IN THE COURT OF SH. PULASTYA PRAMACHALA
SPECIAL JUDGE (PC ACT) CBI : EAST DISTRICT
KARKARDOOMA COURTS, DELHI
Criminal Revision No. : 74/2017
Under Section : 498A/406/34 IPC
FIR No. : 128/2012
PS : New Ashok Nagar
CNR No. : DLET01-004260-2017
In the matter of :-
1. SH. RAVINDER KUMAR
S/o Sh. Lal Chand (Husband)
2. SH. HEMANT KUMAR
S/o Sh. Lal Chand (Brother-in-law)
3. SH. LAL CHAND
S/o Sh. Ram Prasad (Father-in-law)
4. SMT. SANTOSH
W/o Sh. Lal Chand (Mother-in-law)
All Resident of :-
H.No. -6558, Mohalla Gujjar Wada Tehseel Distt. Rewari, Haryana. ………..RESPONDENTS
Date of Institution : 05.04.2017
Date of Receiving : 06.04.2017
Date of reserving order : 14.12.2017
Date of pronouncement : 21.12.2017
Decision : Petition is dismissed.
1. This revision petition is directed against order dated 12.01.2017, passed by the trial court in a case titled as State v. Ravinder Kumar Page 1 of 10 (Pulastya Pramachala) Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East District Karkardooma Courts, Delhi Criminal Revision Nos.74/2017 Ors., bearing FIR No. 128/2012, under Section 498A/406/34 IPC, PS New Ashok Nagar. Vide impugned order dated 12.01.2017, the trial court discharged all the accused persons/respondents herein.
BRIEF FACTS OF THIS CASE :-
2. Briefly stated, this case was lodged on the complaint of Sangeeta and in her complaint dated 04.10.2010, complainant made following relevant allegations. She was married to Ravinder Kumar (respondent no. 1 herein) on 17.04.2004 and her sister namely Santosh @ Preeti was also married with Hemant Kumar (respondent no. 2 herein) according to Hindu rites and rituals, who joined her matrimonial home after her gauna in the year 2007. It is alleged that complainant was being harassed, taunted and abused for bringing dowry right from the beginning of her marriage by all the respondents. All the respondents used to commit cruelty upon her for bringing insufficient dowry as per their expectation. It is further alleged that both complainant and her sister were compelled to do all the household chores. It is further alleged that on the instigation of respondent no. 2 Sh. Hemant Kumar and respondent no. 3 Sh. Lal Chand, respondent no. 1 Sh. Ravinder Kumar stared demanding a car from the complainant, on account of which complainant and her sister were mercilessly beaten. It is further alleged that on 11.07.2010, both complainant and her sisters were again beaten by all the respondents. It is further alleged that on 17.09.2010, when father of the complainant visited the matrimonial home of complainant, all the respondents misbehaved with him and complainant alongwith her sister was thrown out of their matrimonial home by the respondents. They were not allowed to watch TV, compelled to do house hold chores and they were harassed and beaten. All the jewellery and stridhan article was stated to be lying in Page 2 of 10 (Pulastya Pramachala) Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East District Karkardooma Courts, Delhi Criminal Revision Nos.74/2017 possession of their in-laws.
3. After completion of investigation, IO filed chargesheet and vide impugned order dated 12.01.2017, all the accused/respondents were discharged by the ld. MM.
GROUNDS : –
4. Being aggrieved of the decision taken by the ld. trial court in this case, petitioner has preferred this petition on the following relevant grounds :-
? That the order of the trial court is perverse, imperfect, unjustified and contrary to the established principles of law as ld. trial court erred in the basic law as laid down by Supreme Court that “roving enquiry is not required at this stage and charge can be framed even on strong suspicion” thereby placing reliance on the case law titled as Sajjan Kumar v. CBI, (2010) (9) SCC 368. In State of Maharashtra v. Som Nath Thapa, (1996) (4) SCC 6559, the three judges bench of the Supreme Court held that “at the stage of framing of charge, probative value of the materials on record cannot be gone into; the materials brought on record by the prosecution has to be accepted as true at that stage”. ? That the ld. trial court failed to appreciate the contents of the complainant at para 7, wherein it is mentioned that a person namely Hetram (not chargesheeted), who happened to be the brother of the respondent no. 3 had asked the complainant to sell kidneys of her father and arrange the money for accused persons. ? That the ld. trial court failed to appreciate that there are specific allegations of beating to the complainant and her sister on 11.07.2010 on account of non-fulfillment of their demand of dowry.
5. Ld. Addl. PP for the State argued that for the purpose of Section 498 A IPC, there is no necessity to have relationship between demand and cruelty. He submitted that such requirement is there only for offence u/s 304 B IPC. According to ld. Addl. PP, there can be cruelty without demand also and there are allegations of demand and cruelty in the complaint made by the complainant and thus, offences u/s 498 A IPC as well as u/s 406 IPC are made out against all the respondents.
6. Per contra, ld. defence counsel for respondent no. 1 2 submitted that the allegations made in the complaint are false and unbelievable. The complaint is silent in respect of specific allegations and role of any accused person. For the purpose of Section 498 A IPC, cruelty should tempt the complainant to commit suicide though, there are no such allegations in this case. The allegation of merciless beatings were made without support of medical documents. There is no allegations of entrustment and mis-appropriation of stridhan. Therefore, ld. MM rightly discharged the respondents.
7. Ld. counsel for respondent no. 3 4 also submitted that there are no specific allegations and it has not been specifically alleged that what was demanded by the accused persons. He further submitted that Santosh was at her parental home till 2007, though, her sister Sangita was tortured since the time of her marriage, which took place on 17.04.2004. Had such situation been there, then Santosh would not have been sent to her matrimonial home in the year 2007. Thus, apparently the allegations made in the case are false and improbable.
APPRECIATION OF ARGUMENTS, FINDINGS DECISION :-
8. Before I analyse rival contentions, it is relevant to refer to the allegations made by complainant in this case. The relevant allegations which have been made in the complaint are that in laws of the complainant were not happy with the dowry and they used to taunt complainant from the very beginning. Complainant was maltreated by everyone at her matrimonial home and she was made to do the household work like a servant. On account of delay in work, she was beaten by her husband and all brothers in laws. On 10.10.2005, she was not well and she was beaten by her husband and Ravi on the instigation of her in-laws. Her complete dowry was taken over by her mother in law and she was not allowed to wear her jewellery in the functions. Her sister in law used to wear her sarees and on protest being made, complainant was beaten. Complainant was taunted for not conceiving. Her husband used to talk to her only to make demand of money as he was not satisfied with his job and wanted money to settle his business. In January 2006, complainant was beaten by her husband and she was asked to bring Rs. 2 lacs from her father. On refusal of complainant, she was beaten mercilessly by her husband, brothers in laws Ravi and Monu and she was sent to her matrimonial home forcibly. Complainant was harassed by her in laws in one or other manner viz by disconnecting the electricity of her room, locking the fridge and not allowing her to eat food. Complainant was insulted in front of every guest and she along with her sister was not allowed to watch TV. When her sister came to the same house on 13.04.2007, her in laws were not satisfied with the cash and jewellery brought by her and their demand and cruelties increased day by day. Both of them were forced to cook food for whole house and to wash clothes and on protest being made by them, they were beaten by Hemant, Ravi and Monu. All such beatings and harassment continued in the year 2008 and 2009. In July 2009, father in law of Mamta had come to their home and complainant brought tea for him when she was abused and thereafter she was beaten by her husband in December 2009 and January 2010 also complainant was beaten mercilessly, when she asked him to take her to doctor because of her pregnancy. Her care was not taken during her pregnancy, rather she was beaten at that stage also. Later on, she was taken to her parental house by her father and she gave birth to a son, but her care was not taken by anyone. In August 2010, complainant came back to her matrimonial home and thereafter, she came to know about the receipt of summons of divorce case filed by her husband and by her brother in law against her sister. When her father came to her matrimonial home with such summons, all her inlaws mis-behaved with him and threw the complainant with her sister out of matrimonial home.
9. The law in respect of Section 498 A IPC, so as to explain the ingredients of the same was explained by High Court of Delhi, in case of Sanjeev Kumar Aggarwal and Ors. v. State and other 2007 (4) JCC 3074, in following manner:-
i. Under Explanation (a) the cruelty has to be of such a gravity as is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health.
ii. Explanation (b) to Section 498-A provides that cruelty means harassment of the woman, where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
iii. Explanation (b) does not make each and every harassment cruelty. The harassment has to be with a definite object, namely to coerce the woman or any person related to her to meet harassment by itself is not cruelty. It is only, where harassment is shown to have been committed for the purpose of coercing a woman to meet the demands that it is cruelty and this is made punishable under the Section.
Page 6 of 10 (Pulastya Pramachala) Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East District Karkardooma Courts, Delhi Criminal Revision Nos.74/2017
10.Thus, in order to bring home the assumption of guilt under Section 498-A IPC, the prosecution has to establish following ingredients :-
i) The accused is either husband or relative of the husband of a woman, who subjected such woman to cruelty, and
ii) The accused persons willfully conducted themselves in such manner as was likely to drive that woman to commit suicide, or
iii) Which caused grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (mental or physical) of that woman, or
iv) Which caused harassment to that woman with a view to coerce her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security, or
v) To harass woman or any person related to that woman on account of fulfillment of that woman or her relatives to meet unlawful demand.
11.Afore-said explanation of ingredients of Section 498 A IPC nullifies the first argument of the ld. Addl. PP for State that there is no need to have relations between cruelty and demand. The law stands explained in the terms that the cruelty has to be on account of some unlawful demand. Unlawful demand includes demand of dowry. It also stands clarified that the cruelty should be of such nature, so as to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or injury to her life, limb or health. Therefore, one or two instances of any demand, being made resulting into assault upon the complainant, cannot be sufficient to constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 498 A IPC. Law distinguishes instances of domestic violence and cruelty within the meaning of Section 498 A IPC. An incident of cruelty within meaning of Section 498 A IPC may be covered under Domestic Violence, but all instances of domestic violence are not covered under Section 498 A IPC. Therefore, there has to be such kind of allegations, which could show that there was consistent harassment of the complainant, with a view to coerce her to satisfy her unlawful demand made by the accused persons and the gravity of such harassment was likely to drive the complainant to either commit suicide or to sustain grave injury/danger to her life limb or health.
12.The complaint in hand though, referred to beating of complainant on several occasions by her husband and brothers in laws. However, all such beatings were not alleged to be on account of non-fulfillment of any unlawful demand. Similarly, the harassment being felt on account of over-work at her matrimonial home etc., cannot be covered within the meaning of cruelty under Section 498 A IPC.
13.I do find that the complaint is also very much vague in respect of custody/possession/dominion over stridhan of the complainant. There is only one line allegation that her dowry were taken by mother in law, who did not allow her to wear jewelleries and her sarees were worn by her sister in law. Neither any time period of such entrustment of dowry has been mentioned, nor is there any allegation that when a demand was made for return of such articles. The complaint states that a list of stridhan was being annexed alongwith complaint. This list consists of cash amount as well as various other articles including jeweleries. There is no detail description of the kind of jeweleries. Complainant has simply prayed in the complaint that her stridhan articles be returned to her. When there was no demand for return of the stridhan articles from the side of the complainant coupled with refusal on the part of any particular accused and when there is no specific allegation that who is having dominion over a particular stridhan article, court cannot act on such complaint, so as to proceed further to frame a vague and incomplete charge, devoid of description of property as well as role of the accused persons.
14.Ld. MM referred to judgment passed by Supreme Court in the case Page 8 of 10 (Pulastya Pramachala) Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East District Karkardooma Courts, Delhi Criminal Revision Nos.74/2017 of Neelu Chopra Anr. v. Bharti, (2009) 10 SCC 184, wherein while dealing with instance of vague complaint, Supreme Court made following observations :-
“When we see the complaint as a whole it is basically against the accused Rajesh. All the allegations are against Rajesh. There is undoubtedly some reference to the present appellants, but what strikes us is that there are no particulars given as to date on which the ornaments were handed over, as to the exact number of ornaments or their description and as to the date when the ornaments were asked back and were refused. Even the weight of the ornaments is not mentioned in the complaint and it is a general and vague complaint that the ornaments were sometime given in the custody of the appellants and they were not returned. What strikes us more is that even in paragraph 10 of the complaint where the complainant says that she asked for her clothes and ornaments which were given to the accused and they refused to give these back, the date is significantly absent.
It seems from the order taking cognizance that the learned Magistrate has mentioned about the version of the complainant is supported by Bhagwati and Dharampal to the fact that the ornaments were entrusted to Krishan Saroop and Rajesh while clothes were entrusted to Rakhi and they refused to hand over the same. Even their statements could not be better than the vague complaint. Even about the clothes, the date on which they were handed over to Rakhee who happens to be the daughter of the present appellants and the other details are very significantly absent. It was also the version of the complainant that she was beaten in support of which she has filed a certificate from AIIMS hospital, New Delhi. However, in the complaint, it is not seen as to on which date she was beaten and by whom. It is significant to note that the matter against the Rakhee, the 4th original accused has already been dropped as she was in fact not even the resident of the same house.
In order to lodge a proper compliant, mere mention of the sections and the language of those sections is not be all and end of the matter. What is required to be brought to the notice of the court is the particulars of the offence committed by each and every accused and the role played by each and every accused in committing of that offence……”
15.Thus, on analysis of allegations made in the complaint and the ingredients of alleged offences u/s 498 A and 406 IPC, I do find that there are no sufficient material to have grave suspicion against the respondents to frame charges for these offences. Therefore, I do not find any infirmity in the order passed by the ld. MM. Hence, revision petition is dismissed.
16.TCR be sent back along with copy of order to the trial court. Revision file be consigned to record room, as per rules.
Digitally signed by
PULASTYA Location: Court
PRAMACHALA No.3, Karkardooma
Announced in the open court (PULASTYA PRAMACHALA)
today on 21.12.2017 Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East
(This order contains 10 pages) Karkardooma Courts, Delhi
Special Judge (PC Act) CBI, East District
Karkardooma Courts, Delhi