Vague allegations Sections 498A and 406 FIR Quashed

Punjab-Haryana High Court

Rajesh Kumar And Ors.
vs
The State Of Haryana And Anr.

on 25 July, 1990
Equivalent citations: I (1991) DMC 93
Author: S S Grewal
Bench: S Grewal

JUDGMENT S. S. Grewal, J.

1. This petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Code) relates to quashment of F.I.R. No. 221 dated 3rd April, 1989 (Annexure P/1) registered against the petitioners, under Sections 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code, at Police Station City, Ambala.

2. In brief facts relevant for the disposal of this petition which emerge from the impugned first information report, are, that the marriage between Parveen Kumari complainant and Rajesh Kumar petitioner No. 1 took place at Ambala city on 10th February, 1988, according to Hindu rites. Thereafter both of them lived together as husband and wife. The complainant stayed at the house of her in-laws because her husband was employed in the Indian Air Force, and, he used to pay frequent visits to the house of his parents. According to the allegations of the complainant, soon after her marriage the behaviour of the accused-petitioners towards her was indifferent, and, they used to harass and humiliate her, in order, to compel her to bring more dowry from her parents. This behaviour continued and the conditions went on from bad to worse, when the accused started assaulting the complainant physically, in order to compel her to bring cash, more dowry, coloured T.V. and V.C.R. from her parents. The father of the complainant who is a retired person, belongs to middle class family and could not meet the demands. The harassment and cruelty towards the complainant by the accused-petitioners continued as before till March, 1988. In June, 1988, Rajesh Kumar petitioner came on leave for 20 days. On day of his arrival, at the instance of his other co-accused petitioners, he gave fist blows to the complainant and slapped her. The complainant became unconscious. On the very next day Rajesh Kumar petitioner left the complainant at the house of her parents, at the instance of his other co-accused. Thereafter on the intervention of common friends of the family, the complainant was left at her matrimonial home on the assurance that she would be kept nicely. However, the petitioners other than the husband of the complainant again started maltreating her and also gave her beatings, in order to coerce her to bring more dowry from her parents. In August, 1988, the complainant was again given beating by the petitioners other than her husband, was turned out of the house and at that time they retained the articles including jewellery which was her Istreedhan and was meant for her exclusive use.

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3. The learned counsel for the parties were heard.

4. On behalf of the petitioners it has mainly been submitted that Rajesh Kumar petitioner filed petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, for grant of decree of restitution of conjugal rights against his wife Parveen Kumari, the present complainant. Judgment of the Additional District Judge, Ambala dated 3-1-1989 shows that the complainant party in the present case has specifically pleaded and produced evidence that she was subjected to beatings at her matrimonial home for not bringing sufficient dowry in marriage, that she was turned out of the matrimonial house by her parents-in-laws on 22-8-1988 on the pretext that she would be welcome back if she brings T.V.,V.C.R. etc. from her parents. The Additional District Judge on the basis of two letters written by the respondent wife that she was living very happily at the house of her parents-in-law, but, due to non-availability of residential accommodation with the Air Force authorities, the petitioner could not arrange for a family accommodation. In one of her letters, she has specifically mentioned that she left the house on 25-8-1988. Even father of the respondent admitted in that case that the only dispute between the parties was that his daughter could be sent to her husband to the place of his posting and not at the house of her parents-in-law. The change in stand by the respondent-wife was also taken into consideration by the Additional District Judge. Initially the respondent-wife had specified that, her husband had given her beating on 22nd August, 1988. However, when in the reply to the said application it was pleaded that on 22-8-1988 the husband was on duty at Hyderabad, the wife changed her stand in the written statement, filed later on. On this basis it was held by the Additional District Judge that the respondent-wife has withdrawn from the society of the petitioner-husband, without any reasonable excuse.

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5. So far as the allegations of the complainant wife against the present petitioners under Section 498A IPC are concerned, the same stands rebutted by the judgment of Additional District Judge under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, which, admittedly has become final as the appeal against the said judgment has already been dismissed by this Court.

6. As far as allegations against the petitioners under Section 406 IPC are concerned, the same are quite vague. In para No. 7 of the impugned first information report there is no specific mention whether any article constituting Istreedhan of the complainant mentioned in Annexures A, B or C was entrusted to either of the petitioners at the time of the marriage or, shortly thereafter. In para No. 10 of the complaint there is mention that the items mentioned in Annexures A to C were entrusted to the accused Nos. 1 to 3. However, neither the details regarding entrustment of individual articles of dowry are mentioned in the impugned first information report, nor, further details about the time and place when such articles were entrusted to the petitioner Nos. 1 to 3 finds mention in the first information report, ledged on the basis of the complaint made by Parveen Kumari which, incidentally is also signed by her counsel. As already discussed in earlier part of the judgment, the main allegations concerning cruelty and demand of dowry levelled against the petitioners by the complainant were not believed by the Additional District Judge, while, deciding the application under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. In these circumstances vague allegations mentioned in the impugned first information report against the petitioners do not make out a prima facie case under Section 406 IPC. Even otherwise, in view of the judgment of the Additional District Judge referred to above, continuation of the proceedings on the basis of impugned first information report against the petitioners, would, amount to an abuse of the process of the Court.

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7. The authority of this Court in Kishan Sharma and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Ors., 1989 (2) Recent Criminal Reports 13, relief upon by the learned counsel for the respondent relates to entirely different set of circumstances. In that particular case remarriage of Madhukar Sharma (husband) took place within one year of his marriage with respondent No. 2. Madhukar Sharma was living with his second wife and his marriage with respondent No. 2 had already been dissolved. The judgment granting a decree of divorce between the parties was not relied upon by either side. Thus the aforecited authority in Kishan Sharma’s case (supra) is not applicable to the facts of the case in hand, and, is clearly distinguishable.

8. For the foregoing reasons, the impugned first information report, Annexure P/l and consequent proceedings taken thereunder against the petitioners are directed to be quashed. This petition is accordingly allowed.

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