Delhi High Court Prithi Pal Singh & Ors. vs State Of Delhi on 26 April, 2012Author: M. L. Mehta
* THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ CRL.M.C. NO. 2874/2009
Date of Decision: 26.04.2012
PRITHI PAL SINGH & ORS. …… PETITIONERS Through: Mr. Seeraj Bagga, Advocate.
STATE OF DELHI ……RESPONDENTS Through: Ms.Fizani Husain, APP.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.L. MEHTA
M.L. MEHTA, J. (Oral)
1. This petition under Section 482 CrPC seeks quashing of the FIR No. 202/2009, under Sections 498A/406/34 IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, registered at P.S. Yamuna Vihar/Gokul Puri.
2. Petitioner No. 1 Prithi Pal Singh was married to Shashi Sarita on 17.02.2006. After the marriage, the couple started living at Chandigarh. The other petitioners are the father, mother, sister and brother of the petitioner No. 1 Prithi Pal Singh. A girl child was also born on 23.8.2007 out of the wedlock. Due to misunderstanding and matrimonial discord, a complaint was made by Shashi Sarita to CAW Cell on 19.06.2008. Unfortunately, Shashi Sarita died on 24.3.2009 at Delhi at her parents’ house due to heart failure. Now, the case was being pursued by B.L.Suman, father of deceased Shashi Sarita. He lodged the
Crl.M.C.No.2874/2009 Page 1 of 6 instant FIR against petitioners on 29.06.2009. The FIR is sought to be quashed on various grounds.
3. I have heard learned counsel for the petitioners and complainant Mr.B.L.Suman as also APP and perused the record.
4. From the facts, it would be seen that after the death of Shashi Sarita, the complaint is being pursued by her father vigorously due to some ulterior motives. From the sequence of events as would be noted hereinafter, this would be seen to be a case of nothing, but unnecessary harassment of the petitioners. Going back to the sequence of events, it is noted that Shashi Sarita had informed her parents about ongoing differences with her husband, petitioner No. 1 Prithi Pal Singh. However, on 8.12.2007, those differences were sorted out by the couple in the presence of their parents and relations and a compromise deed in this regard was written on 8.12.2007. It would be relevant to note that it was specifically mentioned therein by B.L.Suman (complainant of present FIR) that there was neither any demand for any kind of dowry, nor there was any incident of beating his daughter (deceased Shashi Sarita). He confirmed this fact in the presence of everyone present there and stated that he is embarrassed by the mistake committed by him and his son. He assured all the persons present there that they will not repeat this mistake in future. On 31.5.2008, Mr.Suman, father of deceased Shashi visited Chandigarh and brought Shashi to his house at Delhi. It was presumably because of his nature and conduct that the petitioners took a writing from him, in which he stated that he was taking his daughter Shashi to Delhi with his sweet will and good spirit. It was on
Crl.M.C.No.2874/2009 Page 2 of 6 19.06.2008 that Shashi made a complaint to the CAW Cell. In this complaint, she levelled certain allegations of harassment and demand of dowry against the petitioners. It appears that Mr.Suman has brought his daughter from Chandigarh since she was in the advanced family way and later gave birth to a son on 25.6.2008, who unfortunately, died on 1.7.2008. It appears that it was after she was brought from Chandigarh that the thought of filing a complaint against the petitioners was generated which led her to make the complaint against petitioners on 19.6.2008. In the said complaint, she had also given a list of articles allegedly lying with the petitioners. It is seen from the record that on 12.09.2008, several articles were received by Shashi Sarita from her husband at the CAW Cell in the presence of her father and mother. A recovery memo duly signed by all of them was prepared on this day. However, a list of remaining articles was also given on the same day by Shashi. In this regard, petitioner Prithi Pal Singh replied in writing that nothing remained with him after the return of articles on 12.09.2008. However, he agreed to pay a sum of Rs. 1,15,000/-. It was pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioners and rightly so that this supplementary list of articles was unreliable inasmuch as the Mark Sheets of Class XII and M.A. were returned to her on 12.09.2008 as these are seen mentioned in the recovery memo, but the same is again mentioned as recoverable in the supplementary list. Without going into this controversy, I may proceed to note that later on 17.9.2008, both parties decided at the CAW Cell to get separated. A sum of Rs. 1,25,000/- was agreed to be payable by the petitioner Prithi Pal Singh to
Crl.M.C.No.2874/2009 Page 3 of 6 Shashi on this date. Though, according to the petitioners, it was permanent alimony, but as per the writing of Shashi, she had agreed to settle the matter of remaining articles for Rs. 1,25,000/-. This writing was in her hand and under her signatures. Thereafter, the couple seems to have reconciled and on 6.10.2008, Shashi gave in writing to CAW Cell that she is ready to live with her husband Prithi Pal Singh separately at Ambala or Faridabad, to which her husband also agreed. She however, stated that she was undergoing treatment at her parental house and would be ready to go and live with her husband in the month of January, 2009. She prayed for closure of her case. Prithi Pal Singh also gave in writing, confirming what Shashi had stated. Based on this joint request, the CAW Cell processed the case for closure and which ultimately came to be closed on 16.10.2008 in pursuance of compromise. In the meanwhile, Prithi Pal Singh arranged for separate accommodation at Ambala. Copy of the ration card filed by him confirms this fact. However, Shashi did not join the company of her husband in January, 2009 as she was not keeping well and was residing at her parents’ place at Delhi. Ultimately, she died on 24.3.2009 due to heart failure. Now, after the death of Shashi, her father filed the complaint against the petitioners on 29.6.2009, on which present FIR came to be registered.
5. In addition to seeking quashing of FIR, the petitioners filed anticipatory bail application, which came to be disposed by this court on 25.1.2012 on the conditions that they shall deposit Rs. 1.25 lakhs with Registrar General of this court within two weeks from the date of the
Crl.M.C.No.2874/2009 Page 4 of 6 order and subject to their joining the investigation, as and when required.
6. From the above sequence of proceedings, it would be noticed that the matter between the couple was finally compromised on 17.9.2008 when Shashi had agreed to take a sum of Rs. 1,25,000/- as towards the remaining articles. This further came to be finally resolved on 6.10.2008 in terms of their reconciling in the sense of living together from January, 2009. Since the couple had agreed to live together from January, 2009, there was no occasion for Shashi to demand Rs. 1,25,000/- or for the petitioners to pay the same to her. Further, since she was not keeping well, she could not join the company of her husband in January, 2009 and unfortunately, died on 24.3.2009. This fact is not disputed that she died due to heart failure at her parents’ place. She had been living there with her parents for more than 10 months before her death. On the previous occasions, her father had not only realized his mistake, but had assured not to repeat the same in future. The complaint as filed by Shashi on 19.6.2008 came to be ultimately closed due to compromise. The present FIR was filed on 29.6.2009 immediately after the filing of a petition by petitioner against complainant for the custody of his minor daughter. The present FIR is nothing, but another round of dragging the petitioners to litigation despite that his daughter Shashi had already compromised in her lifetime and was now resting in peace. The FIR is apparently absurd and nothing, but abuse of process of court.
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7. In view of the above factual matrix and sequence of events, I am persuaded to exercise the powers under Section 482 CrPC of this court to prevent further abuse of process of court and for the substantial justice to the petitioners. Consequently, the petition is allowed and the FIR No. 202/2009, under Sections 498A/406/34 IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, registered at P.S. Yamuna Vihar/Gokul Puri as also the proceedings emanating therefrom are hereby quashed. Bail bonds of the petitioners are cancelled and their sureties are discharged. Sum of Rs. 1,25,000/- lying deposited in this court may be withdrawn by the complainant B.L.Suman, the father of deceased Shashi, with accrued interest, if any.
8. Petition stands disposed of.
M.L. MEHTA, J.
APRIL 26, 2012/akb
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