2019, under sections 323, 498-A, 406, 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code for dowry harassment and related charges.
FIR Quashing in 498A matters is being used by High Courts to prevent misuse of the provision where abuse of process is caused but this is sparingly used by the courts today. In my view, where the matters are coming to end and nothing else survives after a prolonged litigation then one must try Quashing of FIR at Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh.
After hearing the matter, the HC observed that the main plank of argument on behalf of the petitioner is that the matrimonial dispute has been amicably settled in terms of the Panchayati compromise and the FIR was registered despite that. The court while dismissing the plea finally held that it will be too early to accept the genuineness of any such compromise. The execution of any such Panchayati compromise will be the defence version of the petitioner and its genuineness and probability is to be looked into during the course of trial.
PANCHAYATI COMPROMISE as per settled law don’t have any legal backing, especially in Matrimonial cases. One has to follow the rule of law. Previously, Panchayats were also granting divorce decree, but court has made it clear that it is illegal in the eyes of law per se and won’t have any recognition. So in India one don’t need to worry about these Panchayat Diktats as rule of law is supreme in our country.
You may refer to the Supreme Court order by Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan here.
You might want to read judgments on Divorce through Panchayat. Then read it on Indian Kanoon.