NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday held that a complainant has no right to withdraw a plaint in grave and serious offence as the crime is committed against society and not just an individual and that proceedings cannot be quashed on the ground of monetary settlement or compromise between the offender and the victim or his/her family.
A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanian set aside a verdict of the Gujarat HC of quashing of criminal proceedings in an abatement of suicide case after the complainant, who was also cousin brother of the deceased, and the accused came to a settlement. The top court held that any settlement between the offender and the complainant will not prevail upon the interest of society to bring to justice the accused and said that if it is allowed, then financially strong offenders would go scot-free in criminal cases.
“Orders quashing FIRs and/or complaints relating to grave and serious offences only on the basis of an agreement with the complainant, would set a dangerous precedent, where complaints would be lodged for oblique reasons, with a view to extracting money from the accused. Furthermore, financially strong offenders would go scot-free, even in cases of grave and serious offences such as murder, rape, bride-burning, etc. by buying off informants/complainants and settling with them,” the bench said.