SC: Heinous crimes can't be quashed despite settlement by parties
The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that criminal proceedings in heinous offenses such as rape, murder, dacoity and financial fraud can't be subjected to out-of-court settlements. It justified its decision saying such crimes aren't private in nature and impact society seriously. The court said proceedings in criminal cases which were primarily civil in nature can be quashed if the parties settled the dispute amicably.
The SC brought financial and economic fraud on par with serious offenses such as murder and rape. The court said subjecting these to an out-of-court settlement would negatively impact the country's economic system. "Economic offenses involving the financial and economic well-being of the state have implications which lie beyond the domain of a mere dispute between private disputants," the SC said.
The SC ruling came while dismissing an appeal by four people accused of grabbing land in Gujarat based on forged documents. The accused sought the quashing of the FIR against them. They argued the case had been settled with the landowner who had filed a criminal complaint against them. The court said if economic offenders aren't prosecuted, the entire community would be distressed.