Category Archives: 307

LOVE match 2 court! DV b4 marriage! 498a 307 323 AFTR marriage. Sis in law runs 4 quash !

LOVE match to court! DV even b4 marriage, 498a 307 323 AFTR marriage & Sis in law runs 4 quash. Bombay HC 498A Quashes case on facts

Classic case of a LOVE and INTERCASTE marriage where wife files DV before marriage and the rest 498a etc AFTER marriage. Many in laws including women are roped in.

Do you have an absurd 498a on a sister in law or a mother / father in law who are NOT even present at the place / time of incidents and allegation ? use this classic quash granted by Bombay HC

In this case of an inter-caste marriage the sister in law has NOT even visited the couple after marriage ! Sis in law lives in pune while alleged incidents are supposed to have happened at Aurangabad. Sis in law’s name is NOT in the FIR or in the preliminary evidences but she is roped in as an after thought. The case on the husband itself looks like an after thought !! initially the woman says it was an accident, but later the woman says her first statement was under pressure !! and make a fresh statement and FIR is lodged and case starts !!

Bombay HC appreciates the facts, quotes the classic Chaudhry Bajan Lal’s case and quashes the case against the sister in law

Excerpts :
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Initially at the hospital, the wife / complainant woman says “…..her husband took her along with their children in their own car to Dhoot hospital for treatment. As there was no facility for burnt patients, the complainant was shifted to Bobde Hospital, Beed Bypass road, Aurangabad. The complainant was treated 8 days. …5. It is alleged that during the course of the treatment at Bobde Hospital, police and government officer recorded the statement of the complainant, in which she has stated that the kerosene can was spread over and as there was no electricity in the house, while igniting the candle, suddenly there was a burst. Thus, she sustained burn injuries. She had also stated that, no one tried to burn her and she has no complaint against anyone. …..” … so initially this was JUST an accident

But later on the the wife / complainant woman changes that statement and says the first statement was MADE UNDER fear ! She was worried that husband will beat her!! So she makes a fresh statement to get an FIR lodged against husband and in laws !! “…..It is further alleged that at that time, no close relative of the complainant was there with her and her husband was threatening her to beat her and the children and therefore, the complainant stated the statement under pressure. Thereafter, it is alleged in the FIR that she   was feeling better and taking treatment in Dahiphade hospital, Adalat Road, Aurangabad. Therefore, she has lodged the complaint……..”

The sister in law petitions for a quash on the following grounds “…..6. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the FIR was registered against the husband by the complainant and there was no mention of petitioner’s name, no allegation was made against her by the complainant. The complaint was lodged belatedly, which is afterthought. He submitted that the petitioner is a married sister-in-law of the complainant. He submitted that the petitioner had performed intercaste marriage and since then, she had not visited house of her parents, the complainant and her husband. The petitioner is permanently residing with her husband at Pune. The complainant even did not make any allegation against the petitioner in her complaint and also in the statement recorded in the hospital by the Magistrate….”

The sister in law also shows that though the incident is supposed to have happened on 22.12.2013, the sister in law’s name is NOT mentioned in the FIR or preliminary statements and her name is roped in by the wife’s father only on 30.01.2014 !

Bombay HC appreciates the facts, quotes the classic Chaudhry Bajan Lal’s case and quashes the case against the sister in law. The honourable HC goes to say “….13. The case in hand is covered under Categories (1) and (5)   of the said categories. The view taken by us also lends support from the view taken by the Supreme Court in cases of (1) Preeti Gupta & Anr., (supra), (2) Shalu @ Siya Lavin Keswani and others (supra), and (3) Sau. Sharda Ravindra Patil and others (supra)…..”

The Bombay HC observes that “….. It appears that there is belated attempt by the mother of the complainant namely, Sangita Suresh   Shirke to attribute role to the petitioner for the incident dated 23.12.2013. In fact, the complainant had lodged FIR and also her statement at the earliest opportunity was recorded, in which name of the petitioner is not mentioned….”

It is important to note that clauses (1) and (5) of Ch. Bajan Lal’s case are as follows :

1 Whether the allegations made in the F.I.R. 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;

5. Where the allegations made in the F.I.R. 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

So.. an absurd and inherently improbable case is used to harass half a dozen people AFTER A LOVE MARRIAGE

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This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
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CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE with necessary Emphasis, Re formatting
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Pallavi W/O Sagar Gour vs The State Of Maharashtra & Anr on 31 July, 2015

Bench: S.S. Shinde

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

BENCH AT AURANGABAD

CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.532 OF 2015.

Pallavi w/o Sagar Gour,
age 27 years Occu. Household,
r/o House No.11, Dhavle Niwas,
Dhawle Vasti, Marwanji Road,
Wakad Chinchwad, Pune.                                   … PETITIONER.

VERSUS

1. The State of Maharashtra.

2. Supriya w/o Vishal Sudke,
age 28 years, occu. Household,
r/o C/o Ssuresh Shirke, Kasba-Bhoom,
Tq. Bhoom, Dist. Osmanabad.                              … RESPONDENTS.

Mr.S.J. Rahate, Advocate for the Petitioner.
Mr.B.L. Dhas, APP for the Respondent – State.
Mr.K.R. Doke, Advocate for Respondent No.2.

CORAM : S.S. SHINDE & A.I.S.CHEEMA, JJ.

Reserved on : 17.07.2015.

Pronounced on : 31.07.2015.

JUDGMENT [Per S.S.Shinde, J.]:

1. The petitioner has filed this petition with the following prayer:

“(B) The chargesheet & proceedings of Sessions Case No.255/2014 pending before the Court of Sessions, Aurangabad offences U/sec.307, 498-A,323, 506 r/w 34 of the Penal Code crime No.I-13/2013 registered with police station MIDC Aurangabad initiated on the basis of the chargesheet filed against the present petitioner be quashed and set aside;”

Rule, returnable forthwith. By consent of the parties, taken up for final hearing.

2. It is the case of the petitioner that, a lady namely Supriya w/o Vishal Sudke r/o Shradha colony (MHADA), HIG-13, Opp. Dhoot Hospital Mukundwadi Aurangabad lodged a complaint with P.S. MIDC CIDCO U/sec. 307, 323, 506 of I.P.Code against her husband alleging inter alia that the marriage between them was solemnized in 2008. the couple has been blessed with two children, one boy namely Harshad 5 years and a girl namely Mitali.

3. It is alleged that the complainant was treated well for few days thereafter, she was ill-treated by her husband.

Under influence of liquor her husband used to beat her and her in-laws never used to interfere. The father-in-law of the complainant expired in July, 2013, since then husband of   complainant started consuming liquor. It is alleged that the husband of complainant used to beat her on petty reasons and she never disclosed about the ill-treatment to her parents as her husband used to threaten her by saying that he will beat her and the children.

4. It is alleged that on 22.12.2013 at 11.30 pm when the complainant, her husband and their children were in the house, the children were asleep, at that time the husband of complainant asked telephone number of her father and the complainant replied that she don’t know the telephone number. On account of this, her husband abused and allegedly drove her out of the house. Thereafter, immediately again he took her inside and locked the door from inside. It is alleged that the husband of complainant then took her to backside of the house and poured kerosene from the plastic can. It is further alleged that the complainant then started running. Her husband then poured kerosene on the person of the complainant from back and threw burning match stick on her sari. She further stated that she herself removed her clothes due to which she sustained burn injuries over her hand, entire front portion, chest, stomach, back, leg. She   further stated that thereafter she jumped in the water tank.

It is alleged that her husband did not try to rescue her. The complainant herself told her husband to shift her to the hospital otherwise she will shout and gather the neighbours, thereafter, her husband took her along with their children in their own car to Dhoot hospital for treatment. As there was no facility for burnt patients, the complainant was shifted to Bobde Hospital, Beed Bypass road, Aurangabad. The complainant was treated 8 days.

5. It is alleged that during the course of the treatment at Bobde Hospital, police and government officer recorded the statement of the complainant, in which she has stated that the kerosene can was spread over and as there was no electricity in the house, while igniting the candle, suddenly there was a burst. Thus, she sustained burn injuries. She had also stated that, no one tried to burn her and she has no complaint against anyone. It is further alleged that at that time, no close relative of the complainant was there with her and her husband was threatening her to beat her and the children and therefore, the complainant stated the statement under pressure.

Thereafter, it is alleged in the FIR that she   was feeling better and taking treatment in Dahiphade hospital, Adalat Road, Aurangabad. Therefore, she has lodged the complaint.

6. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the FIR was registered against the husband by the complainant and there was no mention of petitioner’s name, no allegation was made against her by the complainant. The complaint was lodged belatedly, which is afterthought. He submitted that the petitioner is a married sister-in-law of the complainant. He submitted that the petitioner had performed intercaste marriage and since then, she had not visited house of her parents, the complainant and her husband. The petitioner is permanently residing with her husband at Pune.

The complainant even did not make any allegation against the petitioner in her complaint and also in the statement recorded in the hospital by the Magistrate.

7. The learned Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that, statements of complainant, her mother and father were recorded on 23.12.2013 and none of them alleged anything against the petitioner. Even in the statement /FIR   dated 21.01.2014, the complainant made allegations against the petitioner. The learned Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that, in the statement recorded on 30.01.2014 Suresh Vishwanath Shirke – father of the complainant made vague, general, omnibus and inconsistent allegations against the petitioner. Mother of the complainant namely, Sangita w/o Suresh Shirke in her statement dated 30.01.2014 made the same allegations against the petitioner. It is submitted that, brother of the complainant namely, Abhilash s/o Suresh Shirke and uncle of complainant namely, Santosh Shamrao Dhanlangde, in their statements dated 30.01.2014 made general, vague and afterthought allegations against the petitioner. <SMALL>http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com</SMALL&gt;

In support of his submissions that, even if the allegations in the FIR are taken at its face value and considered in its entirety, no offence is disclosed against the petitioner, the learned Counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the authoritative pronouncement of the Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana and others v. Ch. Bhajan Lal and others1, and also the judgment dated 17 th 1 AIR 1992 SC 604; October, 2012 delivered by the Supreme Court in case of Geeta Mehrotra & Anr vs. State of U.P. & Anr. in Criminal Appeal No.1674 of 2012 (arising out of SLP (Cri) No.10547/2010), and the judgment dated 13th August, 2010 of the Supreme Court in case of Preeti Gupta & Anr. Vs. State of Jharkhand & Anr delivered in Criminal Appeal No.1512 of 2010 (arising out of SLP (Cri) No.4684/2009). He also placed reliance on the judgment of this Court dated 29 th January, 2015 in Criminal Application No.5501 of 2014 in case of Shalu @ Siya Lavin Keswani and others vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors. as also the order dated 2nd July, 2015 in Criminal Application No.6993/2014 in case of Sau. Sharda Ravindra Patil and others vs. The State of Maharashtra and Anr., therefore, submitted that this petition may be allowed.

8. The learned APP appearing for the State and the learned Counsel for the respondent No.2 submitted that the witnesses namely , father, mother, brother and uncle of the complainant have categorically made allegations against the petitioner and   endorsed her role in meeting out ill-treatment, harassment to the complainant and, therefore, the petition may be dismissed.

The learned Counsel for the respondent No.2 submitted that charge-sheet has already been filed and, hence the petitioner is having alternate remedy of filing application for discharge. It is submitted that there is specific accusation against the present petitioner in the statements of the witnesses. They have specifically stated that, the petitioner had subjected complainant to cruelty and instigated to kill her. He submitted that the parents, brother and maternal uncle of the complainant have specifically made allegations against the petitioner. He further submitted that there is series of incidents which clearly reveal that present petitioner also subjected the respondent No.2 to cruelty on various occasion. He submitted that, even if it is assumed that section 307 IPC would not be attracted against the petitioner, but petitioner is liable to be prosecuted u/s 498A of IPC. He submitted that for the purpose of offense u/s 498A of IPC, it is not necessary that accused should be present on the spot, it can be mental state of affairs. The initial statement of the complainant as well as mother and father is totally under the   undue influence and coercion as the little children of the respondent No.2 are in custody of the petitioner’s brother and she was threatened. He submits that if the charge-sheet against the petitioner is quashed and set aside, it will badly affect the trial. Therefore, he submits that the petition may be dismissed.

9. We have heard the learned Counsel for the petitioner, learned APP for the State and the learned Counsel appearing for the respondent No.2 – complainant. We have also carefully perused the statement of the witnesses and other accompaniments of the charge-sheet. It is not in dispute that the petitioner is married sister-in-law of the complainant. Her marriage was performed in the year, 2009. The said marriage was an intercaste marriage. It is case of the petitioner that since she performed intercaste marriage against the wish of parents, she is not on visiting terms to the parents and therefore, there was no question of her presence at Aurangabad as alleged by the prosecution witnesses. It appears that the petitioner shifted to Pune and since her marriage, she is residing at Pune. Petitioner has also placed on record proof of her residence at Pune. Upon careful   perusal of the FIR registered by the complainant n 21 st January, 2014, name of the petitioner in respect of alleged offence taken place on 23.12.2013 is not included. The complainant had also given statement about the said incident at the earliest opportunity on 23.12.2013. In that statement also name of the petitioner is not mentioned. It appears that the prosecution witnesses have implicated the petitioner by making general allegations belatedly. It is true that there are general allegations in the statements of the witnesses.

However, at the earliest opportunity when the statements of the witnesses were recorded on 23.12.2013, name of the petitioner was not mentioned. It appears that the statement of Suresh Vishwanath Shirke was recorded on 30 th January, 2014 wherein general allegation has been made against the petitioner. However, there is no any specific role attributed to her or no any specific date is mentioned on which the petitioner was involved in harassment / ill-treatment of the complainant. Even, the statement of the mother of the complainant also, more or less, makes general allegation against the petitioner along with other members of the family of the complainant. It appears that there is belated attempt by the mother of the complainant namely, Sangita Suresh   Shirke to attribute role to the petitioner for the incident dated 23.12.2013. In fact, the complainant had lodged FIR and also her statement at the earliest opportunity was recorded, in which name of the petitioner is not mentioned.

10. Statement of mother of the complainant was recorded on 30th January, 2014 i.e. belatedly, after 38 days of the alleged incident dated 23.12.2013. Other witness Santosh Dhanlagade – uncle of the complainant has also made general allegations. Upon perusal of the entire material placed on record, there appear to be no any specific allegation attributing specific overt-act to the petitioner. It appears that the petitioner is residing at Pune since the year, 2009, she has having a child of three and half years, studying in English School at Pune, as contended by the petitioner in her rejoinder to affidavit-in-reply. It is also relevant to mention that the proceedings under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 has been initiated by the wife in the year, 2005 and neither name of the petitioner is mentioned nor any specific role is attributed to her in the said proceedings. That proceeding was even before the marriage of the   petitioner.

11. In that view of the matter, in our opinion, further proceedings of Sessions Case No.255/2014 pending before the Court of Sessions, Aurangabad for offences punishable under sections 307, 498-A, 323, 506 r/w 34 of the Penal Code arising out of Crime No.I-13/2013 registered with police station MIDC Aurangabad as against the petitioner, will be an exercise in futility and abuse of process of Court. The petitioner has placed on record sufficient material, which clearly indicates that she is residing at Pune from the year, 2009.

12. The Supreme Court in the case of “State of Haryana V/s Bhajanlal” {AIR 1992 SC 604} held that, in following categories the Court would be able to quash the F.I.R. :

1 Whether the allegations made in the F.I.R. 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 not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code, except under an order of Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code;

3. Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the F.I.R. 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 applicant;

4. Where the allegations in the F.I.R. do not constitute a 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 F.I.R. 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 provisions in the Code of the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.

7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with malafide 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 case in hand is covered under Categories (1) and (5)   of the said categories. The view taken by us also lends support from the view taken by the Supreme Court in cases of (1) Preeti Gupta & Anr., (supra), (2) Shalu @ Siya Lavin Keswani and others (supra), and (3) Sau. Sharda Ravindra Patil and others (supra).

14. In the light of the discussion in foregoing paragraphs, the charge-sheet and the proceedings of Sessions Case No.255/2014 pending before the Court of Sessions, Aurangabad for offences punishable under sections 307, 498-A, 323, 506 r/w 34 of the Penal Code arising out of Crime No.I-13/2013 registered with police station MIDC Aurangabad stand quashed and set aside as against the petitioner.

We make it clear that the observations herein above are for the purpose of deciding the present petition and the trial Court shall not get influenced by the said observations while conducting the trial against other co-accused. Rule made absolute in above terms. Petition stands disposed of, accordingly.

[A.I.S.CHEEMA, J.]                 [S.S. SHINDE, J.]

kadam*

Even ONE false criminal complaint by wife constitutes matrimonial cruelty, hence Divorce allowed !!

Wife files a criminal complaint u/s 307 read with 34, 148A, 384, 324 of IPC. Husband and seven members of his family were arrested ! It is argued before the SC that this was a solitary criminal complaint and so cannot be cruelty ! However the Hon Sc concludes that Even ONE false criminal complaint by wife constitutes matrimonial cruelty, hence Divorce allowed !!

Facts :

  • The marriage at Hyderabad on 11th February, 1989.
  • Male child born on 8th May, 1991, after which the Respondent-Wife, as per her pleadings, started suffering from Sheehan’s syndrome.
  • On the night of 29th/30th June, 1995, wife left the matrimonial house and ever since then she has been living with her brother, who is a senior IAS officer.
  • On 14th July, 1995, husband filed an original petition praying for divorce on the ground of cruelty as well as of the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage.
  • Wife retorted by filing a criminal complaint against the Appellant as well as seven members of his family for offences under Section 307 read with Sections 34, 148A, 384, 324 of the IPC, and Sections 4 and 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
  • The Appellant-Husband and seven of his family members were arrested and incarcerated.
  • On 30th June, 2000, the Learned Vth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Mahila Court, Hyderabad, acquitted the Appellant and his family members, and this Order has attained finality.

The Honourable supreme court concludes that “…We unequivocally find that the Respondent-Wife had filed a false criminal complaint, and even one such complaint is sufficient to constitute matrimonial cruelty…”

************** case from SC (Judis) Website ***************

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL No. 1213 OF 2006

K.SRINIVAS .….. APPELLANT

vs

K. SUNITA ….. RESPONDENT

J U D G M E N T

VIKRAMAJIT SEN,J.

1 In this Appeal, counsel for the Appellant has sought to draw our attention to all the arguments that had been addressed before the High Court on behalf of the Appellant-Husband in support of his claim for dissolution of his marriage to the Respondent by a decree of divorce under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. We have, however, restricted him to the ground of alleged cruelty on account of the filing of a criminal complaint by the Respondent against the Appellant and several members of his family under Sections 498A and 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). We did this for the reason that if this ground is successfully substantiated by the Petitioner, we need not delve any further i.e. whether a marriage can be dissolved by the Trial Court or the High Court on the premise that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This nature of cruelty, in the wake of filing of a false criminal case by either of the spouses, has been agitated frequently before this Court, and has been discussed so comprehensively and thoroughly that yet another Judgment on this well-settled question of law, would be merely a waste of time. A complete discourse and analysis on this issue is available in a well-reasoned judgment in K. Srinivas Rao vs. D.A. Deepa, 2013(5) SCC 226, in which numerous decisions have been cited and discussed. It is now beyond cavil that if a false criminal complaint is preferred by either spouse it would invariably and indubitably constitute matrimonial cruelty, such as would entitle the other spouse to claim a divorce.

2 The marriage of the parties was celebrated according to Hindu rites at Hyderabad on 11th February, 1989. A male child was born to the parties on 8th May, 1991, after which the Respondent-Wife, as per her pleadings, started suffering from Sheehan’s syndrome. On the night of 29th/30th June, 1995, the Respondent left the matrimonial house and ever since then she has been living with her brother, who is a senior IAS officer. On 14th July, 1995, the Appellant filed an original petition praying for divorce on the ground of cruelty as well as of the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. The Respondent-Wife retorted by filing a criminal complaint against the Appellant as well as seven members of his family for offences under Section 307 read with Sections 34, 148A, 384, 324 of the IPC, and Sections 4 and 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. It is pursuant to this complaint that the Appellant-Husband and seven of his family members were arrested and incarcerated. The Respondent-Wife also filed a petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for restitution of conjugal rights. On 30th June, 2000, the Learned Vth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Mahila Court, Hyderabad, acquitted the Appellant and his family members, and this Order has attained finality. Meanwhile, by its Judgment dated 30th December, 1999, the Family Court at Hyderabad, granted a divorce to the Appellant on the ground of cruelty as also irretrievable breakdown of marriage; it rejected the Respondent’s petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The Respondent-Wife successfully appealed against the said Judgment in the High Court, and it is this Order dated 7th November, 2005 that is impugned before us.

3 Irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce has not found statutory acceptance till date. Under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has plenary powers “to pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any case or order pending before it”. This power, however, has not been bestowed by our Constitution on any other Court. It is for these reasons that we have confined arguments only to the aspect of whether the filing of a false criminal complaint sufficiently proves matrimonial cruelty as would entitle the injured party to claim dissolution of marriage. It will be relevant to mention that the Law Commission of India in its Reports in 1978 as well as in 2009 has recommended the introduction of irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for dissolution of marriage; the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2013 incorporating the ground has even received the assent of the Rajya Sabha. It is, however, highly debatable whether, in the Indian situation, where there is rampant oppression of women, such a ground would at all be expedient. But that controversy will be considered by the Lok Sabha.

4. In the case in hand, learned counsel for the Respondent-Wife has vehemently contended that it is not possible to label the wife’s criminal complaint detailed above as a false or a vindictive action. In other words, the acquittal of the Appellant and his family members in the criminal complaint does not by itself, automatically and justifiably, lead to the conclusion that the complaint was false; that only one complaint was preferred by the Respondent-Wife, whereas, in contradistinction, in K.Srinivas Rao a series of complaints by the wife had been preferred. The argument was premised on the averment that the investigation may have been faulty or the prosecution may have been so careless as to lead to the acquittal, but the acquittal would not always indicate that the Complainant had intentionally filed a false case. What should be kept in perspective, it is reasonably argued, that the Complainant is not the controlling conductor in this Orchestra, but only one of the musicians who must deliver her rendition as and when and how she is called upon to do. Secondly, according to the learned counsel, the position would have been appreciably different if a specific finding regarding the falsity of the criminal complaint was returned, or if the Complainant or a witness on her behalf had committed perjury or had recorded a contradictory or incredible testimony. Learned counsel for the Respondent-Wife states that neither possibility has manifested itself here and, therefore, it would be unfair to the Respondent-Wife to conclude that she had exhibited such cruelty towards the Appellant and her in-laws that would justify the dissolution of her marriage.

5 The Respondent-Wife has admitted in her cross-examination that she did not mention all the incidents on which her Complaint is predicated, in her statement under Section 161 of the Cr.P.C. It is not her case that she had actually narrated all these facts to the Investigating Officer, but that he had neglected to mention them. This, it seems to us, is clearly indicative of the fact that the criminal complaint was a contrived afterthought. We affirm the view of the High Court that the criminal complaint was “ill advised”. Adding thereto is the factor that the High Court had been informed of the acquittal of the Appellant-Husband and members of his family. In these circumstances, the High Court ought to have concluded that the Respondent-Wife knowingly and intentionally filed a false complaint, calculated to embarrass and incarcerate the Appellant and seven members of his family and that such conduct unquestionably constitutes cruelty as postulated in Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

6 Another argument which has been articulated on behalf of the learned counsel for the Respondent is that the filing of the criminal complaint has not been pleaded in the petition itself. As we see it, the criminal complaint was filed by the wife after filing of the husband’s divorce petition, and being subsequent events could have been looked into by the Court. In any event, both the parties were fully aware of this facet of cruelty which was allegedly suffered by the husband. When evidence was lead, as also when arguments were addressed, objection had not been raised on behalf of the Respondent-Wife that this aspect of cruelty was beyond the pleadings. We are, therefore, not impressed by this argument raised on her behalf.

7 In these circumstances, we find that the Appeal is well founded and deserves to be allowed. We unequivocally find that the Respondent-Wife had filed a false criminal complaint, and even one such complaint is sufficient to constitute matrimonial cruelty.

8 We, accordingly, dissolve the marriage of the parties under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act. The parties shall bear their respective costs.

………………………….J. [VIKRAMAJIT SEN]

………………………….J. [PRAFULLA C. PANT]

New Delhi;

19th November, 2014.

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regards

Vinayak
Father of a lovely daughter, criminal in the eyes of a wife, son of an compassionate elderly mother, old timer who hasn’t given up, Male, activist