New Delhi: Mohan (name changed) handed over Rs 60 lakh and the keys of two flats to his estranged wife. It was supposed to be a settlement for getting an FIR against him quashed. But he got a rude shock when the Delhi High Court refused to quash the FIR even after he paid the money and parted with the flats.
The High Court said that since Mohan has not agreed to give divorce by mutual consent, the FIR should not be quashed.
Almost three years on, the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of Mohan, who was left high and dry after he gave away the money and flats but still faced criminal charges of trespassing and theft.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi recently junked the FIR against Mohan after noting that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) did not require him to also give divorce.
It highlighted that payment of one-time settlement money along with the two houses were the only conditions stipulated in the MoU for quashing of the FIR registered in Delhi and, thus, the High Court erred in adding divorce by mutual consent as an additional condition.
"There is no dispute that Rs 60 lakh and the immovable properties have been parted with. We do not find any term in the MoU which relates to divorce. In these circumstances, as the terms of the MoU have been complied with by the appellant and divorce is not a part thereof, the High Court, according to us, fell into error in refusing to quash the impugned criminal proceedings against the appellant," noted the top court.
It then quashed the FIR registered against Mohan in 2014 at the instance of his estranged wife and left the question of divorce to be decided in appropriate proceedings.