THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
(SMT. RICHA GUPTA …………….Petitioner
For the petitioner: Mr.Radhelal Gupta Mr.Ramakant Awasthi, Advocate
For the respondent: Mr.K.N.Fakhruddin, Advocate
Present: Hon’ble Mr.Justice Sushil Kumar Palo
This petition under section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure has been filed to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of
this Court to quash the criminal proceeding of Criminal Case RCT
NO.817/2016 filed by the respondent against the petitioner pending
before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Baihar, District Balaghat under
section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
2. The petitioner-wife has filed this petition to quash the
criminal proceeding instituted by the respondent-husband on the
ground that there has been several proceedings pending between them.
On the report of the petitioner-wife a criminal case for offence under
section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code is pending. The petitioner has
filed an application under section 125 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure against the respondent/husband before the Family Court,
Bhopal. Several disputes are pending between the husband and wife.
A complaint under section 12 of the Protection of Women from
(Domestic Violence) Act, 2005 has also been filed by the petitioner-
wife. The respondent-husband, to counter the above cases, has filed a
criminal complaint under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. Vide
order dated 21.11.2016 a crime under section 500 of I.P.C. has been
registered. Learned Judicial Magistrate First Class has taken
cognizance of the offence.
3. It is stated that the criminal case for cruelty is also
pending against the respondent. It does not mean that offence under
section 500 of I.P.C. has been committed by the petitioner-wife.
Therefore, this petition be allowed and the criminal complaint case
instituted under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code be quashed.
4. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondent-husband
opposed the contentions and submitted that the petitioner-wife has
instituted several cases against the respondent/husband, and the
respondent/husband had to file this complaint, for the petitioner-wife
had falsely lodged complaint against the respondent/husband stating
facts which are false ab initio and which are defamatory.
5. He claims that the petitioner has filed a complaint against
the respondent/husband to initiate against him, in which, she alleged
that the respondent/husband remained in jail for 3 days. He is facing
trial under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and proceeding
under section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act. It is also alleged in the
complaint that the husband is earning Rs.6 lacs as gratification besides
his salary by wrongly opening the tenders. An enquiry was conducted
by his employer, the Hindustan Copper Limited, Malajhkhand and
intimation to the police was given on 15.3.2016 that the husband is
serving with Hindustan Copper Limited. But, he is not in charge of
any project or Tender Evaluation Committee. The tenders are being
opened in presence of the bidders and the representatives of the
bidders by the officers of the Hindustan Copper Limited.
6. On her complaint the Sub Divisional Officer (Police) has
made an enquiry and submitted the report on 18.3.2011 to the
S.P.Balaghat. In this report it has been submitted that Station House
Officer, Malajkhand has submitted that report. The Hindustan Copper
Limited, Malajkhand has given report and the document filed by the
respondent show that the petitioner-wife has instituted several
complaint against the respondent/husband. A divorce case is also
pending between them. Therefore, the petitioner-wife has exaggerated
things and has made the complaint. It is also contended that because of
the complaint made by her, the respondent/husband defamed and his
respect in the office has been damaged. She made this complaint to
harass him mentally and she somehow wants to harm him to the extent
that he should lose his job.
7. On behalf of the petitioner wife it is claimed that she
being aggrieved by the behaviour and harassment by the
respondent/husband made a complaint before the Jan Shikayat
Nivaran Bibhag. If an enquiry is made, it may be due to the procedure,
but she did not mean any defamation to be caused to the respondent.
8. Heard the counsel and perused the record. The essence of
the offence of defamation consists in its tendency to cause that
description of pain which is felt by a person who knows himself to be
the object of the unfavourable sentiments of his associates or family
members and those inconveniences to which a person who is the
object of such unfavourable sentiments is exposed. The wrong of
defamation is of two kinds,namely, “libel” and “slander”. In “libel”
defamatory statement is made in some permanent and visible form,
such as writing, printing, pictures or effigies. In “slander” it is made in
spoken words or in some other transitory form, whether visible or
audible. The present is a complaint made in writing alleging false
complaint of taking Rs.6 lacs as gratification and unauthorizedly
opening the tender. It also alleges that the respondent/husband was
sent to jail for 3 days.
9. The petitioner’s allegations made in the complaint before
Jan Shikayat Nivaran Bibhag, whether defamatory or not, has to be
seen after the petitioner produces the evidence stating the allegations
to be true.
10. At this stage, it cannot be held that the allegations
levelled by the petitioner-wife is true or not. At this stage, the
complaint cannot be quashed without going into the merits of the
allegations levelled. As it is difficult to say that the material for
alleged offence was available. In the complaint there is direct
allegation or imputation, the matter become simple. But, when it is
based on innuendo defamation, the trial Magistrate has to give
sufficient scope to exercise his rightful jurisdiction and discretion.
Therefore, this Court is cautious in interfering and deem it not to
11. Parties are daggers drawn and have estranged relations.
The respondent/husband is facing certain trials under section 498-A of
I.P.C. as also a case under section 125 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure are the admitted facts. So far as other allegations levelled in
the complaint, in which, imputations of keeping in jail custody for 3
days and earning Rs.6 lacs by way of gratification seems to be “libel”.
12. Imputation means accusation against a person and it
implies an allegation of fact and not merely an abuse. Because of this
“imputation” enquiry was made and because of inquiries, according to
the respondent, his “reputation” has been adversely affected. The
“reputation” is the people’s opinion about a person, which is
synonymously used as a “character” of the person. The character
depends on attributes possessed and the “reputation” on attributes
which others believe one to possess. The former signifies realty and
latter merely what is accepted to be realty at present. The reputation,
therefore, what is generally said or believed about the persons
13. The imputation made in the complaint by the petitioner is
in good faith for the protection of her interest or not, as has been
provided under the ninth exception to section 499 of the Indian Penal
Code, has to be considered after evidence is adduced.
14. It has also been seen that whether the petitioner has
intention to hurt knowingly or having reason to believe that such
imputation will harm the reputation of the respondent/husband.
Therefore, this Court is not in a position to form an opinion, at this
stage, that it would be not proper to form an opinion without
embarking upon an enquiry. The job of the trial Court is to enquire
into the matter and which can be examined only by the trial Court, if
the entire material is brought before it and on thorough investigation
after the evidence is led.
15. Therefore, at this stage, truthfulness of the allegations
made in the complaint or its veracity cannot be gone into. Nor it is
proper for this Court to analyze the case of the complainant in the light
of all probabilities in order to determine whether conviction would be
sustainable and on such premises arrive at conclusion that the
proceedings are to be quashed.
16. On the above analysis it is deemed fit not to exercise the
provisions of section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Accordingly, the petition is dismissed.
(SUSHIL KUMAR PALO)
Digitally signed by RAJESH T
Date: 2018.02.07 19:24:00 +05’30’