The Madhya Pradesh High Court has quashed an FIR for rape, also involving POCSO Act offences, after recording the undertaking of the accused, at the request of the prosecutrix, that they will not take any action against the prosecutrix for bounced cheques worth Rs.10 lakhs. The accused petitioners had contended that the rape case was filed immediately after the prosecutrix realised that her cheques were dishonoured. The prosecutrix agreed to quashing of the FIR subject to the accused giving the said undertaking.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Subodh Abhyankar was dealing with a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) lodged in Indore, Madhya Pradesh under Sections 376(2)(f), 328, 384 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 5 and 6 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Senior Advocate S.K. Vyas along with Advocate Aditya Goyal appeared for the Petitioners while Advocates Harshlata Soni and Manoj Kumar Ghode appeared for the Respondents.

As per the FIR, the prosecutrix was subjected to rape when she was a minor and was also subjected to abortion many a time. However, the FIR was filed with a delay of 8-9 years.

The Petitioner-accused persons submitted to the High Court that there was some misunderstanding between the petitioners and the victim, which led to the filing of the FIR. They stated that there was some monetary dispute between the parties regarding which, two cheques of Rs.5 lakhs each were also issued by the prosecutrix to petitioner No.1 and as both these cheques were dishonoured, when the victim came to know about it, she has lodged the FIR in 2023 alleging rape and blackmail since 2014-2015. On the allegations of abortion, the Petitioners stated that absolutely nothing is on record to suggest that the victim ever underwent any abortion.

On the other hand, the prosecutrix placed no objection to settling the matter. She also told the Court that the petitioners shall give it in writing that they would not take any action against her and would not claim the amount of Rs.10 lakhs, which is mentioned in the cheque.

Considering the submissions, the Court in its order observed, "This Court is inclined to allow this petition as the accused persons belong to one and the same family as the prosecutrix happens to be the daughter of the sister of the wife of the petitioner No.1 and counsel for the petitioner has also submitted that they would not take any coercive action against the prosecutrix as all the matters between them have been settled."

The Court further observed, "The FIR itself has been lodged after a period of 9 years and even as per the FIR, the age of the prosecutrix is 26 years. Thus, it cannot be said that the prosecutrix is not aware of the facts and circumstances of the case or that she has not given her consent consciously. In view of the same, since the case is at its initial stage, and even the charge sheet has not been filed, this Court is inclined to allow the present petition."

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and quashed the FIR registered at Police Station M.G. Road, Indore under Sections 376(2)(f), 328, 384 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 5/6 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Cause Title: Sunil Dixit & Ors. v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr. [WRIT PETITION No. 27218 of 2023]

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