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Criminal proceedings for offence under section 307, I.P.C. could not be quashed

Being aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order dated 29.7.2018 passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh in Miscellaneous Criminal Case No. 6075 of 2013, by which the High Court has quashed the criminal proceedings pending against the present respondent herein by Crime No. 23 of 2013 for the offences under sections 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. registered at the Police Station has preferred the present appeal.

By the impugned judgment and order, the High Court in exercise of power under section 482 of the Cr. P.C. has quashed the criminal proceedings against the original accused which were for the offences under section 307, 294 read with section 34 off the I.P.C., solely on the ground that the original Complainant does not want to prosecute the accused and, therefore, there is no change of recording conviction against the accused persons. At this stage, it is required to be noted that the said application was opposed by State.

Hon’ble Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah, JJ., have held that it is required to be noted that the original accused was facing the criminal proceedings under sections 307, 294 read with section 34 of I.P.C. It is not in dispute that as per section 20 of the Cr. P.C. offences under sections 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. are non-compoundable. It is also required to be noted that the allegations in the complaint for the offences under section 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. are, as such, very serious. It is alleged that the accused fired twice on the complainant by a country –made pistol. From the material on record, it appears that one of the accused persons was reported to be a hardcore criminal having criminal antecedents. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the accused was facing the criminal proceedings for the offences under section 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. and that the offences under these sections are non-compoundable offences and, looking to the serious allegations against the accused, we are of the opinion that the High Court has committed a grave error in quashing the criminal proceedings for the offences under section 307, 294 with section 34 of the I.P.C. solely on the ground that the original Complainant and the accuse have settled the dispute. At this stage, the decision of this Court in the case of Gulab Das and others v. State of M.P., is required to be referred to. In the said decision, this Court has specifically observed and held that, despite any settlement between the Complainant on the one hand and the accused on the other, the criminal proceedings for the offences under section 307 of the I.P.C. cannot be quashed, as the offence under section 307 is a non-compoundable offence. Under the circumstance, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court quashing the criminal proceedings against the original accused for the offences under section 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. cannot be sustained and the same deserves to be quashed and set aside.

In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the present appeal is allowed. The impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court in Miscellaneous Criminal Case No. 6075 of 2013 is hereby quashed and set aside. Consequently, the criminal proceedings under section 307, 294 read with section 34 of the I.P.C. registered at Police Station Maharajpur, District Gwalior be proceeded further in accordance with law and on its merits.
State of M P v. Kalyan Singh, 2019 (194) AIC 88 SC

Remedy available under Consumer Act is in addition to other laws

This Court in the series of judgments as noticed above considered the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as well as Arbitration Act, 1996 and laid down that complaint under Consumer Protection Act being a special remedy, despite there being an arbitration agreement the proceedings before Consumer Forum have to go on and no error committed by Consumer Forum on rejecting the application. There is reason for not interjecting proceedings under Consumer Protection Act on the strength an arbitration agreement by Act, 1996. The remedy under Consumer Protection Act is a remedy provided to a consumer when there is a defect in any goods or services. The complaint means any allegation in writing made by a complainant has also been in section 2(c ) of the Act. The remedy under the Consumer Protection Act is confined to complaint by consumer as defined under the Act for defect or deficiencies caused by a service provider, the cheap and a quick remedy has been provided to the consumer which is the object and purpose of the Act as noticed above.

The complaints filed under the Consumer Protection Act can also be proceeded with despite there being any arbitration agreement between the parties which have been well-settled by the catena of decisions as noticed above.

The words “notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of the Supreme Court or any Court” added by amendment in section 8 were with intent to minimise the intervention of judicial authority in context of arbitration agreement. As per the amended section 8(1), the judicial authority has only to consider the question whether the parties have a valid arbitration agreement? The Court cannot refuse to refer the parties to arbitration “unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists”. The amended provision, thus, limits the intervention by judicial authority to only one aspect, i.e., refusal by judicial authority to refer is confined to only one aspect, when it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.
This Court, thus, in the above cases has noticed that amendments are expressed to apply notwithstanding any prior judicial precedents, but the scope of amendment under section 8(1) was confined to three categories as has been noted in Paragraph No. 29. Amendments under section 8, thus, were aimed to minimise the scope of judicial authority to refuse reference to arbitration and only ground on which reference could have refused was that it prima facie finds that no valid arbitration agreement exists. Notwithstanding any prior judicial precedents referred to under section 8(1) relates to those judicial precedents, which explained the discretion and power of judicial authority to examine various aspects while exercising power section 8.

This Court held that disputes within the trust, trustees and beneficiaries are not capable of being decided by the arbitrator despite existence of arbitration agreement to that effect between the parties. This Court held that the remedy provided under the Arbitration Act for deciding such disputes is barred by implication. The ratio laid down in the above case is fully applicable with regard to disputes raised in consumer for a.

The Court, however, hasten to add that in the event a person entitled to seek an additional special remedy provided under the statutes does not opt for the additional/special remedy and he is a party to an arbitration agreement, there is no inhibition in disputes being proceeded in arbitration. It is only the case where specific/special remedies are provided for and which are opted by an aggrieved person that judicial authority can refuse to relegate the parties to the arbitration.
Emaar MGF Land Ltd v. Aftab Singh, 2019 (194) AIC 105 SC

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