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Avadh Kumar Soni vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 16 January, 2018

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THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
MCRC 23977/2017
[Awadh Kumar Soni Ors. vs. State of MP and Ors.]

Gwalior, dtd. 16/01/2018
Shri SS Tomar, counsel for the applicants.
Shri RS Yadav, Public Prosecutor for the
respondents No.1 to 3/ State.

This application under Section 482 of CrPC has
been filed for quashing the FIR in Crime No.331/2017
registered at Police Station Porsa, District Morena for
offence under Sections 498-A, 506, 34 of IPC and
Section 3 /4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

The necessary facts for the disposal of the present
application in short are that the applicants No.1 and 2
are the father-in-law and mother-in-law, whereas the
applicant No.4 is the husband and the applicant No.3 is
the elder brother-in-law (Jeth) of the respondent No.4.
The respondent No.4 lodged a FIR on the allegation that
she was married to the applicant No.4 on 10/07/2016
and the father of the respondent No.4 had given an
amount of Rs.15 lacs in cash as well as gold and silver
ornaments and household articles. The applicants were
not satisfied with the dowry given at the time of
marriage and, therefore, they started passing taunts
that the father of respondent No.4 has not given
sufficient dowry. The applicant No.1 was also insisting
that he would purchase a plot for the applicant No.4
and therefore, she would bring a further amount of Rs.5
lacs. The father of respondent No.4 had given an
amount of Rs.6 lacks separately to the respondent No.4
and the same was withdrawn by the applicant No.4
without the permission of the respondent No.4. The
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applicant No.4 used to beat the respondent No.4 under
the instructions of the applicant No.2. The applicants
used to harass her physically and mentally because of
non-fulfillment of demand of dowry. On 16/07/2017,
the applicants came to the house of the parents of
respondents No.4 and started pressurizing that the
father of respondent No.4 should arrange an amount of
Rs.5 lacs and when hot altercations took place between
the parties, then the matter was intervened by the
residents of the locality. While going back, the applicant
No.1 extended a threat that in case an amount of Rs.5
lacs is not given, then they would get the applicant
No.4 remarried. Thus, it was alleged that the applicants
are harassing and treating the respondent No.4 with
cruelty. The respondent No.4 accordingly lodged a FIR
which has been registered as Crime No.331/2017 by
Police Station Porsa, District Morena for offence under
Sections 498-A, 506/34 of IPC and under Section 3 /4
of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Challenging the FIR, it is submitted by the counsel
for the applicants that the applicant No.4 has filed an
application under Section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act and
after the notices were issued and were received by the
respondent No.4, by way of counter-blast the FIR has
been lodged. The applicant No.4 had also made a
complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur with
regard to threatening which is being given to him by
some unknown person on his mobile. He had made a
complaint to the Superintendent of Police about the ill-
treatment by the respondent No.4. Even if the entire
allegations are accepted, then it may not be an offence
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under Section 498-A of IPC and no specific allegations
have been made.

Per contra, it is submitted by the State Counsel
that merely because an application under Section 9 of
Hindu Marriage Act has been filed, it would not be a
ground to quash the proceedings because the findings
given by the Civil Court are not binding on the criminal
Court. It is further submitted by the counsel for the
State that the investigation is pending and in the light
of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the
case of Lalita Kumari Vs. State of U.P. reported in
(2014) 2 SCC 1, it is clear that where the allegation has
been made pointing out the commission of cognizable
offence, then the police has to register the FIR. In the
FIR, specific allegations have been made against the
applicants with regard to harassment because of non-
fulfillment of their demand of dowry of Rs.5 lacs. It is
well established principle of law that since the
investigation is pending and the matter is yet to be
concluded by the Investigating Officer, then the
investigation should not be stiffled.

Heard the counsel for the parties.

The Supreme Court in the case of Lalita Kumari

(supra) has held as under:-

”120.In view of the aforesaid
discussion, we hold:

120.1. The registration of FIR is
mandatory under Section 154 of the
Code, if the information discloses
commission of a cognizable offence
and no preliminary inquiry is
permissible in such a situation.

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120.2. If the information received
does not disclose a cognizable offence
but indicates the necessity for an
inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be
conducted only to ascertain whether
cognizable offence is disclosed or not.
120.3. If the inquiry discloses the
commission of a cognizable offence,
the FIR must be registered. In cases
where preliminary inquiry ends in
closing the complaint, a copy of the
entry of such closure must be supplied
to the first informant forthwith and not
later than one week. It must disclose
reasons in brief for closing the
complaint and not proceeding further.
120.4. The police officer cannot avoid
his duty of registering offence if
cognizable offence is disclosed. Action
must be taken against erring officers
who do not register the FIR if
information received by him discloses
a cognizable offence.

120.5. The scope of preliminary
inquiry is not to verify the veracity or
otherwise of the information received
but only to ascertain whether the
information reveals any cognizable
offence.

120.6. As to what type and in which
cases preliminary inquiry is to be
conducted will depend on the facts and
circumstances of each case. The
category of cases in which preliminary
inquiry may be made are as under:

(a) Matrimonial disputes/family
disputes

(b) Commercial offences

(c) Medical negligence cases

(d) Corruption cases

(e) Cases where there is abnormal
delay/laches in initiating criminal
prosecution, for example, over 3
months’ delay in reporting the matter
without satisfactorily explaining the
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reasons for delay.

The aforesaid are only illustrations and
not exhaustive of all conditions which
may warrant preliminary inquiry.
120.7. While ensuring and protecting
the rights of the accused and the
complainant, a preliminary inquiry
should be made time-bound and in any
case it should not exceed 7 days. The
fact of such delay and the causes of it
must be reflected in the General Diary
entry.

120.8. Since the General Diary/Station
Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all
information received in a police
station, we direct that all information
relating to cognizable offences,
whether resulting in registration of FIR
or leading to an inquiry, must be
mandatorily and meticulously reflected
in the said diary and the decision to
conduct a preliminary inquiry must
also be reflected, as mentioned
above.”
Thus, it is clear that where the FIR discloses the
commission of cognizable offence, then it is mandatory
on the part of the police to register the FIR. The copy of
the FIR has been placed on record from which, it is
clear that specific allegations have been made against
the applicants with regard to harassment and ill-
treatment because of non-fulfillment of demand of
dowry. So far as filing of an application under Section 9
of Hindu Marriage Act by the applicant No.4 against the
respondent No.4 is concerned, the question is no more
res integra.

The Supreme Court in the case of Pratibha vs.
Rameshwari Devi and Others, reported in (2017)
12 SCC 369, has held as under:-

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”16. It is pertinent to note that the
complaint was filed only when all efforts to
return to the matrimonial home had failed
and the respondent No.2-husband had filed
a divorce petition under Section 13 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. That apart, in our
view, filing of a divorce petition in a Civil
Court cannot be a ground to quash criminal
proceedings under Section 482 of the Code
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. Such being the position, we are,
therefore, of the view that the High Court
while exercising its powers under Section
482 of the Code has gone beyond the
allegations made in the FIR and has acted in
excess of its jurisdiction and, therefore, the
High Court was not justified in quashing the
FIR by going beyond the allegations made in
the FIR or by relying on extraneous
considerations. ”

Since the investigation is pending and it is
needless to say that where the allegations made against
the applicants are sufficient for compelling them to
undergo the rigor of prosecution, this Court is of the
view that the FIR in Crime No.331/2017 registered
against the applicants at Police Station Porsa, District
Morena for offence under Sections 498-A, 506, 34 of
IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act cannot be
quashed.

Accordingly, this application fails and is hereby
dismissed.

(G.S. Ahluwalia)
Judge

MKB

MAHENDRA KUMAR BARIK
2018.01.18 17:57:30 +05’30’

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