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Chandresh Shrivastava vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 22 February, 2018

1
M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH, PRINCIPAL SEAT AT
JABALPUR
(SINGLE BENCH : HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE J.P.GUPTA)

Misc. Criminal Case No.10180/2012

Chandresh Shrivastava and others
Vs.
State of Madhya Pradesh and another

Shri Vijayendra Singh Choudhary, Advocate for the applicants.
Shri Manish Awasthy, G.A. for the respondent/State.
None for the respondent no.2 though served.

Whether approved for reporting : (Yes/No).

O R D E R

(22.02.2018)

This petition under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. has been pre-
ferred on behalf of the applicants seeking quashment of the proceed-
ings pending before J.M.F.C. Satna in criminal case no.4017/2010
arising out of charge-sheet filed in Crime No.7/2010 registered at
Mahila Thana, Satna, for the offence under sections 498-A read with
sections 34 of the I.P.C. and sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibi-
tion Act.

2. Facts giving rise to the present case, briefly stated, are that
marriage of applicant no.1 Chandresh was solemnized with respon-
dent no.2 Smt.Preeti Shrivastava on 4.12.2005 as per Hindu rites and
customs at Satna. On 7.5.2010 respondent no.2 Preeti lodged a re-
port at Mahila Thana, Satna, against the applicant no.1 and his late
father Shri Narottam Shrivastava alleging that applicant no.1 Chan-
dresh is her husband, applicant no.2 is mother, applicant no.3 is
brother and applicant no.4 is maternal aunt of the applicant no.1. It is
alleged that father of applicant no.1. Narottam after three months of
the marriage started demanding Rs.1 Lac in dowry and she resisted
2
M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

continuously, therefore, she was subjected to mental cruelty and ha-
rassment. On 7.3.2010 when she went to meet his husband applicant
no.1 he again demanded Rs.1 lac and he and his parents abused and
assaulted her and threatened her that if she come back in their house
they will kill her and also threatened to divorce her. After investiga-
tion, charge-sheet was filed before J.M.F.C. Satna, who took cog-
nizance against the applicants and applicant’s no.1 father Narottam.
Applicant no.1’s father Narottam has expired.

3. The aforesaid proceedings have been challenged by the appli-
cants on the ground that the allegation with regard to demand of
dowry is afterthought. The respondent no.2 left the house of the ap-
plicant no.1 on her own will and filed a petition before Parivaar Para-
marsh Kendra, Satna, in the year 2007. The respondent no.2 and her
father were present at Parivaar Paramarsh Kendra, Satna, on
20.8.2007 where they had disclosed that there was no demand of
dowry and harassment on behalf of the applicants. The main cause of
the dispute was that the respondent no.2 wanted to continue her ser-
vice and does not want to live with the parents of the applicant no.1,
which is recorded in annexure P/1. Thereafter, the applicant no.1
filed a petition before the District Court, Satna, under section 9 of the
Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights on 26.9.2007.
Thereafter, the said petition was withdrawn on 8.3.2010 and another
petition under section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act for divorce was
filed before the District Judge, Satna, on 8.3.2010. On 16.4.2010
counsel for the respondent No.2 appeared before the Court and
sought time to file reply and the case was fixed for further proceed-
ings on 21.5.2010. Between the aforesaid period, i.e. on 7.5.2010 FIR
was lodged by the respondent No.2 alleging the aforesaid facts with
regard to demand of dowry and harassment.

4. The sequence of circumstances prima facie show that the alle-
gations with regard to demand of dowry, harassment and torture
made by the respondent no.2 are inherently improbable and absurd.
The FIR has been lodged maliciously with an ulterior motive for
wreaking vengeance on the applicants and with a view to spite him
3
M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

due to private and personal grudge. It is further submitted that the
Family court Satna vide order dated 11.3.2015 has allowed the divorce
petition and rejected the respondent’s plea with regard to harassment
and torture in connection with demand of dowry by the applicants. In
such circumstances, the continuation of the proceedings against the
applicants is misuse of the process of the court and the FIR has been
lodged as a counter blast after getting summons with regard to di-
vorce petition filed by the applicant no.1.

5. On behalf of the respondent no.2 none has appeared.

6. Having considered the contention of learned counsel for the
parties and on perusal of the record it is clear that the respondent
no.2 was residing separately with the applicant no.1 since 2007. The
proceedings of Parivaar Paramarsh Kendra dated 20.8.2007 make it
clear that there was no dispute till that date with regard to demand of
dowry and harassment. The respondent no.2 was interested to con-
tinue on her job and did not want to reside with the parents of the ap-
plicant no.1 and thereafter she started residing separately. The appli-
cant no.1 filed a petition under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act
and later on withdrew the said petition and filed a fresh petition un-
der section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act for divorce on 8.3.2010. In
the aforesaid circumstances, the allegation with regard to demand of
dowry and harassment are prima facie absurd and the aforesaid facts
show that after getting summons of the petition for divorce filed by
the applicant no.1, as a counter blast, she lodged the FIR maliciously
with a view to take revenge with the husband and in-laws.

7. A Three-Judge Bench of the Apex Court in the case of Inder
Mohan Goswami Vs. State of Uttaranchal (2007)12 SCC 1
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 advance-
ment of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to injustice is
brought to the notice of the court, then the Court would be justi-

4

M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

fied in preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers in ab-
sence of specific provisions in the Statute.”

8. The Apex Court in the case of Zandu Pharmaceutical
Works Ltd. Vs. Mohd. Sharaful Haque (2005)1 SCC 122 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 dis-
closed 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 ac-
cepted in toto.”

9. The Apex Court has also observed in the case of State of Kar-
nataka Vs. L. Muniswamy (1977)2 SCC 699 has held as under :

“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 in-
vested 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 perse-
cution.”

10. The Apex Court in Bhaskar Lal Sharma another vs. Mon-
ica [(2009) 10 SCC 604] in which the Apex Court considering the judg-
ment of the Apex Court in Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. Union of In-
dia [(2005) 6 SCC 281] it is held that :-

“10. The object for which Section 498-A IPC was introduced is am-
ply reflected in the Statement of Objects and Reasons while enact-
ing the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act 46 of 1983. As
clearly stated therein the increase in the number of dowry deaths
is a matter of serious concern. The extent of the evil has been com-
mented upon by the Joint Committee of the Houses to examine the
work of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. In some cases, cruelty of
the husband and the relatives of the husband which culminate in
suicide by or murder of the helpless woman concerned, constitute
only a small fraction involving such cruelty. Therefore, it was pro-
posed to amend IPC, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in
short ‘CrPC’) and the Evidence Act suitably to deal effectively not
only with cases of dowry deaths but also cases of cruelty to mar-

5

M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

ried women by the husband, in-laws and relatives. The avowed ob-

ject is to combat the menace of dowry death and cruelty.
……………

……………

19. The object of the provision is prevention of the dowry menace.
But as has been rightly contended by the petitioner many in-
stances have come to light where the complaints are not bona fide
and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of
the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered
during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds
to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures
can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentioned provision.
Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does
not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreak personal
vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become neces-
sary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivo-
lous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till
then the courts have to take care of the situation within the exist-
ing framework. As noted above the object is to strike at the roots of
dowry menace. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terror-
ism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used as a
shield and not as an assassin’s weapon. If the cry of ‘wolf’ is made
too often as a prank, assistance and protection may not be avail-
able when the actual ‘wolf’ appears. There is no question of the in-
vestigating agency and courts casually dealing with the allegations.
They cannot follow any straitjacket formula in the matters relating
to dowry tortures, deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost sight of that
the ultimate objective of every legal system is to arrive at the truth,
punish the guilty and protect the innocent. There is no scope for
any preconceived notion or view. It is strenuously argued by the
petitioner that the investigating agencies and the courts start with
the presumptions that the accused persons are guilty and that the
complainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide and generalised
a statement. Certain statutory presumptions are drawn which
again are rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of the investigat-
ing agencies and the courts is that of a watchdog and not of a
bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that an innocent per-
son is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and
malicious allegations. It is equally undisputable that in many cases
no direct evidence is available and the courts have to act on cir-
cumstantial evidence. While dealing with such cases, the law laid
down relating to circumstantial evidence has to be kept in view.”

11. Further reliance has been placed upon the judgment of the Apex
Court in Preeti Gupta vs. State of Jharkhand [(2010) 7 SCC
667] wherein it is held that:-

32. It is a matter of common experience that most of these com-
plaints under Section 498-A IPC are filed in the heat of the moment
over trivial issues without proper deliberations. We come across a
large number of such complaints which are not even bona fide and
are filed with oblique motive. At the same time, rapid increase in
6
M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

the number of genuine cases of dowry harassment is also a matter
of serious concern.

12. Learned counsel for the applicant further placed reliance on the
judgment of Geeta Mehrotra and another vs. Stae of Uttar
Pradesh [(2012)10 SCC 741] in which it is held :-

20. Coming to the facts of this case, when the contents of the FIR
are perused, it is apparent that there are no allegations against Ku-
mari Geeta Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra except casual reference
of their names which have been included in the FIR but mere ca-
sual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimo-
nial dispute without allegation of active involvement in the matter
would not justify taking cognizance against them overlooking the
fact borne out of experience that there is a tendency to involve the
entire family members of the household in the domestic quarrel
taking place in a matrimonial dispute specially if it happens soon
after the wedding.

13. Hon’ble the Apex court in the recent judgment, Rajesh
Sharma and ors. vs. State of U.P. And anr., passed in crim-
inal appeal no. 1265/2017 dated 27.7.2017 as observed in para 14,
as under :-

“14. €Section 498-A was inserted in the statute with the laudable
object of punishing cruelty at the hands of husband or his relatives
against a wife particularly when such cruelty had potential to re-
sult in suicide or murder of a woman as mentioned in the state-
ment of Objects and Reasons of the Act 46 of 1983. The expression
“cruelty” in Section 498A covers conduct which may drive the
women to commit suicide or cause grave injury (mental or physi-
cal) or danger to life or harassment with a view to coerce her to
meet unlawful demand. It is a matter of serious concern that large
number of cases continue to be filed under already referred to
some of the statistics from the Crime Records Bureau. This Court
had earlier noticed the fact that most of such complaints are filed
in the heat of the moment over trivial issues. Many of such com-
plaints are not bona fide. At the time of filing of the complaint, im-
plications and consequences are not visualized. At times such
complaints lead to uncalled for harassment not only to the ac-
cused but also to the complainant. Uncalled for arrest may ruin the
chances of settlement”.

14. In view of the aforesaid enunciation of law and in the facts and
circumstances of the case, in view of this Court, the instant petition de-
serves to be allowed as in the aforesaid circumstances if the proceedings
continued against the applicants, it would amount to abuse of the
process of the court and would cause grave injustice to the applicants.

7

M.Cr.C.No.10180/2012

In the circumstances, this petition is allowed and the proceedings of
criminal case no.4017/2010 pending before J.M.F.C. Satna are hereby
quashed.

15. A copy of this order be sent to the court concerned for informa-
tion and compliance.

(J.P.Gupta)
JUDGE
HS

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