The Kerala High Court has recalled three orders of quashing FIRs in two cases of child sexual assault and one case of rape. The bench of Justice K Haripal had passed these orders to quash these FIRs and the same bench has now recalled these orders stating that while passing these orders, it had not noticed the decision of Supreme Court that serious offences like murder, rape cannot be quashed even if the victim’s family and the accused settle the dispute.
“At the time of passing the said orders, this Court had not noticed the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab and Another [2012(4) KLT 108], where it is specifically held that while invoking the jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the prime consideration should be to secure ends of justice, to prevent abuse of the process of court. The court has also stated that heinous and serious offence of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc., cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim’s family and the offender have settled the dispute,” the order reads.
The court explained that while passing the orders for quashing under section 482 of CrPC the court had in mind decisions passed in Manoj Sharma v. State (2008) and Madan Mohan Abbot v. State of Punjab (2008) where it is held that when the parties reach a settlement on their own, ordinarily the court shall not refuse to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
The Supreme Court precedents make it clear that whenever offences of murder, rape, dacoity etc., are alleged, the court shall not invoke its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., on the ground that the matter was settled between the parties.
The petitioners’ counsels pointed out that once orders are pronounced and signed by the court, they become functus officio and cannot be reviewed by the court. “But the argument cannot be accepted for the reason that these cases are called today not to review the orders but to point out the omission to note the law laid down by the Apex Court which is binding on this Court,” the court observed.
The court suo moto recalled the three orders passed in Crl.M.C. Nos. 5765, 5866 of 2020 & 2294 of 2021 and held that when the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is not considered, it is a serious matter and therefore, there is no legal impediment in recalling the orders.
The court ordered that these cases will be heard by a bench as per the roster, and will be posted after re-opening after summer break of the court.
The order may be read here: