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Sapnesh Agrawal vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 4 October, 2019

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH PRINCIPAL SEAT
AT JABALPUR
SB:: Hon’ble Shri Justice Rajendra Kumar Srivastava

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019

Sapnesh Agrawal and others
Vs
State of M.P. and another

—————————————————————————-
Shri Ayur Jain, learned counsel for the petitioners.
Shri M. Siddhique, learned PL. for the respondent No.1/State.
Shri Sourabh Bhooshan Shrivastava, learned counsel for the
respondent No. 2.
———————————————————————————

Whether approved for reporting: Yes/No ——–.

Law laid down:

Significant paragraphs:

ORDER

(04.10.2019)

Petitioners-accused have filed this Miscellaneous

Criminal Case under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. to quash the FIR

registered at crime no. 107/2018 at Mahila Thana- Bhopal for the

offence punishable under Sections 498-A, 506 read with 34 of IPC

and Section 3/ 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

2. Case of prosecution in short is that marriage of

respondent no. 2 was solemnized with petitioner no. 1 on

23.04.2017. Petitioner-accused no. 2 is brother-in-law and
2

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

petitioner-accused no. 3 is mother-in-law of respondent no. 2. After

marriage respondent no. 2 stared to live with petitioners-accused in

the month of July, 2017 all the petitioners-accused demanded money.

They demanded golden chain and they tortured and humiliated her.

They did not give proper food, due to this she weakened. Petitioners-

accused did not give proper medical aid. They burnt the hand of

respondent no. 2. They through the water on the stairs due to this she

fell down. They sold all the domestic articles, so she has come in the

house of his brother at Bhopal. She filed an application in Parivar

Paramarsh Kendra on 07.03.2018. Petitioner No. 1- accused alleged

that respondent no. 2 is mad. He refused to live with respondent no. 2

while petitioner no. 3 threaten her so she lodged report on

13.07.2018 at Police Station Mahila Thana, Bhopal.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioners-accused submits that

immediately after the marriage the respondent no. 2 started behaving

erratically. Respondent no. 2 told the petitioners accused that she

wants to go to her maternal home. Respondent no. 2 started creating

trouble to the petitioners-accused and forced them that she wants to

go to her maternal home else she would commit suicide. Thereafter

respondent no. 2 left the matrimonial house and she never returned

for few days. After some days, the petitioner no. 1-accused visited

maternal home of the respondent no. 2, her family members did not

call her at the first instance and it is only after much persistence the
3

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

mother of the respondent no. 2 brought her holding her hand and on

seeing her petitioner-accused no. 1 asked the family members of the

respondent no. 2 what has happened to her, so her family members

replied that she is not keeping well. Petitioner no. 1 asked the family

members of respondent no. 2 that why did they not tell about her

health, he would have taken her to a good doctor, the father of the

respondent no. 2 very aggressively replied that she is already treated

from a good doctor and there is no need for further consultation and

she would be become alright in some days and they will thereafter

send her back. Thereafter respondent no.2 returned back, the

petitioner found that he was consuming tablets. She did not take bath.

She did not take any interest in the family affairs of the petitioners-

accused. Once petitioner no. 1 took her to doctor and the respondent

no. 2 got an attack of epilepsy and in further examination it was

found that the respondent no. 2 was suffering from epilepsy and in

fact her mother was also suffering from the same disease, which is

hereditary in the family of the respondent no. 2. Respondent no. 2

and her family members on being told about the disease of the

respondent no. 2 refused to accept the same and further told the

petitioners that the would implicate them on false case of Dowry

Prohibition Act and other related offences. Then petitioner no. 1-

accused filed a complaint before M.P. Human Rights Commission.

On the basis of complaint of petitioner No. 1-accused an
4

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

investigation report was prepared by the Police Incharge Gandhi

Nagar.On 07.03.2018 by way of counterblast, respondent no. 2 filed

an application before the Mahila Thana, Bhpaol for counseling

alleging various mental and physical harassment upon the respondent

no. 2 in her in laws house at Raisen. She alleged that she was not

feeded properly at her in-laws house, they used to only gave one

chapatti in the morning and one chappati in evening and therefore,

due to less food she became unwell and she was not treated . Apart

from that various allegations were levelled in the complaint.

However, all entire cause of action took place in district Raisen. On

the basis of the complaint, the counseling happened between the

petitioner no. 1 and the respondent no.2 before the Family

Consultation Centre. The respondent no. 2 only alleged against the

petitioner no. 1-accused in respect of the cruelty and harassment

before the Family Consultation Centre, it was decided the parties

should go to court. The marriage of the petitioner No. 1 with

respondent no. 2 was performed fraudulently by hiding the

neurological disorder of idiopathic epilepsy from the petitioner no. 1.

Petitioner no. 1 filed divorce petition under Section 13 of Hindu

Marriage Act before the Family Court Bhopal on 18.05.2018. The

allegation in the FIR are very vague and ambiguous. There are no

specific allegations against the petitioners-accused and it is just to

implicate all the family members of the petitioner no. 1. In the report
5

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

of the Family Consultation Centre, the respondent no. 2 has only put

allegations against the petitioners no. 2 and 3. No specific allegation

against the husband also. Respondent no. 2 suffering from idiopathic

epilepsy and the said fact was being hidden from the petitioner no. 1.

When petitioners came to know about it and informed the same to the

respondent no. 2 and her family members, they realized that the

petitioners have come to know about everything and therefore, they

took her away. Respondent no. 2 and her family members have

created so much pressure on the petitioners and gave continuous

threats to the petitioners that they would implicate the petitioners on

false case of 498-A of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act, therefore all

the allegations are frivolous. Apart from that no cause of action is

taken place at Bhopal. The territorial jurisdiction with respect to the

allegations of harassment and cruelty was shown in Mandideep

District Raisen. So in fact the offence was not depicted as a

continuing offence and it is justed to bring all the cause of action

within the courts of Bhopal, therefore, entire criminal proceeding

shall be set-aside on this ground also.

4. Learned counsel for the respondents opposes the

submission made by learned counsel for the petitioner and submits

that there is prima-facie material available on record so it is not a cae

in which inherent jurisdiction can be invoked they prays for

dismissal of this petition. In support of their contention they relied
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M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

upon the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Rupali

Devi Vs. State of Uttar Prades others in Criminal Appeal No.

71 of 2012 in the case of Anand Kumar Mohatta and anr Vs. State

(Govt. of NCT of Delhi) Department of Home and Anr in

Criminal Appeal No. 1395/2018, in the case of Swapnil and ors Vs.

State of Madhya Pradesh in Criminal Appeal No. 1144 of 2014

and the judgment passed by this Court in the case of Ramkumar

Sarathe and others Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh in M.Cr.C. No.

15859 of 2017 and in the case of Satyanarayan Mishra and others

Vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh others in M.Cr.C. No.

25901/2018.

5. Heard the arguments of both the parties and perused the

record.

6. Learned counsel for the petitioner accused submits that

no cause of action is taken place at Bhopal. Allegation of harassment

and cruelty was shown in Mandideep District Raisen, so Judicial

Magistrate First Class-Bhopal had no jurisdiction to take cognizance

against the petitioners-accused under Section 498-A, 506 read with

Section 34 of IPC and Section 3, 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Rupali Devi Vs. State of Uttar

Prades others in Criminal Appeal No. 71 of 2012 has held that

the courts at the place where the wife takes shelter that court has
7

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

jurisdiction to entertain the complaint lodging commission of

offence under Section 498-A of IPC.

“15. The Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, as the object behind its enactment would
indicate, is to provide a civil remedy to victims of
domestic violence as against the remedy in criminal
law which is what is provided under Section 498A of
the Indian Penal Code. The definition of the Domestic
Violence in the Protection of Women from Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 contemplates harm or injuries that
endanger the health, safety, life, limb or wellbeing,
whether mental or physical, as well as emotional
abuse. The said definition would certainly, for reasons
stated above, have a close connection with Explanation
A B to Section 498A, Indian Penal Code which
defines cruelty. The provisions contained in Section
498A of the Indian Penal Code, undoubtedly,
encompasses both mental as well as the physical well-
being of the wife. Even the silence of the wife may
have an underlying element of an emotional distress
and mental agony. Her sufferings at the parental home
though may be directly attributable to commission of
acts of cruelty by the husband at the matrimonial home
would, undoubtedly, be the consequences of the acts
committed at the matrimonial home. Such
consequences, by itself, would amount to distinct
offences committed at the parental home where she has
taken shelter. The adverse effects on the mental health
in the parental home though on account of the acts
committed in the matrimonial home would, in our
considered view, amount to commission of cruelty
within the meaning of Section 498A at the parental
home. The consequences of the cruelty committed at
the matrimonial home results in repeated offences
being committed at the parental home. This is the kind
of offences contemplated under Section 179 Cr.P.C
which would squarely be applicable to the present case
as an answer to the question raised.

16. We, therefore, hold that the courts at the place
where the wife takes shelter after leaving or driven
away from the matrimonial home on account of acts of
cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives,
would, dependent on the factual situation, also have
8

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging
commission of offences under Section 498A of the
Indian Penal Code.”

Therefore, it is evident that Judicial Magistrate First Class,

Bhopal has jurisdiction to take cognizance against the petitioners-

accused.

7. This is a case of matrimonial dispute, therefore, it has to

be seen as to how to deal with a petition under Section 482 of Cr.P.C.

for quashing the FIR and subsequent criminal proceedings.

8. The Apex Court in the case of Rakhi Mishra Vs. State

of Bihar and others reported in AIR 2017 S.C. 4019 has held as

under:-

“This Court in Sonu Gupta Vs. Deepak Gupak Gupta and ors.
(2015) 3 SCC 424, 426: (AIR 2015 SC (Supp) 684) held as
follows:

“At the stage of cognizance and summoning the Magistrate is
required to apply his judicial mind only with a view to take
cognizance of the offence to find out whether a prima facie
case is made out for summoning the accused persons. At this
stage, the Magistrate is not required to consider the defence
version or materials or arguments nor he is required to
evaluate the merits of the materials or evidence of the
complainant, because the Magistrate must not undertake the
exercise to find out at this stage whether the materials would
lead to conviction or not.”

9. The Apex Court in the case of Kans Raj Vs. State of

Punjab and others reported in (2000) 5 SCC 207 has held as

under:-

“In the light of the evidence in the case we find substance
in the submission of the learned counsel for the defence
that respondents 3 to 5 were roped in the case only on the
ground of being close relations of respondent No.2, the
husband of the deceased. For the fault of the husband, the
9

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

in-laws or the other relations cannot, in all cases, be held
to be involved in the demand of dowry. In cases where
such accusations are made, the overt acts attributed to
persons other than husband are required to be proved
beyond reasonable doubt. By mere conjectures and
implicationssuch relations cannot be held guilty for the
offence relating to dowry deaths. A tendency has,
however, developed for roping in all relations of the in-
laws of the deceased wives in the matters of dowry deaths
which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the
prosecution even against the real culprits. In their over
enthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum
people, the parents of the deceased have been found to be
making efforts for involving other relations which
ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even
against the real accused as appears to have happened in
the instant case.”

10. The Apex Court in the case of Preeti Gupta anothers

Vs. State of Jharkhand another reported in AIR 2010 SC 3363

has held as under:-

“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 Section 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 willful 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
10

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

(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 Section 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.

11. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Geeta Mehrotra

and another v. State of Uttar Pradesh and another reported in

(2012) 10 SCC 741 has held as under:-

“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 reference 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 tendency to involve the entire family members of the
household in the domestic quarrel taking place in a
matrimonial dispute specially if it happens soon after the
wedding.

21. It would be relevant at this stage to take note of an apt
observation of this Court recorded G.V. Rao vs. L.H.V.
Prasad (2000) 3 SCC 693 wherein also in a matrimonial
dispute, this Court had held that the High Court should
have quashed the complaint arising out of a matrimonial
dispute wherein all family members had been roped into
the matrimonial litigation which was quashed and set
aside. Their Lordships observed therein with which we
entirely agree that:

“12.There has been an outburst of matrimonial dispute in
recent times. Marriage is a sacred ceremony, the main
purpose of which is to enable the young couple to settle
down in life and live peacefully. But little matrimonial
11

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume serious
proportions resulting in commission of heinous crimes in
which elders of the family are also involved with the
result that those who could have counselled and brought
about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being
arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There are many
other reasons which need not be mentioned here for not
encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties
may ponder over their defaults and terminate their
disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead of
fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and
years to conclude and in that process the parties lose
their “young” days in chasing their cases in different
courts.”

The view taken by the judges in this matter was that the

Courts would not encourage such disputes.”

12. The Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana and

others Vs. Bhajan Lal and others reported in 1992 Supp (1) SCC

335 as held as under:-

“102. In the backdrop of the interpretation of the various
relevant provisions of the Code under Chapter XIV and of
the principles of law enunciated by this Court in a series
of decisions relating to the exercise of the extraordinary
power under Article 226 or the inherent powers under
Section 482 of the Code which we have extracted and
reporduced above, we give the following categories of
cases by way of illustration wherein such power could be
exercised either to prevent abuse of the process of any
Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it
may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly
defined and sufficiently channelised and inflexible
guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list
of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be
exercised:

(1) Where the allegations made in the First Information
Report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their
face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima
facie constitute any offence or make out a case against
the accused;

(2) Where the allegations in the First Information Report
and other materials, if any, accompanying the F.I.R. do
12

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an
investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of
the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the
purview of Section 155(2) of the Code;

(3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR
or ‘complaint and the evidence collected in support of the
same do not disclose the commission of any offence and
make out a case against the accused;

(4) where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a
cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable
offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer
without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under
Section 155(2) of the Code;

(5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint
are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of
which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion
that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the
accused.

(6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any
of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under
which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the
institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or
where there is a specific provision in the Code or the
concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the
grievance of the aggrieved party.

(7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended
with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously
instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance
on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private
and personal grudge.”

13. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of K.Subba Rao

and others Vs. State of Telangana reported in (2018) SCC 452 has

held as under:-

“Criminal proceedings are not normally interdicted by
us at the interlocutory stage unless there is an abuse of
the process of a Court. This Court, at the same time,
does not hesitate to interfere to secure the ends of justice.
See State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal. The Court should
be careful in proceeding against the distant relatives in
crimes pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry
deaths. The relatives of the husband should not be roped
in on the basis of omnibus allegations unless specific
instances of their involvement in the crime are made out.

13

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

See Kans Raj Vs. State of Punjab and Kailash Chandra
Agrawal Vs. State of U.P.”

14. In the light of aforesaid legal position. I would proceed
to decide this petition

15. From perusal of the case it appears that Petitioner-

accused no. 1 is husband of the respondent no. 2, petitioner-accused

no. 2 is brother-in-law of respondent No. 2, petitioner-accused No. 3

is mother-in-law of the respondent no. 2. It is revealed from the

record that after marriage respondent no. 2 lived with petitioners-

accused at matrimonial house. They demanded a golden chain as

dowry. They also demanded money, due to non fulfillment, they

tortured and humiliated her. They did not provide food due to this she

become weak. They burnt her hand. They spread water on stair due to

which she fell down. They doubted her character. Matter was also

referred to Child Welfare Committee, Bhopal. Committee found that

case be registered against the petitioners-accused. During the

investigation statements of witnesses have been recorded. Then in

prima-facie allegations about demand of dowry and torture are there.

So far as the case of petitioners-accused that respondent no. 2 is

suffering from idiopathic epilepsy and the said fact was being

hidden from the petitioner no. 1 when petitioners-accused came to

know the fact he informed the same to the family members of

respondent no. 2, thereafter the family members of respondent no. 2
14

M.Cr.C. No. 5189/2019.

threatened them for dire consequences and lodged false report.

Petitioners-accused has filed some document about epilepsy, but all

the disputed facts will be investigated at the trial. Prima-facie it

cannot be said that the case of respondent no. 2 is frivolous. So this is

not a fit case in which inherent jurisdiction can be invoked.

16. Accordingly this petition is dismissed.

(Rajendra Kumar Srivastava)
Judge

MISHRA

Digitally signed by
ARVIND KUMAR MISHRA
Date: 2019.10.04
18:10:27 +05’30’

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