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Dr. Mitul Ahirwal vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 8 January, 2020

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH PRINCIPAL SEAT:
JABALPUR.

S.B : HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE RAJENDRA KUMAR SRIVASTAVA

M.CR.C.No.20362/2019

Dr. Mitul Ahirwal and others

Vs.
State of Madhya Pradesh another.

Shri Mahendra Pateriya Advocate with Shri Shashank Pandey,
Advocate for the petitioners.
Shri Rajmani Singraul, Panel Lawyer for the respondent No.1/State.
Shri B.K. Shukla, Advocate for the respondent No.2.

ORDER

( .01.2020)

Petitioners/accused have filed this Misc. Criminal Case
under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to
quash the First Information Report, in connection with Crime
No.193/2019, for offence punishable under Sections
498-A read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code
(hereinafter referred to as IPC for brevity) and Section 3, 4
of Dowry Prohibition Act, registered at Police Station Harda,
District Harda (MP), and all consequent proceedings arising
out of the aforesaid Crime No.193/2019.

2: The prosecution case in brief is that marriage of
respondent No.2-complainant was solemnized on 29.4.2017
with petitioner/accused No.1 Dr. Mitul Petitioner/accused
No.2 Lalchand Ahirwal is father-in-law, Petitioner/accused
No.3 Smt. Sheela Ahirwal is mother-in-law,
Petitioner/accused No.4 Smt. Arti is sister-in-law and
Petitioner/accused No.5 Nikhil Ahirwal is brother-in-law of
2

respondent No.2. Respondent No.2 lodged the First
Information Report against the petitioner/accused on
15.4.2019. It is alleged by the respondent
No.2/complainant that at the time of marriage, her father
gave sufficient dowry to the petitioners/accused.
Thereafter, petitioners/accused taunted, humiliated and
tortured her due to non-fulfillment of sufficient dowry.
Petitioners/accused used to tell her that if marriage of
petitioners/accused No.1 is solemnized in any other place,
then they would get sufficient dowry as car, Rs.11 lacs, etc.
Thereafter, her father gave extra gold worth Rs.50,000/- on
demand of petitioners/accused No. 2 3, but, the
behaviour of petitioners/accused did not convert and they
humiliated her. Her mother-in-law kept her ornaments, but
she did not return that ornaments. Petitioners/accused
humiliated and tortured her various times. On 10.3.2019,
petitioners/accused No.1 to 4 beat her and thrown out from
the matrimonial house. Petitioners/accused told her to
break up her relation with her parents. She did not want to
abolish her life, so she did not make any complaint to the
Responsible Officer. Petitioners/accused questioned about
her maternity. Petitioners/accused did not want to keep
her at matrimonial house. They thrown her out from
matrimonial house, so she is living with her parents at
Harda. Thereafter, respondent No.2 lodge a complaint
before Police Station Harda.

3: Learned counsel for petitioners/accused submits that
the allegation made in the First Information Report against
the petitioners/accused are false and fabricated.
Petitioner/ accused No.1 has submitted application before
Family Consultation Centre, Vidisha and proceedings were
3

initiated. During the pendency of proceeding, respondent
No.2 and petitioner/accused No.1 started living together at
Raipur, but after some time, respondent No.2 started
quarreling with petitioner/accused No.1, therefore, he sent
the respondent No.2 to Vidisha, where she tried to run
from matrimonial house. When petitioners/accused No.2
and 3 tried to stop her, then she tried to commit suicide,
therefore, petitioners/accused have made a written
complaint to the Police Station DDU Nagar Raipur. On
22.12.2018, the proceedings of Family Consultation Centre
was closed with the direction to the parties to settle the
dispute from the Court. Since the settlement taken place
between the petitioner/accused No.1 and respondent No.2,
therefore, the respondent No.2 is living with her in-laws
and on 10.3.2019, respondent No.2 again tried to commit
suicide. Thereafter, petitioner/accused No.1 made a
complaint to Police Station Dehat Vidisha and Family
Consultation Centre, Vidisha. Thereafter, petitioner/
accused No.1 filed a suit for dissolution of marriage
between petitioner/accused No.1 and respondent No.2, on
the ground of cruelty in the Court of Principal Judge, Family
Court,Vidisha. Notice was issued to the respondent No.2 for
appearance in that case. After receiving that notice, the
respondent No.2 lodge the false complaint only to harass
and involve the petitioners/accused in this false case.

4: Learned counsel for petitioners/accused submits that
according to FIR, the incident took place in matrimonial
house at Vidisha, therefore, Police Station Harda has no
jurisdiction to register the case and investigate the matter,
so registration of FIR without proper investigation is misuse
of power, hence, FIR is liable to be quashed. There is no
4

direct or indirect material available on record on which
petitioners/accused can be involved in this case.
Petitioner/accused No.1 due to unnatural behaviour of
respondent No.2 had taken her to Raipur with him, but
even then there was no change in the behaviour of
respondent No.2. She threatened the petitioners/accused
to implicate the whole family members in false case and in
furtherence thereto she lodged the false report at Harda
Police Station. No complaint or FIR has been lodged before
the date of incident, but when she received the notice of
proceedings under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,
respondent No.2 developed the concocted story to rope all
the petitioners/accused and threatened and pressurised to
petitioners/accused to withdraw the Divorce Petition. The
allegation of demand of dowry are baseless. Petitioner/
accused No.1 tried his level best to save his married life,
therefore, he took the matter to Family Consultation Centre
Vidisha, where the proceedings failed due to behaviour of
respondent No.2. There are omni bus allegation against all
the petitioners/accused and no specific allegation has been
alleged in the FIR, so this proceeding is abuse of process of
law. Petitioner/accused No.2 is a Government servant.
Petitioner/accused No.3 is house wife and they are old aged
persons, they have good reputation in the society, but due
to false allegation reputation of their family will be ruined.
Petitioner/accused No.4 is married sister of
petitioner/accused No.1, who lives in her matrimonial
house at Sagar. Petitioner/accused No.5 is a younger
brother of petitioner/accused No.1, lives at Delhi and doing
coaching, so these petitioners/accused have been falsely
implicated in this case being family members of petitioner/
accused No.1, therefore, learned counsel for petitioners
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prays that FIR be quashed.

5: Learned counsel for the petitioners/accused in support
of his submissions, relied upon the decisions of the Apex
Court in the case of Neelu Chopra and another Vs.
Bharti (Criminal Appeal No.949 of 2003, decided on
7,10.2009), Rashmi Chopra Vs. The State of M.P.
(Criminal Appeal No.594 of 2019, decided on
30.4.2019), Tarun and others Vs. State of M.P. and
another (M.Cr.C.No.8104/2017, decided on
16.5.2018).

6: Learned counsel for the respondent submits that
there is specific allegation about cruel treatment and
harassment about demand of dowry against the
petitioners/accused, so he prays for dismissal of the
petition.

7: Heard learned counsel for both the parties and
perused the record.

8: Learned counsel for the petitioner also submits that
according to FIR, all the incident had taken place at
Vidisha, so Police Steation Harda has no jurisdiction to
investigate the matter. But, Hon’ble Supreme Court in the
case of Rupali Devi Vs. State of U.P. And others
Cr.A.No.619/2019, decided on 9.4.2019, in para 16
has held as under :-

“We, therefore, hold that the Courts at the
place where the wife takes shelter after leaving
or driven away from the matrimonial home on
account of acts of cruelty committed by the
husband of his relatives, would, dependent on
the factual situation, also have jurisdiction to
6

entertain a complaint alleging commission of
offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal
Code.”

So, it is evident that respondent No.2 was residing
after the incident at Harda, so Police Station Harda has
jurisdiction to investigate the matter.

9: It has been held by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case
of Harshendra Kumar D. Vs. Rehatilata Koley AIR 2011
SC 1090 that controverted documents or material of
unimpeachable or sterling character may be considered while
exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. It is also
clear that this is a case of matrimonial dispute.

10 : This is a case of matrimonial dispute, therefore, it has to
be seen as to how to deal with a petition under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C. for quashing the FIR and subsequent criminal
proceedings.

11 : The Apex Court in the case of Rakhi Mishra Vs. State
of Bihar and others reported in AIR 2017 S.C. 4019 has
held as under:-

“This Court in Sonu Gupta Vs. Deepak Gupak Gupta
and ors. (2015) 3 SCC 424, 426: (AIR 2015 SC
(Supp) 684) held as follows:

“At the stage of cognizance and summoning the
Magistrate is required to apply his judicial mind only
with a view to take cognizance of the offence to find
out whether a prima facie case is made out for
summoning the accused persons. At this stage, the
Magistrate is not required to consider the defence
version or materials or arguments nor he is required
to evaluate the merits of the materials or evidence of
the complainant, because the Magistrate must not
undertake the exercise to find out at this stage
whether the materials would lead to conviction or
7

not.”

12 : The Apex Court in the case of Kans Raj Vs. State of

Punjab and others reported in (2000) 5 SCC 207 has

held as under:-

“In the light of the evidence in the case we find
substance in the submission of the learned counsel
for the defence that respondents 3 to 5 were roped in
the case only on the ground of being close relations
of respondent No.2, the husband of the deceased. For
the fault of the husband, the in-laws or the other
relations cannot, in all cases, be held to be involved in
the demand of dowry. In cases where such
accusations are made, the overt acts attributed to
persons other than husband are required to be
proved beyond reasonable doubt. By mere
conjectures and implicationssuch relations cannot be
held guilty for the offence relating to dowry deaths. A
tendency has, however, developed for roping in all
relations of the in-laws of the deceased wives in the
matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is
likely to affect the case of the prosecution even
against the real culprits. In their over enthusiasm and
anxiety to seek conviction for maximum people, the
parents of the deceased have been found to be
making efforts for involving other relations which
ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even
against the real accused as appears to have
happened in the instant case.”

13 : The Apex Court in the case of Preeti Gupta
anothers Vs. State of Jharkhand another reported in
AIR 2010 SC 3363 has held as under:-

“28. It is a matter of common knowledge that
unfortunately matrimonial litigation is rapidly
increasing in our country. All the courts in our country
including this court are flooded with matrimonial
cases. This clearly demonstrates discontent and
unrest in the family life of a large number of people
8

of the society.

29. The courts are receiving a large number of cases
emanating from Section 498-A of the Indian Penal
Code which reads as under:-

“498-A. 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 purposes of this
section,`cruelty’ means:-

(a) any willful 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.”

30. It is a matter of common experience that most of
these complaints 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 the number of genuine cases of dowry
harassment are also a matter of serious concern.

14 : The Apex Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State

of Bihar reported in 2014(8) SCC 273 has held as under:-

“4. There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial
disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is
greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the
IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the
9

menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of
her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section
498-A IPC is a cognizable and non-bailable offence
has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the
provisions that are used as weapons rather than
shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to
harass is to get the husband and his relatives
arrested under this provision. In a quite number of
cases, bed-ridden grand-fathers and grand-mothers
of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for
decades are arrested. “Crime in India 2012 Statistics”

published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry
of Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all
over India during the year 2012 for offence under
Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year
2011. Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this
provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which
depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands
were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is
6% out of the total persons arrested under the
crimes committed under Indian Penal Code. It
accounts for 4.5% of total crimes committed under
different sections of penal code, more than any other
crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge-
sheeting in cases under Section 498-A, IPC is as high
as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%,
which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706
cases are pending trial of which on current estimate,
nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.

5. Arrest brings humiliation, curtails freedom and cast
scars forever. Law makers know it so also the police.
There is a battle between the lawmakers and the
police and it seems that police has not learnt its
lesson; the lesson implicit and embodied in the Cr.P.C.
It has not come out of its colonial image despite six
decades of independence, it is largely considered as a
tool of harassment, oppression and surely not
considered a friend of public. The need for caution in
exercising the drastic power of arrest has been
emphasized time and again by Courts but has not
yielded desired result. Power to arrest greatly
contributes to its arrogance so also the failure of the
Magistracy to check it. Not only this, the power of
arrest is one of the lucrative sources of police
10

corruption. The attitude to arrest first and then
proceed with the rest is despicable. It has become a
handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity
or act with oblique motive.”

15 : The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Geeta Mehrotra

and another v. State of Uttar Pradesh and another

reported in (2012) 10 SCC 741 has held as under:

“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 Kumari Geeta
Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra except casual reference
of their names which have been included in the FIR
but mere casual reference of the names of the family
members in a matrimonial 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.

21. It would be relevant at this stage to take note of
an apt observation of this Court recorded G.V. Rao vs.
L.H.V. Prasad (2000) 3 SCC 693 wherein also in a
matrimonial dispute, this Court had held that the High
Court should have quashed the complaint arising out
of a matrimonial dispute wherein all family members
had been roped into the matrimonial litigation which
was quashed and set aside. Their Lordships observed
therein with which we entirely agree that:

“12.There has been an outburst of matrimonial
dispute in recent times. Marriage is a sacred
ceremony, the main purpose of which is to
enable the young couple to settle down in life
and live peacefully. But little matrimonial
skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume
serious proportions resulting in commission of
heinous crimes in which elders of the family are
also involved with the result that those who
could have counselled and brought about
11

rapprochement are rendered helpless on their
being arrayed as accused in the criminal case.
There are many other reasons which need not
be mentioned here for not encouraging
matrimonial litigation so that the parties may
ponder over their defaults and terminate their
disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead
of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes
years and years to conclude and in that process
the parties lose their “young” days in chasing
their cases in different courts.”

The view taken by the judges in this matter was that the

Courts would not encourage such disputes.”

16 : The Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana and

others Vs. Bhajan Lal and others reported in 1992 Supp

(1) SCC 335 as held as under:-

“102. In the backdrop of the interpretation of the
various relevant provisions of the Code under Chapter
XIV and of the principles of law enunciated by this
Court in a series of decisions relating to the exercise
of the extraordinary power under Article 226 or the
inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code which
we have extracted and reporduced above, we give
the following categories of cases by way of illustration
wherein such power could be exercised either to
prevent abuse of the process of any Court or
otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it may
not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly
defined and sufficiently channelised and inflexible
guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive
list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power
should be exercised:

(1) Where the allegations made in the First
Information Report or the complaint, even if
they are taken at their face value and accepted
in their entirety do not prima facie constitute
any offence or make out a case against the
accused;

12

(2) Where the allegations in the First
Information Report and other materials, if any,
accompanying the F.I.R. do not disclose a
cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by
police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code
except under an order of a Magistrate within the
purview of Section 155(2) of the Code;
(3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made
in the FIR or ‘complaint and the evidence
collected in support of the same do not disclose
the commission of any offence and make out a
case against the accused;

(4) where the allegations in the FIR do not
constitute a cognizable offence but constitute
only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation
is permitted by a police officer without an order
of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section
155(2) of the Code;

(5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or
complaint are so absurd and inherently
improbable on the basis of which no prudent
person can ever reach a just conclusion that
there is sufficient ground for proceeding against
the accused.

(6) Where there is an express legal bar
engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code
or the concerned Act (under which a criminal
proceeding is instituted) to the institution and
continuance of the proceedings and/or where
there is a specific provision in the Code or the
concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for
the grievance of the aggrieved party.
(7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly
attended with mala fide and/or where the
proceeding is maliciously instituted with an
ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the
accused and with a view to spite him due to
private and personal grudge.”

17 : In the light of aforesaid legal position I would proceed

to decide this petition.

13

18 : It is revealed from the record that petitioner/ accused
No.4 is married sister-in-law of respondent No.2. At the
time of incident, she was pregnant, so she had come to his
parental house at Vidisha for delivery. She is permanent
resident of Sagar district, therefore, it is natural that
petitioner/accused No.4 is living with her husband at Sagar.
At the time of incident, petitioner/ accused No.4 was
carrying 9 months’ pregnancy, so there is no probability of
threatening and torturing to respondent No.2. It appears
that allegation against the petitioners/accused is concocted
and she is implicating in this case at the instant of sister of
petitioner/accused No.1. Respondent No.2 had lived after
marriage with petitioner/accused No.1 at Raipur and some
time with other petitioners/accused at Vidisha. It also
appears from the record that conciliation proceedings had
taken place between the parties, so it is evident that
petitioner/ accused No.4 has no role in this case.
Petitioner/accused No.4 casually comes to paternal house
at Vidisha. Therefore, in these circumstances, proceedings
against petitioner/accused No.4 is misuse of process of law
and it is appropriate to invoke the inherent jurisdiction in
respect of petitioner/accused No.4, so FIR and subsequent
proceedings against petitioner No.4/accused are quashed.

19 : Petitioner/accused No.5 is brother-in-law of
respondent No.2. Petitioner No.5/accused is a student and
he is studying out of Vidisha, so he also casually comes to
his house situated at Vidisha. There is no specific
allegation against this petitioner/accused about demand of
dowry, torturing, taunting and humiliation. Petitioner No.5/
accused is a student, so it appears that he has also been
implicated in this case on the ground that he is brother of
14

petitioner/accused No.1. Therefore, on this ground, it is
appropriate case of petitioner No.5/accused to invoke the
inherent jurisdiction. So, FIR and subsequent proceedings
as against petitioner No.5/accused are quashed.

20 : Petitioner/accused No.1 is the husband of respondent
No.2. It is true that petitionerr/accused No.1 lodged so
many complaints about the misbehaviour of respondent
No.2. He lodged in these complaints that respondent No.2
tried to commit suicide and she threatened to implicate all
the family members in a false case. So, the respondent
No.2 tortured the petitioners/ accused and his family
members. He also lodged the complaint at Police Station
DDU Nagar Raipur on 13.10.2018 and thereafter
conciliation proceedings going on, which got unsuccessful,
then petitioner/accused No.1 filed a petition for divorce
under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act before Principal
Judge, Family Court Vidisha on 12.3.2019. Thereafter,
learned Judge issued notice to the respondent No.2 to
appear in the case. After receiving the notice, respondent
No.2 lodged a complaint, but these facts may be
investigated during trial. These facts will be proved by the
evidence at the appropriate stage of trial. Petitioner No.2/
accused is father-in-law and petitioner No.3/accused is
mother-in-law of respondent No.2. There is allegation
about demand of dowry and humiliation, so all these facts
will be proved by the evidence at the appropriate stage of
trial. It is not required in the proceedings under Section
482 of Cr.P.C. to appreciate the evidence or material.

So, prima facie allegation is available against the
petitioners No. 1 to 3/accused.

15

21 : In view of the aforesaid discussions, it is not an
appropriate case to invoke inherent powers under Section
482 of Cr.P.C., and to quash First Information Report
against petitioners No. 1 to 3/accused. Petitioners No. 1 to
3/accused are free to raise all the defence and objections
before the trial Court and the trial Court shall decide the
matter on merits.

22 : Accordingly, the petition filed by the
petitioners/accused under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., deserves
to be and is, hereby, partly allowed. The FIR registered
against the petitioners 4 5/accused in Police Station
Harda, District Harda (MP), vide Crime No.193/2019 and all
consequent proceedings stands quashed as against
petitioners/accused No.4 5.

(RAJENDRA KUMAR SRIVASTAVA)
JUDGE
A.Praj.

Digitally signed by ASHWANI
PRAJAPATI
Date: 2020.01.08 17:45:10 +05’30’

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