Mumbai : The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently ruled that offences against any person cannot be quashed merely because the accused has paid medical expenses of the complainant or the victim. The HC said that if a First Information Report (FIR) is quashed on such a ground then surely thousands of people would approach the court seeking a similar relief.
A division bench of Justice Prasanna Varale and Justice Vibha Kankanwadi delivered the ruling while hearing a bunch of writ petitions seeking quashing of an FIR. The petitions were filed by five men, who were booked for rioting, criminal intimidation and also attempt to murder.
The men were arrested by Sangamner city police on the basis of an FIR registered by the victim, who claimed that the five men had not only attacked and assaulted him and his friends but also had stabbed him with a knife.
The victim claimed that the deadly brawl took place only after one of the accused had urinated on his car.
Pursuant to the filing of the FIR, the police arrested the five accused and conducted a thorough investigation in the case. The police also filed its charge sheet in the case and the trial is yet to commence since the accused had approached the HC seeking quashing of the FIR.
Surprisingly, the victim and his friends also sought quashing of the FIR claiming that there was some ‘misunderstanding’ amongst the parties. The victim further claimed that since the FIR was false, consequently he would not depose against the accused. The victim also said that the accused were his college friends. He also contended that he did not desire to prosecute the case further since the accused have paid off his medical expenses and have compensated him.
Having considered the submissions, the judges said, “When the victim says in the FIR that the assailants were totally unknown, now he is coming with a case of friendship, due to intra-college activities. Thus it can be seen that it is a total somersault.”
“It is stated that all the medical expenses of injured have been paid. Merely by paying the medical expenses if a person is allowed to get rid of the offences, then such fact cannot be said to be in the interest of justice. It would open a floodgate and parties will try to just pay off, maybe under pressure or by putting pressure, for the expense to those injured persons in order to secure a compromise,” the judges ruled. Accordingly, the judges said to secure the ends of justice the ‘compromise’ should not be permitted by quashing the FIR.