SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Sanjay Sthapak vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 16 January, 2020

1
M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH, PRINCIPAL SEAT
AT JABALPUR
(SINGLE BENCH : HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE J.P.GUPTA)

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

Sanjay Sthapak 4 others
Vs.
State of M.P another

Shri Ashutosh Joshi, learned counsel for the applicants.
Shri Brijesh Kumar Dubey, learned G.A for the respondent
no.1/State
Shri Beerendra Kumar Upadhyay, learned counsel for the respon-
dent no.2.

Whether approved for reporting : (Yes/No).

O R D E R

(16.01.2020)

This petition under section 482 of the Cr.P.C has

been preferred for quashment of the proceeding of the

Criminal Case No. 389/2018 pending before the Additional

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Punasa, District Khandwa under

section 498A read with section 34 of the IPC.

2. The facts giving rise to this petition are that the

marriage of the respondent no.2 with applicant no.1 was sole-

manized on 31/05/2017, and applicant no.2 is brother of the

applicant no.1, and applicant no.3 is mother of the applicant

no.1 and applicant no.4 is grand mother of the applicant no.1

and applicant no.5 is sister of the applicant no.1 and after the
2
M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

marriage, the accused persons started harassing the respon-

dent no.2 in connection with demand of dowry and on pro-

vokation and support of them for aforesaid demand of dowry,

the applicant no.1 used to beat her and on account of afore-

said harassment. About the aforesaid act of the applicants

she told her parents and brother and sister on phone and

thereafter the applicant no.1 send her with her brother to her

parental house and not prepared to keep her in the materimo-

nial house without fulfillment of the demand of dowry. On

28/10/2018 the respondent no.2 lodged FIR at police station

Mandhata, District Khandwa, where Crime No. 291/2018 un-

der section 498A read with section 34 of the IPC was regis-

tered and after investigation, the charge sheet was filed and

criminal case is pending before the Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Punasa, District Khandwa and for the quashment

of the aforesaid criminal proceeding, this petition has been

filed.

3. Learned counsel for the applicant submitted that

the aforesaid proceeding is not in accordance with the law

and in this case prima facie there is no sufficient material to

prosecute the applicants for commission of the aforesaid of-

fence. It is counter blast action as the applicant no.1 filed di-

vorce petition against the respondent no.2 before filing of the

FIR, as the respondent no.2 was unable to adjust in the matri-
3

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

monial house with the applicant no.1 and other family mem-

bers and she insisted and wanted to remain in the matrimo-

nial house without doing any work and remained ideal and

lithergic and disobey the instructions of elder persons of the

house and making quarrel. Before filing of the petition for di-

vorce the matter was also placed before the District Level

Pariwar Paramarsh Kendra, Khandwa, where the respondent

no.2 and her parents and brother also appeared and their

statements were also recorded. They have not narrated that

the applicants were demanding dowry and on account of the

demand of the dowry, they harassed the respondent no.2 and

there is no specific allegation with regard to the demand of

the dowry and harassment and only omnibus general allega-

tions have been made just to implicate all family members

with malafide intention to achieve ulterior motive for wreak-

ing vengeance, therefore the criminal proceeding be

quashed.

4. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the re-

spondent no.2 as well as learned counsel for the State have

opposed the aforesaid contentions and submitted that the

truthfulness of the facts can’t be considered at this stage and

material available with the charge sheet are sufficient to

prosecute the applicants for commission of the aforesaid of-

fence. Hence this petition be dismissed.
4

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

5. Having considered the contentions of learned

counsel for the parties and on perusal of record it is found

that in the FIR there is no specific allegation with regard to

the demand of the dowry and harassment and only omnibus

statement have been made against all accused persons and

when the matter was placed before the District Level Pariwar

Paramarsh Kendra, Khandwa the statements of respondent

no.2, and her brother Akash and mother Smt. Lata were

recorded on 28th September, 2018 in which there is no whis-

per of demand of dowry and harassment on account of non-

fullfilment of the aforesaid demand and the dispute was re-

lated to non-adjustment or non-cooperative attitude of the re-

spondent no.2, which is not unusual. It also appears that on

behalf of the applicant no.1 divorce petition was filed before

the Family Court, Khandwa on 19/09/2018 and notice was

served before 25th October, 2018 and thereafter on

28/10/2018, the FIR was lodged, this fact reflects that it is

counter blast of the action taken by the applicant no.1. Apart

from it, the allegation in the FIR are so absurd and inherently

improbable, on the basis of which no prudent man can ever

reach to the just conclusion that there is just reasonable

ground for proceeding further against the applicants.
5

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

6. There is no dispute about the legal preposition

that the truthfulness of the facts mentioned in the FIR and

the charge sheet can’t be adjudicated at this stage but if the

avernment is omnibus and not sufficient and not probable and

do not prima facie constitute any offence and the proceeding

is started to achieve the ulterior motive for wreaking

vengeance, as counter blast the same can’t continue and this

Court under section 482 of the Cr.P.C is duty bound to set

aside such proceeding.

7. The Three-Judge Bench of the Apex Court in the

case of Inder Mohan Goswami Vs. State of Uttaranchal

(2007)12 SCC 1 has observed in para 24 of the said judg-

ment, which is as under:-

“24.Inherent powers under section 482 Cr.P.C. though wide have
to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with great caution and
only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid
down in this section itself. Authority of the court exists for the
advancement of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to in-
justice is brought to the notice of the court, then the Court would
be justified in preventing injustice by invoking inherent powers
in absence of specific provisions in the Statute.”

8. Now days it is general tendency to implicate in-

laws by the wife in case of demand of dowry just to take re-

venge on account of bitterness emerged on account of non-

adjustment in the materimonial house. The provision of sec-

tion 498A of the IPC is not for that purpose. The Apex Court

in Bhaskar Lal Sharma another vs. Monica [(2009) 10
6
M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

SCC 604] in which the Apex Court considering the judgment

of the Apex Court in Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. Union of

India [(2005) 6 SCC 281] it is held that :-

“10. The object for which Section 498-A IPC was introduced is
amply reflected in the Statement of Objects and Reasons while
enacting the Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act 46 of 1983.
As clearly stated therein the increase in the number of dowry
deaths is a matter of serious concern. The extent of the evil has
been commented upon by the Joint Committee of the Houses to
examine the work of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. In some
cases, cruelty of the husband and the relatives of the husband
which culminate in suicide by or murder of the helpless woman
concerned, constitute only a small fraction involving such cruelty.
Therefore, it was proposed to amend IPC, the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (in short ‘CrPC’) and the Evidence Act suitably
to deal effectively not only with cases of dowry deaths but also
cases of cruelty to married women by the husband, in-laws and
relatives. The avowed object is to combat the menace of dowry
death and cruelty.

……………

……………

19. The object of the provision is prevention of the dowry men-
ace. But as has been rightly contended by the petitioner many in-
stances have come to light where the complaints are not bona
fide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases ac-
quittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy
suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media cov-
erage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what reme-
dial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-inten-
tioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional
and intra vires, does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons
to wreak personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, there-
fore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how
the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appro-
priately dealt with. Till then the courts have to take care of the
situation within the existing framework. As noted above the ob-
ject is to strike at the roots of dowry menace. But by misuse of
the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provi-
sion is intended to be used as a shield and not as an assassin’s
weapon. If the cry of ‘wolf’ is made too often as a prank, assis-
tance and protection may not be available when the actual ‘wolf’
appears. There is no question of the investigating agency and
courts casually dealing with the allegations. They cannot follow
any straitjacket formula in the matters relating to dowry tortures,
deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost sight of that the ultimate ob-
jective of every legal system is to arrive at the truth, punish the
guilty and protect the innocent. There is no scope for any precon-

7

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

ceived notion or view. It is strenuously argued by the petitioner
that the investigating agencies and the courts start with the pre-
sumptions that the accused persons are guilty and that the com-
plainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide and generalised a
statement. Certain statutory presumptions are drawn which
again are rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of the investi-
gating agencies and the courts is that of a watchdog and not of a
bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that an innocent per-
son is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and
malicious allegations. It is equally undisputable that in many
cases no direct evidence is available and the courts have to act on
circumstantial evidence. While dealing with such cases, the law
laid down relating to circumstantial evidence has to be kept in
view.”

9. The Apex Court in Preeti Gupta vs. State of Jhark-
hand [(2010) 7 SCC 667] held that:-

32. It is a matter of common experience that most of these com-
plaints under Section 498-A IPC are filed in the heat of the mo-
ment 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 harass-
ment is also a matter of serious concern.

10. The Apex Court in Geeta Mehrotra and another vs.
Stae of Uttar Pradesh [(2012)10 SCC 741] held that :-

20. Coming to the facts of this case, when the contents of the FIR
are perused, it is apparent that there are no allegations against
Kumari Geeta Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra except casual refer-
ence of their names which have been included in the FIR but
mere casual reference of the names of the family members in a
matrimonial dispute without allegation of active involvement in
the matter would not justify taking cognizance against them
overlooking the fact borne out of experience that there is a ten-
dency to involve the entire family members of the household in
the domestic quarrel taking place in a matrimonial dispute spe-
cially if it happens soon after the wedding.

11. Hon’ble the Apex court in the recent judgment, Ra-
jesh Sharma and ors. vs. State of U.P. And anr., passed
in criminal appeal no. 1265/2017 dated 27.7.2017 as ob-
served in para 14, as under :-

“14. €Section 498-A was inserted in the statute with the laudable
object of punishing cruelty at the hands of husband or his rela-
tives against a wife particularly when such cruelty had potential
8
M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

to result in suicide or murder of a woman as mentioned in the
statement of Objects and Reasons of the Act 46 of 1983. The ex-
pression “cruelty” in Section 498A covers conduct which may
drive the women to commit suicide or cause grave injury (mental
or physical) or danger to life or harassment with a view to coerce
her to meet unlawful demand. It is a matter of serious concern
that large number of cases continue to be filed under already re-
ferred to some of the statistics from the Crime Records Bureau.
This Court had earlier noticed the fact that most of such com-
plaints are filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues.
Many of such complaints are not bona fide. At the time of filing of
the complaint, implications and consequences are not visualized.
At times such complaints lead to uncalled for harassment not
only to the accused but also to the complainant. Uncalled for ar-
rest may ruin the chances of settlement”.

12. In view of the aforesaid enunciation of law and in

the facts and circumstances of the case, in view of this Court,

the instant petition deserves to be allowed as in the aforesaid

circumstances if the proceedings continued against the appli-

cants, it would amount to abuse of the process of the court and

would cause grave injustice to the applicants. In the circum-

stances, this petition is allowed and the proceedings of the

Criminal Case No. 389/2018 pending before the Additional

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Punasa, District Khandwa is hereby

quashed.

13. A copy of this order be sent to the court concerned

for information and compliance.

(J.P.Gupta)
JUDGE
TARUN Digitally signed by TARUN

tarun/
KUMAR SALUNKE
DN: cIN, oHIGH COURT OF
MP, ouGOVERNMENT,

KUMAR postalCode482002,
stMadhya Pradesh,
2.5.4.2019a265290eb7f6307d4
a64122959af56e05e3d1d609e0f

SALUN
d1051d7f6331251f99,
serialNumber0e7afab970b523
fc5e1fd370da00347dabfa96b26
cbffd08773a847c03d3115c,

KE
cnTARUN KUMAR SALUNKE
Date: 2020.01.17 14:06:13
+05’30’
9
M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH, PRINCIPAL SEAT
AT JABALPUR
(SINGLE BENCH : HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE J.P.GUPTA)

M.Cr.C No.10044/2019

Sanjay Sthapak 4 others
Vs.

State of M.P another

ORDER

Post for : __/01/2020

(J.P.GUPTA)

JUDGE

__/01/2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2020 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation