The Bombay High Court at Aurangabad Bench while deciding an application held that there is no embargo in exercising powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code to quash the proceedings at the post-conviction stage.

The Court said that the powers under Section 482 can be exercised in post-conviction matters when an appeal is pending before one or other Judicial Forum.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anuja Prabhudesai and Justice R.M. Joshi observed, “… it is clear that powers under Section 482 of Cr.P.C can be exercised in post conviction matters when an appeal is pending before one or the other judicial forum. In the instant case, as noted above, it is stated that the appeal filed by the Applicants is pending before the Sessions Court, Aurangabad. Hence, there is no embargo in exercising power under Section 482 of Cr.P.C to quash present proceedings at post conviction stage, particularly considering the fact that the proceedings are emanating from the matrimonial dispute.”

The Bench further said that it was satisfied with the fact that the settlement between the parties was voluntary and genuine.

Advocate Afzal Hussain. M. Vakil appeared on behalf of the applicants while Advocate Shaikh Wajeed Ahmed and APP A.R. Kale appeared for the complainant and State respectively.

In this case, the applicants sought to quash the criminal proceedings for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 323, 504, and 506 read with Section 34 of the IPC. The complainant had earlier filed a case against her husband and his parents as there was a rift in the matrimonial ties. She alleged that the applicants demanded a dowry of Rs. 5,00,000/- and that they subjected her to physical and mental cruelty for not meeting the unlawful demand.

Upon considering the evidence adduced by the prosecution, the Magistrate held the applicants guilty of the said offences and sentenced them to undergo simple imprisonment of 6 months and a fine of Rs. 2,000/- each. Being aggrieved by the said conviction and sentence, the applicants preferred an appeal before the District and Sessions Judge which was pending.

The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel asserted, “The Respondent No. 2 is present before the Court. She confirms that she and the Applicant No. 1 have separated by way of Khula. She has further admitted having received Rs. 3,25,000/- along with Meher from the Applicant No. 1. She has given no objection to quash the proceedings. It is stated that the Applicants have no other criminal antecedents.”

The Court noted that it is a fit case to exercise the inherent power of the Court under Section 482 of Cr.PC. to secure the ends of justice.

The Court, therefore, quashed the conviction order passed by the Trial Court and set aside the criminal proceedings for the offences.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the application.

Cause Title- Shaikh Shaukat S/o. Majit @ Majid Patel and Others v. The State of Maharashtra and Another

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