The High Court Of Madhya Pradesh
(SURESH PATHAK Vs THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH)
Jabalpur, Dated : 19-07-2018
Shri Sharad Verma, learned counsel with Shri Arvind Kumar
Pathak, learned counsel for the petitioners.
Smt. Shahin Fatima, learned GA for the respondent No.1/State.
Shri Guljar Rajput, learned counsel for the respondent No.2.
The petitioners preferred this application under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C. to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court and to quash
the FIR at Crime no.36/17, registered at Police Station Slimnabad, Katni
for offences under Sections 294, 323, 498-A, 506 of IPC and Section3/4
of the Dowry Prohibition Act and subsequent criminal proceeding of
Criminal Case No.484/17 is pending before the learned JMFC, Katni.
The petitioner No.1 is the husband of the complainant, petitioners
No.2 3 are the mother-in-law and father-in-law of the complainant,
petitioners No.4 5 are the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the
complainant. Complainant lodged a complaint against the petitioners
alleging that her marriage was solemnized with Suresh Pathak on
26/04/2016. The petitioners harassed and treated her with cruelty. She
was being taunted for not bringing enough dowry. They demanded a
vehicle/Bolero Jeep. Her husband used to come drunk and beat her. The
family members used to instigate him, for not bringing enough dowry and
because of this, her mother-in-law took away her mangalsutra. When she
used to come to her maternal home, she used to narrate about the
harassments. Her parents told the accused persons that, whatever, they
had, they have given, now they are not capable of giving a Balero
vehicle. Despite the, harassment and ill-treatment she tolerated
everything. On 10/10/2016, when she had gone to Bhopal along with her
mother, her husband said that, sufficient dowry was not given. She was
thrown put of the house after beating her and threatening of her life. The
complainant was ill-treated. She also claimed that, the husband has
relation with other woman at Bhopal. The complainant apprehend threat
to her life. On 15/01/2017, all the petitioners came to village Teori and
said that, Bolero vehicle has not been arranged, therefore, the
complainant should take divorce. When the complainant said that, she is
not taking divorce, they abused and assaulted the complainant. They also
threatened her of her life. They wanted her to sign the divorce paper.
Along with her family members, Lalit Bajpai, Subhash Pyasi, Mathura
Prasad, Arvind Mishra and others saw the incident. On this report, crime
has been registered at Police Station Slimnabad. Charge-sheet has been
filed, subsequently, criminal case No.484/17 has been registered before
the learned JMFC, Katni.
On behalf of the petitioners, it is contended that, the petitioners
filed the complaint before the Superintendent of Police and other police
officers on 26/11/2016. Second complaint was also filed before the
Police Conciliation Centre, Slimnabad on 28/01/2017. The legal notice
dated 30/11/2016 was sent to the complainant for Restitution of Conjugal
Right. When the respondent No.2 did not reply; Civil Suit No.85-A/17
was filed by Suresh Pathak under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act
for Restitution of Conjugal Right on 25/01/2017. It is claimed that, the
respondent after the notice of proceeding under Section 9 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, has lodged this report on 28/01/2017, which is after
thought and not maintainable.
During the course of the arguments, counsel for the petitioner has
also submitted that, the complainant and her family members treated the
petitioner/Suresh with cruelty, in this regard, he lodged a report on
25/12/16 and subsequently, on 28/01/2017 and 31/01/2017.
On behalf of the respondent/State, the application is vehemently
opposed, it is contended that, the statements of the complainant/Amita
and her mother indicate that, the accused persons have committed the
crime. They also referred to a medico legal report dated 28/01/2017 of
Rukmani Mishra and the complainant/Amita Pathak.
On behalf of the complainant/Amita Pathak, the application is
vehemently opposed and it is contended that, the petitioners have
continuously harassed and subjected Amita to cruelty for demand of
dowry, therefore, she had lodged the report. Amita was beaten by her
mother-in-law. It is also contended that, on earlier occasions, the
complainant was subjected to cruelty but she did not lodge report
thinking that situation will be normal someday but when things could not
come to settle, she was forced to lodge the report.
On perusal of the complaint made by the complainant, there is
specific allegations against the husband and father-in-law and mother-in-
law. However, the names of petitioner No.4/brother-in-law, petitioner
No.5/sister-in-law have been named in the FIR and in the statements
without any specific allegations nor there is any specific time and date
shown. There are specific allegations against the husband and father-in-
law and mother-in-law.
As regarding the lodging of report, after the registration of the civil
case under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, it would be appropriate
to refer the case of Pratibha Vs. Rameshwari Devi others reported
as (2007) 12 SCC 369, in Para 16, the Apex Court has held that, it is
pertinent to note that, the complaint was filed only when all efforts to
return to the matrimonial home had failed and respondent No.2
husband had filed a divorce petition under Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, 1955. That apart, in our view, filing of a divorce
petition in a Civil Court cannot be a ground to quash criminal
proceeding under Section 482 of the Code as it is well settled that
criminal and civil proceeding are separate and independent and the
pendency of a civil proceeding cannot bring an end a criminal
proceeding even if they arise out of the same set of facts. Such being
the position, we are, therefore, of the view that the High Court while
exercising its power under Section 482 of the Code has gone beyond
the allegations made in the FIR and has acted in excess of its
jurisdiction and, therefore, the High Court was not justified in
quashing the FIR by going beyond the allegations made in the FIR or
by relying on extraneous considerations.
The family members of the complainant were trying to resolve the
dispute. The complainant was forced to leave the matrimonial home and
after filing of the divorce petition by the husband, she filed the complaint,
therefore, it could not be a ground to quash the FIR. There was every
possibility of entering into settlement. Had the complaint was made, the
prospect of settlement could, have spoiled. Hence, no complaint was
made. The complaint was filed only when all efforts to return to the
matrimonial home had failed and after the husband has filed the petition
for Restitution of Conjugal Rights. Filing of petition in a Civil Court
cannot be a ground for quashment of criminal proceeding under Section
482 of Cr.P.C.
On perusal of the evidence, as there is not much averment against
the petitioners No.4 5 and there is possibility of roping in by the
complainant cannot be ruled out. In this regard, the cases of Preeti Gupta
another Vs. State of Jharkhand another reported as (2010) 7
SCC 667 and Geeta Mehrotra Vs. State of U.P. reported as (2012) 10
SCC 741 and be relied.
Thus, this petition is partly allowed. As far as, petitioners
No.4/Virendra Pathak and petitioner No.5/Gyanti Pathak are concerned.
There is no sufficient ground to quash the proceeding as regarding
the petitioners No.1, 2 3. Thus, allowing the petition to the extend of
the petitioners No.4/Virendra Pathak petitioner No.5/Gyanti Pathak,
the FIR and subsequent criminal proceeding is quashed to that extend
As regarding, petitioners No.1, 2 3, the application is dismissed.
The petitioners No.4 5 are discharged from offences under Sections
294, 323, 498-A, 506 of IPC and Section3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition
Ac. It is further made clear that, so far as petitioners No.1, 2 3 are
concerned. The proceeding is not interfered with.
(SUSHIL KUMAR PALO)
Digitally signed by
RASHMI RONALD VICTOR
Date: 2018.07.23 16:12:15