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Section 498-A, 506, 323 quashed with Section 482 Cr.P.C

Andhra High Court

THE HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE R.KANTHA RAO

CRIMINAL PETITION NO.177 OF 2010

21.03.2013

Tummala Ramnarayana, S/o.Venkata Jagga Rao, 65 years, Retired Employee, 91/12,M.V.P. Colony, Vizag 4 others
Va.
The State of A.P., represented by its Public Prosecutor, High Court of A.P.,Hyderabad through the Station House Officer, Prakasanagaram P.S., Rajahmundry another

GIST:

HEAD NOTE:

Counsel for Petitioners: S.R.SANKU

Counsel for Respondent No.1: ADDITIONAL PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

Counsel for Respondent No.2: None appeared

Cases referred
(2010) 7 SCC 667

ORDER:

This criminal petition is filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C to quash the proceedings in C.C. No.262 of 2009 on the file of the Court of the II Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate, Rajahmundry.

Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners-A2 to A6 and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor representing the State. The second respondent-de facto complainant though served with the notice has not made her appearance either in person or through a counsel.

The brief facts of the case are as follows:

The marriage of the second respondent-de facto complainant was performed with A1 at Rajahmundry six years prior to the filing of the complaint. It is stated that at the time of marriage, the mother and brother of the second respondent paid Rs.15,00,000/- to the first accused towards dowry apart from giving silver and gold articles. Their marriage was consummated. The second respondent joined the first accused for leading conjugal life at Visakhapatnam where he was an employee. After some time, the second respondent came to know that the first accused was indebted to so many people and informed the said fact to her brother and mother. Subsequently, the first accused and the second respondent were brought to Rajahmundry by the mother and brother of the second respondent to secure some employment to the first accused. While so, on 27.06.2009 the second respondent and the first accused blessed with a female child by name Nikita. According to the second respondent, the first accused was not interested in employment and made debts in Rajahmundry. When the second respondent questioned him about his attitude, he grew wild, beat her and harassed her to get an additional dowry of Rs.5,00,000/- from her mother and brother to clear of the debts at Visakhapatnam. After some time, the first accused came back to Visakhapatnam stating that he would secure a job there. On 20.12.2008, when the second respondent came to the house of the first accused to join him, her in-laws rejected to receive her and directed to go back to her parent’s house. In spite of their rejection, the second respondent stayed at Visakhapatnam for 10 days. But during the said period, the first accused did not visit their house. It is stated that A2 to A6 used to abuse and harass her mentally. They stopped providing food to her and her daughter Nikhita also due to which the second respondent suffered ill health and returned to Rajahmundry on 02.01.2009.

In the meantime, on a particular day, A1 to A6 visited the parent’s house of the second respondent, abused her in filthy language for coming out of her matrimonial home without informing them and beat her with hands. A2 slapped on her cheek and A4 A5 caught hold tuft of her hair and dragged her on steps and her mother-in-law-A3 fisted blows on the second respondent. In the meantime, the brother and mother of the second respondent came and rescued her. Thereafter, all the accused left the parents house of the second respondent and demanded her for additional dowry.

Thereafter, according to the second respondent, she approached the police and informed the incident and the police advised them to approach the Court and on that, she filed a private complaint before the II Additional Judicial First Class Magistrate, Rajahmundry. The learned Magistrate forwarded the private complaint to the Station House Officer, Prakasanagaram, Rajahmundry under Section 156 (3)Cr.P.C for investigation. The police after conducting investigation filed charge sheet against the accused under Section 498-A, 506, 323 read with 34 IPC.

Among the petitioners, petitioners 1 and 2 are the parents of A1, petitioner No.3 is brother of A1, petitioner No.4 is the wife of petitioner No.3, petitioner No.5 is sister of petitioner No.2. Almost all the close relatives of the first accused are implicated in the present case.

Sri S.R.Sanku, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that in fact the disputes are between the second respondent and her husband-1st accused, and the petitioners-A2 to A6 are no way responsible, but they were falsely implicated in the present case by the second respondent by inventing an incident alleged to have occurred at Rajahmundry. According to the learned counsel, involving all the close relatives of A1 is nothing but abuse of process of law and he sought the indulgence of this Court to quash the proceedings against them in the exercise of powers u/s 482 Cr.P.C. In support of his submissions, he relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in Preeti Gupta another vs. State of Jharkhand  another1 wherein the Supreme Court apart from expressing serious concern about the genuine cases of dowry harassment depricated the practice of creating exaggerated versions of small incidents. While filing complaints in matrimonial matters the Supreme Court stressed the need to scrutinize the allegations with great care and circumspection, especially against husband’s relatives who were living in different cities and never visited or rarely visited the matrimonial home of the complainant. The Supreme Court also felt the need for serious relook at the entire provision 498-A of I.P.C. by the Parliament. The Supreme Court further emphasized the need of social responsibility and obligation of the members of Bar and Bench to maintain social fibre of family life.

It is the duty of this Court while acting under Section 482 Cr.P.C to scrutinize the allegations in their complaint to find out whether there is any prima facie truth in the allegations levelled against the accused.

On thorough scrutiny and circumspection of the allegations, if the Court finds that they are only invented purposefully to involve the relations of the husband of the de facto complainant, it has to exercise discretionary powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C to quash the proceedings.

If the allegations against the accused create doubt, that in fact the disputes are really between the de facto complainant and her husband. In the instant case, a casual reference has been made to the petitioners that they were harassing and abusing the second respondent-de facto complainant mentally. The main incident in this case seems to be that on a particular day all the accused went to the parents house of the second respondent- de facto complainant in the absence of her mother and brother, abused her for coming out of the matrimonial home without informing them, demanded additional dowry and beat her indiscriminately.

The petitioners are residents of Vizag. All of them went to Rajahmundry and allegedly assaulted the de facto complainant at her parents house where she had several relatives and friends. The allegations obviously seems to be improbable. It would appear that to rope in all the close relatives of her husband, the second respondent invented the incident and filed a complaint in the Magistrate’s Court at Rajahmundry. The charge sheet is nothing but the replica of the complaint filed by the de facto complainant before the Magistrate. The aforesaid incident in my view seems to have been created only for the purpose of involving the petitioners, who are close relatives of the husband of the de facto complainant. The main incident in this case which was alleged against the petitioners appears to be un-natural and improbable. If the case is allowed to be continued against the petitioners, and to face the trial and it would cause substantial injustice and undue hardship to the petitioners.

For the aforesaid reasons, the entire proceedings in C.C.No.262 of 2009 are quashed.

Consequently, the Criminal Petition is allowed.

The miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall stand closed.
R. KANTHA RAO,J 21st March, 2013

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