Calcutta High Court Rabeya Bibi & Ors.-vs-The State Of West Bengal on 14 July, 2000
Equivalent citations:(2000) 3 CALLT 460 HC, II (2001) DMC 198
Author: R Mazumder
Bench: R K Mazumder
R.K. Mazumder, J.
1. The Instant Criminal revlsional application under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is for a quashing the criminal proceeding being G.R. Case No.290 of 1996 arising out of Bhupatlnagore P.S. Case No.21 of 1996 dated 12.4.96 under sections 498A and 323 IPC read with sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act now pundlng before the learned Court below and this is at the Instance of the accused-petitioners.
2. The case of the petitioner Nos.l, 2 and 3, who happened to be the mother-in-law, husband and father-in-law of the victim house wife respectively, was in brief that the petitioner No.2, a Homoeopath doctor by profession married the defacto complainant Asnaranl Bibl, a trained teacher, according to Muslim rights and customs in the year. 1994. Unfortunately, the marriage between the parties was not a happy one. It so happened that on 12.4.96 Asharanl Bibi lodged FIR before the Offlcer-in-charge of Bhupatlnagore P.S alleging inter alia that the petitioners demanded a sum of Rs.80,000/-as dowry from the father of the said housewife. Since the father of the victim girl was unable to meet the demand, the petitioners Inflicted torture, both physical and mental, on Asharanl and she was not even given food. It was further alleged that the first pregnancy of Asharani was forcibly abortioned. According to the petitioners the marriage between Asharanl and O.P. No. 2 Sk. Nazrul Islam took place on 22.7.94 according to Muslim rights and conventions, but unfortunately Asharanl behaved in an abnormal and whimsical ways inasmuch as she never wanted to make adjustment with the petitioners and often left the matrimonial home at her own sweet will without informing the petitioners. Again, she often picked up quarrels with the petitioners on flimsy grounds. Hence being disgusted with Asharanl, petitioner No.2 Sk Nazrul Islam gave her Talak on 2.1.95 before the Kazi, Muslim Marriage Registrar. According to the petitioners the house-wife thereupon concocted a story of torture on her by the petitioners and lodged a written FIR against the petitioners under sections 498A and 323 1PC and sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibitions Act, which gave rise to Bhupatlnagore P.S. Case No.21 of 1996 dated 12.4.96. Hence the case for quashing the said P.S. case, and the entire criminal proceeding.
3. The only point requiring consideration was whether the G.R. Case No.290 of 1996 arising out of Bhupatlnagore P.S. Case No.21 of 1996 dated 12.4.96 under sections 498A and 323 IPC read with sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibitions Act should be quashed or not.
4. At the time of hearing, learned counsel for the petitioners vehemently submitted that the Instant Criminal proceeding was out and out a concocted and frivolous one and hence the same should be quashed. In that connection It was submitted by him that being unable to endure the misbehaviour of Asharanl, petitioner No.2 (husband) divorced her by giving her three Talaks before the Muslim Marriage Registrar on 2.1.95 and since then the parties were living separately and hence there was no question on Inflicting torture on the house wife by the husband concerned. His further submission was that petitioner Nos. 1, 2 and 3 never demanded any dowry from the house-wife at any point of time.
5. Learned counsels for the State and also the learned counsel for the defacto complainant submitted, on the other hand, that no reliance should be placed on the alleged Talaknama Inasmuch as the same was not a bonaflde one. It was further submitted that the house wife Asharanl adjusted herself quiet well in the matrimonial home with the petitioners. But nonetheless the petitioners Insisted on her bringing dowry from her father and being unsuccessful they Inflicted torture, both physical and mental, on the house wife. Hence, according to learned counsels for O.P. State and defacto complainant-house-wife, the Instant Criminal revlslonal application should be dismissed.
6. Admittedly there was marriage between petitioner No.2 and the defacto complainant Asharanl on 22.7.94 according to Muslim rights and customs. It appears from record that the house wife Asharanl Blbi alias Jahanara Blbl lodged a long written complaint with Bhupatlnagore Police Station on 12.4.96 against the petitioner Nos.l, 2 and 3 alleging torture, both physical and mental, on her husband and parents-ln-law being the petitioner Nos. 1, 2 and 3. she gave different Instances of such torture. There are also allegations in the written complaint that the petitioner Nos.l and 3 demanded dowry to the tune of Rs.80,000/- In cash from the house wife but she was unable to bring the same from her father. There are also allegations of assault and application on force on the house wife by the petitioners. It thus appears that the prlma facie case as above was made out by the house wife In her written complaint dated 12.4.96 against the petitioner Nos. 1,2 and 3. This written complaint gave rise to Bhupatlnagore P.S. Case No.21 of 1996 dated 12.4.96 against the petitioner Nos.l, 2 and 3. It also appears from record that after necessary investigation the police submitted a charge-sheet against the three accused-petitioners under sections 498A and 323 IPC and also under sections 3 and 4 or the Dowry’ Prohibitions Act on 19-8-96 and that the said case is now lying pending before the learned SDJM, Cental. It also appears from record that a Talaknama was executed by the petitioner No.2 against the house wife Asharani Blbi on 2.1.95 before the Muslim Marriage Registrar by giving her three Talaks. But at the same time it transpires from the written complaint of the house wife dated 12.4.96 as on record that at that point of lime she was pregnant and carrying six months. It also appears therefrom that the neighbours of the petitioners advices the father of Asharani not to take his daughter from the matrimonial home to his house. This Indicated prlma facie that when the written complaint was lodged with the police on 12.4.96, the house wife was pregnant and was still living in her matrimonial home. The scenario being such, how can the instant Criminal proceeding arising out of the written complaint of the house wife dated 12.4.96 to be quashed? No doubt the powers of the High Court under section 482 of the Code are extraordinary and very wide. But while exercising such powers the ratio and principles of law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in different cases on the subject from time to time must be borne in mind. Some such cases are as follows :–
(i) Rajesh BajaJ v. State & Ors. (1999 Cr LJ 1833 (SC)
(ii) Pepsi Foods Ltd. u. Special Judicial Magistrate and others (1998 Supreme Court Cases 749)
(iii) Mastaq Ahmed v. Md. Hablbur Rahaman Faizl and others (1996 Cr LJ 1877 SC)
(iv) State of U.P. v. O.P. Sharma (1997 Cr LJ 1878 SC)
(v) State of Haryana & Others v. Bhajanlai and others (1992) Supp(1) Supreme Court Cases 335
(vi) Mrs. Dhalakshmi v. R. Prasanna Kumar and others
(vii) Madhavrao Sclndla and others v. S.C. Angre and others
(viii) H.P. Chamarla v. B.K. Sureka and others .
7. It is now well settled that the High Court is Invested with plenary powers to quash Criminal proceedings pending before any sub-ordinate Court, where It appears that the allegations incorporated In the FIR or petition of complaint, even when they are taken on their face value and accepted in their entirely do not constitute a cognizable offence. It is again well settled that while exercising the discretionary powers to quash a Criminal proceeding pending before a sub-ordinate Court, the High Court shall not embark on an enquiry as to whether the evidence or allegations are reliable or not. In other words, while exercising power under section 482 Cr.PC the High Court is not required to probe into any question as to whether the materials or allegations constituting the offence were trustworthy or not at the very initial stage of investigation. It is again not necessary that a complainant should reproduce in the body of the complaint all the ingredients of an offence verbatim. Again, it is well settled that when the petition of complaint and its annexed documents made out a prima facie case, the High Court cannot enter into a debatable area as to which of the two versions of the parties is true. It is again not necessary to make a meticulous study of a case before trial to find out whether the said case would end in conviction or acquittal. It is again well settled that the inherent power to quash a Criminal proceeding should be exercised very springly and in the rarest of rare cases to prevent abuse of the process of the Court or otherwise to secure the ends of Justice. Such power cannot be exercised to stiffie a legitimate prosecution. But where the FIR or the petition of complaint does not disclose any offence or Is otherwise frivolous, vexatious or oppressive, it Is open to the High Court to interfere under section 482 Cr.PC and to quash a criminal proceeding pending before a sub-ordinate Court.
8. As already stated the written complaint made by the house wife Asharani Bibi and other connected papers as on record made out a prima facie case that the petitioner Nos. 1,2 and 3 repeatedly Insisted on the house wife’s bringing Rs. 80,000/- in the cash from her after and being unsuccessful they inflicted torture, both physical and mental on the house wife and this went on unabated. There was, therefore, no question of quashing the instant Criminal proceeding viz., G.R. Case No.290 of 1996 arising out of Bhupatinagore P.S. Case No.21 of 1996 now pending before learned SDJM, Cental.
9. The Criminal revlslonal application is, therefore, liable to be dismissed and the same is hereby dismissed.
Interim order as granted by this Court is hereby vacated.
Learned Court below is directed to go ahead with G.R. Case No. 290 of 1996 as quickly as possible.
Let the lower Court records be sent down to the learned Court below expedltiously.
There will be no order as to costs.
10. Petition dismissed.