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N. Jagadeeswaran vs The Inspector Of Police on 6 February, 2020

1

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 06.02.2020

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.D.JAGADISH CHANDIRA

Crl.O.P.(MD)No.15089 of 2018
and
Crl.M.P.(MD)No. 6681 of 2018

N. Jagadeeswaran : Petitioner

Vs.
1. The Inspector of Police
All Women Police Station
Srirangam, Trichy

2. Selvaraj : Respondents

PRAYER: Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C., to
call for the records and quash final report as against the petitioner in
S.C.No.102 of 2018 on the file of the Mahila Court at Trichy

For Petitioner : Mr.P.Sesubalan Raja
For R1 : Mr.S.Chandrasekar
Additional Public Prosecutor

ORDER

This Criminal Original Petition has been filed to quash the

proceedings in S.C.No.102 of 2018 on the file of the Mahila Court at

Trichy.

http://www.judis.nic.in
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2. The case of the prosecution is that the third daughter of the

defacto complainant one petitioner Nithya was married to the accused

on 18.01.2016 at Akilandeeswari Temple Mandapam as per hindu rites

and customs. At the time of marriage three sovereigns of jewels were

given to Nithya and half sovereign of ring was given to the first

accused. Apart from that sreedhana articles two wheeler were given.

After the marriage the victim Nithya was living with her in-laws in her

husband’s house as joint family. Six months after marriage the first

accused/husband had left to Singapore and that the first accused/

husband used to send money to the petitioner/ fourth accused who is

his friend and he used to hand over the money to the family. Further

allegation is that the in-laws had committed cruelty on the victim.

Further the second accused mother-in-law had objected her in

attending a marriage resulting in her committing suicide on 22.01.2017.

Therefore the First Information Report has been registered and the

respondent police after completion of investigation filed the final report

for the offence under Sections 306 and 498(A)of IPC and the case had

been taken up in S.C.No.102 of 2018.

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3.The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner would submit

that the petitioner is arrayed as A4 in S.C.No.102 of 2018 on the file of

the Mahila Court Trichy. He would also submit that the petitioner being

friend of A1 does not fall within the category of “relative “ of the

husband and further there is absolutely no allegation against the

petitioner that he either committed cruelty of abetted the victim to

commit suicide. He would submit that this Court finding that there is

absolutely no material against the petitioner had stayed all further

proceedings in respect of the petitioner alone. Thereafter PW.1 to PW.

10 have been examined before the trial Court. Even in their deposition

nothing had been stated about the petitioner. There is absolutely no

direct of indirect evidence against the petitioner and thereby the entire

proceedings is an abuse of process of law.

4. In support of his contention he relied on the judgement of the

Honourable Apex Court in the case of U.Suvetha -Vs- The Inspector

of Another, reported in CDJ 2009 SC 996 wherein it is held as

follows:

“9. Ingredients of 498A of the Indian Penal Code are :-

a). The woman must be married

b) She must be subjected to cruelty or harassment;

and

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c) Such cruelty or harassment must have been show
neither by husband of the woman or by the relative of her
husband.”

10. Appellant herein had not been charged for abetment of a
crime. Any conspiracy amongst the accused persons has also
not been alleged. A woman in terms of the aforementioned
provision must be subjected to cruelty by her husband and/or
his relative. The word `cruelty’ has also been defined in the
explanation appended thereto. It is in two parts. Clause (a) of
the said explanation refers to a conduct which is likely to drive
the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or
danger to her life, limb or health (whether mental or physical);
clause (b) provides for 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.It is not the case of the first informant that
the appellant had any role to play with regard to demand of
dowry.

11. The word `cruelty” having been defined in terms of the
aforesaid explanation, no other meaning can be attributed
thereto. Living with another woman may be an act of cruelty
on the part of the husband for the purpose of judicial
separation or dissolution of marriage but the same, in our
opinion, would not attract the wrath of Section 498A of the
Indian Penal Code.

An offence in terms of the said provision is committed by the
persons specified therein. They have to be the `husband’ or his
`relative”. Either the husband of the woman or his relative
must be subjected to her to cruelty within the aforementioned
provision.

If the appellant had not been instigating the husband of the
first informant to torture her, as has been noticed by the High
Court, the husband would be committing some offence
punishable under the other provisions of the Indian Penal
Code and appellant may be held guilty for abetment of
commission of such an offence but not an offence
under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

12. In the absence of any statutory definition, the term
`relative’ must be assigned a meaning as is commonly
understood. Ordinarily it would include father, mother, husband
or wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew or niece,
grandson or grand-daughter of an individual or the spouse of
any person. The meaning of the word `relative’ would depend
upon the nature of the statute. It principally includes a person
related by blood, marriage or adoption.

The word `relative’ has been defined in P. Ramanatha Aiyar
Advanced Law Lexicon – Volume 4, 3rd Edition as under :-

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“Relative, “RELATIVE” includes any person related by blood,
marriage or adoption. [Lunacy Act ].The expression
“REALTIVE” means a husband wife, ancestor, lineal
descendant, brother or sister. [Estate Duty Act].”RELATIVE”
means in relation to the deceased,

a) the wife or husband of the deceased;

b) the father, mother, children, uncles and aunts of the
deceased, and

c) any issue of any person falling, within either of the
preceding sub-clauses and the other party to a marriage with
any such person or issue [Estate Duty Act].

A person shall be deemed to be a relative of another if, and
only if, –

a) they are the members of a Hindu undivided

family, or

b) they are husband and wife; or

c) the one is related to the other in the manner

indicated in Schedule I-A [Companies Act, 1956].

“RELATIVE” in relation to an individual means –

a) The mother, father, husband or wife of the
individual, or

b) a son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew or
niece of the individual, or

c) a grandson or grand-daughter of the
individual, or

d) the spouse of any person referred to in sub-
clause (b) [Income tax Act].

“REALTIVE” means –

1) spouse of the person ;

2) brother or sister of the person ;

3) brother or sister of the spouse of the person;

4) any lineal ascendant or descendant of the
person;

5) any lineal ascendant or descendant of the
spouse of the person;

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5. He further relied on the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in

the case of Vijeta Gajra -Vs- State of NCT of Delhi, reported in

CDJ 2010 SC 564 wherein it is held as follows:

“7. Shri U.U. Lalit, Learned Senior Counsel, appearing on
behalf of the appellant argued that in U. Suvetha v. State By
Inspector of Police Anr. [(2009) 6 SCC 757], it was specifically
held that in order to be covered under Section 498A, IPC one has to
be a `relative’ of the husband by blood, marriage or adoption. He
pointed out that the present appellant was not in any manner a
`relative’ as referred to in Section 498A, IPC and, therefore, there is
no question of any allegation against her in respect of the ill-
treatment of the complainant. The Court in this case examined the
ingredients of Section 498A, IPC and noting the specific language of
the Section and the Explanation thereof came to the conclusion that
the word `relative’ would not include a paramour or concubine or
so. Relying on the dictionary meaning of the word `relative’ and
further relying on R. Ramanatha Aiyar’s Advance Law Lexicon,
Volume 4, 3rd Edition, the Court went on to hold that Section
498A, IPC being a penal provision would deserve strict construction
and unless a contextual meaning is required to be given to the
statute, the said statute has to be construed strictly. On that behalf
the Court relied on the judgment in T. Ashok Pai v. CIT [(2007) 7
SCC 162]. A reference was made to the decision in Shivcharan Lal
Verma Anr. v. State of M.P. [(2007) 15 SCC 369]. After quoting
from various decisions of this Court, it was held that reference to
the word `relative’ in Section 498A, IPC would be limited only to the
blood relations or the relations by marriage.

8. Relying heavily on this, Shri Lalit contended that there is no
question of any trial of the appellant for the offence under Section
498A, IPC. The argument is undoubtedly correct, though opposed
by the Learned Counsel appearing for the State. We are of the
opinion that there will be no question of her prosecution
under Section 498A, IPC. Learned Senior Counsel appearing on
behalf of the complainant, Shri Soli J. Sorabjee, also did not
seriously dispute this proposition. Therefore, we hold that the FIR
insofar as it concerned Section 498A, IPC, would be of no
consequence and the appellant shall not be tried for the offence
under Section 498A, IPC.

6. This Court directed the second respondent/ defacto

complainant to be present before the Court and the second respondent

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7

also present before the Court. This Court enquired the defacto

complainant and he submitted that he has no grievance against the

petitioner and that neither himself nor his relative have deposed

anything against the petitioner.

7. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor would submit that

sofar 10 witnesses have been examined and none of the witnesses have

spoken anything either directly or indirectly about the involvement of

the petitioner. He would also submit that they have not deposed

anything against the petitioner before the trial Court and there is no

other material available against the petitioner for implicating him. He

would also submit that due to the pendency of this quash petition the

trial court is unable to proceed with the trial against the other accused.

Hence, he would pray that a direction may be issued to the trial court

to complete the proceedings in respect of other accused as

expeditiously as possible.

8. This Court is of the opinion that no useful purpose will be

served in keeping the proceedings pending against the petitioner.

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9. Accordingly, this Criminal Original Petition stands allowed and

as a sequel, the proceedings in S.C.No.102 of 2018 on the file of the

Mahila Court at Trichy , is quashed insofar as the petitioner alone.

Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petition is also closed. Further

the trial court is directed to complete the trial proceedings in respect of

other accused persons within a period of four months from the date of

receipt of a copy of this order.

06.02.2020
Index: Yes/No
Internet: Yes/No
aav

To

1. The Mahila Court at Trichy

2. The Inspector of Police
All Women Police Station
Srirangam, Trichy

3. The Additional Public Prosecutor,
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court,
Madurai

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9

A.D.JAGADISH CHANDIRA, J.,

aav

Crl.O.P.(MD)No.15089 of 2018
and
Crl.M.P.(MD)No. 6681 of 2018

06.02.2020

http://www.judis.nic.in

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