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Ranveer Singh vs State & Anr on 9 May, 2018

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR

S.B. Criminal Misc(Pet.) No. 2576 / 2017

Ranveer Singh S/o Shri Mala Ram, Aged About 34 Years, Resident
of Rajgarh Road, Shanti Nagar, Ward No. 8, Pilani, District
Jhunjhunu.

—-Petitioner
Versus

1. State of Rajasthan

2. Kavita D/o Deepchand, Resident of Ward No. 19, Taranagar,
District Churu.

—-Respondents
__
For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Vikas Bijarnia.

For Respondent(s) : Mr. M.S. Panwar, PP.

Mr. M.A. Siddiqui.

__
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
Judgment
Date of Judgment: 09/05/2018

By way of this Cr. Misc. Petition filed under Section 482

Cr.P.C., the petitioner herein has approached this Court seeking

quashing of the FIR No.200/2017 registered at the Police Station

Taranagar, District Churu for offences under Sections 498A, 406

and 323 IPC.

As per the case set up in the FIR, the petitioner and the

respondent No.2 complainant were married on 14.07.2010. After

few days of the marriage, the petitioner returned to USA where,

he was already working from before the marriage. In the
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petitioner’s absence, his parents, sister, etc. allegedly used to

harass and humiliate the complainant/respondent No.2 on account

of demand of dowry and for various other reasons. On

24.12.2010, the complainant too went to USA. Initially, she was

treated with love and respect but a few days later, Ranveer Singh

started showing his true colours to the complainant. The

complainant’s freedom was totally curtailed. She was assaulted

and was not allowed to talk to her parents. She conceived in the

year 2011. Despite that, the accused petitioner continued to treat

the complainant cruelly saying that he did not desire the child. On

a particular day, she was beaten so brutally that she miscarried. A

few days later, she again became pregnant on which, Ranveer

Singh sent her back to India. She gave birth to a son on

07.01.2012 whereafter, she started hoping for a better treatment

from her matrimonial relations. Ranveer came to India in the last

week of October, 2012. The complainant’s parents organised a

lavish Chuchak ceremony, but the in-laws were not satisfied. She

returned to America with Ranveer on 24.11.2012 where he

resumed his cruel behaviour with the complainant. She was

beaten frequently. She was even turned out of the house. Even

their minor child was assaulted. On 10.06.2013, Ranveer

assaulted the complainant inhumanly resulting into numerous

injuries being caused to her. On one day, he also threw child on

the floor whereafter, she called the police who rescued the

complainant and her child and took them to a shelter home. An

inquiry was initiated against Ranveer who was kept in custody for

a significant period of time for his cruel and inhuman behaviour.

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[CRLMP-2576/2017]

He was directed to pay 1568 dollars per month as child support.

However, Ranveer absconded from America in the month of

November, 2014 and returned to India with the intent to avoid all

liabilities which had been enforced upon him by the U.S.

authorities. The complainant continued to live in USA with her

child with great degree of difficulty and struggle. Her parents went

to her matrimonial house for settling the dispute on which, they

came to know that Ranveer was attempting to remarry.

Complainant’s father filed a complaint in police on which, Ranveer

was restrained from remarrying. Thereafter, the complainant and

her father demanded return of the stridhan articles entrusted to

the accused but they refused to part with the same on which, the

FIR came to be lodged. The petitioner Ranveer has approached

this Court by way of this misc. petition for challenging the

impugned FIR on various grounds.

Shri Vikas Bijarnia learned counsel representing the

petitioner drew the Court’s attention to the decree/ order dated

13.11.2014 issued by the competent court in USA whereby, the

marriage between the petitioner and the complainant M/s. Kavita

was dissolved. Under this decree, the petitioner Ranveer was

directed to pay 19500 dollars to Smt. Kavita in addition to certain

amount as child support. Shri Bijarnia urged that considering the

aspect that the matrimonial relationship between the petitioner

and the complainant stood terminated way back in the year 2014,

the continuance of the impugned FIR, which came to be filed after

a delay of nearly three years, amounts to a gross abuse of process

of law. He urged that while passing the decree, the Court at USA
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settled all the properties claimed by the parties with the sole

exception that Ranveer Singh would return the wedding dress

belonging to Kavita which was lying with his extended family at

India. He urged that in the entire proceedings of divorce which

came to be initiated before the Court at California, there was no

allegation regarding the petitioner having harassed and humiliated

Kavita on account of demand of dowry. At para No.3 of the

statistical information reproduced in the judgment, the reason for

separation is mentioned as irreconcilable differences in the

marriage. He further contended that from a bare reading of the

proceedings of the US Court, it is evident that the parties never

came into contact with each other after 10.06.2013. The present

FIR came to be lodged in the year 2017 i.e. beyond the statutory

limitation of three years provided under Section 468 of the Cr.P.C.

for the offences under Sections 498A and 406 IPC both of which

are punishable with imprisonment of three years. He further urged

that so far as the allegation regarding the offence under Section

406 IPC is concerned, there is no allegation in the entire FIR that

any of the dowry articles of Smt. Kavita had ever been entrusted

to the present petitioner. He submitted that as per the admitted

allegations in the FIR, the petitioner left India for USA before the

complainant. Therefore, as per him, there was no chance that the

dowry articles of the complainant could be in the petitioner’s

custody. He urged that even if the finding given by the Court at

USA that the dowry and personal articles of Smt. Kavita would

have to be returned by the petitioner is accepted to be true, then

too, the said direction can give rise to a civil liability only. For the
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offence under Section 406 IPC, an allegation of entrustment and

subsequent refusal to return the entrusted goods has to exist

failing which, accusation of the said offence cannot be sustained.

He therefore urged that the impugned FIR is liable to be quashed

in its entirety.

Per contra, learned Public Prosecutor and Shri Siddiqui

learned counsel representing the complainant vehemently

opposed the submissions advanced by the petitioner’s counsel.

They contended that the petitioner harassed and humiliated the

complainant in India as well as at USA in order to satisfy his

greed. When the complainant did not concede to his illegal

demands, she was beaten black and blue. On one occasion, the

accused assaulted the complaint so brutally that she miscarried.

The petitioner’s acts were so inhumane that he even did not spare

the child and threw him down on the floor. There is a specific

direction in the USA Court’s Judgment that the petitioner would

have to return the dowry articles of Smt. Kavita which were lying

with his extended family in India. The petitioner intentionally

absconded from USA to avoid these directions and has till date,

failed to return these articles and hence, they implored the Court

not to interfere in the impugned FIR at this nascent stage and to

reject the petition in its entirety.

I have given my thoughtful consideration to the submissions

advanced by the learned counsel for the parties and have gone

through the material available on record.

Looking to the pleadings of the divorce proceedings

undertaken interse between the petitioner and the complainant
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[CRLMP-2576/2017]

which have been annexed to the misc. petition, it is evident that

Smt. Kavita signed and agreed to these proceedings in presence

of her Attorney on 04.08.2014. The judgment clearly records that

marriage between the parties had broken down irretrievably and

was beyond repair. The parties had permanently separated on

10.06.2013. Considering the language of the stipulated judgment

passed by the U.S. Court, it is apparent that the petitioner was

directed to make payment of 19,500 dollars to the respondent

complainant towards the division of assets and debts. A sum of

10,500 dollars of this amount was to be paid within a period of 15

days of the judgment and the balance was to be paid in

installments of 1000 dollars per month. However, it is virtually

admitted that soon after the judgment was pronounced, the

accused petitioner left USA and came back to India in an obvious

endeavour to avoid the liability imposed upon him by the USA

Court. However, whether or not such conduct would amount to the

offences alleged yet remains to be considered. The respondent,

did not take any action whatsoever against the petitioner for a

period of three years after passing of the stipulated judgment of

divorce by the USA Court and despite the petitioner having left

U.S.A. She conveniently concealed the fact of the said judgment

while lodging the FIR. As per the allegations made in the FIR, the

accused left USA in November, 2014.

In view of these facts admitted manifested from the

allegations of the complainant as per the detailed FIR and in the

factual report placed on record by the learned Public Prosecutor, it

is evident that ex-facie, there does not exist any cogent material
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on the record of the case so as to satisfy the Court that the

petitioner Ranveer Singh while in India, harassed or humiliated the

complainant on account of demand of dowry or treated her in such

a manner which could have lead her to commit suicide. Thus ex-

facie, ingredients of the offence under Section 498A IPC are not

established from the material available on record so as to justify

the registration of the FIR against him for the said offence.

Furthermore, upon a thorough perusal of the FIR, it is evident that

there is not even a slender allegation that any of the ‘streedhan’

articles of the complainant were ever entrusted to the accused

petitioner. Even if it is assumed for a moment that the ‘streedhan’

articles were lying with the petitioner’s extended family in India

then too, obviously it cannot be inferred that the same were

entrusted to the petitioner because admittedly, soon after the

marriage, the petitioner left India for USA and the complainant

followed him soon thereafter. Therefore, none of the offences

alleged in the FIR are ex-facie made out against the petitioner. So

far as the direction given by the USA Court in the impugned

judgment that the petitioner shall pay 19500 dollars to the

complainant and also return her ‘streedhan’ articles to her is

concerned, the same also would not be sufficient to constitute the

offence under Section 406 IPC against the petitioner, the

complainant would be required to avail appropriate remedy for

execution thereof. Likewise for the reasons mentioned above, the

offence under Section 323 IPC is also not made out against the

petitioner. However, since there is an allegation of the complainant

that her ‘streedhan’ articles are retained by her matrimonial
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[CRLMP-2576/2017]

relatives and as the I.O. has mentioned in the factual report that

the offence under Section 406 IPC has been established against

the mother-in-law Risalo Devi, he would be free to proceed

against her for such offence.

In view of the discussion made herein above, the instant

misc. petition deserves to be and is hereby allowed. All further

proceedings of the impugned FIR No.200/2017 registered at the

Police Station Taranagar, District Churu are quashed qua the

petitioner Ranveer Singh.

Investigation shall continue against the other accused.

(SANDEEP MEHTA),J.

Tikam/

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