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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Reserved On:-08.05.2019 vs State Of J&K And Others on 30 May, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR AT
JAMMU
Case:-CRMC No.121/2015
IA No.142/2015

Reserved on:-08.05.2019
Pronounced on:-30.05.2019
Suman Sharma and others

…….Petitioner(s)

Through:- Mr. Anil Khajuria, Advocate.
V/s

State of JK and others

……Respondent(s)

Through:- Mr. Ravinder Gupta, AAG for respondent No.1.
Ms Garima Gupta, Advocate for respondent No.2.

CORAM:

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR GUPTA

JUDGMENT

1. Through the instant petition filed under Section 561-A of the Code of

Criminal Procedure (hereinafter for short, SectionCr.P.C) petitioners seek

quashment of order dated 20th February, 2015 passed by learned

Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua in Cr. Revision titled SectionState vs.

Munish Sharma and ors, by virtue of which the order passed by the

learned trial court on 22nd March, 2014 discharging the petitioner(s),

has been set aside. It is further prayed for quashing of proceedings

qua the petitioners in File No.84/Challan pending before the Court of

learned Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (Munsiff) Kathua.

2. The case of the petitioners is that petitioners 1 and 2 are sisters of one

Shakti Khajuria (Proforma respondent No. 3 herein), who are married

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 1 of 14
at Pathankot and Samba respectively, whereas petitioner No.3 is the

husband of petitioner No.1 and is residing at Pathankot. The marriage

between proforma respondent No.3 and Eshata Sharma alias Ruchi

alias Ruhi (respondent No. 2 herein) came to be solemnized on 4th

January, 2013 at Kathua. But, immediately after marriage the

relationship between the couple went into rough weather due to

certain reasons and it has also come into the knowledge of the

proforma respondent No.3 that his wife (respondent No.2) was

suffering from some Heart ailment for which she had undergone

major heart surgery, on account of which she was not fit to perform

her matrimonial obligations towards her husband and the family. It is

stated that owing to the indifferences between the couple, the

proforma respondent No. 3 preferred a divorce petition against the

respondent No.2 on 29th March, 2013 and pursuant to the summons

issued in the proceeding, respondent No 2 had reportedly appeared

before the Court on 27th April, 2013. It is further stated that the

petitioners were staying separately at different places and absolutely

there was no occasion for them to have ever intervened in the matter

as the petitioner Nos.1 and 2 are discharging their matrimonial duties

at their respective matrimonial homes and the petitioner No.3 had no

occasion to have ever participated or have ever interfered in anything.

On 4th June, 2013, an application was filed by respondent No.2 before

the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kathua against the petitioners, which

was forwarded in original to SHO Police Station, Kathua for

investigation under law.

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 2 of 14

3. The grievance of the petitioners is that the aforesaid application filed

by respondent No.2 was totally false, frivolous and actuated by mala

fide on the part of respondent No.2 with ulterior motive to wreck

vengeance against the petitioners for no other reason than the one that

they are the relatives of the proforma respondents. After registration

of the FIR (Supra), the investigation commenced and ultimately the

investigating agency submitted the final report under Section 173

Cr.P.C which was transferred to the Court of learned Judicial

Magistrate 1st Class (Munsiff), Kathua. The matter was taken up for

arguments on charge by the learned trial court and by virtue of order

dated 22nd March, 2014, trial court discharged the petitioners for the

commission of offences alleged against them. The order dated

22.03.2014, passed by Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (Munsiff), Kathua

came to be challenged by the State in Revision before the Court of

learned Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua. The Revisional Court after

hearing the parties, by virtue of order dated 20th February, 2015, set

aside the order passed by learned trial court and directed for framing

of charge against the petitioners with the further direction to the trial

court for concluding the trial within six months from the date of

framing of charge.

4. The petitioners are aggrieved of the order dated 20th February, 2015

passed by the learned Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua as well as the

initiation and pendency of criminal proceedings against them, as such,

they seek quashment of the order impugned dated 20.02.2015, as well

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 3 of 14
as the FIR and Challan presented against the petitioners on following

grounds:-

a. That the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioners are so
absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent
person can even reach a conclusion in respect of sufficiency of
grounds for proceeding against them having regard to the admitted
fact that the petitioners No. 1 and 2 being the married sisters are
staying at their respective matrimonial homes in Pathankot and
Samba and the petitioner No 3 who is permanent resident of
Pathankot. Therefore, the allegations leveled against the petitioners
are thoroughly baseless and as such the proceedings against the
petitioners are liable to be quashed.

b. That the Learned trial court while exercising powers under Sectionsection
251-A of the Code of criminal procedure had rightly concluded
thatthe charge against the petitioners is groundless. But, the Learned
Revisional Court without going into the facts involved in the matter
has generally held against the order passed by the learned trial court
without even appreciating that there was no material available on
record for framing the charge under Section 406 against the
petitioners as there is no allegation as the FIR and the material
collected during the course of investigation did not disclose against
the petitioners.

c. That otherwise also the order passed by the Ld Principal Sessions
Judge is otherwise against the fact and law.

d. That the petitioners are further assailing the criminal proceedings
against them, notwithstanding what has been held by the Ld.
Principal Sessions Judge as the criminal proceedings initiated
against the petitioners are manifestly attended by mala fides with an
ulterior motive of wrecking vengeance against the petitioners for no
other reason except the one that they are the relatives of Proforma
respondents herein.

e. That the whole proceedings can be viewed from the angle as
admittedly the respondent No. 2 was taken to a cardiologist for
thorough check up on 25th of March 2013 for ascertaining her
ailment and for providing better treatment. Therefore, there was no
occasion ever available to the petitioners to have acted in the manner
as has been alleged in the FIR. More specially, the respondent No.2
has maintained an intriguing silence in her complaint or otherwise in
respect of her ailment, as referred in the divorce petition which she
was admittedly contesting as on the date of lodging of FIR.

f. That the divorce petition came to be filed just within a span of less
than two months from the date of marriage in which the respondent
No. 2 had appeared in the month of April 2013. Therefore, the
inference of mala fides, afterthought and arm twisting tactics are
manifest on the face of record.

g. That from the perusal of the divorce petition, though the averments
made therein are subject to proof but having regard to the fact that
there is no explanation forthcoming from the FIR or final report

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 4 of 14
submitted under Section 173 Cr.P.C in respect of the physical
condition of the respondent No. 2, the respondent No.2 appears to
have been suffering from physically disability of such an extent that
she was unable to perform even day to day chores. Therefore, the
allegations of cruelty alleged against the petitioners are thoroughly
unjustified if not ill advised.

h. That the petitioners further reiterate that they are putting up
separately in their matrimonial homes and the allegations leveled
against them are false, frivolous, absurd and actuated by malafides
and as such the petitioners seek the kind indulgence of this Hon’ble
Court to quash the criminal proceedings against them in order to
secure the ends of justice and in order to prevent the abuse of
process of court.”

5. I have heard counsel for parties. Counsel for petitioners has

reiterated all grounds taken in petition. In support of his

contention, learned counsel for the petitioners relies upon a

decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in case titled SectionPreeti Gupta

and another vs. State of Jharkhand and another reported in

2010 (7) SCC 667.

6. From the perusal of record, it is evident that respondent no.2 filed

a criminal complaint against petitioners and proforma respondents

under section 498-A/109/34 RPC before CJM, Kathua; it was sent

to concerned police for investigation, who lodged FIR

No.213/2013 on 15.6.2013 under Sectionsection 498-A/Section109/Section34/RPC and

after investigation produced the challan before JMIC Kathua; on

22.03.2014 JMIC discharged the petitioners, who are married

sisters of complainant’s husband and husband of Suman Sharma,

and framed charges under section 498-A RPC against husband and

mother-in-law of complainant.

7. The operative portion of order of JMIC reads as under: –

“Perusal of the charge sheet further transpires that the complainant
has leveled allegations of cruelty against her husband, mother-in-law,
two married sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law i.e. husband of her

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 5 of 14
sister-in-law. File further transpires that one of the accused persons
namely Pooja Sharma got married with Ram Lal and is staying at
District Samba. Another two accused persons namely Suman Sharma
and her husband MunishSharma are staying at one village namely
Sunder Chak, Tehsil and District Pathankot. Itis clear that three of
accused persons namely Suman, Munish and Pooja were not putting
up with the complainant. It is highly improbable to assume that
married sisters of the husband and brother-in-law (Jija) of husband
and they are living separately in their matrimonial homes subject her
to cruelty for demand of dowry, invariably whenever matrimonial
relations turned sore, there is tendency on the part of the complainant
to make all kinds of wild and reckless allegations against the entire
family of the husband.

Majority of complaints are filed on the advice of members of family or
with their concurrence with exaggerated versions. A large number of
complaints are not bonafide and are filed with oblique motive. At the
same time, there is an apparent increase in number of genuine cases of
dowry harassment. It is also a matter of common knowledge that
exaggerated version of the incident are reflected in a large number of
complaints. The tendency of over implication is also reflected in a very
large number of cases. It has been alleged by the accused persons that
they have falsely been implicated in this case, and complaint against
them is totally without any basis or foundation. Learned counsel for
accused persons also asserted that even if all the allegations
incorporated into complaint are taken to be true, even than no offence
can be made of against accused persons.

After considering the police report and documents u/s 173 SectionCr.P.C. I
am of the considered opinion that the charge sheet against the accused
(3-5) is groundless because a charge is not an accusation in abstract
but a concrete accusation of an offence alleged to have been committed
by a person in respect of an offence committed or omitted in violation
of a penal law forbidding or commanding it. It is also not correct to say
that court cannot apply its judicial mind to the consideration whether
or not there is any ground for presuming commission of offence
because it affects a person’s liberty. The responsibility of framing of
charge is that of the court and it has to judicially consider the question
of doing so. Without fully adverting to the material, on record, it must
not blindly adopt the decision of the prosecution that accused be asked
to face the trial. The Magistrate must take part in proceedings and
exercise due care while framing the charge. But the court should not be
merely a disinterested spectator of the contest between prosecution and
the defence.

Moreover, criminal proceedings are manifestly attended with mala fide
and where the proceedings are maliciously instituted with an ulterior
motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite
him due to some grudges. It is a matter of common experience that
most of these complaints under Sectionsection 498-A are filed in the heat of
the moment of birth travel issues without proper deliberations. Rapid
increase in the number of genuine cases of dowry harassment are also
a matter of serious concern. Unfortunately, at the time of filing of the
complaint, the implications and consequences of not properly
visualized by the complainant that such complaint canlead to
insurmountable harassment, agony and pain to the complainant,
accused and his close relations.

While considering the case on the prayer of accused for discharging
the accused persons. Elaborate enquiry, much less dissection of the

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 6 of 14
material brought by police before the court is not permissible.
However, prima facie case, accepting the statements as recorded has to
be made out. And if after scrutinizing the statements and other
materials produced by the prosecution before the court, such a case is
not made out, with a view to prevent the miscarriage of justice aswell
as for securing the ends thereof, court should not hesitate but
discharge the accused.

In the wake of the above made discussion, I came to the conclusion,
that if the prosecution challan is taken as unrebutted the conviction
will not entail after the whole trial against accused no 3-5. But accused
no.12 are required to be charge sheeted under section 498-A/406/34
RPC, because there is sufficient material against the accused number1
and 2. As accused no. 1 is not present today, so accused persons, cannot
be chargesheeted today. So far as accused no. 3-5 are concerned, they
are discharged. Their personal and surety bonds stands discharged.
Put file on 05-04-14 for framing of formal charge against accused no.1
and 2.”

8. Against order of discharge, State preferred revision which was

allowed and JMIC was directed to frame charges against petitioners

also. Similarly, the operative part of the order dated 20.02.2015,

passed by Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua reads as under:-

“6. Sub-section (2) and sub-section (3) of Section 251-A
Cr.P.C provides two situations. One when the accused can be
discharged and second when the accused can be charged. It
is clear from the provisions contained in sub-section (2) that
when upon consideration of all the documents referred to in
Sectionsection 173 and making such examinations, if any of the
accused as the Magistrate thinks necessary and after giving
the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being
heard, the Magistrate considers the charge against the
accused to be groundless, he shall discharge him. So the
order of discharge can be recorded regarding the accused
when the charge against the accused is found to be groundless.
However, when the Magistrate is of the opinion that there is
ground for presuming that accused has committed an offence
triable, he shall frame in writing charge against the accused. For
framing the opinion whether charge is groundless or whether there
are means to presume that the offence has been committed, what is
to be considered at the time of framing of the charge is the report
of the police, documents relied upon and the statements of the
witnesses recorded during the course of investigation. It is on the
basis of all these documents and the statements recorded that such
an opinion can be framed, so as to pass an order framing the
charge against the accused.

7. The trial court after having considered the police report,
documents relied upon and after considering the arguments
of learned counsel for respondents/accused as well as the
prosecution, came to the conclusion that no charge can be
framed against the respondents/accused. Question, which is

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 7 of 14
to be considered, is whether order passed by the trial court
discharging the respondents/accused can sustain in view of
the provisions contained in Section 251-A Cr.P.C and on
consideration of the record on file, what the trial court was to
consider to give its finding was the challan, complaint on the
basis of which the challan has been presented, the
respondents/accused have been charged and the statements of the
witnesses recorded during the course of Investigation. Whether the
allegations are true or not, whether the allegations are false cannot
be determined at the stage when the case is to be considered for
framing of the charge. It is a matter of trial to give the finding
regarding the allegations contained in the complaint, charge-sheet
and the statements of the witnesses. Giving a finding regarding the
same at the stage of charge/discharge will amount to deciding a
case before trial. Allegations contained in the complaint on the
basis of which FIR was registered and investigation was conducted,
statements of the complainant and other witnesses, prima facie,
make out a case for commission of offences as alleged in the challan
against the accused, who have been discharged. At the stage of
framing of the charge and recording an order of discharge, the
evidence collected during investigation is only to be taken into
consideration. The learned trial court, while discharging the
respondents/accused and holding that there is no case, has fallen in
error and it amounts to deciding the allegations against the
accused, who have been discharged before holding the trial. The
order of discharge passed by the
learned trial court, thus, is not legally correct. The leaned
trial court while passing the order of discharge against the
respondents/accused has committed material irregularities
and as such, the order passed by the trial court is set aside.
Record of the trial court be sent back along with a copy of this
order with the direction to frame the charge against the
respondents/accused and further that the trial of the case
shall be taken expeditiously. The case shall be taken up
fortnightly and the prosecution shall produce the evidence
without failure on each hearing. The trial court shall also try
to conclude the trial within six months from the date of
framing of the charge. Accused shall appear before the trial
court on 27th of February, 2015.”

8. This revision petition is disposed off and be consigned to
records.”

9. The offence under section 498-A RPC is warrant trial by magistrate.

Its procedure has been given in chapter XXI of SectionCr.P.C. In police case

magistrate has to follow the procedure laid down in Sectionsection 251-A

Cr.P.C. Section 251-A SectionCr.P.C. reads as under:-

“Section 251-A. Procedure to be adopted in cases instituted on police
report.- (i) when, in any case instituted on a police report, the accused
appears or is brought before a Magistrate at the commencement of a
trial, such Magistrate shall satisfy himself that the documents referred
to in Section 173 have been furnished to the accused, and if he finds
that the accused has not been furnished with such documents or any of
them, he shall cause them to be so furnished.

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 8 of 14

(2) If, upon consideration of all the documents referred to in Section
173 and making such examination, if any of the accused as the
Magistrate thinks necessary and after giving the prosecution and the
accused’ an opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate considers the
charge against the accused to be groundless, he shall discharge him.

(3) If, upon such documents being considered, such examination, if any
being made and the prosecution and the accused being given an
opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate is of opinion that there is
ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence
triable under this Chapter, which such Magistrate is competent to try,
and which in his opinion, could be adequately punished by him, he
shall frame in writing a charge against the accused.

(4) The charge shall then be read and explained to the accused and he
shall be asked whether he is guilty or claims to be tried.

(5) If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea
and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.

(6) If the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead, or claims to be
tried, the Magistrate shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses.

(7) On the date so fixed, the Magistrate shall proceed to take all such
evidence as may be produced *[in support of the prosecution except
such evidence which the accused may admit in an application made in
this behalf]: *[In clause (7) words were inserted for “in support of
prosecution” by Act 1 of 2010 dated 27-01-2010 w.e.f. 28-01-2010]

Provided that the Magistrate may permit the cross-examination of any
witness to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been
examined, or recall any witness for further cross-examination.

(8) The accused shall then be called upon to enter upon his defence and
produce his evidence; and if the accused puts in any written statement,
the Magistrate shall file with the record.

(9) If the accused, after he has entered upon his defence, applies to the
Magistrate to issue any process for compelling the attendance of any
witness for the purpose of examination or cross-examination, or the
production of any document or other thing, the Magistrate shall issue
such process unless he considers that such application should be
refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or
delay or for defeating the ends of justice. Such ground shall be
recorded by him in writing:

Provided that when the accused as cross-examined or had the
opportunity of cross-examining any witness after the charge is framed,
the attendance of such witness shall not be compelled under this
Section unless the Magistrate is satisfied that it is necessary for the
purposes of justice.

(10) The Magistrate may, before summoning any witness on such
application under sub-Section (9), require that his reasonable expenses
incurred in attending for the purpose of the trial be deposited in Court.

(11) If, in any case under this Section in which a charge has been
framed, the Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, he shall record an
order of acquittal.

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 9 of 14

(12) Where in any case under this Section, the Magistrate does not
proceed in accordance with the provisions of Section 349 or Section
562 he shall, if he finds the accused guilty, pass sentence upon him
according to law.

(13) In a case where a previous conviction is charged under the
provisions of Section 221, sub-Section (7), and the accused does not
admit that, he. has been previously convicted as alleged in the charge,
the Magistrate may, after he has convicted the said accused under sub-
Section (5) or sub-Section (12), take evidence in respect of the alleged
previous conviction and shall record a finding thereon.]”

10. From bare perusal of this section, it is evident that the object behind

the differentiation of the procedure of trial of warrant cases is to

accomplish speedy disposal of the cases. It cannot be said that the

Court at the stage of framing the charge has not to apply its judicial

mind for considering whether or not there is a ground for presuming

the commission of the offence by the accused. The order framing the

charges does substantially affect the person’s liberty and it cannot be

said that the Court must automatically frame the charge merely

because the prosecuting authorities, by relying on the documents

referred to in Section 173 considered it proper to institute the case.

The responsibility of framing the charge is that of the Court and it has

to judicially consider the question of doing so. Without fully adverting

to the material on record it must not blindly adopt the decision of the

prosecution.

11. As per this section, on examination of documents etc., consequent

satisfaction of the Court is the condition precedent for farming charge.

If, upon consideration of all the documents referred to in Section 173

and making such examination, if any of the accused as the Magistrate

thinks necessary and after giving the prosecution and the accused an

opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate considers the charge

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 10 of 14
against the accused to be groundless, he shall discharge him. In any

case whether to charge or discharge court has to apply judicial mind.

This means court has to see as to whether from facts of case essential

ingredients of alleged offence are made out or not, because framing of

charge on mere saying of prosecution would amount to serious

consequences and violation of valuable right of an innocent person.

12. In present case, as is evident from contents of complaint and admitted

position, petitioner Nos.1 and 2 are sisters of one Shakti Khajuria

(Proforma respondent No.3 herein who was married with Eshata

Sharma alias Ruchi alias Ruhi respondent No.2 herein). They are

residing at Pathankot and Samba respectively, whereas petitioner No.3

is the husband of petitioner No. 1. JMIC has categorically held that

there was no prima facie case for framing of charges against

petitioners. From the perusal of written complaint lodged by

complainant, on the basis of which, FIR was lodged, it is evident that

whole family of husband of the complainant has been involved;

petitioner Nos.1 2, who are married sisters of husband of

complainant, and petitioner No.3, who is husband of petitioner No.1,

though are living separately far away from complainant and her

husband at the relevant time, have been involved in the case. There

are no specific allegations against the petitioners except bald version

that petitioners have instigated the other accused to treat complainant

with cruelty. There are omnibus and general allegations against the

petitioners;

13. The order of JMIC of discharge is reasoned order; whereas from

perusal of order of Sessions court, it is evident that except narrating

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 11 of 14
the principles of charge or discharge, there is nothing on record from

which it can be inferred that, it is reasoned order.

14. SectionIn Preeti Gupta Anr vs State of Jharkhand Anr. reported in

2010 (7) SCC 667 held as under:-

“27. Admittedly, appellant no.1 is a permanent resident of Navasari,
Surat, Gujarat and has been living with her husband for more than
seven years. Similarly, appellant no.2 is a permanent resident of
Goregaon, Maharasthra. They have never visited the place where the
alleged incident had taken place. They had never lived with respondent
no.2 and her husband. Their implication in the complaint is meant to
harass and humiliate the husband’s relatives. This seems to be the only
basis to file this complaint against the appellants. Permitting the
complainant to pursue this complaint would be an abuse of the process
of law.

28. It is a matter of common knowledge that unfortunately
matrimonial litigation is rapidly increasing in our country. All the
courts in our country including this court are flooded
with matrimonial cases. This clearly demonstrates discontent and
unrest in the family life of a large number of people of the society.

29. The courts are receiving a large number of cases emanating
from Sectionsection 498-A of the Indian Penal Code which reads as under:-

“498-A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to
cruelty.–Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of
a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall
also be liable to fine. Explanation.–For the purposes of this section,
`cruelty’ means:-

(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the
woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life,
limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

(b) 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 or is on account of
failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.”

30. It is a matter of common experience that most of these complaints
under Sectionsection 498-A IPC are filed in the heat of the moment over
trivial issues without proper deliberations. We come across a large
number of such complaints which are not even bona fide and are filed
with oblique motive. At the same time, rapid increase in the number of
genuine cases of dowry harassment are also a matter of serious
concern.

31. The learned members of the Bar have enormous social
responsibility and obligation to ensure that the social fiber of family
life is not ruined or demolished. They must ensure that exaggerated
versions of small incidents should not be reflected in the criminal
complaints. Majority of the complaints are filed either on their advice
or with their concurrence. The learned members of the Bar who

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 12 of 14
belong to a noble profession must maintain its noble traditions and
should treat every complaint under Sectionsection 498-A as a basic human
problem and must make serious endeavour to help the parties in
arriving at an amicable resolution of that human problem. They must
discharge their duties to the best of their abilities to ensure that social
fiber, peace and tranquility of the society remains intact. The members
of the Bar should also ensure that one complaint should not lead to
multiple cases.

32. Unfortunately, at the time of filing of the complaint the
implications and consequences are not properly visualized by the
complainant that such complaint can lead to insurmountable
harassment, agony and pain to the complainant, accused and his close
relations.

33. The ultimate object of justice is to find out the truth and punish the
guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a herculean
task in majority of these complaints. The tendency of implicating
husband and all his immediate relations is also not uncommon. At
times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult to
ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremely careful and
cautious in dealing with these complaints and must take pragmatic
realities into consideration while dealing with matrimonial cases. The
allegations of harassment of husband’s close relations who had been
living in different cities and never visited or rarely visited the place
where the complainant resided would have an entirely different
complexion. The allegations of the complaint are required to be
scrutinized with great care and circumspection. Experience reveals
that long and protracted criminal trials lead to rancour, acrimony and
bitterness in the relationship amongst the parties. It is also a matter of
common knowledge that in cases filed by the complainant if the
husband or the husband’s relations had to remain in jail even for a few
days, it would ruin the chances of amicable settlement altogether. The
process of suffering is extremely long and painful.

34. Before parting with this case, we would like to observe that a
serious relook of the entire provision is warranted by the legislation. It
is also a matter of common knowledge that exaggerated versions of the
incident are reflected in a large number of complaints. The tendency of
over implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases.

35. The criminal trials lead to immense sufferings for all concerned.
Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may also not be able to wipe out the
deep scars of suffering of ignominy. Unfortunately a large number of
these complaints have not only flooded the courts but also have led to
enormous social unrest affecting peace, harmony and happiness of the
society. It is high time that the legislature must take into consideration
the pragmatic realities and make suitable changes in the existing law.
It is imperative for the legislature to take into consideration the
informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities in consideration
and make necessary changes in the relevant provisions of law. We
direct the Registry to send a copy of this judgment to the Law
Commission and to the Union Law Secretary, Government of India
who may place it before the Hon’ble Minister for Law Justice to
take appropriate steps in the larger interest of the society.

36. When the facts and circumstances of the case are considered in the
background of legal principles set out in preceding paragraphs, then it
would be unfair to compel the appellants to undergo the rigmarole of a
criminal trial. In the interest of justice, we deem it appropriate to

CRMC No.121/2015 Page 13 of 14
quash the complaint against the appellants. As a result, the impugned
judgment of the High Court is set aside. Consequently, this appeal is
allowed.”

15. In view of what has been discussed above, this petition is allowed;

order of Sessions Judge is set aside and that of trial court is restored

and petitioners are discharged from array of accused. Record be sent

back. Stay, if any, is vacated.

( Sanjay Kumar Gupta )
Judge
Jammu:

30.05.2019
Bir*

NARINDER KUMAR SHARMA
2019.05.30 15:15
CRMC No.121/2015
I attest to the accuracy and
integrity of this document
Page 14 of 14

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