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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Naresh Mehta & Ors vs State Of Punjab & Anr on 11 September, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

CRM-M No.32347 of 2014
Date of decision: 11th September, 2019

Naresh Mehta others
… Petitioners
Versus
State of Punjab another
… Respondents

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE FATEH DEEP SINGH

Present: Mr. Ashish Aggarwal, Advocate for the petitioners.
Mr. Harbir Sandhu, Assistant Advocate General, Punjab
for respondent No.1/State.
Mr. Veneet Sharma, Advocate for respondent No.2.

FATEH DEEP SINGH, J.

The private respondent No.2 Ritika filed against the

petitioners Naresh Mehta (father-in-law), Sunita Mehta (mother-in-law)

and Amit Mehta (husband) and others a criminal complaint under

Sections 406/Section498A IPC. The allegations in brief are that the marriage

between the complainant and Amit Mehta took place on 11.12.1999

wherein sufficient dowry articles were given to the accused, however, the

accused husband and the in-laws of the complainant were not happy with

the same and raised a demand of more including a car. It is thereafter, the

allegations have come about as to demand of cash etc. leading to

matrimonial dispute. The wife as a consequence of this, filed on

04.12.2002 a criminal complaint (Annexure P1) in which the accused

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CRM-M No.32347 of 2014 2

were summoned vide orders dated 13.09.2003 (Annexure P2). However,

during the course of the same, on account of non-prosecution of the

criminal complaint vide orders dated 20.09.2007 (Annexure P3) the

complaint was dismissed in default. On the same very allegations, a

second complaint (Annexure P4) was instituted by the wife on

30.01.2013 and vide orders dated 04.01.2014 (Annexure P5) the

petitioners accused were summoned under Sections 406/Section498-A IPC

against which they have invoked jurisdiction of this Court under Section

482 Cr.P.C. seeking quashment of this complain (Annexure P4) and the

summoning order (Annexure P5).

Upon hearing Mr. Ashish Aggarwal, Advocate for the

petitioners; Mr. Harbir Sandhu, Assistant Advocate General, Punjab

representing respondent No.1/State; Mr. Veneet Sharma, Advocate on

behalf of respondent No.2 and perusing the records of the case.

It is writ large on the records and could not be displaced by

any of the sides that the marriage took place between the couple on

11.12.1999 and the first complaint (Annexure P1) was instituted on

04.12.2002 and which stood dismissed in default on 20.09.2007

(Annexure P3) and thereafter, second complaint (Annexure P4) was

instituted on 30.01.2013 i.e. after a period of a little less than five-and-a-

half years of the order of dismissal of the first complaint. As is there,

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there is no mention or reasons how it was necessitated for institution of

second complaint or the fate of the first complaint besides the fact that

under both the offences punishable under Sections 406/Section498A IPC

maximum sentence prescribed is three years. Under Section 468 Sub

Section (2) Clause (c) SectionCr.P.C., the period of limitation is three years if the

offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year

but not exceeding three years. Thus, in the light of the bar of Section

468(1) Cr.P.C., no Court shall take cognizance of an offence detailed in

Sub Section (2) after expiry of period of limitation. Even assuming, as is

there in the first complaint (Annexure P1), the cause of action has

accrued to the complainant as detailed by her in the complaint on

03.03.2001 and thus, the summoning order in the second complaint had

been issued on 04.01.2014 when the Court has taken cognizance of the

offence and therefore, by that analogy it is after almost thirteen years the

same has come about and is hopelessly barred by limitation. Even

otherwise, taking computation of period of limitation from the date of

filing of the complaint, in the light of ratio laid down by Hon’ble the

Supreme Court in ‘SectionJapani Sahoo vs. Chandra Sekhar Mohanty’ AIR

(2007) SC 2762 dehors cognizance of the complaint being hopelessly

barred by limitation.

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No doubt, upon dismissal of the first complaint, the

complainant has a right to either file a fresh complaint, a revision or a

petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for which reliance is sought to be

placed on ‘SectionJatinder Singh vs. Ranjit Kaur’ 2001 Cri.L.J. 1015, and

since the complainant has availed off remedy of filing fresh complaint,

but cannot escape rigor of limitation. Learned counsel for the petitioners

has sought support from ‘SectionM. Saravana Porselvi vs. A.R.

Chandershekhar @ Parthiban others’ 2008(3) RCR(Criminal)

454; ‘Smt. SectionHukami Devi others vs. The State of Haryana and

another’ 1992(1) RCR(Criminal) 357; ‘SectionAshok Bajaj vs. State of

Haryana’ 2003(1) CLJ (Criminal) 194; ‘SectionOm Parkash Bhatia vs. State

of Punjab’ 2002(1) RCR(Criminal) 595; ‘SectionArun Jha another vs.

State of Haryana another’ 2006(1) RCR(Criminal) 300 to enliven

his arguments and which could not be challenged by learned counsel for

the respondents.

In the light of what has been detailed and discussed above,

initiation of proceedings after such a yawning gap which is more than

nineteen years of the marriage, renders the allegations stale and

unbecoming of a trial. What one can assume is that it is nothing but a

misuse of the process of the Court and would not subserve any purpose in

dispensation of justice. It is a fit case for this Court to exercise its

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inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to prevent further

prejudice and harassment to the petitioners. In the light of the same,

proceedings by way of criminal complaint No.347/13 dated 30.01.2013

(Annexure P4) as well as the summoning order dated 04.01.2014

(Annexure P5) including the consequences arising therefrom are hereby

quashed. The instant petition stands disposed off in those terms.

(FATEH DEEP SINGH)
JUDGE
September 11, 2019
rps
Whether speaking/reasoned Yes/No
Whether reportable Yes/No

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