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P.R.Muthaiah vs The Inspector Of Police on 7 February, 2017

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 07.02.2017

CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.KALAIYARASAN

Criminal Original Petition (MD) No.10056 of 2010 and M.P.(MD) No.1 of 2010

1.P.R.Muthaiah
2.Allis Rani
…. Petitioners

versus

1.The Inspector of Police,
All Women Police Station,
Dindigul.

2.J.Sundhara
… Respondents

Prayer: Criminal original petition is filed under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C., to call for the records pertaining to the charge framed against the
petitioners in C.C.No.57 of 2008 on the file of Judicial Magistrate No.2,
Dindigul and quash the same.

For Petitioners : Mr.Veerakathiravan, senior
counsel for M/s.Veera
Associates

For Respondent : Mr.A.P.Balasubramanian,
G.A.(Crl. Side)
for R1

No Appearance for R2

:ORDER

This criminal original petition has been filed under
Section 482 of Cr.P.C., praying to call for the records in C.C.No.57 of 2008
on the file of Judicial Magistrate No.2, Dindigul and quash the same as
against the petitioners, who are arrayed as A2 and A3 in this case.

2.It is averred in the petition that the petitioners along
with others have been charge sheeted for the offence under Section 498(A),
406, 347 and 506(i) read with 109 of I.P.C., and Section 4 of D.P.Act. The
defacto complainant is the wife of first accused. The petitioners are second
and third accused in the case and they are not related either to the
complainant or to the first accused. Except these petitioners, other accused
are husband and in-laws of the defacto complainant. The allegations in the
charge sheet are demand and acceptance of dowry and also that the defacto
complainant was wrongfully confined for about 41 days. Absolutely, there is
no iota of allegations as against the petitioners. Entire allegations of the
complaint were made only after filing H.M.O.P.No.203 of 2008 by the first
accused. The allegation against the first petitioner is that he was
conducting poojas during the midnight along with A1. The allegation against
the second petitioner is that she was appointed as staff nurse in the clinic
of A1 and she was taken along with the family members of the first accused
including the defacto complainant in several circumstances including going
for picnic. The petitioners have been unnecessarily roped as accused.
Entire evidence collected during investigation does not make out a case
against the petitioner. Therefore, the proceedings as against the
petitioners are liable to be quashed.

3.The learned counsel for the petitioners contends that the
petitioners are not relatives to either the defacto complainant or her
husband, the first accused; that complaint has been lodged making allegations
only subsequent to the filing of the divorce petition by husband/A1; that the
statements recorded during investigation under Section 161(3) of Cr.P.C., do
not make out a case as against the petitioners and therefore, the proceedings
as against the petitioners are to be quashed.

4.The learned Government Advocate (criminal side), per contra,
contends that as per the statements of witnesses, offences alleged as against
the petitioners are clearly made out and therefore, the criminal original
petition is to be dismissed.

5.The learned counsel for the petitioners cited several judgments
of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and contended that the petitioners are not
relatives and therefore, they are not liable to be prosecuted. Further, it
is also contended that no offence as alleged is made out.

6.There is no representation on behalf of the second respondent.

7.The argument of the learned counsel for the petitioners are two
folds: viz, (i)since the petitioners do not come within the ambit of
relatives of husband as contemplated under Section 498-A of I.P.C., the said
offence as against them are not attracted and (ii) as per the statement of
witnesses, the offence as alleged are not made out as against the
petitioners.

8.In the case in Vijet Gajra V. State (NCT of Delhi) reported in
(2010)11 SCC 618, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as follows in paras 11
to 13:

?11.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.

12.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.

13.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.?

Therefore, as per the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the word
?relative? in Section 498-A of IPC would be limited only to the blood
relations or the relations by marriage. In this case on hand, the
petitioners herein are neither blood relations nor the relations by marriage.
Therefore, the offence under Section 498-A of IPC is not attracted as against
them.

10.The other offences alleged to have been committed by the
petitioners are under Sections 406, 347 and 506(i) read with 109 of IPC and
Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. In this case, the petitioners, who
are arrayed as A2 and A3 seem to be the route cause for the entire episode of
the matrimonial dispute and the alleged crime as could be seen from the
statements of witnesses. As per the statement of witnesses, the first
petitioner is arrayed as A2, who took the husband/A1 for poojas during
midnights and he also caused cruelty to the defacto complainant by demanding
to get the share of the property from the parents of the defacto complainant.
It is also stated that he along with her husband took the jewels and property
including the amount from the house. As far as the second petitioner/A3 is
concerned, it is also stated by witnesses that she along with A1, after
consuming liquor, beat the defacto complainant and tortured her. Further, it
is stated that she had not only been residing in a room in the house, but, it
is also alleged that A1 has been living with A3 as husband and wife.

11.This Court also perused the statements of witnesses. This
Court is of the view that there are materials to proceed as against the
petitioners with respect to the offences charge sheeted except the offence
under Section 498-A of IPC as against the petitioners.

12.For the aforesaid reasons, this Court invoking the inherent
jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., quashes the proceedings in
C.C.No.57 of 2008 on the file of Judicial Magistrate No.2, Dindigul, with
respect to the offence under Section 498-A of IPC as against the petitioners.
The proceedings with respect to other offences are directed to be proceeded
with by the Judicial Magistrate.

13.Accordingly, this criminal original petition is partly
allowed, by quashing the proceedings in C.C.No.57 of 2008 on the file of
Judicial Magistrate No.2, Dindigul with respect to the offence under Section
498-A
of IPC alone against the petitioners. The learned Judicial Magistrate
is directed to proceed with the trial with respect to all other offences,
excepting the offence under Section 498-A of IPC against the petitioners.
The learned Judicial Magistrate is further directed to dispose of the case,
within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and
report to the registry. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is
closed.

To

1.The Judicial Magistrate No.2, Dindigul.

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