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Sandeep Kumar & Ors vs State Of Punjab & Anr on 19 December, 2018

Crl. Misc. M-13866-2018 (OM) -1-

IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND
HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

Crl. Misc. M-13866-2018 (OM)
Date of Decision: December 19, 2018

Sandeep Kumar and others
…Petitioners

Versus

State of Punjab and another
…Respondents

CORAM:- HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JAISHREE THAKUR

Present:- Mr. S.P.S. Sidhu, Advocate
for the petitioners.

Ms. Rajni Gupta, Sr. DAG, Punjab.

Mr. P.S. Ahluwalia, Advocate
for respondent No.2.

JAISHREE THAKUR, J. (Oral)

1. This petition has been filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal

Procedure seeking quashing of the complaint No. 147/15 dated 20.07.2015

under Sections 406, 498-A, 323, 12-B of Indian Penal Code pending in the

Court of JMIC Patiala as well as summoning order dated 20.01.2018 passed by

JMIC Patiala .

2. The brief facts of the case as alleged in the complaint filed are that a

marriage was solemnized between Pardeep Kumar and Complainant

-respondent No.2 ( hereinafter called the respondent no. 2 ) on 29.01.2012 and

out of this wedlock, a child was born on 23.11.2013. A reading of the

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complaint would reveal that even after giving sufficient dowry (spending

approximately Rs.30 Lacs), the behaviour of the accused petitioners towards

the respondent no 2 was inimical on account of having brought inadequate

dowry. The respondent no 2 shifted to Chattisgarh along with her husband in

February 2012 on account of his work and stayed there for four months. Even

during that period the behaviour of her husband/accused-Pardeep Kumar did

not change and thereafter Pardeep Kumar joined employment at Rajpura . It is

alleged that the respondent no.2 joined as Assistant Professor at Sukhmani

Engineering College, Derabassi and started living in her in-laws house at

Panchkula. It is alleged that the accused-petitioners started taunting her for

demand of dowry and on 13.05.2014, they gave beatings to her, due to which

her parents took her to Patiala. On 18.05.2014, there was also a demand of

`25 lakhs from her parents for construction of first floor of the house by the

mother- in-law and sister- in- law. Thereafter she gave an application to

Women Cell Patiala and SSP Patiala, on which the accused-petitioners were

called and they tendered their apology. The complainant/respondent No.2 then

started living in a rented accommodation in Zirakpur along with her minor son.

She came to know that her husband-Pardeep Kumar had transferred the flat

No. 302, 3rd floor, Tower-A, Imperial Residency, Village Peermushalla

Zirakpur in the name of his sister-Monika (Petitioner No.3) on 28.08.2014.

Thereafter FIR No.50 dated 17.06.2015 was registered by the police under

Sections 406, 498-A of IPC against her husband. Since she gave a complaint

against all the accused persons but the police registered FIR against her

husband only, therefore, she made a complaint before the CJJD, Patiala for

registration of case against all the accused persons i.e. husband and his family

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members. Vide order dated 23.02.2017, the JMIC Patiala found that no ground

is made to summon other family members of the accused-Pardeep Kumar and

ordered to summon the husband only to face trial for the offences punishable

under Section 406/498-A IPC. Thereafter the complainant challenged the order

dated 23.02.2017 in the Revisional Court. The Additional Sessions Judge,

Patiala (Exclusive Court for heinous crimes against Women) vide order dated

30.10.2017, set aside the order dated 23.02.2017 and remanded the case to the

trial Court to re-consider the matter in view of the observations made in the

order and evidence led by the complainant and further directed the trial Court

to pass a fresh speaking order as per the settled law. Thereafter, the JMIC

Patiala vide order dated 20.01.2018 on the basis of the oral and documentary

evidence, found sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused-petitioners

herein and summoned them to face trial under Sections 406/498-A IPC. The

present petition has been filed to quash the aforesaid orders dated 20.01.2018

(Annexure P-6) and the complaint dated 20.07.2015 (Annexure P-3).

3. Mr. S.P.S Sidhu, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the

impugned order suffers from infirmity that the matter has already been

investigated thoroughly on a complaint filed by the petitioner to the Deputy

Superintendent of Police, Investigation, Patiala and an investigation was

undertaken by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Patiala, who

concluded on 15.12.2016 that petitioners are innocent in the instant case.

On the basis of the said investigation FIR came to be registered only against

the husband Pradeep Kumar and the petitioners were kept in column no 2.

It is also argued that the respondent from her own averments stayed with her

husband and lived in her matrimonial for a short duration and the question

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of demanding dowry and subjecting her to physical abuse would not arise.

4. Per contra Mr. Preetinder Singh Ahluwalia learned counsel for the

complainant respondent no 2 contends that there is sufficient evidence

available for the court to have summoned the petitioners to face trial in the

complaint case. It is argued that the husband of the complainant and the son

of the petitioner no 2 has fled the country and is not facing proceedings

under the FIR having been declared as a proclaimed offender. It is

contended that before the husband of the petitioner left for Canada, he

transferred his movable and immovable properties in favour of his family

members in order to thwart the legitimate claim of the respondent and the

minor child.

5. I have heard the counsel for the parties and also perused the case

laws as cited by them.

6. Admittedly the marriage between the respondent complainant and the

son of petitioner no 2 is not in dispute and neither is the birth of the child.

The question that needs to be addressed is whether there is sufficient

material available to proceed against the petitioners who are the close

relatives of the husband of respondent no 2.

7. The complaint that has been filed is a detailed and an exhaustive one

on very similar lines as the FIR No.50 dated 17.06.2015 registered by the

police under Sections 406, 498-A of IPC. The FIR was ultimately registered

only against the husband Pradeep Kumar who has since then been declared

as a proclaimed offender.

8. An argument has been raised that the petitioners herein had been

investigated and kept in column 2 in the Final report submitted in FIR No

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50 dated 17.06.2015 and therefore once exonerated the complaint case

against them was not maintainable. Initially the complaint was dismissed by

the JMIC by order dated 30.10.2017 holding that no offence was made out,

which order was challenged in revision petition. The Revisional court

remanded the matter back to the trial court which order was not challenged.

It is thereafter, the JMIC on appreciating the preliminary evidence led found

they are sufficient grounds to proceed against accused No. 2 to 5. the

petitioners herein.

9. In the complaint it has specifically been stated that she was tortured by

Kiran Bala wife of Sh. Brij Lal and Monika daughter of Brij Lal arrayed as

accused No. 3 on account of not bringing sufficient gold at the time of

solemnization of marriage. There is a specific allegation that the accused

No. 3 and 4, namely Kiran Bala and Monika demanded a sum of `25 lakhs

from her parents for construction of 1st floor of the house while further

submitting that the said persons also refused to allow the complainant the

use of the Istridhan and misappropriated the same. The testimony is

supported by witnesses and documentary evidence, one of them being the

inquiry report Annexure-R 2/6 dated 19.8.2015 where it was held that the

allegations were proved. A perusal of the said inquiry would reveal that

even the In-charge women Counselling Cell Patiala and Deputy

Superintendent of Police, Investigation, Patiala had found Pradeep Kumar,

Kiran Bala and Monika guilty of offences under section 498A/406 IPC. It

was when a complaint was filed by the petitioners that another Inquiry was

conducted by SP headquarters, Patiala on the basis of which the case was

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registered only against Pradeep Kumar.

10. At the stage of summoning of an accused person, the Magistrate is

required to apply his judicial mind to find out whether prima-facie the case

is made out for summoning the accused persons. At this stage, the

magistrate is not required to consider the defence version or material or

arguments, nor is required to evaluate the merits of the material or evidence

of the complainant. The magistrate must not undertake the exercise of

evaluating the evidence at the stage of summoning to conclude whether the

materials available before it would lead to conviction or not. The law in this

regard is well-settled in “Sonu Gupta vs Deepak Gupta and others 2015(2)

RCR (Criminal) 32”. Even in a recent case of “Rakhi Mishra Versus State

Of Bihar and Others 2017 ( 4) RCR (Criminal) 52” the Hon’ble Supreme

Court in similar circumstance held that the High court ought not to have

interfered by exercising powers under section 482 Cr.P.C.

11. The power under section 482 Cr.P.C is to be exercised sparingly and

in exceptional circumstances, when prima facie a case is not made out. As

held in Rakhi Mishra (supra) “The test applied by this court for

interference at the initial stage of the prosecution is whether the

uncontroverted allegations prima facie establish a case.” In the case in hand

there are specific allegations as set out in the complaint, evidence on the

record as well as the statements recorded for the JMIC to have formed an

opinion that the petitioners should be summoned to face trial.

12. Therefore, finding no infirmity in the order so passed this petition

stands dismissed. However any observation made herein are not to be

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construed as an opinion on the merits of the case, which is to be decided

independently on the basis of evidence adduced by parties.

December 19, 2018 (JAISHREE THAKUR)
seema JUDGE

Whether speaking/reasoned Yes
Whether reportable Yes/No

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