Vikas Kumar Jain vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 6 September, 2017

1 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH : AT JABALPUR

Miscellaneous Criminal Case No.840/2017

1. Vikas Kumar Jain
S/o Shri Vimal Kumar Jain
Aged about – 35 years,

2. Vimal Kumar Jain
S/o Shri Vimal Kumar Jain
Aged about – 59 years,

3. Smt. Sunita Jain
S/o Shri Vimal Kumar Jain
Aged about – 55 years,

4. Vineet Jain S/o Shri Vimal Kumar Jain
Aged about – 25 years,
All are R/o- Jai Jawan 2, Tonak Road,
P.S. Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur,
District Vidisha (MP)

5. Mahendra Kumar Jain
S/o Shri Vimal Kumar Jain
Aged about – 50 years
R/o- M.K. Roop Centre, Main Road,
Ganjibasoda, District Vidisha (MP)

Petitioners

1. The State of M.P.
Through – Mahila Thana, Jabalpur
District- Jabalpur (MP)

2. Smt. Disha Jain
W/o Vikas Jain
MIG 250, Shiv Nagar,
Damoh Naka, Jabalpur (MP)

Respondents
2 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Present:- Hon’ble Shri Justice C.V. Sirpurkar
……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Shri Punit Chaturvedi, counsel for the petitioners.
Shri Manish Awasthi, Government Advocate for the
respondent/State.
None for the respondent no.2 though represented.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………
ORDER

(06-09-2017)

1. This miscellaneous criminal case has been instituted on an
application under section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure filed on behalf of petitioners/accused persons Vikas
Kumar Jain, Vimal Kumar Jain, Sunita Jain, Vineet Jain and
Mahendra Kumar Jain in Crime No.25/2016 registered by
Mahila Thana, Jabalpur under sections 498-A read with section
34 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3/4 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act, 1961.

2. The facts giving rise to this miscellaneous criminal case
may briefly be stated thus: Respondent no.2 Disha Jain lodged a
written report before the Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur on
29.01.2016 to the effect that she had married petitioner Vikas
on 30.01.2015. Petitioners, Vimal Kumar is her father-in-law,
Sunita is her mother-in-law, Vineet is her brother-in-law and
Mahendra Kumar is her husband’s uncle. During the marriage
ceremony, the behaviour of the petitioners was calculated to
harass the respondent no.2 and her family members. At the time
of marriage, and during the engagement ceremony, the father of
3 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

the respondent no.2/victim gave cash, ornaments and household
goods worth Rs.07,02,000/-; however, the petitioners were not
satisfied with the same. On 17.02.2015, victim’s brother Sachin
Jain and uncle Satish Mehta had gone to her matrimonial home
to bring her back. At that time, all the five petitioners in
furtherance of their common intention, took them aside and told
them that they had spent Rs.18,00,000/- in the marriage and;
therefore, they wanted the victim’s family to pay them
Rs.09,00,000/-. Victim’ husband threatened her that if the sum
of Rs.09,00,000/- was not paid, it would not be good for her.
When the victim’s father talked about the same to the
petitioners, they insisted on payment of Rs.09,00,000/- and told
him that otherwise he could take his daughter home. After her
father returned, the petitioners started to harass and torture the
victim even more. She was humiliated and was given leftovers
to eat. Her husband used to taunt and beat her. The petitioners
abused and used insulting expressions for the relatives of the
victim. They used to lock the kitchen and go to the hotels
leaving the victim hungry. When the husband of the victim
realized that she may take a drastic step, he left her at her
maternal home on 10.04.2015. On 28.01.2016, her husband
called her on phone and asked whether the sum of
Rs.09,00,000/- has been arranged. He threatened that otherwise
he would not take her to matrimonial home and she could
commit suicide by jumping from Tilwara bridge. Consequently,
the victim lodged the aforesaid written report dated 29.01.2016
with Superintendent of Police. The matter was placed before
4 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

Family Consultation Centre wherein a compromise was struck
on 17.02.2016 and the victim agreed to return to her
matrimonial home; however, the same evening her husband
Vikas met her on his way to her home and threatened that he
will sort her out once she reached her matrimonial home at
Ganjbasoda. Therefore, the petitioner refrained from returning
to Ganjbasoda.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the
petitioners never demanded any dowry from the victim and her
family members. In fact petitioner Vikas is educated only up to
12 th standard and the victim/respondent no.2 has done her MBA.
Moreover, the victim does not want to live in a small place like
Ganjbasoda; therefore, she behaved in insolent manner with the
petitioners. The petitioners never harassed the victim in any
manner. No specific allegations giving date, time, place etc. has
been leveled against the petitioners. The allegations that have
been leveled are omnibus in nature. The victim returned to her
matrimonial home on 09.04.2015 of her own free will and
accord. The written report has been lodged on 30.01.2016. A
compromise was reached between the parties in the Family
Consultation Centre and the petitioners were ready to take the
victim to her matrimonial home the same day; however, she
declined to go on that date and later refused to go altogether
after leveling baseless allegations against petitioner Vikas. In
fact petitioner Vikas had filed an application under section 9 of
the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights on
08.03.2016 in the Court of Additional District Judge,
5 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

Ganjbasoda District Vidisha. When the notice of aforesaid
proceedings was served upon the victim, by way of counter-
blast, she lodged written report with the Superintendent of
Police. On 16.08.2016, an ex parte decree for restitution of
conjugal rights was passed in favour of petitioner Vikas Jain.
Learned counsel for the petitioners has placed reliance upon the
judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in the case of Preeti
Gupta and another vs State of Jharkhand and another, AIR
2010 SC 3363. In aforesaid circumstances, it has been prayed
that the proceedings instituted on aforesaid first information
report against the petitioners be quashed.

4. Though, respondent no.2/victim has been represented in
this miscellaneous criminal case, no one appeared on her behalf
at the time of arguments.

5. Learned Government Advocate for the respondent/State
on the other hand has opposed the prayer for quashing the first
information report.

6. On due consideration of rival contentions and perusal of
the case diary, the Court is of the view that this petition under
section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, must succeed in
part for the reasons hereinafter stated:

7. It is an admitted fact that charge sheet in the matter has
been filed on 08.07.2016 and has been registered as Criminal
Case No.11682/2016 in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First
Class, Jabalpur. However, the Apex Court has held in the case
of Satish Mehra Vs. State (NCT of Delhi) and another, AIR
2013 SC 506 that the power to interdict a criminal proceeding
6 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

even at an intermediate stage of the trial is inherent in the High
Court and even after framing of the charge, the proceedings may
be quashed.

8. It has also been held by the Supreme Court in the case of
Harshendra Kumar D. Vs. Rebatilata Koley AIR 2011 SC
1090 that uncontroverted documents or material of
unimpeachable or sterling character may be considered while
exercising jurisdiction under section 482 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure.

9. A perusal of the first information report and statements of
the witnesses under section 161 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure reveal that though there are specific allegations
against husband Vikas Kumar Jain, the allegations against
remaining petitioners are omnibus in nature. They are shorn off
even basic details such as date, time, place etc.

10. It may be noted in this regard that the Supreme Court in the case
of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, 2014 (8) SCC 273, has
observed that:

“4. There is a phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The
institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A IPC was
introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at
the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A IPC is a
cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst
the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives.
The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under
this provision. In a quite number of cases, bedridden grandfathers and
grandmothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are
arrested.

11. It has been observed by the Supreme Court in Preeti Gupta v.
State of Jharkhand , AIR 2010 SC 3363 that:

7 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

“The tendency of implicating husband and all his immediate relations is also not
uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult to
ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremely careful and cautious in
dealing with these complaints and must take pragmatic realities into consideration
while dealing with matrimonial cases. The allegations of harassment of husband’s
close relations who had been living in different cities and never visited or rarely
visited the place where the complainant resided would have an entirely different
complexion. The allegations of the complaint are required to be scrutinized with
great care and circumspection. Experience reveals that long and protracted
criminal trials lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship
amongst the parties. It is also a matter of common knowledge that in cases filed by
the complainant if the husband or the husband’s relations had to remain in jail
even for a few days, it would ruin the chances of amicable settlement altogether.
The process of suffering is extremely long and painful.”

“When the facts and circumstances of the case are considered in the
background of legal principles set out in preceding paragraphs, then it would be
unfair to compel the appellants to undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial. In the
interest of justice, we deem it appropriate to quash the complaint against the
appellants.”

12. Likewise, in the case of Neelu Chopra anr. v. Bharti, AIR
2009 SC(Supp) 2950, Supreme Court held as follows:
“It does not show as to which accused has committed what offence and what is the
exact role played by these appellants in the commission of offence. There could be
said something against Rajesh, as the allegations are made against him more
precisely but he is no more and has already expired. Under such circumstances, it
would be an abuse of process of law to allow the prosecution to continue against
the aged parents of Rajesh, the present appellants herein on the basis of vague
and general complaint which is silent about the precise acts of the appellants.”

13. A three judge bench of Supreme Court in the case of Kans Raj
vs. State of Punjab, AIR 2000 SC 2324 observed that:
“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
accusation are made, the overt acts attributed to persons other than husband are
required to be proved beyond 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 over enthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum
people, the parents of the deceased have been found to be making efforts for
8 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

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.”

14. It may be seen from the aforesaid judgments that the
Supreme Court has expressed its concern with regard to false
implication of husband and his relatives in the cases under
section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code by disgruntled wives. It
has been held that if there are no specific and credible
allegations, with necessary particulars against the relatives of
the husband, they should not be made to suffer the ignominy of
a criminal trial.

15. In the instant case, as already observed, there are specific
allegations against husband Vikas Jain. It has been submitted
that proceedings in this criminal case have been instituted by
way of counter-blast; however, aforesaid argument does not
bear scrutiny because the proceedings under section 9 of the
Hindu Marriage Act were instituted on 08.03.2016 whereas the
written report was given to the police on 29.01.2016. Moreover,
proceedings in criminal case cannot be quashed on the sole
ground that they were instituted after filing of proceeding by
the accused under Hindu Marriage Act. In this regard, the
judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in the case of
Pratibha Vs Rameshwari Devi, 2007 AIR SCW 5933 may be
referred to wherein it has been held that complaint of
harassment of dowry filed six months after complainant leaving
her matrimonial home and after filing of divorce petition by the
husband cannot be quashed by drawing adverse inference
against the complainant because such complaints are filed when
9 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

all efforts settlement fail and the divorce petition has been filed
by the husband.

16. As such, the power under section 482 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure cannot be used to stifle the proceedings
against petitioner Vikas; however, so far as remaining
petitioners/accused persons are concerned, there are no specific
and credible allegations with necessary particulars against them.
Only omnibus allegations shorn of even basic details have been
leveled. Moreover, the victim had backed out of the settlement
arrived at between the parties in the family Consultation Centre;
therefore, allowing the trial to proceed against relatives of the
husband would be travesty of justice and abuse of process of
law. Therefore, they should not be made to undergo the
rigmarole of a criminal trial. As such, the exercise of extra-
ordinary power of the High Court reserved under section 482 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure is called for.

17. Consequently, this petition under section 482 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure is allowed in part.

18. The first information report registered by Mahila Thana,
Jabalpur in Crime No.25/2016 under section 498-A read with
section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3/4 of the
Dowry Prohibition Act and criminal proceedings arising
therefrom, pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First
Class, Jabalpur so far as they relate to petitioners/accused
persons Vimal Kumar Jain, Sunita Jain, Vineet Jain and
Mahendra Kumar Jain, are quashed. The trial arising from
10 M.Cr.C.No.840/2017

aforesaid first information report against husband petitioner
Vikas Kumar Jain shall continue in accordance with law.

(C.V. Sirpurkar)
Judge

b
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH : AT JABALPUR

Miscellaneous Criminal Case No.840/2017

Vikas Kumar Jain and others

-Vs-

State of Madhya Pradesh and another

ORDER

Post for : /09/2016

(C.V. Sirpurkar)
Judge

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