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Kedar Burnwal & Ors vs State Of Bihar & Anr on 4 July, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
Criminal Miscellaneous No.12269 of 2016
Arising Out of PS. Case No.-382 Year-2014 Thana- COMPLAINT CASE District- Banka

1. Kedar Burnwal S/o Late Santu Prasad Burnwal,

2. Meena Devi, Wife of Sri Kedar Burnwal,

3. Neha Kumari, D/o Sri Kedar Burnwal,

4. Vijay Kumar Burnwal S/o Sri Kedar Burnwal,

5. Mala Devi @ Sudani Devi @ Suhani Devi, D/o Sri Kedar
Burnwal, All resident of Bihar Colony, Chas, P.S. – Chas, Town
District – Bokaro.

… … Petitioner/s
Versus

1. The State of Bihar.

2. Subh Lakshmi Bharti @ Dolly Kumari, Wife of Ajay Kumar Burnwal and
D/o Sri Satyanarayan Burnwal, R/o Mohalla – Durbinia, P.S. – Chandan,
District – Banka, Bihar.

… … Opposite Party/s

Appearance :

For the Petitioner/s : Mr. Awadhendra Kumar
For the Opposite Party/s : Mr. Renuka Ratnakar, APP

CORAM: HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
ORAL JUDGMENT
Date : 04-07-2018
Seeking quashing of an order dated 06.09.2014 passed

by the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Banka, taking

cognizance in Complaint Case No. 382 of 2014 for offence under

Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 4 of the

Dowry Prohibition Act, this application has been filed under

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The complainant-respondent herein filed the complaint

case in question and it was her contention that she was married to

Ajay Kumar Baranwal on 02.06.2013 as per Hindu rites and at the

time of marriage ornaments, furnitures and household articles
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
2/8

worth Rs.10 lacs were paid. It was alleged that the complainant

started living with her husband in her sasural. For the first six

months everything went very well but thereafter the accused

persons, petitioners herein, used filthy language, harassed her and

demanded dowry. On denial, it is said that she was tortured. On the

aforesaid ground the complaint has been filed.

Petitioner no. 1 is a senior citizen and 62 years of old

and is the father-in-law of the complainant. Petitioner no. 2 is also

more than 60 years of old and is the mother-in-law of the

complainant. Petitioner nos. 3 and 5 are the married daughters of

petitioner nos. 1 and 2 and petitioner no. 4 is the son of petitioner

nos. 1 and 2. The husband of the complainant Ajay Kumar

Baranwal is not before this Court. He is said to be working in

Indian Air Force as a Technician and posted in Gwalior, Madhya

Pradesh.

Prayer has been made for quashing the complaint on the

ground that the petitioners have been falsely implicated and on

bare reading of the complaint would show that on the basis of the

aforesaid no cognizance in the matter can be taken. Placing

reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Gian

Singh vs. State of Punjab [(2012) 10 SCC 303] and various other

judgments of the Supreme Court in the cases of Kailash Chandra
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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Agrawal vs. State of Uttar Pradesh [(2014) 16 SCC 551], Amit

Kapoor vs. Ramesh Chander [(2012) 9 SCC 460] and Taramani

Parakh vs. State of Madhya Pradesh [(2015) 11 SCC 260] prayer

made is to quash the complaint.

On the contrary, the respondents opposed the prayer and

submit that at this stage on the basis of the averments made the

complaint cannot be quashed.

I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused

the records. The jurisdiction scope and power to be exercised by

this Court under Section 482 Cr.PC has been considered by the

Hon’ble Supreme Court in various cases. Most of the judgments

relate to exercise of jurisdiction laid down the principle that the

power of the High Court for quashing a criminal proceeding, an

FIR or complaint, in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is of wide

plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be exercised

within the guidelines as engrafted in the provision itself, that is to

secure the ends of justice, to prevent abuse of the process of any

court and to ensure that person is not unnecessarily harassed by

false implication. If we scrutinize various judgments on the power

available to this Court under Section 482 CrPC, it would be seen

that the power is required to be exercised not by evaluating the

defence or the justification given by the accused persons for a
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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particular occasion but the power is to be exercised by going

through the body of the complaint or the FIR and in case a bare

reading of the FIR or the complaint indicates that no offence is

made out, jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC can be exercised by

this Court. In my considered view, the aforesaid are the cardinal

principles of law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on a

scanning of catena of judgments available on the subject in

question. For the sake of convenience some of the judgments in

this regard can be referred to hereinunder, namely :-

(1) The State of Haryana vs. Bhajanlal
1992 Supp(1) SCC 335
(2) M/s Indian Oil Corporation vs. M/s NEPC India
Ltd.

(2006) 6 SCC 736
(3) State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Surendra Kori
(2012) 10 SCC 155
(4) M.A.A. Annamalai vs. State of Karnataka
(2010) 8 SCC 524
(5) Vinod Raghubanshi vs. Ajay Arora
(2013) 10 SCC 581
That being the legal position, I would now proceed to

examine the complaint and the material available on record in the

backdrop of the aforesaid legal principles and consider as to

whether the facts as brought on record warrant interference.
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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As indicated hereinabove, the applicants herein are the

parents, sisters and brother of the husband of the complainant Ajay

Kumar Baranwal. Ajay Kumar Baranwal has not invoked the

jurisdiction of this Court. The complaint is available at page-12 of

the paper book marked as Annexure-1. The complaint is of less

than three pages. In fact, it is only two-and-half pages. In the first

page, description of the court, the complainant and the accused

persons are given. The date of incident is indicated as on 22nd

December, 2013 and continuously till the date of filing of the

complaint, i.e. 03.03.2014. Thereafter, in the second page, the

offence for which the complaint has been filed is indicated. Name

of five witnesses are given and thereafter allegations commenced.

It is indicated in the body of the complaint that the complainant

was married as per Hindu rites in the year 2013 to the accused

Ajay Kumar Baranwal and in the marriage the complainant’s father

by way of gift had given jewelery, furnitures, utensils, clothes etc.

to the tune of Rs. 10 lacs. It is said that after the marriage the

complainant went to her in-laws’ house to stay with her husband.

For the first six months everything went on smoothly and

thereafter it is alleged that as a general statement that all the

accused persons started abusing and assaulting her. It is alleged

that they used to say that your are not good-looking, if you want to
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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stay in this house bring five lacs more as dowry, and when the

complainant refused to do so, it is alleged that she was harassed

mentally and assaulted. She had made a complaint regarding these

incidents to the people of the village and also to her parents.

Narrating the aforesaid incident the complaint has been filed.

Apart from making the aforesaid narration of facts nothing is

indicated in the body of the complaint as to how, when and in what

manner the petitioners herein treated the complainant and dealt

with her in a manner which is not permissible under law or which

amounts to an offence under the relevant provision on which the

complaint has been registered. Records further indicated that at the

instance of the husband before the Family Court at Bokaro,

Jharkhand, proceeding for dissolution of marriage are pending.

The question now before this Court is as to whether on a bare

reading of the complaint the offence as alleged is made out.

From the aforesaid narration of facts it is clear that

general vague and omnibus allegations are made with regard to

demand of dowry and harassment. Specific details with regard to

the nature of harassment, the role played by each of the petitioners

in harassing the complainant, and even the place and dates when

the harassment was made are not indicated. Petitioner nos. 3, 4 and

5 are the sisters and brother-in-law of the complainant and nothing
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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is indicated as to what is the nature of commission and omission is

not made out from the reading of the complaint. Question of

quashing a criminal proceeding for an offence of identical nature

under Section 498A IPC has been considered by the Supreme

Court in the case of Taramani Parakh (supra) and in paragraph-10

of the judgment the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that if

allegations are absurd or do not make out any case and particularly

in matrimonial cases when omnibus allegations are made against

the relatives who are not generally concerned with the affairs of

the couple quashing of the complaint may be permissible.

Reference is made to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the

case of Amit Kapoor (supra) to lay down a proposition that if the

allegations are found to be absurd and improbable, power can be

exercised for quashing such complaint as the process of the court

cannot be used for oblique or ulterior motive. Thereafter reference

has been made to the judgment in the case of Kansraj vs. State of

Punjab [(2000) 5 SCC 207], wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court

observed that in the recent years a tendency has been developed to

rope in all relations and in-laws of the wife in matrimonial dispute

and prosecution is launched against all the family members. It has

been observed by the Supreme Court that summoning all relatives
Patna High Court Cr.Misc. No.12269 of 2016 dt.04-07-2018
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without any specific material should be avoided. For that also,

there should be cogent material available on record.

In the present case, a bare reading of the complaint

indicates that omnibus general allegations are made and nothing is

indicated as to how and in what manner the offence was

committed and what is the act attributed to each of the petitioners

which amounts to demand of dowry, harassment etc.

Taking note of all these aspects and the principles of law

as discussed hereinabove in the totality of the facts and

circumstances of the case, I am of the considered view that it is a

fit case where the complaint is liable to be quashed on the ground

that it does not disclose commission of an offence as alleged.

Accordingly, this application is allowed. Proceeding in

Complaint Case No. 382 of 2014 pending in the court of Sub

Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Banka is quashed.

(Rajendra Menon, CJ)
mrl./-

AFR/NAFR NAFR
CAV DATE N.A.
Uploading Date 11.07.2018
Transmission Date 11.07.2018

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