Category Archives: 406

Courts can’t force husbands to pay #maintenance as condition for #Anticipatory #BAIL. Supreme Court !

In this case, the wife had filed a #498a , #406 cocktail on the husband. The husband and his parents approach the HC for #Anticipatory #bail. The HC initially sends the parties to #mediation. The mediation fails. then the HC imposes a #condition that the husband shall pay Rs 300,000 arrears and also pay Rs 12,500 p.m. as monthly maintenance as a condition for the bail.

The husband approaches the Hon Supreme court in appeal. The Hon Supreme court clearly states that courts CANNOT impose such conditions for payment of maintenance as part of the bail proceedings

The Apex court clarifies that ‘….It is well settled that while exercising discretion to release an accused under Section 438 of the Code neither the High Court nor the Session Court would be justified in imposing freakish conditions. There is no manner of doubt that the Court having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case can impose necessary, just and efficacious conditions while enlarging an accused on bail under Section 438 of the Code. However, the accused cannot be subjected to any irrelevant condition at all….” The Apex court goes on to state that the conditions cannot be onerous and frustrate the very purpose of the bail “…While imposing conditions on an accused who approaches the Court under section 438 of the Code, the Court should be extremely chary in imposing conditions and should not transgress its jurisdiction or power by imposing the conditions which are not called for at all. There is no manner of doubt that the conditions to be imposed under section 438 of the Code cannot be harsh, onerous or excessive so as to frustrate the very object of grant of anticipatory bail under section 438 of the Code. In the instant case, the question before the Court was whether having regard to the averments made by Ms. Renuka in her complaint, the appellant and his parents were entitled to bail under section 438 of the Code. ….”

The court very clearly states that “…. When the High Court had found that a case for grant of bail under section 438 was made out, it was not open to the Court to direct the appellant to pay Rs. 3,00,000/-for past maintenance and a sum of Rs.12,500/- per month as future maintenance to his wife and child. In a proceeding under section 438 of the Code, the Court would not be justified in awarding maintenance to the wife and child. …”

We hope this classic case helps harassed husbands who are seeking AB in 498a, 406 cases !!

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Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 344 OF 2009

(Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 637 of 2008)

Munish Bhasin & Ors. … Appellants

Versus

State (Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi) & Anr. … Respondents

J U D G M E N T

J.M. PANCHAL, J.

  1. Leave granted. The complainant (wife of first appellant) to whom notice was ordered on 25.01.2008 is impleaded as second respondent.
  2. Heard Counsel.

  3. The appellant (accused no. 1) assails the condition imposed by the High Court requiring him to pay a sum of Rs.12,500/- as maintenance to his wife and child while granting anticipatory bail to him and his parents with reference to the complaint filed by his wife for alleged commission of offences punishable under Sections 498A and 406 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

  4. The marriage of the appellant was solemnized with Ms. Renuka on December 05, 2004. She has filed a complaint in November 2006, against the appellant and his parents for alleged commission of offences punishable under Sections 498A and 406 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code on the grounds that after marriage she was subjected to mental and physical cruelty for bringing less dowry and that her stri-dhan entrusted to them has been dishonestly misappropriated by them. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

  5. Apprehending arrest, the appellant and his parents moved High Court of Delhi for anticipatory bail. The application came up for consideration before a Learned Single Judge of the High Court on 22.02.2007. The Learned Additional Public Prosecutor accepted notice and submitted that the matter was essentially a matrimonial dispute and therefore the parties should be referred to the Mediation and Conciliation Cell of the Delhi High Court. The Learned Judge agreed with the suggestion made by the Additional Public Prosecutor and directed the parties to appear before the Mediation and Conciliation Cell of the Delhi High Court on March 02, 2007. The case was ordered to be listed on 10.05.2007. The Learned Judge further directed that in the event of arrest of the appellant and his parents, before the next date of hearing, they shall be released on bail on their furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.25,000/- each with one surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer/ Arresting Officer concerned, subject however, to the condition that the appellant and his parents shall surrender their passports to the Investigating Officer and shall file affidavits in the Court that they would not leave the country without prior permission of the Court.

  6. From the records, it appears that the conciliation proceedings failed and therefore the bail application was taken up for hearing on merits. On representation made by the wife of the appellant, the counsel of the appellant was directed to produce appellant’s salary slip. Accordingly, the salary slip of the appellant was produced before the Court which indicated that the appellant was drawing gross salary of Rs.41,598/- and after deductions of advance tax etc., his net salary was Rs.33,000/-. The Learned Single Judge of the High Court took the notice of the fact that the appellant had the duty to maintain his wife and the child and therefore as a condition for grant of anticipatory bail, directed the appellant, by the order dated 07.08.2007 to pay a sum of Rs.12,500/- per month by way of maintenance to his wife and child. The Learned Single Judge also directed to pay arrears at the rate of Rs. 12,500/- per month from August 2005, that is Rs. 3,00,000/- within six months. The imposition of these conditions for grant of anticipatory bail is the subject matter of challenge in the instant appeal.

  7. From the perusal of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 438, it is evident that when the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction under subsection (1) to release an accused alleged to have committed non-bailable offence, the Court may include such conditions in such direction in the light of the facts of the particular case, as it may think fit, including (i) a condition that a person shall make himself available for interrogation by police officer as and when required, (ii) a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer, (iii) a condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the Court and (iv) such other conditions as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted under that section. Sub-section (3) of Section 437, inter alia, provides that when a person accused or suspected of the commission of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to seven years or more or of an offence under Chapter VI, Chapter XVI or Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code or abetment of, or conspiracy or attempt to commit, any such offence, is released on bail under sub-section (1), the Court shall impose the following conditions-(a) that such person shall attend in accordance with the conditions of the bond executed under this Chapter, (b) that such person shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused, or suspected, of the commission of which he is suspected, and (c) that such person shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer or tamper with the evidence. The Court may also impose, in the interests of justice, such other conditions as it considers necessary.

  8. It is well settled that while exercising discretion to release an accused under Section 438 of the Code neither the High Court nor the Session Court would be justified in imposing freakish conditions. There is no manner of doubt that the Court having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case can impose necessary, just and efficacious conditions while enlarging an accused on bail under Section 438 of the Code. However, the accused cannot be subjected to any irrelevant condition at all. The conditions which can be imposed by the Court while granting anticipatory bail are enumerated in sub-section (2) of Section 438 and subsection (3) of Section 437 of the Code. Normally, conditions can be imposed (i) to secure the presence of the accused before the investigating officer or before the Court, (ii) to prevent him from fleeing the course of justice, (iii) to prevent him from tampering with the evidence or to prevent him from inducing or intimidating the witnesses so as to dissuade them from disclosing the facts before the police or Court or (iv) restricting the movements of the accused in a particular area or locality or to maintain law and order etc. To subject an accused to any other condition would be beyond jurisdiction of the power conferred on Court under section 438 of the Code. While imposing conditions on an accused who approaches the Court under section 438 of the Code, the Court should be extremely chary in imposing conditions and should not transgress its jurisdiction or power by imposing the conditions which are not called for at all. There is no manner of doubt that the conditions to be imposed under section 438 of the Code cannot be harsh, onerous or excessive so as to frustrate the very object of grant of anticipatory bail under section 438 of the Code. In the instant case, the question before the Court was whether having regard to the averments made by Ms. Renuka in her complaint, the appellant and his parents were entitled to bail under section 438 of the Code. When the High Court had found that a case for grant of bail under section 438 was made out, it was not open to the Court to direct the appellant to pay Rs. 3,00,000/-for past maintenance and a sum of Rs.12,500/- per month as future maintenance to his wife and child. In a proceeding under section 438 of the Code, the Court would not be justified in awarding maintenance to the wife and child. The case of the appellant is that his wife Renuka is employed and receiving a handsome salary and therefore is not entitled to maintenance. Normally, the question of grant of maintenance should be left to be decided by the competent Court in an appropriate proceedings where the parties can adduce evidence in support of their respective case, after which liability of husband to pay maintenance could be determined and appropriate order would be passed directing the husband to pay amount of maintenance to his wife. The record of the instant case indicates that the wife of the appellant has already approached appropriate Court for grant of maintenance and therefore the High Court should have refrained from granting maintenance to the wife and child of the appellant while exercising powers under section 438 of the Code. The condition imposed by the High court directing the appellant to pay a sum of Rs.12,500/- per month as maintenance to his wife and child is onerous, unwarranted and is liable to be set aside.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

  9. For the foregoing reasons, the appeal succeeds. The direction contained in order dated August 07, 2007 rendered by Learned Single Judge of Delhi High Court in Bail Application No. 423 of 2007 requiring the appellant to pay a sum of Rs.12,500/- per month by way of maintenance (both past and future) to his wife and child is hereby deleted. Rest of the directions contained in the said order are maintained. It is however clarified that any amount received by the wife of the appellant pursuant to the order of the High Court need not be refunded by her to the appellant and will be adjusted subject to the result of application for maintenance filed by wife of the appellant under Section 125 of the Code before the appropriate Court.

  10. The Appeal is accordingly disposed of.

…………………………J. [R.V. Raveendran]

…………………………J. [J.M. Panchal]

New Delhi;

February 20, 2009.


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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.


CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE with necessary Emphasis, Re formatting


Don’t convert BAIL 2 recovery proceedings & civil case 2 criminal case! Excellent Delhi HC Anticipatory

An elderly couple approach the Delhi HC seeking bail. Their son’s failed SECOND marriage is the cause of their misery. The young couple have met in London and married, stayed and separated in Dubai but the daughter in law has filed 498a etc on the elderly in-laws. The daughter in law has alleged gifts worth crores of rupees without much proof. The lower court has tried to make bail concomitant with recovery of money / promised settlement etc !! The Hon Delhi HC sees thru the entire matrix, appreciates that the elders have had little or NO role in the lives of the couple. The Hon orders that “…Since allegations in the complaint are to the effect that jewellery and gifts worth crores were given by the parents and relatives of the complainant, instant case would require a prior investigation by the investigating officer before petitioners are made to account for the gifts, whether at all the family of the complainant had the means to shower gifts of such magnitude…..” The court also reiterates that “…Case is thus made to admit petitioners to anticipatory bail. While so directing, I am conscious of the failed compromise talks before the learned Additional Sessions Judge but I cannot ignore the fact that proceedings for bail cannot be converted into recovery proceedings. ….” and thus grants bail to the elders !!

Please note that this case is from 2007 !! yes approx 9.5 years ago !! the court has in many places says that the case against the elders is unwarranted ! the Hon court refers to multiple decisions where 498a has been misused including Sushil Kumr sharma case !!

Still in 2017 there seems to be NO let up to the number of false cases and ways to milk men !!

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Delhi High Court

Smt. Surjit Kaur Chopra vs State And Anr. [Along With Bail … on 21 August, 2007

Author: P Nandrajog

Bench: P Nandrajog

JUDGMENT Pradeep Nandrajog, J.

FIR No.6/2007 dated 3.1.2007 under Section 498A/406 IPC PS Hazrat Nizamuddin.

  1. Vide Bail Application No. 1711/2007, Smt. Surjit Kaur Chopra seeks anticipatory bail. Vide Bail Application No. 1716/2007, Sh. Harbhajan Singh Chopra seeks anticipatory bail. The 2 applicants are the mother-in-law and father-in-law respectively of the complainant, Arti.
  2. At the outset, I must refer my displeasure at the manner in which Bail Application No. 1711/2007 has been drafted by learned Counsel for the petitioner.
  3. The same is a verbatim copy of Bail Application No. 1716/2007.
  4. Use of computers does not mean that learned members of the Bar would not apply their mind. Human beings cannot become computers and start operating themselves by clicking a mouse.
  5. Little realizing that in Bail Application No. 1716/2007 reference to the applicant was made as father of the husband of the complainant i.e. as father-in-law of the complainant, even Smt. Surjit Kaur Chopra has been referred to as father of the husband of the complainant i.e. father-in-law of the complainant.
  6. In the instant case, the misdescription may be trivial. But in large number of cases I notice that the misdescription is not trivial, more so, when disputes relate to complaints under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881. In said cases description of the accused with reference to the role assigned becomes relevant. Precious judicial time is wasted in identifying who is being referred to and in what context reference is being made pertaining to persons accused of offence and who have filed quashing petitions challenging the summoning order.
  7. It is hoped and expected that learned members of the Bar would justify them being referred to as ‘learned Counsel’. Their being learned must be reflected in their pleadings.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick.
  8. Referring to the facts, why else would a father-in-law and mother-in-law be seeking bail? Of course, when their daughter-in-law has filed a complaint resulting in registration of FIR under Section 498A/406/34 IPC. This has happened in the instant case.
  9. Since issue of anticipatory bail has to be decided, reference to the FIR becomes necessary.
  10. Touching upon the salient features of the FIR, complainant Arti, stated that she met Jitender Singh Chopra, son of the applicants in London in July 2004 through common friends. She states that the two met a number of times and around 3rd week of September 2004 decided to get married in Dubai on 30.9.2004. She stated that she and Jitender Singh Chopra came to Delhi and got engaged. That at the time of engagement presents worth Rs. 15 lakhs were gifted by her parents to the in-laws and relatives of Jitender. That her in-laws gave her jewellery worth Rs. 40 lakhs. That at the asking of her prospective mother-in-law, for relatives who were not present at the engagement, her mother sent additional gifts worth Rs. 5 lakhs. That marriage between the complainant and Jitender was solemnized at Dubai on 27.10.2004 as per Hindu rites and customs. At the time of marriage her mother, relatives and friends gave gifts worth Rs. 70 lakhs. Her in-laws gifted her jewellery worth Rs. 90 lakhs. Next day her mother-in-law took away the jewellery for safe keeping. She and her husband came to Delhi on 3.11.2004 and stayed at the farm house of the in-laws. The couple celebrated their first Deepawali. On said function her relatives gave gifts worth Rs. 40 lakhs to her husband. That her mother and her relatives gave her ancestral jewellery worth Rs. 1.75 lakhs at said function. That her in-laws gave her expensive gifts and jewellery worth Rs. 80 lakhs. That when they were at Delhi her brother-in-law tried to force himself upon her. That she was disgraced by the family of her in-laws who stated that they expected that she would bring a Mercedes car in her dowry. That when the couple left for their honeymoon her husband compelled her to drink excessively as also to indulge in vulgar sexual acts. That since it was her second marriage she did not speak to anyone. That on 18.1.2005 she and her husband went back to Dubai. For said trip her husband demanded Rs. 25 lakhs from her mother. Her mother arranged Rs. 5 lakhs and gave the same to her husband. That her husband demanded more money. Her mother paid Rs. 15 lakhs. That she came back to Delhi on 29.12.2005 and in spite of requests to hand over her jewellery, none was being returned to her. That her father-in-law wanted her parents to transfer ownership rights of 2 floors of their house in name of her husband. That her mother-in-law had retained her jewellery.
  11. According to the petitioners the marriage at Dubai was financed by the petitioners. Entire stay of the family of the bride was paid for by the petitioners. That after the wedding, the newly wed came to Delhi to celebrate their first Deepawali and went back to Dubai in February 2005. They took on rent a villa and resided separately from the petitioners. That the couple separated due to temperamental differences. That their son sought divorce in London due to irreconcilable differences. That the FIR was a counter blast to the divorce petition filed by their son.
  12. Before dealing with the rival submissions on the issue whether petitioners should be granted anticipatory bail or not, it has to be noted that petitioners as also their second son i.e. the brother-in-law of the complainant sought anticipatory bail before the learned Additional Sessions Judge. Attempts were made to compromise the matter and in full and final satisfaction of all claims of the complainant not only the FIR be withdrawn but the couple could agree for an amicable settlement. Order dated 29.3.2007 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge records that a settlement was arrived at pursuant whereto complainant would be paid Rs. 4 crores in cash and a flat at DLF Gurgaon worth Rs. 60 lacs would be transferred in her name. Thereafter, the talks broke down inasmuch as offer was reduced to Rs. 2 crores.
  13. Petitioners when charged with attempting to wriggle out of an agreed settlement explained that their younger son was briefing the counsel and he was receiving instructions from the husband of the complainant for the reason any payment under the settlement had to be financed by the husband of the complainant. That unfortunately, their son i.e. husband of the complainant could not firm up his mind and for said reason settlement failed.
  14. Shri K.T.S. Tulsi, learned senior Counsel for the applicants urged that proceedings for grant of anticipatory bail cannot be converted into a recovery proceedings. Learned senior Counsel urged that the anxiety of the Court to try and effect a settlement between the warring couple may be a laudable act but is alien to the exercise of jurisdiction while deciding an application seeking grant of anticipatory bail. Learned senior Counsel urged that the well known parameters viz. gravity of the offence, seriousness of the allegations constituting the offence, possibility of the accused absconding or threatening witnesses of the prosecution, inherent probabilities, for and against the accused are some of the factors which have to be considered by the Court while deciding an application for grant of anticipatory bail.
  15. Expanding the argument, learned senior Counsel submitted that documents annexed as Annexure-C to the petitions conclusively establish that the petitioners paid the entire bill at Dubai when marriage took place. Drawing attention to Annexure-D, learned senior Counsel urged that the same evidences that the newly married couple set up separate residence in Dubai. As regards the petitioners, learned senior Counsel urged that they were residents of Delhi. Their son was settled abroad. Except for participating in the joyous occasion of the marriage of their son and showering their blessings and gifts upon the newly wed as also to finance the marriage, the two had no role to play in the matrimonial life of the couple. Learned senior Counsel further urged that allegations in the FIR are alien to the social norms of the society from which complainant, her family and the petitioners come from. Learned senior Counsel explained that main items are gifted to the couple at the time of their marriage. Thereafter, as and when festive occasions occur, small gifts are exchanged. Learned senior Counsel urged that it was unbelievable that at the time of Deepawali celebrations after the couple got married, complainant’s family members would gift to their daughter and her in-laws, gifts worth Rs. 1.75 crores. Learned senior Counsel further submitted that the allegations of dowry demand are against the husband i.e. the son of the petitioners. Allegations of mental and physical cruelty are against the husband save and except a vague allegation that on one occasion father-in-law threw a plate at the complainant and abused her as a bitch. Learned senior Counsel stated that the two allegations pertaining to dowry demand against the father-in-law viz. that he expected his daughter-in-law to bring a Mercedes car and a demand for ownership rights of 2 floors in her parent’s house at Sunder Nagar are false. Learned senior Counsel submitted that the gravement of the allegation against the mother-in-law is that she retained the jewellery of the complainant.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick.
  16. Learned senior Counsel urged that in view of the fact that the complainant and her husband had set up their matrimonial house at Dubai, a residence separate from that of the petitioners, considering the social background of the family of the complainant as also the petitioners it was unbelievable that the complainant would have handed over her jewellery to her mother-in-law.
  17. Fulcrum of opposition by learned Counsel for the complainant centered around the orders passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge regarding a settlement between the parties from which petitioners back tracked. Learned Counsel submitted that the said settlement evidenced the acknowledgment by the petitioners that the complainant had to be recompensed. Learned Counsel submitted that the jewellery articles of the complainant have yet to be recovered. Counsel submitted that the complainants have started dissipating their assets. Thus, counsel urged that no case is made out to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioners.
  18. It is not in dispute that the instant marriage was the second marriage of both parties. Thus, both would be presumed to be aware of not only their matrimonial obligations but even the matrimonial laws. Judicial authorities are replete with a caution by the Courts that the unfortunate tendency to rope in all family members of the in-laws is a growing trend which has two side effects. Firstly, innocent persons suffer the trauma of a criminal prosecution and secondly, even the accused get acquitted for the reason, false implication of innocent persons is followed by presentation of fabricated evidence before the Court. So inextricably interwoven is truth with lies that truth cannot be segregated from lies resulting in benefit of doubt being given even to the accused persons.
  19. More often than not, pertaining to dowry, Courts are faced with a dilemma inasmuch as tax avoidance is the norm in India. Huge volume of black money in circulation finds expression in ostentatious marriages. But when called upon to prove that the family had enough assets to justify the stated gifts gifted at the time of marriage, family members of the girl side have no answers. They cannot establish the means to justify their capacity to shower gifts worth crores.
  20. In the instant case, before the in-laws of the complainant can be called upon to account for the gifts given by the parents of the girl, the parents of the girl would have to establish their means and their capacity to gift items worth Rs. 3 crores to their daughter and her in-laws.
  21. As noted above, gravement of the allegations are directed principally against the husband. No doubt, there is reference against the petitioners pertaining to dowry demand and retention of jewellery, but, as noted above, allegations of dowry demand are against the father-in-law and not against the mother-in-law. Vice versa, allegations pertaining to retention of the jewellery of the complainant is against the mother-in-law and not the father-in-law. Thus, if at all, father-in-law may be answerable to a charge under Section 498A IPC. If at all, mother-in-law may be answerable for a charge under Section 406 IPC.
  22. Qua the mother-in-law a circumstance which stands out is that her son and her daughter-in-law had a separate residence at Dubai. The couple was married at Dubai. Whatever may be the jewellery gifted to the complainant at the time of marriage, there is no material on record that when she along with her husband came to India they made a declaration to the Customs Authority that personal jewellery worth crores was being brought by her i.e. the complainant to India. Greater probability would be that either jewellery of the value alleged to be gifted to her by the complainant was not gifted to her, or if gifted, the same was in her custody at Dubai.
  23. . Pertaining to the father-in-law I find that the allegations are general. It is not stated in the complaint that because father-in-law desired that the complainant should bring a Mercedes car he i.e. the father-in-law took vengeance against the complainant. What is stated in the FIR is that the father-in-law commented that he expected that the complainant would bring as part of dowry a Mercedes car.
  24. Prima facie, it is one thing to have a desire and express the same. It is altogether another thing to raise a demand as per the desire.
  25. Allegation of mental cruelty against the father-in-law pertains to an alleged incident when according to the complainant she served cold food to her father-in-law. Prima facie, said allegation of cruelty does not relate to a dowry demand.
  26. . The only other allegation pertaining to transfer of 2 floors in the house of the complainant’s parents at Sunder Nagar is without any particulars i.e. the day or the month when said demand was raised.
  27. In the report published as Indian Oil Corporation v. NEPC India Ltd. in para 13 the Hon’ble Supreme Court lamented as under: 13. While on this issue, it is necessary to take notice of a growing tendency in business circles to convert purely civil disputes into criminal cases. This is obviously on account of a prevalent impression that civil law remedies are time consuming and do not adequately protect the interests o lenders/creditors. Such a tendency is seen in several family disputes also, leading to irretrievable breakdown of marriages/families. There is also an impression that if a person could somehow be entangled in a criminal prosecution, there is a likelihood of imminent settlement. Any effort to settle civil disputes and claims, which do not involve any criminal offence, by applying pressure through criminal prosecution should be deprecated and discouraged.
  28. In para 19 of the report published as Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India the Supreme Court observed as under:  19. The object of the provision is prevention of the dowry menace. But as has been rightly contended by the petitioner many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bona fide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to the trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentional provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a license to unscrupulous persons to wreak personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the courts have to take care of the situation within the existing framework. As noted above the object is to strike a the roots of dowry menace. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used as a shield and not as an assassin’s weapon. If the cry of “wolf” is made too often as a prank, assistance and protection may not be available when the actual “wolf” appears. There is no question of the investigating agency and courts casually dealing with the allegations. They cannot follow any straitjacket formula in the matters relating to dowry tortures, deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost sight of that the ultimate objective of every legal system is to arrive at the truth, punish the guilty and protect the innocent. There is no scope for any preconceived notion or view. It is strenuously argued by the petitioner that the investigating agencies and the courts start with the presumptions that the investigating agencies and the courts start with the presumptions that the accused persons are guilty and that the complainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide and generalized a statement. Certain statutory presumptions are drawn which again are rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of the investigating agencies and the courts is that of a watchdog and not of a bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that an innocent person is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and malicious allegations. It is equally undisputable that in many cases no direct evidence is available and the courts have to act on circumstantial evidence. While dealing with such cases, the law laid down relating to circumstantial evidence has to be kept in view.
  29. In the decision dated 23.2.2007 in Crl.M.C. No. 7262/2006 Neera Singh v. State and Ors. a learned Single Judge of this Court had pains to note as under: 4. Now-a-days, exorbitant claims are made about the amount spent on marriage and other ceremonies and on dowry and gifts. In some cases claim is made of spending crores of rupees on dowry without disclosing the source of income and how funds flowed. I consider time has come that courts should insist upon disclosing source of such funds and verification of income from tax returns and police should insist upon the compliance of the Rules under Dowry Prohibition Act and should not entertain any complaint, if the rules have not been complied with. Rule 2 of the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985 reads as under: 2. Rules in Accordance With Which Lists of Presents Are to Be Maintained. – (1) The list of presents which are given at the time of the marriage to the bride shall be maintained by the bride. (2) The list of presents which are given at the time of the marriage to the bridegroom shall be maintained by the bridegroom. (3) Every list of presents referred to in Sub-rule (2)-(a) shall be prepared at the time of the marriage or as soon as possible after the marriage; (b) shall be in writing; (c) shall contain: (i) a brief description of each present; (ii) the approximate value of the present; (iii) the name of the person who has given the present; and (iv) where the person giving the present is related to the bride or bridegroom, a description of such relationship. (d) shall be signed by both the brides and the bridegroom. 5. The Metropolitan Magistrate should take cognizance of the offence under the Act in respect of the offence of giving dowry whenever allegations are made that dowry was given as a consideration of marriage, after demand. Courts should also insist upon compliance with the rules framed under the Act and if rules are not complied with, an adverse inference should be drawn. If huge cash amounts are alleged to be given at the time of marriage which are not accounted anywhere, such cash transactions should be brought to the notice of the Income Tax Department by the Court so that source of income is verified and the person is brought to law. It is only because the Courts are not insisting upon compliance with the relevant provisions of law while entertaining such complaints and action is taken merely on the statements of the complainant, without any verification that a large number of false complaints are pouring in.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick.
  30. Admittedly, neither complainant nor her family members have complied with Rule 2 of the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules 1985.
  31. Since allegations in the complaint are to the effect that jewellery and gifts worth crores were given by the parents and relatives of the complainant, instant case would require a prior investigation by the investigating officer before petitioners are made to account for the gifts, whether at all the family of the complainant had the means to shower gifts of such magnitude.
  32. I note that the husband of the complainant is paying to her a monthly maintenance of Rs. 1 lakh.
  33. Learned Counsel for the State did not urge that the petitioners are not cooperating with the IO.
  34. The special circumstances of the case may be summarized:
    • (a) Marriage is a love marriage and took place at Dubai. There is prima facie evidence that marriage expenses were borne by the in-laws of the complainant.
    • (b) The young couple took up separate residence at Dubai and stayed their after the marriage till they came to India to celebrate their first Deepawali festival. The complainant stayed with her in-laws for about 10 days. The couple departed for their honeymoon.
    • (c) Allegations in the FIR are primarily directed against the husband. Prima facie it appears to be a case of temperamental difference between the husband and the wife.
    • (d) There are no allegations of dowry demand against the mother-in-law. Allegation against her is of retaining the jewellery gifted by her parents as stated by the complainant to be in the value of over Rs. 2 crores. There is no evidence that jewellery of such magnitude was gifted.
    • (e) Allegations of dowry demand against the father-in-law only relate to transfer of ownership rights of 2 floors in a property at Sunder Nagar in the name of the husband of the complainant. The allegation is of a general nature. The time, date and month of demand has not been specified.
    • (f) The couple separated at Dubai. The petitioners did not have a joint residence with the complainant and thus could not be in possession of her jewellery.
  35. Case is thus made to admit petitioners to anticipatory bail. While so directing, I am conscious of the failed compromise talks before the learned Additional Sessions Judge but I cannot ignore the fact that proceedings for bail cannot be converted into recovery proceedings. I find prima facie justification of the petitioners that their younger son was briefing the counsel and was informing the counsel what was being consented to by the son of the petitioners. If the son of the petitioners back tracks from his commitment, petitioners cannot be faulted with.
  36. I additionally note that the complainant is being paid a monthly maintenance of Rs. 1 lakh by her husband.
  37. Petition stands disposed of directing that on the petitioners surrendering their passport to the Investigating Officer and cooperating at the inquiry to be conducted by the Investigating Officer, in the event of the petitioners being arrested by the IO, the petitioners would be released on bail by the IO on the petitioners furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 1,00,000/- each with one surety each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the IO in the above captioned FIR.
  38. Needless to state, the petitioners would join the investigation as and when required by the IO.
  39. Copy of the order be supplied dusty to learned Counsel for the petitioners.


*****************************disclaimer**********************************
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.


CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE with necessary Emphasis, Re formatting
*******************************************************************************

 

Court orders IT dept. 2 to report how wife & co could spend 40 Lakhs on marriage. Classic P&H HC bail !

A husband harassed with 406 & 498 cocktail approaches the Hon for AB

during the course of the hearing, the court notices that the wife seems to have made fake and exaggerated claims on dowry items and marriage expenses (to the extent of 40 lakhs !!).

The Hon HC notices these exagerated claims and orders investigation into the wife’s family finances and their source of funds . “….During the course of arguments, this Court asked the complainant side to explain where from 40,00,000/- were acquired by the complainant and her parents so as to spend such a huge amount in the marriage, but they could not give any satisfactory answer and to arrive at a correct conclusion, this Court directed the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar Range, Jalandhar, to verify the said fact. The private parties were directed to appear before the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar. The report has been received wherein it has been mentioned that the mother of the complainant has no means to spend beyond22,71,900/-……”

The Honourable court also reiterates that sections 406 & 498-A IPC, are not meant for recovery of dowry articles and grants anticipatory bail to husband !! “….9. So far as the recovery of dowry articles are concerned, the provisions of Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the said purpose. Reference can be made to Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi, 1992 (3) CCR 2764, wherein Delhi High Court held that in a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, the anticipatory bail cannot be denied only on the ground that jewellery and the dowry articles were not recovered. It has further been held that the proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the recovery of the jewellery and the dowry articles. The wife (complainant) if so chooses can move the Civil Court for the recovery of the said articles…..”

===========================

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

CRM-M-29829-2012 (O&M)

Date of Decision: August 23, 2013

Prit Pal Singh   …Petitioner

Versus

State of Punjab and another …Respondents

CORAM:       HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE NARESH KUMAR SANGHI

Present:     Mr. Vijay Pal, Advocate, for the petitioner.

Mr. K.S. Pannu, DAG, Punjab, for respondent No. 1.

Mr. Mandeep Singh Sachdev, Advocate, for respondent No. 2.

NARESH KUMAR SANGHI, J.

  1. Prayer in this petition is for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, Prit Pal Singh, son of Gurjit Singh Walia, resident of G-77/A, Opposite Ansal Plaza Mall, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, who has been booked for having committed the offences punishable under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, in a case arising out of FIR No. 47, dated 23.8.2012, registered at Police Station, Women Cell (now Police Station, Women), Jalandhar City, District Jalandhar.
  2. Learned counsel contends that vide order dated 25.9.2012, the investigating agency was directed not to take coercive steps against the petitioner; the petitioner has joined the investigation several time and fully cooperated with the investigating agency; most of the alleged dowry articles have already been recovered from the house of the petitioner; and that it was a love marriage and the petitioner and the complainant- respondent No. 2 could not pull on well, therefore, just to put pressure on the petitioner and to grab his property, a false case has been registered against him. He further submits that even during the pendency of the application before the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar, ad-interim anticipatory bail was granted to the petitioner and he joined the investigation and fully cooperated with the investigating agency. It has also been contended that the complainant has alleged that approximately `40,00,000/- were spent in the marriage, but the report sought by this Court from the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar-II, Jalandhar, belies the said fact. It has also been contended that the provisions contained in Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for recovery of the dowry articles etc.

  3. Learned counsel for the State on instructions from ASI Ravi Kumar of Police Station, Women, Jalandhar City, District Jalandhar, very fairly concedes that the petitioner has joined the investigation and no more required by the investigating agency. However, all the dowry articles as alleged by the complainant, have not been recovered and for that purpose further interrogation of the petitioner is required.

  4. Learned counsel for the complainant-respondent No. 2 submits that the factum of the love marriage, as alleged by the petitioner, is belied from the compact discs which have been placed on record by her; the petitioner has not joined the investigation and cooperated with the investigating agency; the report received from the Commissioner of Income-tax is incomplete, wrong and perverse; except the husband, no other member of his family has been involved in this case; the grant of anticipatory bail at this stage would prejudice the investigation; and that the previous investigating officer was colliding with the petitioner, therefore, the case could not be effectively investigated.

  5. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and with their able assistance gone through the material available on record.

  6. The marriage of the petitioner with the complainant- respondent No. 2 was solemnized on 1.12.2009. According to the petitioner, it was a love marriage and with the consent of the parents of the petitioner and the complainant, it was performed at Jalandhar. The husband and wife could not pull on well and, hence, the matter was reported to the police, resulting into registration of the present case. The petitioner and the complainant-respondent No. 2 resided at Gurgaon after the marriage, where the petitioner was employed as a Software Engineer in some multinational company. After registration of the case, the petitioner made an application for grant of anticipatory bail before the learned Court of Session and he was granted ad-interim bail. In compliance of the said order, he joined the investigation, but ultimately the said application was dismissed. Hence, he approached this Court.

  7. By virtue of the interim orders passed by this Court, the petitioner further joined the investigation and some of the dowry articles were recovered from him. It is the conceded position that in accordance with the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985, no list of the gifts was prepared. During the course of arguments, this Court asked the complainant side to explain where from 40,00,000/- were acquired by the complainant and her parents so as to spend such a huge amount in the marriage, but they could not give any satisfactory answer and to arrive at a correct conclusion, this Court directed the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar Range, Jalandhar, to verify the said fact. The private parties were directed to appear before the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar. The report has been received wherein it has been mentioned that the mother of the complainant has no means to spend beyond22,71,900/-.

  8. According to the learned counsel for the State, the petitioner has joined the investigation and some of the dowry articles have been recovered, but few dowry articles as disclosed by the complainant side are yet to be recovered.

  9. So far as the recovery of dowry articles are concerned, the provisions of Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the said purpose. Reference can be made to Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi, 1992 (3) CCR 2764, wherein Delhi High Court held that in a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, the anticipatory bail cannot be denied only on the ground that jewellery and the dowry articles were not recovered. It has further been held that the proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the recovery of the jewellery and the dowry articles. The wife (complainant) if so chooses can move the Civil Court for the recovery of the said articles.

  10. In Uday Singh v. State of Haryana, 2001 (1) R.C.R. (Criminal) 354, this Court held that the accused who had approached this Court for grant of anticipatory bail in a case arising out of the offences punishable under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, had joined the investigation and certain articles of dowry were recovered, in that eventuality, anticipatory bail could not be refused on the ground that some articles were still to be recovered.

  11. In Anil Rajput and others v. State of Haryana, 2010 (6) R.C.R. (Criminal) 1126, this Court also held that during pendency of the anticipatory bail petition in a matrimonial dispute case, the petitioner joined the investigation and in spite of the fact that recoveries were yet to be effected, would not dis-entitle the petitioner/accused to the concession of anticipatory bail.

  12. In Beant Singh and another v. State of Punjab, 2011 (2) R.C.R. (Criminal) 381, this Court also held that where there is a claim and counter claim with regard to the dowry articles, in the said circumstances the concession of anticipatory bail should not be withheld.

  13. In Vishal Gulati v. State of Punjab (CRM-M-17915-2012, decided on 5.7.2012), this Court also expressed the view that the provision contained in Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for recovery of the dowry articles.

  14. Hon’ble the Supreme Court in the matter of Siddharam Satingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra, 2011 (1) R.C.R. (Criminal) 126, held that the arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arrest of the accused is imperative, in the facts and circumstances of the case.

  15. No contrary view has been produced either by the learned counsel for the State or the learned counsel for the complainant-respondent No. 2.

16. Without discussing much on the merits of the case, but keeping in view the facts that the petitioner has joined the investigation and most of the dowry articles have already been recovered, as well as the ratio of the judgments cited herein above, the present petition for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, Prit Pal Singh, son of Gurjit Singh Walia, resident of G- 77/A, Opposite Ansal Plaza Mall, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, is allowed. In the event of his arrest, the petitioner shall be admitted to bail, subject to his furnishing bail bonds to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer.

  1. The petitioner shall continue to join the investigation as and when required to do so and abide by all the conditions laid down under Section 438(2), Cr.P.C.

(NARESH KUMAR SANGHI)
August 23, 2013                                  JUDGE
Pkapoor

Kapoor Prashant
2013.08.31 13:56
I attest to the accuracy
of this order

abla claims few crores spent on marriage, gifts, car etc &Opposes bail. Husband &famly denied bail! Gift list & expenses an eyeopener.

While Indian weddings are known to be big affairs, here is one that has a lot of pomp, but unfortunately ended in a dowry case !! Sadly the case was filed MANY months after the split up and is now being fought in courts

“… the Roka ceremony in our house at Faridabad where they spent about `5.63 Lacs and gave cash Sagan to the Chopra family worth about `16.57 Lacs and Gold coins & Jewellery worth `.18.00 Lacs. My Parents had also invited about 300 people from our family/ friends to formally declare the marriage of mine. The Sagan given by my family/friends amounting to `.3.50 Lacs was also handed over to Mrs Veena …”

“… demanded that the clothes, bags, shoes and other articles of the marriage should be purchased from the branded stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Bottega Venetta, Fendi, Salvatore Feraggamo, Versace etc. ….” “..     of shoes, bags, apparels, etc. My family had to spend Approx. `.20 Lacs on these articles …”

“… required lot of money and more time. My father contacted Sh. Dharmendra and gave an advance of `. 3.00 Lacs for the renovation of the house. The renovation work started in full swing however could not be completed at the time of marriage. My parents had paid `6.50 to the contractor for the renovation and ` 4.50 Lacs to FCML for the bathroom fittings …”

“…  relatives. On the day of Lohri we could take cash/jewellery worth about 15 Lakhs. After the Lohri Mrs. Veena Chopra got very angry and said that she is very unhappy due to non fulfillment of her demand of gifts of ` 25 Lakhs …”

“… 2009. On 13.2.2009, my parents arranged a ring ceremony and Sagan at our house wherein we invited 700 guests from both sides and spent about `.62.13 Lacs, the list of which is enclosed herewith. On 16.2.2009, the formal marriage took place at a farm house in Juana Road, Mandi Road, New Delhi, wherein almost about 1200 people were invited and my parents had incurred an expenditure of `139.40 Lacs, as per demand of my in-laws, the list is enclosed …”

“…  23. I am under sever depression since October 2009 and am getting the treatment from Dr. Rajeev Kapoor in Faridabad. I am having anti depressant tablets to control my emotional self. I am unable to understand why my in-laws have subjected me with this filth, when my father has fulfilled all their demands of gifts/ jewellery worth Crores of rupees …”

“…  in white colour should be given to him during the wedding. On his constant demands and looking into my future, my father had to book this car for an amount of `.88 lacs. The model of this car was sent to us for the wedding on 13.2.2009 …”

A brief tally of the above adds up to approx 3+ Crores. One can only wonder what else was spent on legal fees etc. But what is lost is peace of mind and happiness that every home should have !
*************************************************************************

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

Crl.M.No.M-34686 of 2010(O&M)

Date of Decision: May 22, 2012

Vinod Chopra and another     …..Petitioners
v.
State of Haryana        ……Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE RAM CHAND GUPTA

Present:

Mr.R.S.Cheema, Sr. Advocate with Mr.K.S.Nalwa, Advocate for the petitioners.
Mr.Anmol Malik, AAG, Haryana, with ASI Vishnu Mitter.
Mrs.Baljit Mann, Advocate for the complainant.

***************

RAM CHAND GUPTA, J.(Oral)

The present petition filed under Section 438 Cr.P.C. is for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioners in case FIR No.599, dated 23.10.2010, under Sections 498-A, 406, 34 IPC, registered at Police Station Faridabad Central, District Faridabad (Haryana).

I have heard learned counsel for the parties and have gone through the whole record carefully, including the impugned orders passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Faridabad, vide which applications filed on behalf of the present petitioners for anticipatory bail were dismissed.

It is pertinent to reproduce the FIR lodged in this case at the instance of complainant-wife, namely, Shweta Chopra, to the Commissioner of Police, Police Station Central Faridabad, which reads as under:-

”    Dated:- 23-10-2010

To The Commissioner of Police,
Police Station, Central,
Faridabad.

Subject : Criminal complaint against Mr. Varun Chopra (Husband),
Mrs. Veena Chopra (Mother- in- law), Ms. Vidhi Chopra (Sister-in-
law) & Shri Vinod Chopra (Father-in-law) all resident of D-1/33,
Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, for committing various offences of Cruelty,
Demand of Dowry, physical & mental assault and Criminal Breach of
Trust.

Sir,

1. I married to Varun Chopra according to Hindu customs, rites and
ceremonies at Sewa Farms, Jaunapur Mandi Road, New Delhi on
16.02.2009 in the presence of the friends & relatives and soon after
the marriage, I was tortured, abused, assaulted and was treated with
utmost cruelty on various occasions by my in-laws in order to
pressurize me to fulfill their illegal and unlawful demands of dowry.
My husband Varun Chopra, mother-in- law Veena Chopra, father-in-law
Vinod Chopra and sister-in- law Vidhi Chopra, tortured me physically
and mentally to the extent that I felt like committing suicide and
give up my life. I initially did not make any complaint and suffered
the cruel behaviour of these people, but when it became a continuous
act on day to day basis, I contacted my parents and narrated all the
incidents giving rise to the present complaint.

2.This all started in Feb. 2007 when we were sent a marriage
proposal through a local marriage broker for the matrimonial alliance
of myself with Varun. However, looking into our financial and social
status, Chopra family was very keen to get their only son married to
me at any cost. In the month of May, 2008, Mrs. Veena Chopra called
up my mother and started talking about me. She made various
representations about the credibility of their family and also the
respect which they command in the society. She further stated that
her son Varun Chopra was engaged earlier but has called off the
engagement and she is very much interested in having matrimonial
relations with our family.

3.That on her constant persuasions and various representations, my
parents thought of meeting them and thus we invited Shri Vinod Chopra
and his family to our house on 21st June 2008. We had a brief meeting
in our house in Faridabad. Varun had a chat with me for some time. In
the month of Oct./Nov. 2008, I attended one of the Diwali parties of
my friend where I met Varun again. After that Diwali party, Varun
started sending messages to me and also started making calls on
regular basis, trying to please me and also showing his inclinations
for getting married to me. On 6.11.2008 Varun proposed me and on his
perpetual overtures and alluring talks my parents said yes for the
marriage. Before the marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Chopra demanded that
since they are marrying their son in Lakhani family it would be
expected that their relatives and friends would be given gifts in
gold and diamond only.   http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

4. Mrs. Veena Chopra came to our house in Faridabad in the morning
of 1.12.2008 and stated that she has invited about 100 people from
her family and friends who will be attending the Roka ceremony and
demanded that Sagan in cash should be given to each and every guest
who attend the Roka ceremony. She told my parents to prepare various
envelops with different amounts for their relatives. All these
envelopes were handed over to Mrs. Chopra, who stated that she would
give the same to the relatives herself later. My parents organized
the Roka ceremony in our house at Faridabad where they spent about
`5.63 Lacs and gave cash Sagan to the Chopra family worth about
`16.57 Lacs and Gold coins & Jewellery worth `.18.00 Lacs. My Parents
had also invited about 300 people from our family/ friends to
formally declare the marriage of mine. The Sagan given by my family/
friends amounting to `.3.50 Lacs was also handed over to Mrs Veena
Chopra, on her request. (The list is enclosed herewith). However
after the marriage I learnt that the envelopes were never given to
the relatives/friends and were retained by my mother in law.

5. On 7.12.2008 Mrs Veena Chopra and her daughter Vidhi Chopra
visited our house in Faridabad and stated that they wanted the
shopping for the marriage to be done from branded stores. They
demanded that the clothes, bags, shoes and other articles of the
marriage should be purchased from the branded stores like Louis
Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Bottega Venetta, Fendi,
Salvatore Feraggamo, Versace etc. Both of them proposed names of
various branded stores in Delhi and Mumbai and stated that goods
should be purchased only from there. My Parents had no option but to
purchase the articles from the said branded stores for the wedding.
During this period, Mrs. Veena Chopra and her daughter Vidhi Chopra
made numerous calls making demands for purchase of a particular brand
of shoes, bags, apparels, etc. My family had to spend Approx. `.20
Lacs on these articles.

6. In the first week of Dec. 2009, Vinod Chopra called my parents
and said that the 2nd floor of the house, where Varun stays is in a
bad condition and in case we want Shweta to stay there, then my
parents should renovate and restructure the entire floor for them.
Being pressurized my parents decided to get their house renovated at
their own expenses. My father immediately contacted Mr Rajan Sood,
Architect and M/s D K Builders, the contractor, Sh Dharmendra for
renovating/ restructuring of the house of my in-laws. They also said
that the renovation should be completed before the date of the
marriage so that Shweta can shift in that portion of the house
immediately thereafter. Since it was an old house, the renovation
required lot of money and more time. My father contacted Sh.
Dharmendra and gave an advance of `. 3.00 Lacs for the renovation of
the house. The renovation work started in full swing however could
not be completed at the time of marriage. My parents had paid `6.50
to the contractor for the renovation and ` 4.50 Lacs to FCML for the
bathroom fittings.

7. On 13.1.2009 my parents had gone to the house of Chopra for
Lohri. Mrs. Veena Chopra and Mr. Vinod Chopra said that the first
Lohri has to be celebrated in a grand manner, and said that
Jewellery/Gifts worth about 25 Lakhs should be given to them. They
said that if this is not done, they would be embarrassed before their
relatives. On the day of Lohri we could take cash/jewellery worth
about 15 Lakhs. After the Lohri Mrs. Veena Chopra got very angry and
said that she is very unhappy due to non fulfillment of her demand of
gifts of ` 25 Lakhs.

8. On 23.1.2009 we had a family meeting and we decided that it may
not be appropriate to go ahead with the marriage due to their greedy
behaviour. It seemed as if they want only money and jewellery and not
our daughter. After this meeting my parents decided to call off the
marriage considering their greed for money. On my Parents insistence,
my brother-in-law Sh. Nitin Miglani informed Varun that we are trying
to call off the wedding as it would not be appropriate. However,
after that Mr. and Mrs. Vinod Chopra continued to approach us through
their friends and relatives that this will be an ideal marriage. They
gave further assurances and as we had already declared the marriage
to family/ friends, we decided to go ahead with the marriage. They
also convinced my parents that their daughter would be very happy in
the house and whatever has happened was due to some misunderstanding
and they would accept whatever is being given to them.

9. On 5.2.2009, we organized a Mata Ki Chowki at our house and
surprisingly Mrs. Veena Chopra did not attend the same. Mr. Vinod
Chopra & Varun Chopra convinced us and said that she is not feeling
well and thus has not come. Being in fear of call off marriage Mr.
Vinod Chopra insisted that they should have an Arya Samaj/ Court
Marriage on the very next day. That after being pressurized we
arranged an Arya Samaj Marriage followed by Court Marriage on 6-2-
2009. On 13.2.2009, my parents arranged a ring ceremony and Sagan at
our house wherein we invited 700 guests from both sides and spent
about `.62.13 Lacs, the list of which is enclosed herewith. On
16.2.2009, the formal marriage took place at a farm house in Juana
Road, Mandi Road, New Delhi, wherein almost about 1200 people were
invited and my parents had incurred an expenditure of `139.40 Lacs,
as per demand of my in-laws, the list is enclosed.

10. On 9.2.2009 Smt. Veena Chopra my mother-in- law and my husband
Vinod Chopra visited our house in Faridabad and demanded that each &
every guest accompanying the Barat should be paid Sagan to the
minimum amount of ` 1 lac. On their specific demand, my parents had
to prepare Sagan envelopes even for Varun’s friends and their wives.
Varun also told me that he wants that his dream car Porsche (Cayenne)
in white colour should be given to him during the wedding. On his
constant demands and looking into my future, my father had to book
this car for an amount of `.88 lacs. The model of this car was sent
to us for the wedding on 13.2.2009. However, after having a look at
the car, Varun had a change of mind and stated that he did not want
this car and it should be replaced with S Class Mercedes. Although my
father had already paid for this car just to fulfill the demand of
his son-in-law, my father immediately sent their office manager to
purchase a new S320 Mercedes car.

11. After the marriage on 17.2.2009, when I visited the house for
Phera, my parents handed over all the jewellery to me and Varun. My
parents gave gifts in the form of jewellery/ watches/ designer
clothes/ accessories for Mrs. Veena Chopra, Mr. Vinod Chopra, Mr.
Varun Chopra and Ms .Vidhi Chopra worth about `.620 Lacs as demanded
by them. On 18.2.2009 I left for Vaishno Devi and before leaving my
mother-in-law and my sister-in-law asked me to hand over all my
jewellery and my suitcases with clothes, bags etc., which I got from
her parents, on the pretext of keeping it in safe custody. I, without
understanding their real intentions, gave the entire jewellery/ gifts
to them in their custody for safe keeping. The list of
jewellery/clothes gifted to me is enclosed to the complaint.

12. I left for our honeymoon for Australia/ US for a month. Varun
after coming back to Delhi bragged that he had spent ` 20 Lacs in the
Honeymoon and demanded that this should be reimbursed to him. After
coming back from honeymoon I, found that my suitcases containing
expensive designer clothes, bags, accessories which were purchased
from US had been removed from room and were missing. I later on
learnt that all my bags containing branded clothes, handbags,
perfumes, cosmetics, accessories etc. were secretly kept by my sister-
in-law Vidhi on the instructions of her mother Veena Chopra. When I
asked about them from my mother-in- law & sister-in-law they said
that they did not know where the bags were. After the marriage, my
mother-in-law, father- in-law, husband and sister-in-law, started
taunting me on day- to-day basis for not bringing adequate dowry. My
mother-in- law Mrs. Veena Chopra deliberately used to loose her
temper on trivial things and would abuse my parents in front of me
and would say that my parents inspite of being so rich acted as
‘Kanjus’ and could not give enough money to them. On one occasion
Mrs. Veena Chopra on a day of Holi got angry on me and tried to burn
by throwing boiling water on me. I however saved with minor burn
injuries. After the marriage my husband Varun also started
threatening me every night and said that his mother wanted that his
name should be put in all the properties belonging to me. He said
that the house in Faridabad in Sector 14 and 21C should be in the
joint name of Varun and Shweta and if the same is not done, I would
be subjected to torture like this for rest of my life. Varun would
also drink alcohol in the night and would beat me and lock me in the
bath room for the entire night. When I told my parents about their
new demand of transfer of properties to them, they suggested that I
should tell my in- laws that the properties belonging to me were
already pledged with the bank and my parents would get the same
cleared and would get the property transferred as per the wishes of
my husband and in-laws after some time. I was told that I should tell
them that it might take 9 months to one year. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

16. Soon after the marriage, my husband Varun started beating me
physically and one day he and his mother hit me so badly that I
suffered injury on my legs and I bled profusely. After beating Varun
ran away from the house. Mr.s Veena instigated Varun to give me more
beatings. When I got hurt badly and there was no body to attend to
me, I called up my sister who took me to Dr. NK Pandey at Faridabad
and he gave me medication. I had bodyache all over my body because of
the severe beating given to me by Varun at the instance of my mother-
in-law. I had to take medicines for one month.

17. One day I learnt that my husband Varun is having an affair with
one Maneka. I also found out that they were having this relationship
from the last many years and the reason of marrying me was only money
and lots of dowry. I learnt that Varun had decided that after
marrying me he would dump me and would marry Maneka. It seems as if
Maneka was also party to the entire conspiracy.

18. In the first week of Sept. 2009, Mr. Varun and Mrs. Veena Chopra
fought with me and locked me in the room at about midnight. I was
again badly beaten up and was thrown on the bed. My husband Mr. Varun
brought a knife and raised threat that he would kill me. While the
room was locked, I somehow managed to call up my sister and narrated
the entire incident. My elder sister and my brother-in-law
immediately rushed to my matrimonial house. At the first instance
they were not permitted to enter the house and the guard locked the
main gate stating that he had instructions from Madam not to open the
gate for anyone. When I was about to call the police, the guards to
open the door and my elder sister could meet myself. They spent
nearly four hours in the house trying to sort out the problem but the
behaviour of Mrs. Veena Chopra and Mr. Varun Chopra was very
aggressive and abusive. Varun also threatened that he had good
connections in Delhi and his best friend had good connectivity with
the media and in case anyone would say anything against them, then
they would try to get them maligned by fabricating news items in the
paper against them. They also raised threat to me by saying that I
have another unmarried sister in the house and in case anything is
done, then they would do everything to damage the reputation of the
family.

19. On 26-9-2010 my mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband tried to
strangulate me in their house but somehow I managed to escape. On
26th September, 2009, I was thrown out of the house by my in- laws
with few clothing and I was abused and tortured the whole night. My
husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law & sister-in-law also forced me
to get these demands fulfilled & they all forcibly ousted me from the
house on 26-9-2009 & did not allow me to carry anything from the
house. I came to my parent’s house only in three clothes which I was
wearing at that time. All my jewelry, clothes & Istridhan alongwith
other valuables are lying with my husband, father-in-law, mother-in-
law & sister-in-law in their house at New Delhi. I came back to my
parental house and started staying with my parents. Thereafter, I
along with my father went to my in- law’s house but we were not
allowed to get in the house. Rather Mr. Varun started using the
abusive & unparliamentary language & shouted that he had told
everything to his daughter & he should asked me only. Thereafter my
parents tried to sort out the things with the help of other
respectable people but no avail.

20. In the first week of Oct. 2009, Varun came to our house in
Faridabad to meet me. He went to my room on the pretext of talking to
me. After speaking to me for 20-25 minutes, he lost temper and took
me in the corner of the room and banged my head on the wall and said
that he would not accept me in his house till the properties are not
transferred in his name. He said “Apne Baap ko keh dena ke Larki Ko
Sasural Bhejna hai to property be sath mein bhenje”. Before I could
realize what he did, Varun rushed out of the house and ran away.

21. In the last week of Oct. 2009, my parents called up my in-laws
and requested them to sort out the issue amicably in case there is
any confusion or any misunderstandings. However, they were never
interested in sorting out the problem. They said that Varun is not
interested in staying with Shweta and he is in love with Maneka and
therefore they would have a divorce by mutual consent so that Varun
and Maneka could marry.

22. I called up my husband and mother- in-law in the last week of
Nov. 2009 and asked for my jewellery as I had to go for attending a
wedding of my elder sister’s brother-in-law Parikshit Miglani at
Mumbai. However inspite of requests, no jewellery or my belongings
were given to me for the wedding at Mumbai.

23. I am under sever depression since October 2009 and am getting
the treatment from Dr. Rajeev Kapoor in Faridabad. I am having anti
depressant tablets to control my emotional self. I am unable to
understand why my in-laws have subjected me with this filth, when my
father has fulfilled all their demands of gifts/ jewellery worth
Crores of rupees.

24. I am tired of the continuous physical torture and beatings at
the hands of my husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I have no
other option but to request you to kindly register criminal case
against my husband Mr. Varun Chopra, s/o Shri Vinod Chopra, my father-
in-law Shri Vinod Chopra, s/o Shri Amlok Rai Chopra, my mother-in-law
Mrs. Veena Chopra, w/o Shri Vinod Chopra, my sister-in-law Ms. Vidhi
Chopra, D/o Shri Vinod Chopra, for committing various offences of
cruelty, threat, demand of dowry and criminal breach of trust and
investigate the same in accordance with law and also recover the
jewellery articles, Furniture, gifts and expensive clothes from the
possession of my husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-
law.

Thanking you.
Yours faithfully,

Shweta Chopra,
at present R/o House No. 1340, Sector -14, Faridabad

Enclosures:-
List of Expenses Incurred on Roka and Courtship Ceremony, List of
Expenses Incurred on Ring Ceremony, List of Expenses Incurred on
Wedding and Phera Ceremony,List of Expenses Incurred on Personal
Jewelry, Clothes and other Items of Shweta Chopra given as per demand
of Chopra Family. Total expenditure incurred in the marriage of shweta”

A perusal of the aforementioned FIR shows that there are allegations of demand of dowry by petitioners alongwith co-accused even before solemnising the marriage. At one point of time, there was a thought in the mind of parents of complainant that they should not proceed with this marriage proposal and, however, later on they reconciled and the marriage was performed. Both the parties belong to affluent families. Lot of articles were given in dowry including jewellery, which was entrusted to all the family members including the present petitioners-accused. There are specific allegations of acts of physical torture having been committed upon the complainant by petitioners-accused and the co-accused. She has given natural version of the entire occurrence.

It has been contended by learned counsel for the petitioners that husband of complainant had already been arrested and released on regular bail. It is further contended that petitioners were also granted interim bail by this Court vide order dated 26.11.2010. It is also contended that even as per FIR, complainant left the matrimonial home on 26.9.2009 and thereafter only fact mentioned in the FIR is that in the first week of October 2009, Varun, i.e., son of present petitioners, came to their house in Faridabad and again raised demand of property and rushed out of the house. Hence, it is contended that since then, there was no contact from the side of complainant and the FIR was lodged after about 11 months of the same. It is further contended that since interim bail was granted to petitioners-accused, there was sufficient time for the Investigating Agency to have recovered jewellery items etc., and however, no serious efforts were made in that direction. It is further contended that the alleged dowry articles, as mentioned in the complaint, are also exaggerated as no such list was prepared at the time of marriage as per the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985. It is further contended that petitioners cannot be subjected to custodial interrogation for the purpose of recovery of dowry articles in proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A IPC. He has placed reliance upon Ram Wati v. State of Haryana 1996(1) RCC 199; Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi 1993 JCC 117; Ravi Pranja v. State 1997 JCC 123; Crl.M.No.M-16933 of 2000 decided on 6.3.2001 (Ram Labhaya Vij @ Ram Labhaya Vig and another v. Union Territory, Chandigarh); Smt.Neera Singh v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) and others, 2008(3) RCR (Criminal) 287; and Baldev Raj Kapoor and another v. State of Haryana 2009(4) RCR (Criminal) 521. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

It is further contended that provision under Section 498-A IPC is being misused. He has also placed reliance upon a judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court rendered in Preeti Gupta and another v. State of Jharkhand and another, JT 2010(8) SC 410, relevant paragraph of which reads as under:-

“13.The complaint in this case under Section 498A IPC has led to
several other cases. It is mentioned that a divorce petition has been
filed by the husband of respondent no.2. Both respondent no.2 and her
husband are highly qualified and are working with reputed
organisation like Tata Consultancy Service. If because of
temperamental incompatibility they cannot live with each other, then
it is proper that they should jointly get a decree of divorce by
mutual consent. Both respondent no.2 and her husband are in such age
group that if proper efforts are made, their re- settlement may not
be impossible.”

Bail application has been vehemently opposed by learned State counsel as well as by learned counsel for the complainant on the plea that though husband of complainant, i.e., son of present petitioners, has already been arrested and interrogated and, however, no jewellery item has been recovered. Rather he stated that all the jewellery articles are in the custody of the present petitioners. It is further contended that though petitioners joined the investigation and, however, they are not cooperating and recovery of jewellery is yet to be effected. Further contended that there are specific allegations of various acts of cruelty having been committed upon complainant by all the family members including the present petitioners and that the complainant has given natural version of the occurrence in the detailed FIR lodged by her. Further submitted that petitioners themselves appeared before Hon’ble Delhi High Court for anticipatory bail and Hon’ble Delhi High Court granted transit bail to petitioners with a direction to surrender before the concerned Magistrate in Faridabad latest by 8th November 2010 and, however, instead of complying with the said order, they filed another anticipatory bail applications before the Court of Sessions, Faridabad, which were declined vide orders Annexures P7 and P8. Hence, it is contended that another application for anticipatory bail is not maintainable. It is further submitted that none of the judgments, on which reliance has been placed by learned Senior counsel for the petitioners, is applicable to the facts of present case as in this case husband has himself taken the plea that all the jewellery articles are in possession of the present petitioners. It is further submitted that respondent-complainant has given all the details of jewellery articles given in dowry and entrusted to the present petitioners and the other persons and detail was also mentioned in the income tax returns as well as in the account books of the firm of the father of the complainant and that all the details including bills and income tax returns have been provided to the Investigating Officer, a fact which is not disputed by learned State counsel.

It is further submitted that after complainant was turned out of the matrimonial home, divorce petition was filed by son of petitioners, i.e., husband of the complainant on 8.2.2010 and, however, when complainant filed petition for maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C., the said petition was withdrawn. It is also contended that son of present petitioners is having relations with some other girl, namely, Maneka, and he intended to contract the marriage with her after seeking divorce from the complainant. Hence, it is contended that in view of serious allegations of harassment and cruelty including physical violence and in view of the fact that jewellery articles are yet to be recovered, it is not such a case in which extraordinary relief of anticipatory bail should be granted to the petitioners-accused.

As is clear from the aforementioned facts, complainant has given detailed and natural version of the entire occurrence starting from the time when talks for marriage were initiated. Many gift items were given before the marriage and at the time of shagun and engagement ceremonies. Sufficient amount was spent on the marriage. Many jewellery articles were given in marriage which was accounted for in the account books of the father of the complainant and income tax returns. Bills for purchasing the same were also handed over to the Investigating Officer. However, none of the said jewellery articles has been recovered. She has given details of all the acts of cruelty being committed upon her by petitioners and other family members. There were also allegations of acts of physical violence. She was even tried to be strangulated by petitioners and other co-accused. Hence, she had to leave the house of the petitioners. The cruelty was to the extent that there were allegations that petitioners wanted to contract the marriage of their son with some other lady. Son of the petitioners also filed a divorce petition just after few months of complainant leaving the house of petitioners.

It is pertinent to reproduce the order passed by learned Delhi High Court in the petition moved by petitioners, which reads as under:

“Petitioners, in the instant petitions, are seeking transit bail in
case FIR No.599/2010 registered at Police Station Faridabad Central
for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A and 406 IPC read
with Section 34 IPC.

Learned counsel for the petitioners submit that petitioners are
innocent and they have been falsely implicated in this case because
of a matrimonial discord and they apprehend immediate arrest by the
police.

Taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case, the
request for anticipatory transit bail is allowed, subject to the
condition that petitioners shall put in appearance before the
concerned Magistrate in Faridabad, latest by 8th November 2010.

It is directed that in the event of their arrest, respective
petitioners Vinod Chopra, Veena Chopra and Vidhi Chopra shall be
released on anticipatory bail till 8th November 2010 on their
furnishing personal bonds in the sum of Rs.25,000/- each with one
surety in the like amount each to the satisfaction of the Arresting
Officer/SHO concerned in order to enable them to appear before the
Court concerned.

Petitions are disposed of accordingly.

Copy of this order be given Dasti under the signature of the Court
Master.”

However, instead of surrendering before learned Magistrate, anticipatory bail applications were filed before learned Additional Sessions Judge, which was dismissed and then before this Court. Though interim order was passed in favour of the petitioners on 26.11.2010 and though petitioners joined the investigation, and however, jewellery articles are yet to be recovered.

Hon’ble Apex Court in Preeti Gupta and another’s case (supra) observed that though large number of cases come across in which complaints are not bona fide one and filed with oblique motive and, however, there are also rapid increase in genuine cases of dowry harassment.

The present is such a case of harassment and acts of cruelty having been committed upon complainant on account of dowry. She was turned out of the matrimonial home and, thereafter divorce petition was filed. Efforts were also made by this Court to reconcile the matter. Parties were also sent to Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court and, however, mediation failed.

Hence, in view of these facts, it is not such a case in which extraordinary relief of anticipatory bail should be granted to the petitioners- accused.

Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the present petition filed by petitioners-Vinod Chopra and Veena Chopra for grant of anticipatory bail is, hereby, dismissed being devoid of any merit.

Interim order dated 26.11.2010 stands vacated.

22.5.2012                                          (Ram Chand Gupta)

Judge

meenu

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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
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Vexatious &malicious FIR on inlaws, to wreak vengeance. Disowned love mariage DIL files false 498a 406 on family

  • One of the sons marry a girl outside the caste without consent of the family “…….. inter-caste love marriage of Manoj Kumar Saini, younger brother of petitioner Sanjiv Kumar, was solemnized with complainant-Anju Saini, respondent No.2 (for brevity “the complainant”) on 06.07.2002 in Arya Samaj Mandir at Hisar, without the consent of family members…”
  • The Dad is furious about this intercaste marriage and “… When the father of Manoj Kumar Saini came to know that he is going to perform love marriage with the complainant, then he disowned him(Manoj Kumar) and got published the following public …”
  • The Dad is so shocked that “... he actually suffered serious ailments and ultimately, died due to the attitude of his son Manoj Kumar Saini…”
  • So the marriage completely cuts off this son, and they start living separately from the family !!
  • Living away from the family does NOT save the parents from false cases !! Six years later, the wife (yea..the same love marriage wife) files a 409a, 406 case “….six years after solemnization of marriage, the complainant lodged a complaint against petitioner- Sanjiv Kumar, brother-in-law(Jeth), his wife Suman, sister-in-law(Jethani) and Rani, mother-in-law, inter alia, with the allegations that they started pressurizing her, to bring more money from her parents. They did not give any share out of property and demanded Rs.2-3 lacs…”
  • And the Honourable court concludes “….if the crux of the allegations levelled against the petitioner, as discussed hereinabove, is put together and is perused, then, to my mind, no pointed offences are made out against the petitioner and the complainant has vexatiously and maliciously filed the FIR(Annexure P-5) against him, in order to wreak vengeance. In case, the complainant is permitted to prosecute her brother-in-law(Jeth), who is residing separately, then it will inculcate and perpetuate great injustice to him. In this manner, the complainant appears to have falsely involved the petitioner in the present case…”

Such is the fate of Marriages in India

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Criminal Misc.No.M-28371 of 2008
Date of Decision:21.05.2012
Sanjiv Kumar                                                          ……Petitioner
Versus
State of Haryana and another                                       …..Respondents

CORAM:         HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MEHINDER SINGH SULLAR.

Present:
Mr.Pritam Saini, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr.Kartar Singh, Deputy Advocate General, Haryana, for respondent No.1-State.
Mr.Rakesh Nehra, Advocate, for respondent No.2.
********************

MEHINDER SINGH SULLAR, J.(oral)

Tersely, the facts and material, culminating in the commencement, relevant for disposal of the instant petition and emanating from the record are that, inter-caste love marriage of Manoj Kumar Saini, younger brother of petitioner Sanjiv Kumar, was solemnized with complainant-Anju Saini, respondent No.2 (for brevity “the complainant”) on 06.07.2002 in Arya Samaj Mandir at Hisar, without the consent of family members. When the father of Manoj Kumar Saini came to know that he is going to perform love marriage with the complainant, then he disowned him(Manoj Kumar) and got published the following public notice on 11.06.2002:-

       “I declare that my son, Manoj Saini, who is out of my control
       has no relation with me. I have disowned him from my movable and
       immovable property. Anyone having any type of dealing with him
       shall himself be responsible.”

2. As soon as, he came to know about the inter-caste marriage, in the meantime, he actually suffered serious ailments and ultimately, died due to the attitude of his son Manoj Kumar Saini. On 20.04.2008, i.e. six years after solemnization of marriage, the complainant lodged a complaint against petitioner- Sanjiv Kumar, brother-in-law(Jeth), his wife Suman, sister-in-law(Jethani) and Rani, mother-in-law, inter alia, with the allegations that they started pressurizing her, to bring more money from her parents. They did not give any share out of property and demanded Rs.2-3 lacs. According to the complainant that, she left her matrimonial home due to fear and started residing with her younger sister. She apprehended danger to her life, as she was unable to fulfill their demand of dowry. In the background of these allegations, a criminal case was registered against the petitioner and his other co-accused, by way of FIR No.258 dated 20.04.2008 (Annexure P-5), on accusation of having committed the offence punishable under Sections 498-A, 406 and 506/34 IPC, by the police of Police Station City, Rohtak.

3. Although, during the course of investigation, Rani(mother-in-law) and Suman, sister-in-law(Jethani) of the complainant, were found innocent, however, the police submitted the challan/final police report in the court against the petitioner in terms of Section 173 Cr.P.C., to face the trial for the commission of pointed offences.

4. The petitioner-accused did not feel satisfied with the initiation of the criminal prosecution against him and preferred the present petition, to quash the impugned FIR(Annexure P-5), invoking the provisions of Section 482 Cr.P.C.

5. The case set-up by the petitioner, in brief, insofar as relevant, is that the complainant performed inter-caste love marriage with Manoj Kumar Saini against the wishes of his father, who had disowned him. They were residing separately. Ultimately, his father died due to shock. After his death, the complainant and her husband started misbehaving with his family members. Manoj Kumar Saini tried to forcibly enter into the house with the help of miscreants, then the mother of the petitioner submitted an application to the police as well as to the higher authorities. It was alleged that the petitioner, who was a practicing Lawyer, had shifted from Rohtak and practiced from September 2001 to January 2004 at Chandigarh. After the death of his father, he has again shifted to Rohtak. His younger brother Manoj Kumar Saini and his wife(complainant) started harassing his family members. They wanted to forcibly occupy the house and illegally demanded share in the property. When the mother of the petitioner refused to give him the property, then Manoj Kumar Saini with the connivance of his wife(complainant), managed to lodge the FIR(Annexure P-5) against the petitioner, in order to take the revenge. It has been specifically pleaded in para 15 of the petition as under:-

“That from facts and circumstances narrated above, it is clear that registration of FIR against the petitioner is clear cut misuse of the provisions of Section 498-A/406 IPC. From the facts narrated above, it is clear that the complainant and Manoj Kumar had solemnized the love marriage without consent of the family of the petitioner. The petitioner actually being an elder brother of Manoj Kumar has been involved in the present case. Otherwise, question of harassment and raising a demand of dowry does not arise. The fact of the matter is that not only the petitioner but the entire family of the petitioner is being harassed by Manoj Kumar and the complainant with active connivance. When both the husband and wife failed to achieve the target to get share in the property, now they in concert with each other i.e. husband and wife, got registered the FIR and complaint under provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 so that the petitioner, his mother and sister get involved in the litigation and, ultimately, would agree to share the property with them. Thus, on this score alone, the FIR registered against the petitioner is totally baseless and the allegations levelled in the FIR cannot be taken against the petitioner at all.”

6. Levelling a variety of allegations and narrating the sequence of events in detail, in all, the petitioner claimed that he has been falsely implicated, in order to take revenge and wreak vengeance by the complainant with the connivance of his younger brother Manoj Kumar Saini, with the intention to illegally get share in the property. On the strength of aforesaid grounds, the petitioner sought to quash the impugned FIR(Annexure P-5), in the manner depicted hereinabove.

7. The respondents refuted the prayer of the petitioner and filed their respective replies, inter alia, pleading certain preliminary objections of, maintainability of the petition, cause of action and locus standi of the petitioner. Instead of reproducing the entire contents of the reply and in order to avoid the repetition, suffice it to say that, that the respondents have reiterated the allegations contained in the impugned FIR(Annexure P-5). However, it will not be out of place to mention here that they have stoutly denied all other allegations contained in the main petition and prayed for its dismissal. That is how, I am seized of the matter.

8. After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, going through the record with their valuable help and after considering the entire matter deeply, to my mind, the instant petition deserves to be accepted in this context.

9. As is evident from the record that, the inter-caste love marriage of the complainant was solemnized with Manoj Kumar Saini on 06.07.2002, whereas the present FIR was lodged against the petitioner, his wife and mother on 20.04.2008(i.e., after a period of six years). During the course of investigation, the story of the complainant was disbelieved qua wife and mother of the petitioner and they were found innocent. Only petitioner, brother-in-law(Jeth) of the complainant was charged for the commission of the indicated offences.

10. Not only that, copy of the Ration Card(Annexure P-1) would go to show that complainant-Anju Saini was residing separately with her husband Manoj Kumar Saini and daugher Manvi. Manoj Kumar Saini was disowned by his father. Manoj Kumar and the complainant broke open the lock of the house and his mother Rani reported the matter to the police, to take action against them, vide complaint dated 15.07.2006(Annexure P-2). She moved another complaint dated 16.08.2007(Annexure P-3) to the SHO, Police Station City, Rohtak. The incident of trespassing by the complainant and her husband was published by virtue of publication(Annexure P-4).

11. This is not the end of the matter. Again, the complainant has also filed another separate complaint(Annexure P-6) against the accused under Sections 12, 17 to 20 and 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and Section 498-A IPC, to which, the petitioner filed the reply(Annexure P-7). The proceedings(Annexure P-8) were also initiated under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. between the parties. Manoj Kumar Saini, husband of the complainant, lodged another FIR No.680 dated 18.09.2009(Annexure P-9) under Sections 323, 324 and 34 IPC against the petitioner, his wife and two other unknown persons. In other words, it stands proved on record that the complainant and her husband were residing separately from the family of the petitioner, which falsifies the claim of the complainant contained in the FIR(Annexure P-5), wherein she stated that her mother-in-law started pressurizing her for bringing money. They tried to illegally trespass the house of his mother Rani and she reported the matter to the police. There is a long line of complaints between the parties.

12. The only allegations alleged against the petitioner, his wife and mother, were that they started pressurizing her for bringing more money. The wife and mother of the petitioner were found innocent by the police during the course of investigation. That means, the story of the complainant relatable to them has already been disbelieved even by the investigating agency. Once it is proved that the complainant and her husband were residing separately, whereas the petitioner was residing separately, in that eventuality, how, when, where, in what manner and in whose presence, the dowry articles were entrusted to him at the time of inter- caste love marriage or the petitioner has treated her(complainant) with cruelty and in what manner, he is remotely connected with the commission of the indicated offences, remains an unfolded mystery. The complainant with the connivance of her husband appears to have maliciously and vexatiously involved the petitioner in this case, in order to wreak vengeance and to take the revenge, after the expiry of period of six years from solemnization of their marriage.

13. Moreover, as indicated here-in-above, very very vague allegations are assigned to the petitioner in the FIR. The only allegations assigned to the present petitioner are that, he asked that they cannot bear their expenses and will not give anything out of their property, bring Rs.2-3 lacs from your mother, otherwise they will burn her alive. Thereafter due to fear, she left her matrimonial home. The allegations are as vague as anything and no specific role or overt-act is attributed to the petitioner. Above all, it is highly impossible to believe that the petitioner(who is brother-in-law(Jeth) of the complainant) would treat her with cruelty in connection with and on account of demand of dowry.

14. It is now well settled principle of law that, in order to attract the penal provisions of the offences punishable under Sections 406 and 498-A IPC, there must be specific allegations/overt acts and prima facie material against the petitioner to indicate that the dowry articles were actually entrusted to him and he misappropriated the same. The in-laws and other relations cannot, in all cases, be held to be involved in the demand of dowry. In cases, where such accusation is made, the overt acts attributed to such persons, other than husband, are required to be prima facie established. By mere conjectures and implications, such relations cannot be held to be involved for the offences relating to the demand of dowry, which are totally lacking in the present case. As the Bench mark, all the essential ingredients to constitute the offences and element of the complicity of petitioner, are totally missing, therefore, to me, no criminal prosecution can legally be permitted to continue against him, in view of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in cases Ramesh and others Versus State of Tamil Nadu, 2005 (2) R.C.R.(Criminal) 68, Sushil Kumar Sharma Versus Union of India and others, 2005(3) R.C.R.(Criminal) 745 and Kans Raj Versus State of Punjab and others, 2000(2) R.C.R.(Criminal) 695.

15. An identical question came to be decided by the Hon’ble Apex Court in case Preeti Gupta & Another v. State of Jharkhand & Another 2010(7) SCC 667. Having interpreted the provisions of Section 498-A IPC, it was ruled as under (paras 30 to 36) :-

“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.

31. The learned members of the Bar have enormous social
responsibility and obligation to ensure that the social fiber of
family life is not ruined or demolished. They must ensure that
exaggerated versions of small incidents should not be reflected
in the criminal complaints. Majority of the complaints are filed
either on their advice or with their concurrence. The learned
members of the Bar who belong to a noble profession must
maintain its noble traditions and should treat every complaint
under section 498-A as a basic human problem and must make
serious endeavour to help the parties in arriving at an amicable
resolution of that human problem. They must discharge their
duties to the best of their abilities to ensure that social
fiber, peace and tranquility of the society remains intact. The
members of the Bar should also ensure that one complaint should
not lead to multiple cases.

32. Unfortunately, at the time of filing of the complaint the
implications and consequences are not properly visualized by the
complainant that such complaint can lead to insurmountable
harassment, agony and pain to the complainant, accused and his
close relations.

33. The ultimate object of justice is to find out the truth and
punish the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the
truth is a herculean task in majority of these complaints. The
tendency of implicating husband and all his immediate relations
is also not uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of
criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the real truth. The
courts have to be extremely careful and cautious in dealing with
these complaints and must take pragmatic realities into
consideration while dealing with matrimonial cases. The
allegations of harassment of husband’s close relations who had
been living in different cities and never visited or rarely
visited the place where the complainant resided would have an
entirely different complexion. The allegations of the complaint
are required to be scrutinized with great care and
circumspection. Experience reveals that long and protracted
criminal trials lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the
relationship amongst the parties. It is also a matter of common
knowledge that in cases filed by the complainant if the husband
or the husband’s relations had to remain in jail even for a few
days, it would ruin the chances of amicable settlement
altogether. The process of suffering is extremely long and
painful.

34. Before parting with this case, we would like to observe
that a serious relook of the entire provision is warranted by
the legislation. It is also a matter of common knowledge that
exaggerated versions of the incident are reflected in a large
number of complaints. The tendency of over implication is also
reflected in a very large number of cases.

35. The criminal trials lead to immense sufferings for all
concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may also not be
able to wipe out the deep scars of suffering of ignominy.
Unfortunately a large number of these complaints have not only
flooded the courts but also have led to enormous social unrest
affecting peace, harmony and happiness of the society. It is
high time that the legislature must take into consideration the
pragmatic realities and make suitable changes in the existing
law. It is imperative for the legislature to take into
consideration the informed public opinion and the pragmatic
realities in consideration and make necessary changes in the
relevant provisions of law. We direct the Registry to send a
copy of this judgment to the Law Commission and to the Union Law
Secretary, Government of India who may place it before the
Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice to take appropriate steps in
the larger interest of the society.

36. When the facts and circumstances of the case are considered
in the background of legal principles set out in preceding
paragraphs, then it would be unfair to compel the appellants to
undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial. In the interest of
justice, we deem it appropriate to quash the complaint against
the appellants. As a result, the impugned judgment of the High
Court is set aside. Consequently, this appeal is allowed.”

16. Again, this Court has also considered this aspect of the matter in cases Harjinder Kaur and others v. State of Punjab 2004(4) RCR(Criminal) 332; Labh Singh and others v. State of Haryana 2006(2) RCR (Criminal) 296; Rakesh Kumar and others v. State of Punjab and others 2009(2) RCR (Criminal) 565; Mohinder Kaur & Others v. State of Punjab & Another 2010 (2) RCR(Criminal) 597, Paramjit Kaur v. State of Punjab 2011(5) RCR (Criminal) 686 and the judgment dated 17.1.2012 rendered in case Ritu Khurana and another v. Brij Lal Chopra CRM No.M-8227 of 2010; wherein it was held that “the allegations against the relatives of the husband were vague and there is growing tendency to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations roping in each and every relation of the husband, things have now taken a reverse trend and the women are abusing beneficial provisions of Section 498-A IPC.”

17. In this manner, the argument of the learned counsel that the petitioner has been falsely implicated by the complainant and her husband in this case, has considerable force and the contrary contentions on behalf of learned counsel for the complainant-respondent pale into insignificance, “stricto sensu” deserve to be and are hereby repelled under the present set of circumstances. The ratio of law laid down in the aforesaid judgments “mutatis mutandis” is fully attracted to the facts of the present case and is the complete answer to the problem in hand.

18. Therefore, if the crux of the allegations levelled against the petitioner, as discussed hereinabove, is put together and is perused, then, to my mind, no pointed offences are made out against the petitioner and the complainant has vexatiously and maliciously filed the FIR(Annexure P-5) against him, in order to wreak vengeance. In case, the complainant is permitted to prosecute her brother-in-law(Jeth), who is residing separately, then it will inculcate and perpetuate great injustice to him. In this manner, the complainant appears to have falsely involved the petitioner in the present case. Therefore, to me, the impugned FIR(Annexure P-5) and all other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom, deserve to be quashed in the obtaining circumstances of the case.

19. No other legal point, worth consideration, has either been urged or pressed by the counsel for the parties.

20. In the light of aforesaid reasons, the instant petition is accepted. Consequently, the impugned FIR(Annexure P-5) and all other subsequent proceedings arising therefrom, are hereby quashed. The petitioner is accordingly, discharged from the indicated criminal case registered against him.

May 21, 2012                                         (MEHINDER SINGH SULLAR)

seema                                                       JUDGE

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