Friday, February 5, 2021

Akhtar falsely represents himself as Shiva; forges marriage certificate with Hindu girl: Delhi High Court refuses to quash FIR

The Delhi High Court has refused to quash an FIR alleging that one Akhtar falsely represented himself as Shiva and had a physical relationship with a Hindu girl on promise of marriage (Akhtar vs State).

The order was passed by a single-judge Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad in a petition by the accused for quashing of the FIR pursuant to an amicable settlement between the parties. 

"A reading of the allegations in the FIR and the Status Report, it is evident that the petitioner has been accused of serious offences like rape and forgery having a bearing on vital societal interest and these offences cannot be construed to be merely private or civil disputes but rather will have an effect on the society at large. In crimes which seriously endangers the well being of the society, it is not safe to leave the crime doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute amicably," the Court said. 

As per the Complainant (a Hindu girl), when the accused met her, he claimed his name was Shiva. It was stated that the accused promised that he would marry her and they became physically intimate.

The Complainant stated that it was only later that she came to know that the accused's real name was Akhtar. 

She stated in the FIR that the accused took her to Arya Samaj Mandir and they both got married there. In the marriage certificate, the accused gave his name as Akhtar, it was stated. 

After the marriage, the accused started demanding money and when the girl visited his parents, she was driven away by them.

Subsequently, an FIR for the commission of offences under Sections 419, 467, 471, 474, 376 354,506 read with Section 34 IPC was registered against the accused. 

The accused filed the present petition under Section 482 CrPC for quashing the FIR on the ground that the Complainant had pardoned him and they were willing to lead their marital life peacefully.

The Court noted that as per the status report filed by the Police, the Complainant had supported the allegations in her statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC.

It was further noted that the accused had "hid his identity", was "sexually exploiting" the Complainant for five years and had even forged Aadhaar Cards as he had one in the name of Akhtar and a second one in the name of Shiva. 

The marriage certificate from the Trust was also found to be a fake one, the Court added. 

The Court stated that although the power to quash proceedings in non-compoundable offences under Section 482 CrPC was recognised, the same had to be differentiated from the power of compounding offences under Section 320 CrPC.

Discussing a series of case laws on quashing of FIRs in non-compoundable offences, the Court stated that the guiding factor for the High Court in such cases is to secure the ends of justice and to prevent abuse of process of any court.

Applying these principles to the facts of the present case, the Court thus opined, 

"An offence of rape is an offence against the society at large and apart from offence under Section 376, the petitioner is also accused of committing offences under Sections 419,467,468,471,474,506 and 34 IPC.

This Court is not in a position to quash the FIR on the basis of compromise entered into between the parties and wherein it is stated that the petitioner/accused and the respondent No.2/complaint have decided to stay as husband and wife and lead their peaceful marital life."

The Court stated that the present case was not of one of a matrimonial dispute between the husband and wife for the reason that the accused had not married the Complainant. 

"The marriage certificate is found to be fake one and in any event, the petitioner could not have married the respondent No.2/complainant in Arya Samaj Mandir according to the Hindu Vedic Rites and Customs."

Stating that serious offences like rape and forgery have a bearing on vital societal interest and were not private, the Court dismissed the petition for quashing of FIR. 

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