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MP HC: Wife wanted to live seperately, filed absurd FIR: 498A Quash against family members

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Narendra Kumar Batra
The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 2 March, 2017

Shri Narendra Nikhare, Advocate for the applicants.
Shri Amit Pandey, Panel Lawyer for the respondent/State.
None present for the respondent no.2

This petition under section 482 of the Cr.P.C has been preferred for quashment of the proceedings arising from Crime no.33/2009 of Police Station-Mahila Thana Jabalpur registered against the petitioners on the complaint of the respondent no.2 for offence under section 498A read with section 34 of the IPC.

2. Having considered the contention of the learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record, prima facie against the petitioners no offence under section 498A of the IPC has been made out. In this regard first of all perusal of the written complaint and the provision of section 498A of IPC would be appropriate which are reproduced as under:-

^^eSa izhrh c=k iRuh Jh enueksgu c=k] esjh ‘kknh fnukad 26-01-1992 dks gqbZ Fkh] esjh ‘kknh ds dqN le; rd lc dqN Bhd&Bkd Fkk] ijUrq dqN o”kZ chr tkus ds ckn esjs ifr enueksgu] esjs cM+s tsB ohjsUnz c=k] NksVs tsB ujsUnz c=k vkSj NksVh tsBkuh fuf/k c=k o uun deys’k c=k rFkk NksVh uun vezrk [kUuk lc feydj eq>s cgqr ijs’kku djrs gSaA igys rks FkksM+k cgqr ijs’kku djrs Fks] fQj ;s yksx eq>s bruk T;knk ijs’kku djus yxs fd u eq>s [kkus nsrs Fks vkSj eq>s ?kj ls fudy tkus dh /kedh nsrs Fks vkSj cksyrs Fks fd ;fn iqfyl esa xbZ rks vPNk ugha gksxk] iqfyl okys gekjk dqN ugha dj ik;saxsA rqe fcu ekW&cki dh yM+dh gks] rqEgkjk bl nqfu;k esa gS gh dkSuA bu lc ckrksa ls og eq>s ekufld vkSj ‘kkjhfjd izrkM+uk nsrs gSA eSus cgqr lgu fd;k ijUrq mUgksaus eq>s cgqr ekjk vkSj 31-03-2009 dks eq>s ?kj ls ckgj fudky fn;kA eSa fcu ekW&cki dh vkSykn gw¡A eS vius HkkbZ ds ;gka dseksj vk xbZ mlds ckn eSaus ifjokj ijke’kZ dsUnz] fot;jkox<+ ls nj[kkl yxkbZ] ftlesa 6 isf’k;ksa esa ek= ,d ckj os yksx vk;sA eSa iqfyl iz’kklu ls fuosnu djrh g¡w] fd bu yksxksa ds f[kykQ ‘kh?kz vfr’kh?kz dM+h dk;Zokgh dh tk;sA^^
3. The provision of section 498A of the IPC reads as under:-

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498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b)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.]

4. In view of the aforesaid provision in the allegation in the written complaint of respondent no.2 there is no allegation regarding demand of dowry and there is no allegation regarding the fact and circumstances which falls under the premises of “cruelty”. Merely allegation regarding harassment and mal- treatment is not sufficient to bring act under purview of “cruelty”. The allegation that applicants beaten her and ouster her from the house are not sufficient to bring aforesaid alleged act under the purview of “cruelty” defined under section 498A of the IPC. There is no material to believe the fact that respondent no.2 was beaten by all the applicants as there is no medical evidence in this regard.

5. The notice given by the respondent no.2 to the applicants before the lodging of the FIR discloses the intention of the respondent that she wants to live separately with her husband leaving his joint family after taking their share in the family business. It reflects that the report has been made as a weapon of harassment or persecution of the applicants. In this case allegation made in the FIR are so absurd and apparently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person could ever reach just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the applicants and apparently the allegation is made maliciously with ulterior motive. Hence, in this case chance of conviction are black and no useful purpose would be served by allowing this criminal proceedings to continue.

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6. It is matter of common experience that the most of the cases relating to section 498A of IPC are instituted in the heat of the moment over trivial issues without proper deliberations with oblique motive. There is also tendency to implicate husband and immediate relative just to create pressure on the whole family of husband. Therefore, the allegations of the complainant are required to be scrutinized with great care and circumspection as criminal trial lead to immense suffering to all concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial will not be able to wipe out the deep scars of suffering of ignominy.

7. A Three-Judge Bench of Apex Court in the case of Inder Mohan Goswami Vs. State of Uttaranchal (2007)12 SCC1 has observed in para 24 of the said judgment, which is as under:-

“24.Inherent powers under section 482 Cr.P.C. though wide have to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in this section itself. Authority of the court exists for the advancement of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to injustice is brought to the notice of the court, then the Court would be justified in preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers in absence of specific provisions in the Statute.”

The Apex Court in the case of Zandu Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. Vs. Mohd. Sharaful Haque (2005)1 SCC122 in para 8 observed as under:-

“8. It would be an abuse of process of the court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise of the powers, court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation/continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. When no offence is disclosed by the complaint, the court may examine the question of fact. When a complaint is sought to be quashed, it is permissible to look into the materials to assess what the complainant has alleged and whether any offence is made out even if the allegations are accepted in toto.”

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The Apex Court has also observed in the case of State of Karnataka Vs. L. Muniswamy (1977)2 SCC 699 that the wholesome power under section 482 Cr.P.C. entitles the High Court to quash a proceeding when it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would be an abuse of the process of the court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. The High Courts have been invested with inherent powers, both in civil and criminal matters, to achieve a salutary public purpose. A court proceeding ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution.”

7. In view of the aforesaid discussions and legal position, applicants’ prosecution in the above case would amount to misuse of the process of the court. Hence, the petition is allowed and the proceeding against the applicants taking place on the basis of FIR of Crime no.33/2009 of Police Station Mahila Thana Jabalpur is quashed.

(J. P. GUPTA) JUDGE tarun

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