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M.Maraiyarasu vs The State Rep. By on 3 January, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED : 03.01.2019

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE N.ANAND VENKATESH

Crl.O.P.No.13949 of 2017 and
Crl.O.P.Nos.19192 21010 of 2016
Crl.M.P.Nos.8936 8937 of 2017 and
Crl.M.P.Nos.9022 9732 of 2016

1. M.Maraiyarasu

2. Manoher

3. Mahalakshmi … Petitioners in Crl.O.P.No.13949/17

M.Vivek … Petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.19192/16

1. Raghupathy

2. Jeyamani

3. Asokan

4. Elampoorani … Petitioners in Crl.O.P.No.21010/16

Vs.

1. The State rep. by
The Inspector of Police,
W-28, All Women Police Station,
Ambattur, Chennai.

2. Sudha … Respondents in all Crl.O.Ps

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COMMON PRAYER in all Crl.O.Ps: Criminal Original Petition filed
under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., to call for the records relating to
the Criminal Case in C.C.No.99 of 2016 on the file of the learned
Judicial Magistrate, Ambattur and quash the same by allowing this
Criminal Original Petition.

For Petitioners : Mr.R.John Sathyan for
Mr.D.R.Arun Kumar in
Crl.O.P.No.13949/17

: Mr.R.John Sathyan for Mr.S.Suresh
in Crl.O.P.Nos.19192 21010/16

For R1 : M/s.A.Laxmi Raj Rathnam in all Crl.O.Ps

For R2 : Mr.M.Mohamed Riyaz
Addl. Public Prosecutor in all Crl.O.Ps

COMMON ORDER

These petitions have been filed seeking to quash the

proceedings in C.C.No.99 of 2016, pending on the file of the learned

Judicial Magistrate, Ambattur.

2. The 1st petitioner is the husband, the 2nd petitioner is

the father-in-law, the 3rd petitioner is the mother-in-law, the 4th

petitioner is the elder brother of the 2 nd petitioner, the 5th petitioner

is the wife of the 4th petitioner, the 6th petitioner is the younger

brother of the 2nd petitioner, the 7th petitioner is the sister-in-law
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and the 8th petitioner is the brother-in-law. The 2nd
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respondent/Sudha has given a complaint against all these

petitioners and an FIR came to be registered by the respondent

police for an offence under Sections 498(A) and 406 of IPC.

3. The respondent police, on completion of the

investigation, filed a final report as against all these petitioners by

showing them as A1 to A8 in the final report and the same has been

taken the cognizance by the Court below for an offence under

Sections 498(A) and 406 of IPC.

4. The learned counsel for the petitioners would submit

that the marriage between the 1st petitioner and the 2nd respondent

took place on 11.02.2015 at Vedaranyam. The 1st petitioner and the

2nd respondent lived hardly for ten days at Trichy and on

22.02.2015, they travelled to Singapore and they lived in Singapore

till 08.06.2015. In the mean time, there was some

misunderstanding between the parties and the 2nd respondent

returned back to India and started living with the parents. The

learned counsel for the petitioners would further submit that the

actual dispute in this case between the 1st petitioner and the 2nd

respondent and the in-laws have been unnecessarily roped in this

case as accused persons. The learned counsel for the petitioners

would further submit that admittedly the entire dispute happened
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when the 1st petitioner and 2nd respondent were living in Singapore

and there is no reason as to why the in-laws should be roped in as

accused for an offence under Sections 498(A) and 406 of IPC.

5. The learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that

the roping in in-laws without there being any strong materials

against them has been deprecated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in

various judgements and this is yet another case where the in-laws

have been unnecessarily made as accused persons and they are

made to face criminal proceedings. The learned counsel in order to

substantiate his the arguments relied upon the judgements of the

Hon’ble Supreme Court.

6. The learned counsel appearing for the 2nd respondent

would submit that the 2nd respondent underwent cruelty in the

hands of the 1st petitioner and all his family members. The learned

counsel would further submit that while travelling to Singapore, the

in-laws also travelled along with them and they caused cruelty to

the second respondent while she was living in Singapore with the 1 st

petitioner. The learned counsel would further submit that sufficient

allegations have been made against the in-laws both in the

complaint as well as in the final report and the same is

substantiated by the statements recorded by the respondent police
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in the course of investigation. Therefore, the learned counsel would

submit that prima facie materials are available against the

petitioners and the petitioners will have to necessarily undergo trial

before the Court below and this Court should not interfere with the

proceedings at this stage.

7. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor would submit

that the respondent police have collected sufficient materials against

all the petitioners in the course of investigation and the Court below

has taken cognizance against the petitioners for an offence under

Sections 498(A) and 406 of IPC and this Court should not interfere

with the proceedings at this stage.

8. This Court has carefully considered the submissions

made by the either side and also entire materials available on

record.

9. This Court, on going through the materials and the

statement given by the witnesses, is able to see that substantial

allegations have been made as against A1, viz., the husband and

A3, viz., the mother-in-law. Insofar as other accused persons are

concerned, only general allegations have been made and there is

absolutely no materials to show the commission of offence by the
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other accused persons. This is a classical case where the entire

family has been roped in and the respondent police have

mechanically filed the final report as against all the family members

without even collecting sufficient materials against them.

Unfortunately, the Court below while taking cognizance, has not

applied his mind to the materials available on record and the Court

below is also mechanically taken the cognizance as against all the

family members.

10. It will be useful to refer to the judgements of the

Hon’ble Supreme Court in this regard.

(i) The judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case

of GEETA MEHROTRA AND ANOTHER V. STATE OF UTTAR

PRADESH reported (2012) 10 SCC 741, the relevant portion is

extracted hereunder:

14. On a perusal of the complaint and
other materials on record as also analysis of the
arguments advanced by the contesting parties in
the light of the settled principles of law reflected in
a catena of decisions, it is apparent that the High
Court has not applied its mind on the question as
to whether the case was fit to be quashed against
the appellants and has merely disposed of the
petition granting liberty to the appellants to move
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the trial court and raise contentions on the ground
as to whether it has territorial jurisdiction to
continue with the trial in the light of the averment
that no part of the cause of action had arisen at
Allahabad and the entire incident even as per the
FIR had taken place at Faridabad.

15. The High Court further overlooked the
fact that during the pendency of this case, the
complainant-respondent No.2 has obtained an ex-
parte decree of divorce against her husband
Shyamji Mehrotra and the High Court failed to
apply its mind whether any case could be held to
have been made out against Kumari Geeta
Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra, who are the
unmarried sister and elder brother of the
complainant’s ex-husband. Facts

of the FIR even as
it stands indicate that although a prima facie case
against the husband Shyamji Mehrotra and some
other accused persons may or may not be
constituted, it surely appears to be a case where
no ingredients making out a case against the
unmarried sister of the accused Shyamji Mehrotra
and his brother Ramji Mehrotra appear to be
existing for even when the complainant came to
her in-law’s house after her wedding, she has
alleged physical and mental torture by stating in
general that she had been ordered to do household
activities of cooking meals for the whole family.
But there appears to be no specific allegation
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against the sister and brother of the complainant’s
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husband as to how they could be implicated into
the mutual bickering between the complainant and
her husband Shyamji Mehrotra including his
parents.

16. Under the facts and circumstance of
similar nature in the case of Ramesh vs. State of
Tamil Nadu reported in (2005) SCC (Crl.) 735 at
738 allegations were made in a complaint against
the husband, the in-laws, husband’s brother and
sister who were all the petitioners before the High
Court wherein after registration of the F.I.R. and
investigation, the charge sheet was filed by the
Inspector of Police in the court of Judicial
Magistrate III, Trichy. Thereupon, the learned
magistrate took cognizance of the offence and
issued warrants against the appellants on
13.2.2002. Four of the accused-appellants were
arrested and released on bail by the magistrate at
Mumbai. The appellants had filed petition under
Section 482, Cr.P.C. before the Madras High Court
for quashing the proceedings in complaint case on
the file of the Judicial Magistrate III, Trichy. The
High Court by the impugned order dismissed the
petition observing that the grounds raised by the
petitioners were all subject matters to be heard by
the trial court for better appreciation after
conducting full trial as the High Court was of the
view that it was only desirable to dismiss the
criminal original petition and the same was also
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dismissed. However, the High Court had directed
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the Magistrate to dispense with the personal
attendance of the appellants.

17. Aggrieved by the order of the Madras
High Court dismissing the petition under Section
482Cr.P.C., the special leave petition was filed in
this Court giving rise to the appeals therein where
threefold contentions were raised viz.,

(i) that the allegations are frivolous and without
any basis;

(ii)even according to the FIR, no incriminating
acts were done within the jurisdiction of
Trichy Police Station and the court at Trichy
and, therefore, the learned magistrate lacked
territorial jurisdiction to take cognizance of
the offence and

(iii)taking cognizance of the alleged offence at
that stage was barred under Section
468(1) Cr.P.C. as it was beyond the period of
limitation prescribed under Section
468(2) Cr.P.C.

Apart from the subsequent two contentions, it was
urged that the allegations under the FIR do not
make out any offence of which cognizance could be
taken.

18. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court
in this matter had been pleased to hold that the
bald allegations made against the sister in law by
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the complainant appeared to suggest the anxiety
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of the informant to rope in as many of the
husband’s relatives as possible. It was held that
neither the FIR nor the charge sheet furnished the
legal basis for the magistrate to take cognizance of
the offences alleged against the appellants. The
learned Judges were pleased to hold that looking to
the allegations in the FIR and the contents of the
charge sheet, none of the alleged offences under
Section 498 A, 406 and Section 4 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act were made against the married
sister of the complainant’s husband who was
undisputedly not living with the family of the
complainant’s husband. Their Lordships of the
Supreme Court were pleased to hold that the High
Court ought not to have relegated the sister in law
to the ordeal of trial. Accordingly, the proceedings
against the appellants were quashed and the
appeal was allowed.

21. It would be relevant at this stage to
take note of an apt observation of this Court
recorded in the matter of G.V. Rao vs. L.H.V.
Prasad Ors. reported in (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:

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“12.there has been an outburst of
matrimonial dispute in recent times. Marriage
is a sacred ceremony, 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
heinous crimes in which elders of the family
are also involved with the result that those
who could have counselled and brought
about rapprochement are rendered helpless
on their being arrayed as accused in the
criminal case. There are many reasons which
need not be mentioned here for not
encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the
parties may ponder over their defaults and
terminate the 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.”

(ii). The judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the

case of RAJESH SHARMA OTHERS V. STATE OF U.P.
http://www.judis.nic.in
Reported in 2017 (4) CTC 667. The relevant portions are
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extracted hereunder:

14. Section 498A 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 result in suicide or murder of a woman
as mentioned in the Statement 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 physical) or danger to life or
harassment with a view to coerce her to meet
unlawful demand.8 It is a matter of serious
concern that large number of cases continue to be
filed under Section 498A alleging harassment of
married women. We have 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
complaints are not bona fide. At the time of filing
of the complaint, implications and consequences
are not visualized. At times such complaints lead
to uncalled for harassment not only to the accused
but also to the complainant. Uncalled for arrest
may ruin the chances of settlement. This Court
had earlier observed that a serious review of the
provision was warranted.

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The matter also appears to have been
considered by the Law Commission, the Malimath
Committee, the Committee on Petitions in the
Rajya Sabha, the Home Ministry, which have been
referred to in the earlier part of the Judgment. The
abuse of the 8 Explanation to Section 498A 9
Preeti Gupta (supra) provision was also noted in
the judgments of this Court referred to earlier.
Some High Courts have issued directions to check
such abuse. In Arnesh Kumar (supra) this Court
gave directions to safeguard uncalled for arrests.
Recommendation has also been made by the Law
Commission to make the offence compoundable.

15. Following areas appear to require
remedial steps :-

i. Uncalled for implication of husband and his
relatives and arrest.

ii. Continuation of proceedings in spite of
settlement between the parties since
the offence is non-compoundable and
uncalled for hardship to parties on that
account.

11. From the above judgments, it is clear that the Hon’ble

Supreme Court has deprecated this practice of roping in all the

family members as accused in the matrimonial disputes. The
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Hon’ble Supreme Court also took note of the fact that most of the

complaints are filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues

and many of the complaints are not bona fide. The Hon’ble

Supreme Court also took note of the fact that these complaints lead

to uncalled for harassment to the family members of the husband,

who have nothing to do with the dispute between the husband and

wife.

12. The above judgments squarely applies to the facts of

the present case. This is Court is not able to find any material

against the petitioners 2, 4 to 8, except for some general allegations

made against them. This Court is able to see that prima facie

materials available as against the 1st petitioner/husband and the 3rd

petitioner/mother-in-law. The genuineness or otherwise of the

allegations made against these petitioners cannot be tested under

Section 482 of Cr.P.C., and the same can only be tested in the

course of proceedings during trial.

13. These Criminal Original Petitions are partly allowed and

the proceedings insofar as the petitioners 2, 4 to 8 is quashed and

insofar as the 1st and 3rd petitioners are concerned, the same is

dismissed. The Court below is directed to proceed further with the

case insofar as the A1/husband and A3/mother-in-law are
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concerned and complete the proceedings within a period of three
15

months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.

03.01.2019

Speaking Order / Non-Speaking Order

Index : Yes / No

Internet : Yes / No

kal/ssr

To

1. The Judicial Magistrate,
Ambattur, Chennai.

2. The Inspector of Police,
W-28, All Women Police Station,
Ambattur, Chennai.

3. The Public Prosecutor,
High Court, Madras.

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N.ANAND VENKATESH, J
ssr/kal

Crl.O.P.No.13949 of 2017 and
Crl.O.P.Nos.19192 21010 of 2016
Crl.M.P.Nos.8936 8937 of 2017 and
Crl.M.P.Nos.9022 9732 of 2016

03.01.2019

http://www.judis.nic.in

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