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Abhinav Awasthy vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 20 July, 2018

1 MCRC-15407-2017
The High Court Of Madhya Pradesh
MCRC-15407-2017
(ABHINAV AWASTHY Vs THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH)

11
Jabalpur, Dated : 20-07-2018
Shri Jagannath Tripathi, learned counsel for the petitioners.
Shri Pramod Choubey, learned GA for the respondent No.1/State.

Shri Maneesh Kumar Soni, learned counsel for the respondent
No.2.

This petition under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. has been filed to invoke
the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court and to quash the FIR of Crime
No.18/17, registered at Police Station Bada Malhara, District Chhatarpur
and subsequent, Criminal Case No.77/17 pending before the learned
JMFC, Bada Malhara.

The respondent No.2 is the complainant who lodged the report.
Her marriage was solemnized with petitioner No.1/Abhinav Awasthy on
07/12/2015. The petitioners No.2 3, are the parents-in-law and
petitioner No.4 is the brother-in-law of the complainant. The complainant
lodged FIR before Police Station Bada Malahara on 05/02/2017 against
the petitioners and averred that, after the marriage, she started living at
the matrimonial home. Her husband /Abhinav Awasthy, father-in-
law/Satya Narayan Awasthy, mother-in-law/Smt. Shanti Awasthy and
brother-in-law/Anmol Awasthy tortured the complainant and caused
harassment mentally and physically for demand of Rs.3,00,000/- as
dowry, whereas her father had given Rs.2,50,000/-, 2 tola gold chain, 1
tola ring, fridge, cooler, etc., which are more then he could have
arranged. Because of the harassment and torture, she left the matrimonial
home and is living in her maternal home since last two months. The
petitioner say that, unless and until, Rs.3,00,000/- (Three lacs) is
provided, she will not be allowed to live in her matrimonial home. She
was threatened not to come to the house at Chhatarpur, otherwise, she
and her relatives will be killed. On this report, Police Station Bada
Malhara lodged FIR at Crime No.18/17 for offences under Section 498-
A, 506, 34 of IPC read with Sections 3 4 of the Dowry Prohibition
Act.

On behalf of the petitioner it is contended that, the respondent has
falsely lodged the report. Immediately, after the marriage at her instance,
a family settlement was entered on 15/03/2016, whereby the shares of the
2 MCRC-15407-2017
property of the father of petitioner No.1 was divided. It is also claimed
that, because of the complainant, petitioner No.1/Abhinav Awasthy had
started living separately with the complainant in a rented house. The
complainant and petitioner No.1 executed affidavits in this regard on
13/05/2016. Because of the complainant, the cordial atmosphere of the
petitioners was disturbed. The complainant was threatening the petitioner
No.1 for committing suicide, if her demands are not met.

It is also contended that, because of this threatening, the petitioners
submitted complains to the Superintendent of Police, Chhatarpur on
various dates which included 23/11/2016. The petitioners also claimed
that, the petitioner No.1/Abhinav Awasthy filed an application for
divorce on 21/02/2016 and the notice of the same was received by the
complainant. She made appearance on 15/02/2017 in the matrimonial
case. Meanwhile, she lodged FIR on 05/02/2017 as a counterblast.

On behalf of the petitioners, it is also contended that, the report has
been lodged at Bada Malhara. However, after the marriage, the
complainant resided with the petitioners at Rajnagar, Chhatarpur.
Therefore, the incident whatever have taken place has occurred at
Rajnagar, therefore, Police Station Bada Malhara has no territorial
jurisdiction to lodge the report.

On behalf of the respondent/State, the application is vehemently
opposed and submitted that, the respondent/wife has lodged the report
with regard to the harassment and ill-treatment met with her by the
petitioners. Hence, there is sufficient matter to proceed with the case.

On behalf of the respondent/complainant it is claimed that, so far
as, the affidavits and the family settlement is concerned, the signatures of
the complainant was obtained by the petitioners, she do not know the
contents of the documents. It is also contended that, immediately after her
marriage, she was subjected to cruelty and harassment till the demand of
dowry of Rs.3,00,000/- is met.

Considering the fact that, the complainant was ill-treated and
subjected to cruelty and threatened not to come to the matrimonial home
without the demand being fulfilled. She was bound to live on her
maternal house.

Perused the record.

The statement of the complainant as well as her brother/Daya
Shanker, the father/Thakur Das supports the case of the complainant. As
regarding the report and subsequent injuries, it is stated that, the medical
3 MCRC-15407-2017
officer who examined the injuries has opined that, the injuries are the old
injuries. The affidavits has been prepared after the signature obtained
from the complainant or not is a matter of evidence. At this stage, no
opinion can be given in this regard. The allegations with regard to the
said demand of dowry has been made against the petitioner
No.1/husband, petitioners No.2 3, the father-in-law and mother-in-law
and also against petitioner No.4/the brother-in-law. On a thorough
analysis of the preliminary evidence, it seems that, name of petitioner
No.4/Anmol Awasthy has been unnecessarily dragged as it has become
the tendency to rope all the members of the family of husband when such
dispute arises.

As regarding the lodging of the report by the complainant after
receiving the notice under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, it
would be suffice to say that, the petition for divorce was instituted on
21/12/2016 and notice was issued to the respondent No.2. She marked
appearance on 25/02/2017 but she lodged FIR on 05/02/2017 most likely
after receiving the notice. But this cannot be a ground for quashing the
whole criminal proceeding. In this regard, it would be appropriate to
mention here that, the family dispute was initiated immediately after the
marriage. The family settlements were done on 15/03/2015. The
affidavits were executed on 13/05/2016 and 18/05/2016. The complaints
made by the petitioners itself show that, the dispute was began before
23/11/2016, hence, there was a dispute continuously. It will not be
proper to say that, after the application for divorce, the complainant has
lodged the FIR to wreak vengeance.

In the case of Geeta Mehrotra Vs. State of U.P. others
reported as AIR (2013) SC 181 and Preeti Gupta Vs. State of
Jharkhand reported as (2010) 7 SCC 667, the Apex Court has opined
that, the allegations are to be scrutinized with a great care and
circumspection specially against husband’s relatives who were living
at different cities and never visited or rarely visited the matrimonial
home of the complainant.

The Apex Court has observed that, mere causal reference to the
names of the members of the husband’s family is not sufficient to take
cognizance. The name of the petitioner No.4/Anmol Awasthy seem to
have mentioned causally by the complainant. The complainant has made
an omnibus statement against the petitioner No.4, therefore, following the
law laid down in Dashrath P. Bundela Vs. State of M.P. reported as
4 MCRC-15407-2017
2012 (1) MPHT 196. FIR is quashed, so far as, the petitioner
No.4/Anmol Awasthy is concerned.

In the case of Pratibha Vs. Rameshwari Devi and others
reported as 2007 AIR SCW 593, the Apex Court has held that, “the
quashing of FIR alleging dowry harassment by drawing adverse
inference against complainant on ground that, the complaint was filed
about six months after she was forced to leave her matrimonial home
and after filing of divorce petition by husband was improper. The
Court failed to appreciate that, the complainant and her family
members were during this period, making all possible efforts to enter
into a settlement so that the husband would take her back to the
matrimonial home. If any complaint was made during this period, there
was every possibility of not entering into any settlement with the
husband. The complaint was filed only when all efforts to return to the
matrimonial home had failed and husband had filed a divorce petition.
Filing of a divorce petition in a Civil Court cannot be a ground to
quash criminal proceeding under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. as it is well
settled that criminal and civil proceedings are separate and
independent and the pendency of a civil proceeding cannot bring to an
end a criminal proceeding even if they arise out of the same set of
facts”.

As regarding the territorial jurisdiction of police station Badam
Malhara, the objection has aptly raised by the petitioners that, the
incident allegedly, as per the complaint occurred at the jurisdiction of
Rajnagar police station where the complainant was residing at her
maternal house and not at police station, Bada Malhara. Therefore, on
this ground, the petition cannot be quashed. But the police station, Bada
Malhara is directed to examine the same and send the complaint and the
papers to police station Rajnagar for proceeding in accordance with law.

The petition is disposed of accordingly.

(SUSHIL KUMAR PALO)
JUDGE

RS

Digitally signed by
RASHMI RONALD VICTOR
Date: 2018.07.25 11:21:30

-07’00’

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