498A on minors Quashed

Punjab-Haryana High Court

Bhupinder Kaur And Ors.
vs
State Of Punjab And Ors. on 12/2/2003

ORDER

Satish Kumar Mittal, J.

1. Bhupinder Kaur, Roop Singh and Pradeep Kaur, mother-in-law,
brother-in-law and sister-in-law, respectively, of Smt. Ranjit Kaur
(hereinafter referred to as the complainant-wife) have filed the
present petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
(hereinafter referred to as ‘the Code’) for quashing of F.I.R. No. 21
dated 9-8-1997, registered at Police Station Sadar Khanna, under
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as
‘IPC’).

2. The aforesaid F.I.R. was lodged on the basis of complaint made by the complainant-wife, who was married to Jaswant Singh son of Bhupinder Kaur petitioner No. 1 in the year 1994. The aforementioned FIR was registered against Jaswant Singh, Amarjit Singh, Bhupinder Kaur, Harbans Singh and Pardeep Kaur, who are husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant-wife. However, the name of Roop Singh does not find mention in the said FIR, though he is also apprehending his implication in this case. The aforesaid persons, who have been arrayed as accused, consist the entire family of Amarjit Singh. However, the present petition has been filed only by three persons, named above.

3. It has been alleged in the FIR that the marriage between Jaswant
Singh and the complainant-wife took place on 13-7-1994. At that time,
many articles of gifts and dowry, which constitute Istri Dhan of the
complainant-wife, were given and handed over to the accused persons
mentioned in the FIR. A few days after the marriage, parents-in-law of
the complainant-wife and other relations of her husband started finding
fault with the quality of dowry articles and insufficiency in the same.
A motor cycle or in lieu thereof an amount of Rs. 35,000/- in cash was
demanded, which was received by accused-Amarjit Singh. A demand was
also raised for a Maruti car. When the demand of dowry was not met, the
complainant-wife was then maltreated and given beatings by the accused
persons. She was turned out of matrimonial house in three clothes in
December, 1994. Since her parents were living in Canada, therefore, she
was compelled to live in her brother’s house and when they came back
from Canada, they requested her in-laws to keep her in the matrimonial
house. By that time, her husband had also gone out of India. The
accused have not allowed the complaint-wife to use her Istri Dhan. They
have committed an offence of demanding more dowry by giving her severe
beatings and maltreating her, therefore, an action was sought to be
taken against them.

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4. The petitioners in the instant petition are seeking quashment of the
aforesaid FIR on the grounds that earlier to the present case, the
complainant-wife made a similar complaint on 1-8-1997 before SHO,
Police Station Payal, which was found to be false. The allegations made
in the present FIR and in the previous complaint are contradictory.
Actually, all the allegations made in the FIR are false and fabricated
one and the entire family has been roped in by the complainant-wife
with intention to put pressure on her husband Jaswant Singh to take her
back with him to abroad. It has been alleged that petitioners Nos. 2
and 3 were minors at the time of registration of the present FIR. No
specific allegations has been levelled against any accused, which
constitute an offence under Section 498A, I.P.C. Petitioners Nos. 2 and
3, who are minors, have been falsely implicated in the present case. No
specific role has been attributed to them.

5. In support of his contention, learned counsel for the petitioners
has relied upon Harsh Vardhan Arora v. Smt. Kavita Arora, (2002) 2 Rec
Cri R 499 (P & H); Lakhwinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2000) 4 Rec
Cri C 424 : (2000 Cri LJ 4151) (Pat) and Sunil Aggarwal v. Commissioner
of Police, (2002) 2 Rec Cri R 267 : (2002 Cri LJ 1690) (Delhi).

6. On the other hand, learned counsel for the State argued that no
ground for quashing of FIR is made out in the present case and the
instant petition is liable to be dismissed.

7. I have heard the arguments of learned counsel for the parties.

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8. From the reading of the FIR, it is evident that there is no specific
allegation of any act against petitioners Nos. 2 and 3, which
constitute offence under Section 498A, I.P.C. I am satisfied that these
two persons have been falsely implicated in the present case, who were
minors at the time of marriage and even at the time of lodging the
present FIR. Neither of these two persons was alleged to have been
entrusted with any dowry article nor they alleged to have ever demanded
any dowry article. No specific allegation of demand of dowry,
harassment and beating given to the complainant by these two accused
has been made. The allegations made are vague and general. Moreover, it
cannot be ignored that every member of the family of the husband has
been implicated in this case. The initiation of criminal proceedings
against them in the present case is clearly an abuse of the process of Court.

9. In view of the aforesaid discussion, I allow the instant petition
and quash FIR No. 21 dated 9-8-1997, registered with Police Station
Sadar Khanna under Section 498A, I.P.C. qua petitioners Nos. 2 and 3. However, the prayer regarding quashing of FIR qua petitioner No. 1 is declined.

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