8 months unexplained delay in lodging  complaint, 498a dismissed.

Delhi High Court

Jagdish Chand
vs
The State And Ors. on 26 August, 1994

Equivalent citations: 1995 CriLJ 2253, 1994 (31) DRJ 78

Bench: D Bhandari

JUDGMENT Dalveer Bhandari, J.

(1) This criminal revision has been filed against the order dated 25th October, 1990. By this order, the Metropolitan Magistrate dismissed the complaint primarily on the ground of delay of 8 months in filing the complaint. The complaint has been filed under Section 392/304B/304/498A Ipc read with Section 34 IPC.

(2) The brief facts necessary to dispose of this revision petition are recapitulated hereinunder:-

(3) The daughter of the complainant Smt. Abhilesh Rani was employed as telephone operator. Sushil Kumar Mittal, accused No. 1 was her husband. Accused no.2 and 3 are father-in-law and mother-in-law. In the marriage, all the necessary household goods, jewellery, furniture, clothes, etc. were given by the complainant to his daughter. It is mentioned in the complaint that accused persons used to taunt and tease the complainant’s daughter for not bringing adequate goods and articles in dowry and wanted her to bring money from the complainant. Accused no.2 complained that very scanty dowry was given and that the complainant should give Rs. 10,000.00 more so that a room could be constructed on the roof of the house no.K-34, Karbia, Lodhi Road. Complainant told accused no.2 that his financial condition did not permit to pay this amount. It is mentioned in the complaint that because of the constant torture from accused nos. 2 3, the accused No. 1 took a separate room and shifted there on or about June, 1994.

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(4) The marriage of the daughter of the accused no.2 was to be solemnised on 31.5.1986. Accused no.2 prevailed upon the complainant’s daughter Abhilesh Rani to come to Karbia and live there and consequently they again started living together. Accused no.3 coerced complainant’s daughter to get handsome amount from her parents to meet the expenses 80 of the marriage of his sister. It is also incorporated in the complaint that accused No. 1 came to the house of complainant and assured that in future, he would neither make any financial demands nor torture his daughter. On that assurance, the complainant rented a room for accused No. 1 and his daughter Smt. Abhilesh Rani in Subash Park itself in his close neighborhood. Accused no. I lived there with the complainant’s daughter. Abilesh Rani for about 6/7 months and thereafter the complainant’s wife purchased property no.1/10322-A, Gorakh Park on which the house was raised by the complainant’s wife and the accused no. I shifted to that house along with his wife in February, 1986. The behavior of accused no.I did not improve. Accused no.2 and 3 used to visit them often and torture complainant’s daughter. On 25th-August, 1987 by a clever device, complainant’s daughter was murdered through electrocution by all the accused persons.

(5) It is also incorporated in the complaint that the accused with a view to electrocute the complainant’s daughter unauthorisedly changed the electric wiring system of the house by carrying out alteration in Desu supply system by laying Pvc cable without earth on pole, just in front of the demised house and pole leading towards Panchsheel facing New Durga Mandir and tied a metal wire with stand pipe hook on which the deceased used to spread wet clothes for drying after washing them. On account of alteration and mishandling of Mains and service lines, the supply system was rendered dangerous and thus the current was passed ..into the iron wire – On 25.8.87 at about 8 A.M. when the complainant’s daughter tried to spread clothes on the wire, which had been made live by the accused persons deliberately and consequently, she was electrocuted.

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(6) Though this unfortunate incident had taken place on 25th August, 1987, the complaint was filed on 12th April, 1988. On the basis of the complaint, Raghbir Singh, Si was deputed to investigate the matter. He went to the spot and recorded the statement of Jagdish Chand, the father of the deceased, Chander Kanta, mother of the deceased, Sushil Kumar, husband of the deceased and Sunita, sister of the deceased. After recording their statements, he found that it was an accident and post-mortem of the dead body was waived off and the matter was filed. On the basis of the available statements on record, learned Metropolitan Magistrate came to the conclusion that filing of complaint after a lapse of 8 months appears to be an after-thought, and the evidence is fabricated on the part of the complainant.

(7) Another significant fact is that at the time of the death, the complainant did not suspect any foul play and did not think it necessary even to have 81 the post-mortem conducted. If according to the complainant there has been any highhandedness or indiscretion on the part of the Sub Inspector Raghbir Singh, then at least a complaint ought to have been filed against him. In fact, no complaint has been filed.

(8) Looking to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the matters of this nature, long, undue and unexplained delay of 8 months casts serious doubts on the credibility and bona fides of the averments of the complaint filed by the complainant. In case the complainant suspected any foul play, then he ought to have filed the complaint immediately without loss of any time. Before compelling the alleged accused to undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial, the learned Metropolitan Magistrate was -justified in seriously considering the issue of unexplained delay of eight months in filing the complaint. In these circumstances, I do not find any infirmity in the order of learned Metropolitan Magistrate, dated 25.10.90.

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(9) The petition is devoid of any merit and is accordingly dismissed.

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