In a significant step towards reducing the pendency of cases, the Bombay High Court, on Thursday, said that the court would consider quashing criminal cases, if both the parties mutually agreed.
The observation was made by a division bench of justices PB Varale and SM Modak, which not only hears criminal cases but also petitions seeking quashing of such cases. The judges, however, assertively specified that the move won't be applicable to rape cases and cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
Usually, the aforementioned bench has a long list of cases for hearing every day; there were 89 cases listed for hearing on Thursday. Of them, 29 cases could be heard.
Before rising, the judges asked the advocates present to give details of their cases in which they had sought to quash the criminal case by victim's consent.
In further directions with regards to quashing of cases, the bench said that the advocates will have to give case details like at which police stations it was filed and whether the chargesheet was registered in the case. Subsequently, the complainant and victim will have to file an affidavit, stating that they give their consent to quash the case.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik, said, “The judges will go through the case details submitted by the advocates, and verify the same with the prosecution case." Wherever, it's not affecting public order, the court will consider passing appropriate order, he explained.
The bench's remark came as a surprise for advocate Shahid Ali Ansari who was expecting an adjournment after his long wait for hearing over his matter listed at serial number 33.
Ansari’s client had sought quashing the complaint filed by his wife for alleged cruelty. However, subsequently, she agreed to quash the complaint.
Following HC oral directions, Ansari and advocate for the wife, Abhinandan Waghmare, then submitted the details to the court.
“This is a very good move. In a short while, more than 60 cases would be decided,” Ansari said.