498A Quash Against Married Sister-in-Law

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA

KALABURAGI BENCH

DATED THIS THE 30TH DAY OF MARCH, 2016

BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.N.PHANEENDRA

CRIMINAL PETITION NO.200080/2016
BETWEEN

1. SMT. ARCHANA
W/O RAKESH KOTLI
AGED ABOUT 29 YEARS
OCC: HOUSEHOLD WORK

2. SMT. CHETANA
W/O UMESH KUMAR KOTLI
AGED ABOUT 31 YEARS
OCC: HOUSEHOLD WORK

BOTH THE PETITIONERS ARE
R/O NO.92, SRI. SHANKARA NILAYA
12TH MAIN, 50 FEET ROAD
HANUMANTHA NAGAR,
BENGALURU- 19  … PETITIONERS

(BY SRI. R.S. LAGALI, ADVOCATE)

AND

1. THE STATE OF KARNATAKA
REP. BY MAHILA PS.,KALABURAGI

2. SMT. DIVA,
W/O MAHESH KOTLI
AGED ABOUT 31 YEARS
OCC: HOUSEHOLD WORK
R/O VIDYANAGAR COLONY
PLOT NO.32 BADEPUR,SEDAM ROAD,KALABURAGI- 585 101 … RESPONDENTS

(BY SRI. MAQBOOL AHMED, HCGP. FOR R1; R2 -SERVED & UNREPRESENTED)

THIS CRL.P IS FILED U/S. 482 OF CR.P.C. PRAYING
TO QUASH THE PROCESS DATED 07.05.2015 IN C.C.
NO.2974/2015 ON THE FILE OF THE II ADDL. CIVIL
JUDGE AND JMFC, KALABURAGI IN CRIME NO.14/2013,
ETC.

THIS PETITION COMING ON FOR ADMISSION THIS
DAY, THE COURT PASSED THE FOLLOWING:

ORDER

The petitioners are before this Court seeking quashing of the order, taking cognizance and issuance of process against them by the 2nd Additional Civil Judge and JMFC, Kalaburagi, in C.C. No.2974/2015 registered for the offences punishable under Section 506, 498A, 504, 324 r/w. Section 34 and also under Sections 3 & 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act ( for short, ‘D.P. Act’). The petitioners are arraigned as Accused Nos.7 & 8 respectively in the said case.

2. I have heard the arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned HCGP.

3. I have perused the entire charge sheet. If the charge sheet papers specifically coupled with the contents of the First Information Report are read, it disclose that, some allegations are made by the complainant against some of the accused persons. It is seen that the complainant by name Smt. Diva, w/o. Mahesh Kotli had lodged a complaint making certain allegations against her husband and his family members stating that, she was given in marriage to the said Mahesh Kotli on 13.05.2009. After the marriage, her husband and his family members started ill-treating and harassing her in demand of further dowry and gold ornaments etc. Sofar as these petitioners are concerned, they are wives of the brothers of the husband of the complainant. The addresses mentioned sofaras these petitioners are concerned, shows that they are residing along with their respective husbands at different places. It is an admitted fact that the brothers of the husband of the complainant are residing separately. The FIR discloses that the complainant has implicated these two petitioners only with reference to the incident that alleged to have been taken place on 14.03.2013. On a careful perusal of the allegations it is noticed that, till that day there is absolutely no allegation of any sort insofar as these two petitioners are concerned. It is alleged that on 14.03.2013 at about 7.30 am., when the complainant was sweeping the house, at that time all the accused persons including the petitioners came in a TATA Sumo vehicle to the house of the complainant. It is further alleged that, the accused by name Umesh caught hold the complainant and closed the mouth of the complainant by his hand, another accused Rakesh caught hold her hands from back side and her mother-in-law attempted to throttle the neck of the complainant and it is stated that ” others instigated the accused by saying to kill the complainant”. Except that one sentence nothing is there to connect these petitioners into the crime.

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4. On complete reading of the entire complaint averments, I find not even a single allegation that at any point of time, these petitioners were involved in causing any inconvenience to the complainant by demanding any dowry or harassing her in any manner. It is only a vague allegation that appears to have been made taking advantage of their presence at the spot on that particular day. In this background it is worth to note here a decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in 2013 AIR SCW 3651 [CHANDRALEKHA & OTHERS VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN & ANOTHER], wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court has observed at Paragraph-8 in the following manner:

“8.We must, at the outset, state that the High Court’s view on jurisdiction meets with our approval and we confirm the view. However, after a careful perusal of the FIR and after taking into consideration the attendant circumstances, we are of the opinion that the FIR lodged by respondent 2 insofar as it relates to appellants- 1, 2 and 3 deserves to be quashed. The allegations are extremely general in nature. No specific role is attributed to each of the appellants.

Respondent-2 has stated that after the marriage, she resided with her husband at Ahmedabad. It is not clear whether appellants-1, 2 and 3 were residing with them at Ahmedabad. The marriage took place on 09.07.2002 and respondent-2 left her matrimonial home on 15.02.2003 ie., within a

period of seven months. Thereafter, respondent-2 took no steps to file any complaint against the appellants. Six years after she left the house, the present FIR is lodged making extremely vague and general allegations against appellants- 1, 2 and 3. It is important to remember that appellant-

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2 is a married sister-in-law. In our opinion, such extra ordinary delay in lodging the FIR raises grave doubt about the truthfulness of allegations made by respondent-2 against appellants-1, 2 Sand 3, which are, in any case, general in nature. We have no doubt that by making such reckless and vague allegations, respondent-2 has tried to rope them in this case along with her husband. We are of the confirmed opinion that continuation of the criminal proceedings against appellants-1, 2 and 3 pursuant to this FIR is an abuse of process of law. In the interest of justice, therefore, the FIR deserves to be quashed insofar as it relates to appellants-1, 2 and 3.”

(Emphasis supplied)

5. It is crystal clear from the above said decision that when the two married sisters of the husband of the complainant in the said case were residing separately along with their husband, unnecessarily their names have also been included and some allegations have also been made. But, the Court held that the allegations were too general and vague in nature. When such allegations are made, taking into consideration all the surrounding circumstances of the case, the Court has quashed the First Information Report. The above said decision is aptly applicable sofar as this case is concerned. Once again at the cost of repetition, I can say that the entire FIR and the charge sheet with surrounding circumstances, if it is read, at no point of time, it is said that these petitioners have caused any inconvenience and harassment to the complainant, except stating that on the date of incident in question, they were also present at the spot of incident and some persons have raised their voice instigating the other accused to kill the complainant. Even it is not stated specifically that these two persons have specifically used those words against the complainant.

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6. In view of the above circumstances, there is no hesitation for me to quash the proceedings sofar as these petitioners are concerned.

Accordingly, I pass the following:

ORDER The petition is allowed. Consequently, the entire proceedings in C.C. No.2974/2015 on the file of the II Additional Civil Judge and JMFC, Gulbarga, is hereby quashed sofar as it relates to the petitioners are concerned.

Judge KGR (30/Mar/2016)

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