Delhi HC quashes two Matrimonial & POCSO FIRs against lawyers but asks him to do 10 pro bono cases

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High Court of Delhi Quashes FIRs in Matrimonial Dispute Following Amicable Settlement

New Delhi, August 29, 2023 – In a significant development, the High Court of Delhi has quashed two FIRs arising from a matrimonial dispute following an amicable settlement between the parties involved. The judgment was delivered by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma on August 29, 2023, in response to petitions filed seeking the quashing of the FIRs.

The two FIRs in question were FIR No. 843/2020 and FIR No. 477/2020. FIR No. 843/2020, registered at PS New Usmanpur, Delhi, accused the petitioner of mental and physical harassment, cruelty, dowry demands, beatings, and threats under sections 498A/406/34 IPC and Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. FIR No. 477/2020, registered at PS Amar Colony, alleged that the petitioner misappropriately touched their daughter and was filed under Section 354 IPC and 10 POCSO Act.

Both FIRs were filed by the wife of the petitioner, leading to ongoing legal proceedings. However, the parties reached an amicable settlement on May 11, 2023, before the Mediation Centre, Saket Courts. The terms of the settlement included a mutual separation through Talaq, the waiver of all claims by the first party (wife), custody of minor children with the first party, and dissolution of marriage according to Shariat Law. Additionally, the settlement provided for the quashing of the FIRs and future meetings between the petitioner and the children.

The parties involved, both lawyers by profession, submitted their willingness to withdraw the FIRs and settle their disputes voluntarily, keeping the children’s best interests in mind. They also clarified that the settlement did not affect the rights and interests of the children, who could avail themselves of legal remedies independently.

“In the present case, admittedly the dispute arose due to matrimonial discord between the parties. The petitioner is stated to have clear past antecedents. The FIR lodged under provisions of POCSO have admittedly been lodged owing to misunderstandings between the parties,” the Court said

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma acknowledged the matrimonial nature of the disputes and the amicable settlement.

He noted that such cases often burden the criminal justice system and directed the petitioner, a lawyer, to handle ten Pro bono cases. The compliance report is to be filed within a month.

The High Court’s decision to quash the FIRs underlines the importance of alternative dispute resolution methods in resolving matrimonial disputes, reducing the burden on the legal system, and ensuring that the best interests of the parties involved, particularly children, are considered.

The case is now set for compliance review on October 11, 2023, when the petitioner’s Pro bono cases will be assessed.

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