False 498A against Sister-in-law Quashed

In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

Criminal Misc. No.M-2116 of 2011 (O&M)

Date of decision: 5.7.2012

Channo Devi @ Charno……Petitioner
Versus
State of Haryana and another…….Respondents

CORAM: HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE SABINA

Present: Mr.H.S.Sullar, Advocate, for the petitioners.
Mr.Gaurav Dhir, DAG, Haryana.
Mr.Sanjay Jain, Advocate, for respondent No.2.

SABINA, J.

Petitioner has preferred this petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for quashing of FIR No.124 dated 29.7.2010 under Section 498-A/ 307/ 406/ 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC for short) registered at Police Station Ambala Sadar, District Ambala (Annexure P-1) and all the subsequent proceedings arising therefrom.

FIR (Annexure P-1) reads as under:-

“The complainant submits as under:-1. That the complainant was married with accused no. 1 Ram Ji son of Kuldeep Singh, R/o Village Munak Distt. Karnal as per Hindu Rites and ceremonies at village Sarangpur, P.S. Sadar Ambala, Tehsil and Distt. Ambala on 15.02.2009,

2. That the father of the complainant spent on the marriage of the complainant more than his capacity. He arranged the marriage in Dulhan Farm Hissar Road Ambala city and provided good food and other facilities to the Baraties and spent Rs. 2,00,000/- on marriage party in Dulhan Farm. 3. That at the time of departure of Barat a huge dowry was entrusted to the accused nos. 1 and 2 for the purpose of giving the same to the complainant in her matrimonial house which was for the exclusive use of the complainant a separate list of the dowry article is attached along with the complaint, 4. That accused no. 1 husband and accused no. 2 the father in law of the complainant and Smt. Nahmo Devi alias Bimla accused no. 3 and Nanad Channo Devi were not satisfied with this much and they started to tease the complainant on the pretext that the complainant has not brought anything worthwhile in her marriage and started to say that her (complainant’s) father has not given a car in the marriage and instead has given a Motor Cycle. All the accused started to demand a car and the others to pressurize the complainant to meet out their illegal demand of car and they also started to give beatings to the complainant every now and then on one pretext or the other 5. That having felt disturbed mentally and harassed the complainant reported the same to her father and told that her in law i.e. husband, father, mother-in-law and Nanad were demanded a car and also told that they often beat her to compel her to met out their illegal demand. The father of the complainant on the receipt of the complainant went to village Munak alongwith members of his Biradari and he alongwith other member panchayat made their best to make the accused persons understand that he could not given anything more than what he had already give in the marriage of his daughter on this all accused persons became furious and they started to quarrel with the father of the complainant and other members of brother hood accompanying him the accused persons also declared that they would not keep the complainant in their house unless a car is not given to them. However with the accused agreed to keep the complainant in her matrimonial house and also promised that they would not demand anything again in future. 6. That time went on going and the accused persons out of lust of dowry again started to demand a car in the same manner and fashion and again started to maltreat the complainant and beat her or the other to pressurize their demand. They also started to deny her food and other basic amenities of life in her matrimonial house. The complainant continued to bear all the same with the hope that good sense would prevail on the accused persons one day or the other but the accused persons did not mend their habits and they made the complainant to and her life by committing suicide. The accused persons created such an atmosphere in the house that she felt danger to her life. The accused persons harassed the complainant to such an extent to coerced the parents of the complainant to meet the unlawful demand of the accused persons. 7. That when the parents of the complainant did not meet the unlawful demand of the accused persons all the accused persons gave beatings to the complainant on 27.06.2010 and tried to put her on fire by sprinkling on her clothes. The complainant however made hue and cry and on hearing her noise the people from the neighborhood gathered at the spot and they escaped her from the cruel clutches of the accused persons. The complainant left the house of the complainant feeling danger to her life and came to the house of her parents at village Sarangpur P.S. Sadar Ambala Tehsil and District Ambala. She told everything to her parents. Upon which the father of the complainant made an application to S.P. Karnal through the complainant stating there in everything what happened to her in her in laws house on 28.06.10. The application made to S.P. Karnal was made over to Incharge Parivar Pramarash Kendar Karnal for necessary action but the matter could not be solved and the grievances of the complainant were not redressed for the eye-wash of the complainant and her father the Incharge Parivar Pramarash Kendar Karnal got a fictitious as well as vage compromise effected where in the accused party had promised to take the complainant to her matrimonial house by 15.07.2010 but non has come to take the complainant back in her matrimonial house and she still is living with her parents at village Sarangpur P.S. Sadar Ambala Tehsil and Distt Ambala the accused no. 1 filed a petition u/s 13 of H.M. Act in the courts at Karnal against complainant. 8. That the complainant has not condoned the act of maltreatment meted out to her by the accused persons and all the accused persons are liable to be punished for the criminal acts done by them and all the accused persons are liable to be punished accordingly. 9. That all accused persons have also retained the dowry articles, Jewellery, wearing apparels and other articles entrusted to them at the time of marriage and have not returned them to the complainant and converted the same to their own use. 9. That all the accused have committed an offence punishable under section 498A/307/406/34 IPC within the cognizance of this Hon’ble Court and this Hon’ble Court has got the jurisdiction to hear the present complaint.”

Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the petitioner was the married sister-in-law of the complainant. The petitioner had got married much before the marriage of the complainant with her brother and was residing in her matrimonial home. The petitioner had been falsely involved in this case as a divorce petition had been filed against the complainant by her husband. The present FIR was a counter blast to the said litigation. Learned State counsel as well as learned counsel for complainant-respondent No.2, on the other hand, have submitted that the petitioner and her co-accused had harassed the complainant on account of insufficiency and demand of dowry. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, I am of the opinion that the present petitions deserve to be allowed. In the case of State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal,, 1992 Supp(1) Supreme Court Cases 335, the Apex Court has held as under:-

“The following categories of cases can be stated by way of illustration wherein the extraordinary power under Article 226 or the inherent powers under Section 482, Cr.P.C. Can be exercised by the High Court either to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly defined and sufficiently chennelised and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be exercised:-

(1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complainant/respondent No.2, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.

(2) Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1)of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code. (3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do no disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused. (4) Where, the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a Police Officer without an order of Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.

(5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

(6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted)to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of aggrieved party.

7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceedings is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge. We also give a note of caution to the effect that the power of quashing a criminal proceeding should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases; that the court will not be justified in embarking upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint and that the extraordinary or inherent powers do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the court to act according to its whim or caprice.” In Kans Raj vs. State of Punjab and others, 2000 (2) RCR (Criminal) 696 (SC), their Lordships of the Apex Court have observed that a tendency has developed for roping in all the relations in dowry cases and if it is not discouraged, it is likely to affect case of the prosecution even against the real culprits. The efforts for involving the other relations ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even against the real accused. In the present case, the marriage of the complainant took place with Ramji Lal, brother of the petitioner, on 15.2.2009. The petitioner is married sister-in-law of the complainant and is residing in her matrimonial home at village Munak.Admittedly, the petitioner was married at the time of marriage of her brother with the complainant. It appears that the petitioner has been falsely involved in this case merely because of her relationship with the husband of the complainant. It is generally seen that in matrimonial disputes all the family members of the husband are involved in criminal litigation by the complainant party with a view to put pressure on the husband and his family members. A perusal of the FIR also reveals that there are general allegations levelled against the petitioner. The petitioner had no reason to demand a car by way of dowry as she could not have used the same being residing in her own matrimonial home. Hence, the continuation of criminal proceedings against the petitioner would be nothing but an abuse of process of law. Accordingly, the petition is allowed. FIR No.124 dated 29.7.2010 under Section 498-A/ 307/ 406/ 34 IPC registered at Police Station Ambala Sadar, District Ambala (Annexure P-1) and all the subsequent proceedings arising therefrom, qua the petitioner, are quashed.

(SABINA)
JUDGE
July 05, 2012

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *