MP HC: 498A/DP Quash against brother-in-law for vague and omnibus allegations

Summary:
  • As usual Wife files 498A combo against entire family including implicating younger brother-in-law who is applicant-3 in an instant case.
  • It is submitted by the counsel for the applicant No.3 that he is younger brother-in-law and if the entire allegation as made in the FIR considered then it would be clear that only a vague and omnibus statements have been made against him and no specific overt act has been alleged against him. It is alleged that after the marriage of the complainant, _the applicant No.3 along with the applicant No.1 & 2 as well as the husband of the complainant had scolded and passed taunts that sufficient dowry has not been given. Thereafter, there is no allegation that the applicant No.1 had ever made any demand of dowry or harassed the complainant because of non-fulfillment of demand of dowry_
  • MP HC relied on Kansraj Vs staet of Punjab (2000) : SCC 207, Monju Roy Vs. State of West Bengal, reported in (2015) 13 SCC 693, Raja Lal Singh vs. State of Jharkhand, (2007) 15 SCC 415
  • Honorable MP HC said “As observed by the Supreme Court that the tendency of over implicating the near and dear relatives of the husband in order to pressurize the in-laws is increasing in the society day by day and, therefore, unless and until a specific overt act is alleged against the near relatives of the husband, they should not be compelled to face the ordeal of the criminal trial
  • Considering the allegations made against the applicant No.3, this Court is of the view that no prima-facie case is made out against the applicant No.3 for prosecuting him for offence under Sections 498-A, 506-B, 34 of IPC and under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. Thereby criminal proceedings pending against the applicant No.3 is hereby Quashed
Madhya Pradesh High Court
Giriraj Kishore
vs
State Of M.P on 10 April, 2017
M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013(Giriraj Kishore & Ors. v. State of M.P. & Ano.)
10/04/2017
Shri Rajesh Shukla, counsel for the applicants.
Shri Vijay Sundaram, Panel Lawyer for the respondent No.1/State.
 Shri Vikrant Sharma, counsel for the respondents.

 

This petition under Section 482 of CrPC has been filed for quashing the criminal proceedings in Criminal Case No.5171/2013 pending in the Court of JMFC, Gwalior for offences punishable under Sections 498A, 506B, 34 of IPC and under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

The necessary facts for the disposal of the present application in short are that the complainant Smt. Jyoti was married to Atul Mishra on 19.02.2009 as per Hindu Rites and Rituals. Various domestic articles, gold and silver ornaments and cash amount was given by the father of the complainant at the time of marriage. It is alleged that immediately after the marriage, the applicants alongwith the husband of the complainant started scolding and passing taunts that her father has not given sufficient dowry. The applicant No.2 used to say that her son is an Engineer and various persons were ready and willing to give Rs.20 lacs in cash, therefore, unless and until she brings four wheeler and an amount of Rs.1 lac from her parents, she would not be allowed to stay in her matrimonial M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 house and the applicant no.2 would get her son re- married. It was further alleged that on one occasion she went along with her husband to Faridabad, where he was serving. She stayed there for about 1 month and during this period, she was beaten by her husband on various occasions. In the month of June 2010, she was got aborted by her husband. On 06.10.2012, her in-laws had beaten her very badly and after keeping her clothes and ornaments with them, her husband left her in her parent’s house and said that until and unless the demand of dowry is fulfilled, she will not be taken back. However, with the hope of improvement in the situation she did not lodge the FIR. On the contrary her in-laws used to threaten her on phone. When her father talked to the applicant No.1 then he also extended the threat and said that they are chamar and they would not keep their daughter with them. An application was made by the complainant before Jan Sunvaiye where her in-laws were called. On 09.03.2013, they agreed for keeping the complainant with them but after Jan Sunvaiye, they extended the threat to kill her. On 02.03.2013, when her husband and the applicant no.1 & 2 came to her father’s house and talks were going on with regard to compromise, at that time, the applicant No.2 immediately intervened in the matter and demanded that unless and until a four wheeler and an amount of Rs.1 lac is given, the complainant will not be kept. On M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 16.03.2013, none appeared in the Parivar Paramarsh Kendra and since she is fed up with her in-laws, therefore, now she do not want reconciliation with them and she wants to lodge FIR against the applicants and her in-laws.

The counsel for the applicants at the beginning of the arguments sought permission of this Court to withdraw the application filed on behalf of the applicants No.1 & 2.

Considering the allegations made in the FIR as well as in the case diary statements of the witnesses, the counsel for the applicants is permitted to withdraw the application filed on behalf of applicant No.1 & 2.

Accordingly, the application is dismissed as withdrawn on behalf of applicants No.1 & 2.

The counsel for the applicant No.3 has confined his arguments in respect of applicant no.3 who is younger brother-in-law of the complainant. It is submitted that although during the pendency of this petition charges have been framed but not a single witness has been examined so far. He further submitted that no revision was filed by the applicant No.3 against the order framing charges.

In view of the submission made by the counsel for the applicant No.3, the case of the applicant No.3 is considered.

It is submitted by the counsel for the applicant No.3 that he is younger brother-in-law and he was M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 prosecuting his graduation as a regular student of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Agra and after completing his studies, he is working in Krishi Seva Kendra and is posted in Vidisha. It is further submitted that if the entire allegation as made in the FIR as well as in the case diary statements of the witnesses are considered then it would be clear that only a vague and omnibus statements have been made against him and no specific overt act has been alleged against him. It is alleged that after the marriage of the complainant, the applicant No.3 along with the applicant No.1 & 2 as well as the husband of the complainant had scolded and passed taunts that sufficient dowry has not been given. Thereafter, there is no allegation that the applicant No.1 had ever made any demand of dowry or harassed the complainant because of non-fulfillment of demand of dowry.

The Supreme Court in the case of Kansraj Vs. State of Punjab, (2000) 5 SCC 207, has held as under :

“In the light of the evidence in the case we find substance in the submission of the learned counsel for the defence that Respondents 3 to 5 were roped in the case only on the ground of being close relations of Respondent 2, the husband of the deceased. For the fault of the husband, the in-laws or the other relations cannot, in all cases, be held to be involved in the demand of dowry. In cases where such accusations are made, the overt acts attributed to persons other than the husband are required to be proved beyond M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 reasonable doubt. By mere conjectures and implications such relations cannot be held guilty for the offence relating to dowry deaths. A tendency has, however, developed for roping in all relations of the in-laws of the deceased wives in the matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against the real culprits. In their overenthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum people, the parents of the deceased have been found to be making efforts for involving other relations which ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even against the real accused as appears to have happened in the instant case.

The Supreme Court in the case of Monju Roy Vs. State of West Bengal, reported in (2015) 13 SCC 693, has held as under :

“8. While we do not find any ground to interfere with the view taken by the courts below that the deceased was subjected to harassment on account of non-fulfillment of dowry demand, we do find merit in the submission that possibility of naming all the family members by way of exaggeration is not ruled out. In Kans Raj v. State of Punjab, (2000) 5 SCC 207, this Court observed : (SCC p. 215, para 5) “5………A tendency has, however, developed for roping in all relations of the in-laws of the deceased wives in the matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against the real culprits. In their over enthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum people, the parents of the deceased have been found to be making efforts for involving other relations which ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even against the real accused as appears to have happened in the instant case.”

M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 The Court has, thus, to be careful in summoning distant relatives without there being specific material. Only the husband, his parents or at best close family members may be expected to demand dowry or to harass the wife but not distant relations, unless there is tangible material to support allegations made against such distant relations. Mere naming of distant relations is not enough to summon them in absence of any specific role and material to support such role.

9. In Raja Lal Singh vs. State of Jharkhand, (2007) 15 SCC 415, it was observed : (SCC p. 419, para 14) “14. No doubt, some of the witnesses e.g. PW 5 Dashrath Singh, who is the father of the deceased Gayatri, and PW 3 Santosh Kr. Singh, brother of the deceased, have stated that the deceased Gayatri told them that dowry was demanded by not only Raja Lal Singh, but also the appellants Pradip Singh and his wife Sanjana Devi, but we are of the opinion that it is possible that the names of Pradip Singh and Sanjana Devi have been introduced only to spread the net wide as often happens in cases like under Sections 498-A and 394 IPC, as has been observed in several decisions of this Court e.g. in Kamesh Panjiyar v. State of Bihar [(2005) 2 SCC 388], etc. Hence, we allow the appeal of Pradip Singh and Sanjana Devi and set aside the impugned judgments of the High Court and the trial court insofar as it relates to them and we direct that they be released forthwith unless required in connection with some other case.”

* * * * * *

11. The Court has to adopt pragmatic view and when a girl dies an unnatural death, allegation of demand of dowry or harassment which follows cannot be weighed in golden scales. At the same time, omnibus allegation against all family members particularly against brothers and sisters and other relatives do not stand on same footing as M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 husband and parents. In such case, apart from general allegation of demand of dowry, the court has to be satisfied that harassment was also caused by all the named members.” Thus, if the allegations made in the FIR as well as case diary statements of the witnesses are considered in proper perspective, then it would be clear that except alleging that immediately after the marriage i.e., in the year 2009, the applicant No.3 who is younger brother-in-law had also passed taunts against the complainant that sufficient dowry has not been given, no other allegation has been made against the applicant No.3. The specific allegations have been made against the husband as well as the parents in law.

As observed by the Supreme Court that the tendency of over implicating the near and dear relatives of the husband in order to pressurize the in-laws is increasing in the society day by day and, therefore, unless and until a specific overt act is alleged against the near relatives of the husband, they should not be compelled to face the ordeal of the criminal trial.

Considering the allegations made against the applicant No.3, this Court is of the view that no prima-facie case is made out against the applicant No.3 for prosecuting him for offence under Sections 498-A, 506-B, 34 of IPC and under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

Accordingly, the criminal proceedings pending against the applicant No.3 Anish Mishra in Criminal M.Cr.C.No.6988/2013 Case No.5171/2013 in the Court of JMFC, Gwalior is hereby quashed.

The application on behalf of applicant No.3 Anish Mishra succeeds and is allowed whereas the application filed by the applicant No.1 Giriraj Kishore and applicant No.2 Smt. Santoshi Mishra is dismissed as withdrawn.

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