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Smt. Meena Bhargav vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh Thr on 13 August, 2018

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THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Misc. Cri. Case No. 24959/17
Smt. Meena Bhargav others Vs. State of M.P. others
Gwalior Dt. 13/8/2018
Shri S.S.Kushwah, Advocate for the petitioners.
Shri RVS Ghuraiya, Public Prosecutor for the respondents

No. 1 to 3/State.

Shri Naval Kishore Gupta, Advocate for the respondent No.4.

1. Inherent jurisdiction of this court u/S. 482 Cr.P.C. is invoked
to seek quashment of the FIR and consequential proceedings
registered as Criminal Case No. 6895/16 pending before JMFC,
Gwalior arising out of Crime No. 18/2016 registered at Police
Station Mahila Padav, Gwalior, alleging offence punishable u/Ss.
498-A/34 IPC Sec. 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against the
petitioners No. 1, 2, 3 4 who are mother-in-law, father-in-law,
sister-in-law (Nanad) and brother-in-law (Dever), respectively of
the prosecutrix.

2. As per allegations made in the FIR, marriage was
solemnized between co-accused Vishal Bhargava and the
respondent No.4/prosecutrix on 21/5/2013 soon whereafter
prosecutrix was subjected to mental and physical cruelty. Demand
of dowry was also made by the petitioners who are named in the
written complaint dated 2/2/16 made by the prosecutrix on the
basis of which impugned FIR was lodged. All the four petitioners
are named in the complaint and as well as the FIR with allegation
of inflicting mental as well as physical cruelty to the prosecutrix to
pressurize her to bring Rs. 10 lakh from her father. The prosecutrix
has further alleged that father-in-law and the husband made her
sign certain documents including a suicide note so as to prepare
their defence in advance. The prosecutrix also alleges that for
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about an year till 20/6/2014 the co-accused/husband and the
prosecutrix stayed together in a house at London where the
husband used to confine prosecutrix in a room before going to
work. It is further alleged that prosecutrix was asked to leave
matrimonial home and come back only after she satisfied the
dowry demand.

3. The revelations made in the FIR and 161 statements
alongwith the charge-sheet reveal that specific allegation of
extension of cruelty towards the prosecutrix are made against the
husband and father-in-law who are alleged to have made
prosecutrix to sign certain documents and a suicide-note to
prepare their defence in advance in the event of any subsequent
prosecution launched by prosecutrix or her parents. No such
allegation is made against the other three petitioners, i.e.
petitioner No.1-Smt. Meena Bhargava (mother-in-law), petitioner
No.3-Ku. Vibha Bhargav [sister-in-law (Nanad)] and petitioner
no.4-Vikas Bhargav, [brother-in-law(Devar)]. These three
petitioners No. 1,3 and 4 are merely alleged with omnibus
allegations which are un-specific and vague in nature and there is
total absence of description of time, place or nature of cruelty
inflicted. There are no specific instances of cruelty (mental and/or
physical) alleged against the petitioners No. 1,3 and 4 by the
prosecutrix. Thus, the element of over/false implication qua
petitioners No. 1,3 4 comes to the fore bringing with it the
bright possibility of malicious prosecution.

4. The Apex Court in the case of Neelu Chopra and Another
Vs. Bharti reported in (2009) 10 SCC 184 has held that where
impugned prosecution is tainted with vice of malafide it deserves
to be truncated at the earlier stage to avoid the ordeal of long
drawn trial. The relevant portion of the said decision is reproduced
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below:-

“9. In order to lodge a proper compliant, mere
mention of the sections and the language of those
sections is not be all and end of the matter. What is
required to be brought to the notice of the court is
the particulars of the offence committed by each and
every accused and the role played by each and every
accused in committing of that offence.

10. When we see the complaint, the complaint is
sadly vague. It does not show as to which accused
has committed what offence and what is the exact
role played by these appellants in the commission of
offence. There could be said something against
Rajesh, as the allegations are made against him more
precisely but he is no more and has already expired.
Under such circumstances, it would be an abuse of
process of law to allow the prosecution to continue
against the aged parents of Rajesh, the present
appellants herein on the basis of vague and general
complaint which is silent about the precise acts of the
appellants.

11. The High Court has merely mentioned that the
allegation in the complaint are of retaining jewellery
articles in possession of the husband and the
petitioners. Now if the articles were in the possession
of the husband, there is no question of the present
appellants being in possession of the jewellery. This
is apart from the fact that it has already been
expressed by us that there is no mention of the date
on which the said ornaments, if any, were entrusted
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to the appellants or even the date when they were
demanded back and were refused to be given back
by the appellants or any one of them. Insofar as the
offence under Section 498A IPC is concerned, we do
not find any material or allegation worth the name
against the present appellants. All the allegations
appear to be against the Rajesh.

12. This is apart from the fact that despite service of
notice, the complainant neither appeared before this
court nor engaged any counsel to represent her.
Under the circumstances we are of the opinion that
the judgment of the High Court deserves to be set
aside. It is, accordingly, set aside and the order of
the learned Magistrate taking cognizance is quashed.
The complaint is quashed under Section 482 Cr.P.C.”

5. The said is further bolstered by the law laid down in the
celebrated case of State Of Haryana And Ors vs Ch. Bhajan Lal
And Ors reported in AIR 1992 604.

6. From the above discussions it is evident that as regards
petitioner No.2-Ashok Bhargav, father-in-law this court deems it
appropriate in the face of available evidence of prima facie nature
constituting offence punishable u/S. 498-A/34 IPC Sec. 3/4 of
the Dowry Prohibition Act, to decline interference.

7. As regards petitioner No.1-Smt. Meena Bhargava, mother-in-
law, petitioner No.3-Ku. Vibha Bhargav, [sister-in-law (Nanad)]
and petitioner no.4-Vikas Bhargav, [brother-in-law (Devar)] the
present Mcrc is allowed and the FIR and consequential
proceedings registered in shape of Criminal Case No. 6895/16
pending before JMFC, Gwalior arising out of Crime No. 18/2016
alleging offence punishable u/Ss. 498-A/34 IPC Sec. 3/4 of the
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Dowry Prohibition Act are hereby quashed.

8. This court hastens to add that the trial against the petitioner
No.2-Ashok Bhargav, father-in-law and the husband shall proceed
in accordance with law.

(Sheel Nagu)
Judge
13/8/2018
(Bu)
DHANANJAYA BUCHAKE
2018.08.14 14:40:55
+05’30’

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