Category Archives: 498a on elders

Allowing trial to proceed against innocent relatives, outsiders is a travesty of justice & abuse of law. 498a cocktail quashed

////15. It may be seen from the aforesaid judgments that the Supreme Court has expressed its concerned with regard to false implication of husband and his relatives in the cases under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code by disgruntled wives. It has also been held that the tendency of falsely implicating even those relatives of husband, who lived separately and in different cities is also growing. It has been held that if there are no specific and credible allegations against, with necessary particulars against the relatives of the husband, they should not be made to suffer the ignominy of a criminal trial.

In the instant case, as we have already seen that there are specific allegations against husband Shrikant and his father Sudama Prasad who lived together in the matrimonial home of the complainant along with her. Thus, the power under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be used to stifle their prosecution. However, so far as remaining applicants/accused persons are concerned, none of them lived together with the husband and father-in-law in the matrimonial home of the complainant. Moreover, there are no specific and credible allegations with necessary particulars, against them. Only omnibus allegations shorn of even basic details, have been leveled; therefore, in the opinion of this Court, they should not be made to undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial. Allowing trial to proceed against the aforesaid relatives would be travesty of justice and abuse of process of law. As such, exercise of extra-ordinary powers of the High Court reserved under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is called for.
/////

10-12-2015

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH : AT JABALPUR

Miscellaneous Criminal Case No.2112/2015

Shrikant Tamrakar and others
Vs.
State of Madhya Pradesh and another

Present:- Hon’ble Shri Justice C.V. Sirpurkar

Dr.Anuvad Shrivastava, counsel for the applicant.
Shri Amit Pandey, Panel Lawyer for the respondent/State.

ORDER

(10-12-2015)

  1. This miscellaneous criminal case has been instituted on an application under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure filed on behalf of applicants/accused persons in Crime No.32/2015 registered by P.S. City Kotwali, Chhindwara, under section 498-A read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
  2. The facts giving rise to this miscellaneous criminal case may briefly be stated thus: Complainant Harshna Paigwar filed a written report with the police to the effect that she was married to applicant/accused No.1 Shrikant Paigwar/Tamrakar by Hindu Rites in a Group Marriage Ceremony under the Chief Minister’s Scheme at Chhindwara, on 06-06-2014. In the marriage, her mother spent about Rs.4,00,000/- and gave gold and silver ornaments and house- hold items to the complainant. In addition thereto, she had also given Rs.2,00,000/- in cash and clothes at the time of engagement ceremony. Applicants/accused Sudama Prasad Tamrakar is father, Amarlal Tamrakar is father’s brother-in- law, Uma Tamrakar is father’s sister, Anoop Tamrakar is brother-in-law, Eshwari Tamrakar is sister, Sachin Chandravanshi is brother-in-law and Jaishri Chandravanshi is sister of applicant No.1 Shrikant Tamrakar. Applicant No.9 Krishna Tamrakar is not in relation with applicant No.1 Shrikant Tamrakar. When the complainant went to matrimonial home at Chhindwara, from her maternal home at Chichli, Gadarwara, her two sisters-in-law Eshwari and Jaishri and their husbands Anoop and Sachin as also her father-in- law’s sister Uma and her husband Amarlal Tamrakar as well as Krishna Tamrakar started saying that her mother had given nothing in dowry. She ought to have given at least Rs.5,00,000/-. Krishna Tamrakar said that at Chhindwara people evem spent 10,00,000/- in marriages. The aforesaid relatives of her husband started taunting and mentally harassing her. Sudama, her father-in-law also mentally harassed her for dowry. Her husband Shrikant called his friends, to consume liquor in her matrimonial home. Shrikant told the complainant to do everything she does with him, with his friends as well. Her husband and father-in-law pressurized her to ask her mother on telephone to give a shop in dowry. Her husband and her father-in-law also forcibly administered intoxicating tablets and on one occasion, an injection to her. Once her husband and father-in-law tried to pour kerosene on her; whereon she ran away to her neighbours’ place and called her mother on telephone. Thereafter her mother came and took her to her maternal home. Her husband and father- in-law say that they would take her to her maternal home only after her mother would make arrangement for more dowry. The FIR was lodged on 14-01-2015. After investigation, charge-sheet was filed in the Court on 26-09-2015.
  3. The applicants have prayed for quashing the first information report and the proceedings arising therefrom on the ground that applicant No.1 Shrikant married complainant Harshna in Group Marriage Ceremony under the Chief Minister’s Scheme. The family of applicant Shrikant lived below poverty line. The complainant lived at her matrimonial home with applicant Shrikant only after a brief period of 10-12 days. Thereafter, her mother took her to her matrimonial home leveling false allegations against applicant Shrikant and other family members. Since, the complainant refused to live with applicant No.1 Shrikant, he served a notice dated 25-08-2014 upon her through his advocate by registered post but the complainant did not pay any heed to the aforesaid notice. Consequently applicant No.1 Shrikant Tamrakar filed an application under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act in the Court of Principal Judge, Family Court, Chhindwara on 18-11-2014, for restitution of conjugal rights which has been registered as Hindu Marriage Petition No.418/2014. As a counter blast to the said application, the complainant filed present first information report on 15-01-2015, wherein false allegations have been leveled not only against applicant Shrikant and father Sudama Prasad but also against Krishna Tamrakar, who is not related to applicant Shrikant as also other relatives, who lived in other towns separate from applicant Shrikant on omnibus allegations. Therefore, it has been prayed that the first information report and the criminal proceedings arising therefrom be quashed.
  4. A notice was directed to be issued against the complainant (respondent No.2 Harshna); however, a perusal of the Court order dated 06-08-2015 reveals that no one had appeared on behalf of the respondent No.2 even after due service upon her. Thus, complainant was not represented before the Court at the time of arguments.
  5. On due consideration of the contentions of learned counsel for the applicants and respondent No.1/State as also after perusal of the case diary, this Court is of the view that this application under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure must succeed in part.
  6. It is admitted that charge sheet in the matter has been filed. However, it has been held by the Apex Court in the case of Satish Mehra Vs. State (NCT of Delhi) and another, AIR 2013 SC 506 that the power to interdict a proceeding either at the threshold or at an intermediate stage of the trial is inherent in a High Court on the broad principle that in case the allegations made in the FIR or the criminal complaint, as the case may be, prima facie do not disclose a triable offence, there can be no reason as to why the accused should be made to suffer the agony of legal proceeding. Thus, such power would be available for exercise not only at the threshold of a criminal proceeding but also at a relatively advanced stage thereof, namely, after framing of charge against the accused. Thus, the High Court can certainly exercise power under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after filing of the charge sheet or even after framing of charge.
  7. It has also been held by the Supreme Court in the case of Harshendra Kumar D. Vs. Rebatilata Koley AIR 2011 SC 1090 that uncontroverted documents or material of unimpeachable or sterling character may be considered while exercising jurisdiction under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The same view has been taken by the Supreme Court in the cases of State of Orissa vs. Devendra Nath Padhi, 2005(1) SCC 568, Rukmani vs. Vijaya, AIR 2009 SC 1013 and Rajiv Thapar vs. Madan Lal Kapoor, AIR 2013 SC (supp.) 1056.
  8. Reverting back to the facts and circumstances of the case at hand, it is found that there is nothing on record to suggest that applicant Krishna Tamrakar (accused No.7) is, in any manner related to husband Shrikant Paigwar. Thus, the observation alleged to have been made by him that some people at Chhindwara spent even Rs.10,00,000/- in marriage, is inconsequential and does not make him liable to be implicated in a case under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.
  9. So far as accused persons other than Shrikant, Sudama and Krishna are concerned, Amarlal Tamrakar is brother-in- law of Sudama Prasad. Uma Tamrakar is Amarlal’s wife and Sudama Prasad’s sister. Anoop Kumar is Eshwari’s husband and Shrikant’s brother-in-law. Likewise, Sachin is husband of Jaishri and brother-in-law of Shrikant. Eshwari and Jaishri are married sisters of Shrikant. Sister Eshwari and her husband Anoop Jasathi lived at Cheechli, Tahsil Gadarwara, District Narsinghpur. Other sister Jaishri and her husband Sachin lived at House No.43 Patwari Colony, Khargaon. Sudama’s sister Uma Tamrakar and her husband Amarlal lived at Bhairoganj Seoni. Krishna Tamrakar lived separately from Shrikant and his father Sudama, at Chhota Talab, Chhindwara. Only Shrikant and his father lived together at 23 Nice Chowk Chhindwara. Aforesaid addresses of the applicants have been recorded after investigation, in the charge sheet. Thus, it is admitted position that apart from Shrikant and Sudama no one else has ever resided with the complainant in the same house at Chhindwara.
  10. In the first information report, which was recorded on the basis of a written report, specific allegations have been made against husband Shrikant and his father Sudama Prasad regarding harassment and cruelty for dowry; however, the allegations against the remaining applicants are omnibus in nature and no time and date of the incidents have been given. Moreover, in her statement recorded under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on 25-01-2015, complainant Harshna has simply stated at the end, probably by way of after-thought that other accused persons had said that more money ought to have been given in the marriage and applicants could deserved a better girl. In the end, a general statement was made that all persons had beaten her for dowry. However, no specific role in this regard has been ascribed to any of them nor time and date of the assault has been given. In any case, complainant is said to have stayed in her matrimonial home for not more than 10 or 12 days.
  11. It may be noted in this regard that the Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, 2014(8) SCC 273, observed that: “… There is a phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A IPC is a cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bedridden grandfathers and grandmothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested.
  12. It has been observed by the Supreme Court in Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand , AIR 2010 SC 3363 that:“..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.â? â??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.â?
  13. Likewise, in the case of Neelu Chopra & anr. v. Bharti, AIR 2009 SC(Supp) 2950, Supreme Court held as follows: â??It does not show as to which accused has committed what offence and what is the exact role played by these appellants in the commission of offence. There could be said something against Rajesh, as the allegations are made against him more precisely but he is no more and has already expired. Under such circumstances, it would be an abuse of process of law to allow the prosecution to continue against the aged parents of Rajesh, the present appellants herein on the basis of vague and general complaint which is silent about the precise acts of the appellants.â?
  14. A three judge bench of Supreme Court in the case of Kans Raj vs. State of Punjab, AIR 2000 SC 2324 observed that: â??For the fault of the husband, the in-laws or the other relations cannot, in all cases, be held to be involved in the demand of dowry. In cases where such accusation are made, the overt acts attributed to persons other than husband are required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. By mere conjectures and implications such relations cannot be held guilty for the offence relating to dowry deaths. A tendency has, however, developed for roping in all relations of the in- laws of the deceased wives in the matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against the real culprits. In their over enthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum people, the parents of the deceased have been found to be making efforts for involving other relations which ultimately weaken the case of the prosecution even against the real accused as appears to have happened in the instant case.â?
  15. It may be seen from the aforesaid judgments that the Supreme Court has expressed its concerned with regard to false implication of husband and his relatives in the cases under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code by disgruntled wives. It has also been held that the tendency of falsely implicating even those relatives of husband, who lived separately and in different cities is also growing. It has been held that if there are no specific and credible allegations against, with necessary particulars against the relatives of the husband, they should not be made to suffer the ignominy of a criminal trial.
  16. In the instant case, as we have already seen that there are specific allegations against husband Shrikant and his father Sudama Prasad who lived together in the matrimonial home of the complainant along with her. Thus, the power under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be used to stifle their prosecution. However, so far as remaining applicants/accused persons are concerned, none of them lived together with the husband and father-in-law in the matrimonial home of the complainant. Moreover, there are no specific and credible allegations with necessary particulars, against them. Only omnibus allegations shorn of even basic details, have been leveled; therefore, in the opinion of this Court, they should not be made to undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial. Allowing trial to proceed against the aforesaid relatives would be travesty of justice and abuse of process of law. As such, exercise of extra-ordinary powers of the High Court reserved under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is called for.
  17. Consequently, this application under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is allowed in part.
  18. The first information report registered by P.S. City Kotwali, Chhindwara, in Crime No.32/2015 under section 498-A read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and the criminal proceedings arising therefrom pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Chhindwara, so far as they relate to applicants Eshwari, Anoop, Jaishri, Sachin, Uma, Amarlal and Krishna are quashed. The trial arising from aforesaid first information report against husband Shrikant and father-in-law Sudama Prasad, shall continue in accordance with law.

(C V SIRPURKAR) JUDGE

Fake #498a wife’s #transfer petition on HMOP #dismissed by #Madras #HighCourt

Aunt and uncle arrested in wee hours by police, on the basis of a fake #498a file MUCH after matirmonial discord started

US based NRI husband & relatives accused

HC refuses wife’s transfer petition !!


 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 20.01.2009

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.VENUGOPAL

Tr.C.M.P.No.361 of 2008

Nivashini Mohan .. Petitioner

Versus

R.Nivendran .. Respondent

Transfer Civil Miscellaneous Petition is filed to withdraw and transfer the H.M.O.P.No.311 of 2008 from the file of the II Additional Family Court, Chennai to the file of the Sub-Court, Chengalpattu to be tried along with H.M.O.P.No.201/2008.

For Petitioner : Mr.T.R.Senthil Kumar

For Respondent : Mr.Thomas T.Jacob

ORDER

The petitioner/wife has filed this Transfer C.M.P.361/2008 praying for issuance of an order by this Court, directing the transfer of HMOP.311/2008 from the fire of the II Additional Family Court, Chennai to the file of the Sub-Court, Chengalpattu to be tried along with HMOP.201/2008.

  1. The petitioner/wife in her affidavit in the Transfer Petition has averred that her marriage with the respondent/husband has taken place on 2.7.2006 according to Hindu Rites and Customs at Vemubuli Amman Temple, Aminjikarai, Chennai, though the marriage has been formally registered on 28.06.2006 and later by the threat and compulsion of the respondent/husband registered the marriage at Sub-Registrar Office, Pammal on 26.09.2005 and because of the continuous harassment and demand of dowry by the respondent/husband and his family members, she has faced cruelty and mental agony and that after her marriage, within a short span of three months. She has been driven out of the matrimonial house three times by the family members of the respondent/husband and that she has been compelled to give up her job and that she has been threatened to abort even at the very early stage of her pregnancy and that she has been forced to locate a rented house near her office at Perungudi on intimation to the respondent/husband, as per the advise of the Doctor and that she shifted her residence on 1.12.2006 and that having waited for two months, she sent E-mails to the respondent/husband narrating all the ill-treatments and cruelty meted out to her. The respondent/husband filed HMOP.352/2007 before the Principal Family Court, Chennai under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act alleging as if the petitioner/wife has refused to join with him and on 18.4.2007, the said HMOP has been dismissed based on the endorsement made by the parties and the respondent/husband has come to Perungudi after three days on 21.04.2007 and that during the said stay of the respondent/husband from 21.04.2007, he has threatened the petitioner/wife to give consent for divorce or comply with the demand of his family members and after the birth of the male child, the respondent/husband with his family members identified a rented house, an unfinished one near his parents residence at Arumbakkam and that she has been asked to vacate the house at Perungudi on 31.07.2007 and that the respondent/husband has brought her and the child to Vandalur at the residence of her parents etc.
  2. It is the further case of the petitioner/wife that she has been required to come with the 40 days infant child to Arumbakkam on 8.8.2007 to the newly rented house in the second floor at Arumbakkam and on believing the assurance of the respondent/husband, when she went there on 8.8.2007, the respondent/husband has not taken care of her and her child and used to go to his parents house even without providing food etc and that the child’s eyes were affected and that the respondent/husband sent her out from the matrimonial house on 11.08.2007, on the ill advise of his family members.

  3. Eversince the time she has been driven out by her husband, she has been living at Vandalur with the help of her parents and that she made frequent efforts to contact the respondent/husband to take clothes and medicines for the child etc and later she shifted her house to Tharamani near her office after intimating the same to the respondent/husband and she came to know that the respondent/husband was in abroad in U.S.A during that time. But her efforts to contact him has ended in vain and later she gave a complaint before the Protection Officer, Teynampet, Chennai requesting for arranging a reunion with the respondent/husband, but he participated in the enquiry on 31.1.2007, but failed to yield the advise of the Protection Officer and subsequently, she has been perforced to file a criminal complaint before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Egmore, Chennai and the same being forwarded to the Inspector of Police, W7-All Women Police Station, Anna Nagar, Chennai which culminated in filing of charge sheet in C.C.10989/2008 against the respondent and his family members and prior to that she has filed HMOP.201/2008 before the Sub-Court, Chengalpattu under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act praying for restitution of conjugal rights and that the respondent has entered appearance through his counsel and later, she has been informed by her friend that a Paper Publication, dated 5.7.2008 has been effected by the respondent as a public notice for her appearance on 2.9.2008 in a case before the II Additional Family Court, Chennai in O.P.311/2008.

  4. With this background, the learned counsel for the petitioner/wife submits that the petitioner/wife has to spend a minimum of 4 hours for her travel from Chengalpattu to the court at Chennai for her appearance and further that as per the Family Court proceedings, the personal appearance of the parties on the date of hearing is mandatory and as such, the wife may not be able to appear before the II Additional Family Court on every hearing date, since she has a child and living near Chengalpattu and therefore prays for allowing the Transfer Original Petition in the interest of justice.

  5. The respondent/husband has filed a detailed counter inter alia stating that he sent a mail on 16.01.2007, requesting the petitioner/wife to sort out differences if any by going before the marital counselling. But the same has been shunted with retaliatory mails abusing him and his parents and that he filed O.P.352/2007 before the Principal Family Court for restitution of conjugal rights and after the disposal of the complaint, the petitioner/wife has refused to live in his house stating many allegations against his parents and sister that they would be ill treating her etc. and when there were vast difference of opinion at the end of the counselling both have agreed to start a new life forgetting the past and also with an agreement to accept each others parents etc. and that because of the attitude of the petitioner/wife, the marriage has ultimately broken and that the petitioner/wife has filed a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act before the Protection Officer, Teynampet, Chennai against him, his parents, sister, uncle and aunt and he has been in USA during this period and since he returned to Chennai, he informed the Protection Officer who has taken part in the enquiry and later he filed O.P.311/2008 on the file of the II Additional Family Court, Chennai on 1.12.2008 and in the meanwhile, the petitioner/wife has filed a false complaint before the learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai under the Dowry Prohibition Act and the Domestic Violence Act and a First Information Report has been registered on the evening of 15.04.2008 and that his parents, sister, uncle and aunt have been taken into custody on 16.4.2008 early morning and that a charge sheet has been filed in C.C.10981/2008 before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court and that complaint has been filed against the suspended Inspector of Police Mrs.Rajalakshmi for her partial attitude and non-investigation of the case as per the Criminal Procedure Code and the same is pending enquiry by the Directorate of Prosecution.

  6. Continuing further, with a view to harass the respondent/husband and his family another case C.C.356/2008 has been filed before the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Chengalpattu by the petitioner/wife in a different jurisdiction upon the same cause of action. When a complaint has been preferred to the Protection Officer, Chennai under the same act is pending and that the petitioner has subjected herself to the jurisdiction of Chennai in the marital case earlier when she has been residing in a residence outside the jurisdiction of the Court and that she has also sought the relief before the Protection Officer, Chennai, when she has been residing outside the jurisdiction and in C.C.10981/2008 pending before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, she has sought the relief, while she has been outside the jurisdiction and that the restitution of conjugal rights proceedings instituted in Chengalpattu and therefore, the respondent/husband prays for dismissing the transfer petition.

  7. It is true that in transfer of matrimonial petitions, convenience of the wife must be given the prime importance. The important principle for exercising of the powers under Section 24 of the C.P.C. is the convenience and inconvenience of the parties. The question of expediency will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, the paramount consideration for exercise of the power must be to meet the ends of justice. For the purpose of transfer, the balance of convenience of the parties should be considered. Moreover, the petition under Section 24 of C.P.C. is not to be dealt with lightly and the transfer of a case from one court to another should not be granted readily for any fancied notion of the petitioning party. For the purpose of transfer, a court of law is required to find out whether a particular party has chosen a forum in utter disregard to the convenience of the parties for some ulterior object and in abuse of her position as a arbiter litus. The basic principle is for exercise of power under Section 24 of the CPC. is the convenience and the inconvenience of the parties.

  8. The prayer of the petitioner/wife is that she was residing at Guduvancherry and OP.201/2008 is pending on the file of the Sub-Court, Chengalpattu and that her husband, namely, the respondent has filed O.P.311/2008 on the file of the II Additional Family Court, Chennai and that she has not been in a position to appear before the Family Court, Chennai inasmuch as the Court at Chennai is very near to her residence and that she has to spend a minimum of 4 hours for travel from Chengalpattu to Chennai to appear before the II Additional Family Court, Chennai in connection with the hearing of O.P.311/2008 and therefore, the application for transfer may be allowed by this Court to promote the substantial cause of justice.

  9. Admittedly, the respondent/husband is facing some cases C.C.356/2008 on the file of the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Chengalpattu, C.C.10981/2008 on the file of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Chennai and in between the parties, matrimonial Original Petitions are pending. The fact that the petitioner/wife has earlier subjected herself to the jurisdiction of Chennai in a matrimonial case, when she has been residing in a residence outside the Court jurisdiction cannot be disputed. Furthermore, she has also sought the relief of Protection Officer in Chennai, while she has been residing outside the jurisdiction. The case in C.C.10981/2008 pending on the file of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court has been initiated, when the petitioner’s residence has been outside the courts jurisdiction. The petitioner/wife has also filed C.C.356/2008 on the file of the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Chengalpattu under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act. One cannot brush aside an important fact that the HMOP.201/2008 filed by the petitioner/wife before the Sub-Court, Chengalpattu is only after the filing of the two criminal cases.

  10. Be that as it may, on a careful consideration of the respective contentions, this Court is of the considered view that it is not possible for this court to allow the Transfer Civil Miscellaneous Petition inasmuch as the balance of convenience is not in favour of the petitioner and in that view of the matter, the petition fails and the same is hereby dismissed. No costs. However liberty is given to the petitioner/wife to file necessary application before the II Additional Family Court, Chennai, where O.P.311/2008 is pending and seek exemption of her personal appearance and on such application is being filed by the petitioner/wife, the II Additional Family Court, Chennai is directed to consider the same on merits, after providing due opportunity to the respondent/husband to file his counter in the manner known to law. The II Additional Family Court, Chennai is directed to dispose of the HMOP.311/2008 within a period of four months from the date of receipt of a copy of this Order. Moreover, the parties are directed to co-operate with the II Additional Family Court with regard to the completion of the proceedings.

.01.2009 Index : Yes/No.

Internet: Yes/No.

M.VENUGOPAL, J.

 

tsi

To

  1. The II Additional Family Judge, Chennai.
  • The Section Officer, V.R.Section, High Court, Madras.

  • Tr.C.M.P.No.361 of 2008

     

    tsi

    Hon J Shri J.B. Pardiwala hits out at stereotype, copy-paste FIRs in his 498a quash !! Dec’16

    Hon Justice Shri J.B. Pardiwala hits out at sterotype, copy-paste FIRs in his recent 498a quash !! Dec’16

    “…20. This Court over a period of time has noticed that the First Information Report field by wife contains following allegations:
    “1. The father of the wife is a beggar.
    2. Rs.5,00,000/- has been demanded by the husband and his family members by way of dowry.”
    Without these two allegations, no First Information Report in the State of Gujarat is complete so far as the offence under Section 498(A) of the IPC is concerned….”

    The Hon HC quashes this false 498a cases roping in relatives with an oblique motive !!

    *************** case from Gujarat HC website *********************

    R/CR.MA/7507/2015 JUDGMENT

    IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

    CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION (FOR QUASHING & SET ASIDE FIR/ORDER) NO. 7507 of 2015

    FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA

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

    BIPINKUMAR DEVENDRABHAI PARMAR & 3….Applicant(s)

    Versus

    STATE OF GUJARAT & 1….Respondent(s)

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

    Appearance:

    MR ZUBIN F BHARDA, ADVOCATE for the Applicant(s) No. 1 – 4

    MR.HIREN M MODI, ADVOCATE for the Respondent(s) No. 2

    MS SHRUTI PATHAK, APP for the Respondent(s) No. 1

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

    CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA

    Date : 09/12/2016

    ORAL JUDGMENT

    1. By this application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, the applicants-original accused persons seek to invoke inherent powers of this Court praying for quashing the First Information Report registered as C.R. No.I-87/2015 with the Gotri Police Station, District-Vadodara for the offence punishable under Section 498(A), 323, 294(b) read with Section 114 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
    2. The case of the first informant as reflected from the First Information Report may be summarized as under: 2.1 The first informant got married with the applicant no.1 on 19.05.2014. The applicant no.2 is the father-in-law. The applicant no.3 is the mother-in-law and the applicant no.4 is the sister-in-law of the first informant. It appears that within a very short time the matrimonial life of the first informant got disturbed. She thought fit to lodge an FIR on 31.03.2015 i.e. within almost one year from the date of the marriage alleging harassment and cruelty at the end of the applicants herein. It is alleged in the FIR that the husband used to ask the first informant to press his legs and head. It is further alleged that the applicants herein also used to ill-treat the first informant. It is alleged that the applicants used to taunt her that she had not brought sufficient dowry from her parental house.
    3. The learned counsel appearing for the applicants would submit that the allegations leveled in the First Information Report are palpably false. The first informant could not adjust herself at the house of the applicants soon after the marriage. The learned counsel further pointed out that efforts were made by the people of the community to dissolve the marriage on certain terms and conditions. He pointed out that the first informant’s family demanded an amount of Rs.3,00,000/- to dissolve the marriage which was not acceptable to the applicants. He would submit that the allegations are stereo type. It is submitted that even if the entire case as put up by the first informant is accepted as true, none of the ingredients to constitute the offence of cruelty within the meaning of Section 498(A) are spelt out. In such circumstances referred to above, the learned counsel prays that the application may be allowed and FIR be quashed. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
    4. On the other hand, this application has been vehemently opposed by Mr. Modi, the learned counsel appearing for the first informant and Ms. Pathak, the learned APP for the State. Both the learned counsel would submit that the plain reading of the FIR prima-facie disclose the commission of a cognizable offence. It is submitted that this Court may not embark upon an inquiry whether the allegations are true or false. A primafacie case is to be seen for the purpose of quashing of the FIR. In such circumstances referred to above both the learned counsel would submit that there being no merit in this application. The same may be rejected.
    5. It is now well settled that the power under Section 482 of the Code has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution, only where such exercise is justified by the tests laid down in the Section itself. It is also well settled that Section 482 of the Code does not confer any new power on the High Court but only saves the inherent power, which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Code. There are three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely (i) to give effect to an order under the Code, (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of Court, and (iii) to otherwise secure the ends of justice.
    6. The investigation of an offence is the field exclusively reserved for the Police Officers, whose powers in that field are unfettered, so long as the power to investigate into the cognizable offence is legitimately exercised in strict compliance with the provisions under Chapter XII of the Code. While exercising powers under Section 482 of the Code, the Court does not function as a Court of appeal or revision. As noted above, the inherent jurisdiction under the Section, although wide, yet should be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the Section itself. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone courts exist. Authority of the court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice, the court has power to prevent such abuse. It would be an abuse of process of the court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise of the powers court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation or continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. When no offence is disclosed by the complaint, the court may examine the question of fact. When a complaint is sought to be quashed, it is permissible to look into the materials to assess what the complainant has alleged and whether any offence is made out even if the allegations are accepted in toto.
    7. In R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab (AIR 1960 SC 866) the apex Court summarized some categories of cases where inherent power can, and should be exercised to quash the proceedings. (i) where it manifestly appears that there is a legal bar against the institution or continuance e.g. want of sanction; ii) where the allegations in the first information report or complaint taken at its face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence alleged; (iii) where the allegations constitute an offence, but there is no legal evidence adduced or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge.
    8. The Supreme Court, in the case of State of A.P. Vs. Vangaveeti Nagaiah, reported in AIR 2009 SC 2646, interpreted clause (iii) referred to above, observing thus: "6. In dealing with the last category, it is important to bear in mind the distinction between a case where there is no legal evidence or where there is evidence which is clearly inconsistent with the accusations made, and a case where there is legal evidence which, on appreciation, may or may not support the accusations. When exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court would not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry whether the evidence in question is reliable or not or whether on a reasonable appreciation of it accusation would not be sustained. hat is the function of the trial Judge. Judicial process no doubt should not be an instrument of oppression, or, needless harassment. Court should be circumspect and judicious in exercising discretion and should take all relevant facts and circumstances into consideration before issuing process, lest it would be an instrument in the hands of a private complainant to unleash vendetta to harass any person needlessly. At the same time the Section is not an instrument handed over to an accused to short-circuit a prosecution and bring about its sudden death. The scope of exercise of power under Section 482 of the Code and the categories of cases where the High Court may exercise its power under it relating to cognizable offences to prevent abuse of process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice were set out in some detail by this Court in State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal [1992 Supp. (1) SCC 335].A note of caution was, however, added that the power should be exercised sparingly and that too in rarest of rare cases. The illustrative categories indicated by this Court are as follows: "(1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused. (2) Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code. (3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the F.I.R. or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused. (4) Where the allegations in the F.I.R. do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a Police Officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code. (5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. (6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party. (7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.
    9. Bearing the aforesaid principles in mind, I need to consider whether the FIR deserves to be quashed so far as the applicants Nos. 2 to 6 are concerned. I have already set out the relations of the petitioners Nos. 2 to 6 with the petitioner No.1 i.e. the husband of the respondent No.2, the complainant.
    10. A plain reading of the FIR and the charge-sheet papers reveal that the allegations levelled by the respondent No.2 are quite vague, general and sweeping, specifying no instances of criminal conduct. Although the respondent No.2 is much more annoyed with her husband, with an obvious motive, has arrayed all the close relatives of her husband in the FIR. The Police also seems to have recorded stereo-type statements of the witnesses who are none other than the parents and other relatives of the respondent No.2 and has filed a charge-sheet. If a person is made to face a criminal trial on some general and sweeping allegations without bringing on record any specific instances of criminal conduct, it is nothing but abuse of process of the Court. The Court owes a duty to subject the allegations levelled in the complaint to a thorough scrutiny to find out prima-facie whether there is any grain of truth in the allegations or whether they are made only with the sole object of involving certain individuals in a criminal charge. To prevent abuse of process of the Court, and to save the innocent from false prosecutions at the hands of unscrupulous litigants, the criminal proceedings, even if they are at the stage of framing of the charge, if they appear to be frivolous and false, should be quashed at the threshold. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
    11. In Preeti Gupta Vs. State of Jharkhand, reported in 2010 Criminal Law Journal 4303(1), the Supreme Court observed the following:- 28. It is a matter of common knowledge that unfortunately matrimonial litigation is rapidly increasing in out countryAll the courts in our country including this courtare flooded with matrimonial cases. This clearlydemonstrates discontent and unrest in the family life of alarge number of people of the society. 29. The courts are receiving a large number of casesemanating from section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code whichreads as under :"498-A. Husband or relative of husband of a womansubjecting her to cruelty.-Whoever, being the husband orthe relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such womanto cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a termwhich may extend to three years and shall also be liable tofine.Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, 'cruelty'means : (a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or (b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.30. It is a matter of common experience that most of these complaints under section 498-A IPC are filed in the heat ofthe moment over trivial issues without properdeliberations. We come across a large number of suchcomplaints which are not even bona fide and are filed withoblique motive. At the same time, rapid increase in thenumber of genuine cases of dowry harassment are also amatter of serious concern.31.The learned members of the Bar have enormous socialresponsibility and obligation to ensure that the socialfiber of family life is not ruined or demolished. They mustensure that exaggerated versions of small incidents shouldnot be reflected in the criminal complaints. Majority ofthe complaints are filed either on their advice or withtheir concurrence. The learned members of the Bar whobelong to a noble profession must maintain its nobletraditions and should treat every complaint under section 498-A as a basic human problem and must make seriousendeavour to help the parties in arriving at an amicableresolution of that human problem. They must discharge theirduties to the best of their abilities to ensure that socialfiber, peace and tranquillity of the society remainsintact. The members of the Bar should also ensure that onecomplaint should not lead to multiple cases.32. Unfortunately, at the time of filing of the complaintthe implications and consequences are not properlyvisualized by the complainant that such complaint can leadto insurmountable harassment, agony and pain to thecomplainant, accused and his close relations. 33. The ultimate object of justice is to find out thetruth and punish the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a herculean task in majority of thesecomplaints. The tendency of implicating husband and all his immediate relations is also not uncommon. At times, evenafter the conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult toascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremelycareful and cautious in dealing with these complaints andmust take pragmatic realities into consideration whiledealing with matrimonial cases. The allegations ofharassment of husband's close relations who had been livingin different cities and never visited or rarely visited theplace where the complainant resided would have an entirelydifferent complexion. The allegations of the complaint arerequired to be scrutinized with great care andcircumspection. Experience reveals that long and protractedcriminal trials lead to rancour, acrimony and bitterness in the relationship amongst the parties. It is also a matterof common knowledge that in cases filed by the complainantif the husband or the husband's relations had to remain injail even for a few days, it would ruin the chances ofamicable settlement altogether. The process of suffering isextremely long and painful. 34. Before parting with this case, we would like toobserve that a serious relook of the entire provision iswarranted by the legislation. It is also a matter of commonknowledge that exaggerated versions of the incident arereflected in a large number of complaints. The tendency ofover implication is also reflected in a very large numberof cases.35. The criminal trials lead to immense sufferings for all concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may alsonot be able to wipe out the deep scars of suffering ofignominy. Unfortunately a large number of these complaintshave not only flooded the courts but also have led toenormous social unrest affecting peace, harmony andhappiness of the society. It is high time that thelegislature must take into consideration the pragmaticrealities and make suitable changes in the existing law.Itis imperative for the legislature to take intoconsideration the informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities in consideration and make necessary changes inthe relevant provisions of law. We direct the Registry to send a copy of this judgment to the Law Commission and tothe Union Law Secretary, Government of India who may placeit before the Hon'ble Minister for Law and Justice to takeappropriate steps in the larger interest of the society."
    12. In the aforesaid context, it will also be profitable to quote a very recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, Criminal Appeal No. 1277 of 2014, decided on 2nd July, 2014. In the said case, the petitioner, apprehending arrest in a case under Section 498A of the IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, prayed for anticipatory bail before the Supreme Court, having failed to obtain the same from the High Court. In that context, the observations made by the Supreme Court in paras 6, 7 and 8 are worth taking note of. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick\
    13. They are reproduced below:-"6. There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the IPCwas introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A is acognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives.The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bedridden grand- fathers and grand-mothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested. Crime in India 2012 Statistics published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministryof Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all over India during the year 2012 for offence under Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year 2011.Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is 6% out of the total persons arrested under the crimes committed under Indian Penal Code. It accounts for 4.5% of total crimes committed under different sections of penal code, more than any other crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge- sheeting in cases under Section 498A, IPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal. 7. Arrest brings humiliation, curtails freedom and cast scars forever. Law makers know it soalso the police. There is a battle between the law makers and the police and it seems that police has not learnt its lesson; the lesson implicit and embodied inthe Cr.PC. It has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence, it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surelynot considered a friend of public. The need for caution in exercising the drastic power of arrest has been emphasized time and again by Courts but has not yielded desired result. Power to arrest greatly contributes to its arrogance so also the failure of the Magistracy to check it. Not only this, the power of arrest is oneof the lucrative sources of police corruption. The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable. It has become a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique motive. 8. Law Commissions, Police Commissions and this Court in a large number of judgments emphasized the need to maintain a balance between individual liberty and societal order while exercising the power of arrest. Police officers make arrest as they believe that they possess the power to do so. As the arrest curtails freedom, brings humiliation and casts scars forever, we feel differently. We believe that no arrest should be made only because the offence is non- bailable and cognizable and therefore, lawful for the police officers to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing, the justification for the exercise of it is quite another. Apart from power to arrest, the police officers must be able to justify the reasons thereof. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent and wise for a police officerthat no arrest is made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness of the allegation. Despite this legal position, theLegislature did not find any improvement. Numbers of arrest have not decreased. Ultimately, the Parliament had to intervene and on the recommendation of the 177th Report of the Law Commission submitted in the year 2001, Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short Cr.PC), in the present form came to be enacted. Itis interesting to note that such a recommendation was made by the Law Commission in its 152nd and 154th Report submitted as back in the year 1994. .... ....."
    14. In the case of Geeta Mehrotra and anr. Vs. State of U.P. reported in AIR 2013, SC 181, the Supreme Court observed as under:-“19. Coming to the facts of this case, when the contents of the FIR is perused, it is apparent that there are no allegations against Kumari Geeta Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra except casual reference of their names who have been included in the FIR but mere casual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimonial dispute without allegation of active involvement in the matter would not justify taking cognizance against them overlooking the fact borne out of experience that there is a tendency to involve the entire family members of the household in the domestic quarrel taking place in a matrimonial dispute specially if it happens soon after the wedding. 20. It would be relevant at this stage to take note of an apt observation of this Court recorded in the matter of G.V. Rao vs. L.H.V. Prasad & Ors. reported in (2000) 3 SCC 693 wherein also in a matrimonial dispute, this Court had held that the High Court should have quashed the complaint arising out of a matrimonial dispute wherein all family members had been roped into the matrimonial litigation which was quashed and set aside. Their Lordships observed therein with which we entirely agree that: there has been an outburst of matrimonial dispute in recent times. Marriage is a sacred ceremony, main purpose of which is to enable the young couple to settle down in life and live peacefully. But little matrimonial skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume serious proportions resulting in heinous crimes in which elders of the family are also involved with the result that those who could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There are many reasons which need not be mentioned here for not encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties may ponder over their defaults and terminate the disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and years to conclude and in that process the parties lose their young days in chasing their cases in different courts. The view taken by the judges in this matter was that the courts would not encourage such disputes. 21. In yet another case reported in AIR 2003 SC 1386 in the matter of B.S. Joshi & Ors. vs. State of Haryana & Anr. it was observed that there is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XXA containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punish the husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. But if the proceedings are initiated by the wife under Section 498A against the husband and his relatives and subsequently she has settled her disputes with her husband and his relatives and the wife and husband agreed for mutual divorce, refusal to exercise inherent powers by the High Court would not be proper as it would prevent woman from settling earlier. Thus for the purpose of securing the ends of justice quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 Cr.P.C. would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. It would however be a different matter depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not to exercise such a power.”
    15. Thus, it could be seen from the above that the apex Court has noticed the tendency of the married women roping in all the relatives of her husband in such complaints only with a view to harass all of them, though they may not be even remotely involved in the offence alleged.
    16. Once the FIR is lodged under Sections 498A/406/323 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, whether there are vague, unspecific or exaggerated allegations or there is no evidence of any physical or mental harm or injury inflicted upon woman that is likely to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health, it comes as an easy tool in the hands of Police and agencies like Crime Against Women Cell to hound them with the threat of arrest making them run helter skelter and force them to hide at their friends or relatives houses till they get anticipatory bail as the offence has been made cognizable and non-bailable. Thousands of such complaints and cases are pending and are being lodged day in and day out. There is a growing tendency to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations roping in each and every relation of the husband and if one of them happens to be of higher status or of a vulnerable standing, he or she becomes an easy prey for better bargaining and blackmailing. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
    17. Ms. Pathak, the learned APP in his own way may be right in submitting that the Court, while exercising inherent power under Section 482 of the Code, should not embark upon an enquiry as regards the truthfulness of the allegations because, according to the learned APP, once there are allegations disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, then whether they are true or false, should be left for the trial Court to decide at the conclusion of the trial. According to the learned APP, at the best, the applicants could plead in their defence the category No.7, as indicated by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana (supra).
    18. Since Mr. Raval has raised such issue, I must deal with it as it goes to the root of the matter. For the sake of convenience, category 7, as laid down by the Supreme Court in State of Haryana (supra) is reproduced hereinbelow:-"(7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciouslyinstituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeanceon the accused and with a view to spite him due to privateand personal grudge."
    19. I am of the view that the category 7 referred to above should be taken into consideration and applied in a case like the present one, a bit liberally. If the Court is convinced by the fact that the involvement by the complainant of all close relatives of the husband is with an oblique motive, then even if the FIR and the charge-sheet disclose commission of a cognizable offence on plain reading of the both, the Court, with a view to doing substantial justice, should read in between the lines the oblique motive of the complainant and take a pragmatic view of the matter. If the proposition of law as sought to be canvassed by the learned APP is applied mechanically to this type of cases, then in my opinion, the very inherent power conferred by the Code upon the High Court would be rendered otiose. I am saying so for the simple reason that if the wife, due to disputes with her husband, decides to not only harass her husband, but all other close relatives of the husband, then she would ensure that proper allegations are levelled against each and every such relative, although knowing fully well that they are in no way concerned with the matrimonial dispute between the husband and the wife. Many times the services of professionals are availed of and once the complaint is drafted by a legal mind, it would be very difficult thereafter to pick up any loopholes or other deficiencies in the same. However, that does not mean that the Court should shut its eyes and raise its hands in helplessness, saying that whether true or false, there are allegations in the first information report and the charge-sheet papers discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.
    20. It is because of the growing tendency to involve innocent persons that the Supreme Court in the case of Pawan Kumar Vs. State of Haryana, AIR 1998 SC 958 has cautioned the Courts to act with circumspection. In the words of the Supreme Court “often innocent persons are also trapped or brought in with ulterior motives and therefore this places an arduous duty on the Court to separate such individuals from the offenders. Hence, the Courts have to deal such cases with circumspection, sift through the evidence with caution, scrutinize the circumstances with utmost care.”
    21. This Court over a period of time has noticed that the First Information Report field by wife contains following allegations: “1. The father of the wife is a beggar. 2. Rs.5,00,000/- has been demanded by the husband and his family members by way of dowry.” Without these two allegations, no First Information Report in the State of Gujarat is complete so far as the offence under Section 498(A) of the IPC is concerned.
    22. In such circumstances referred to above, this Court was compelled to observe the following in the judgment and order dated 26.09.2014 passed in Criminal Misc. Application No.5819 of 2009.“31.Many times, the parents including the close relatives of the wife make a mountain out of a mole. Instead of salvaging the situation and making all possible endeavours to save the marriage, their action either due to ignorance or on account of sheer hatredness towards the husband and
      his family members, brings about complete destruction of marriage on trivial issues. The first thing that comes in the mind of the wife, her parents and her relatives is the Police, as if the Police is the panacea of all evil. No sooner the matter reaches up to the Police, then even if
      there are fair chances of reconciliation between the spouses, they would get destroyed. The foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another. Tolerance to each other’s fault to a certain bearable extent has to be inherent in every marriage. Petty
      quibbles, trifling differences are mundane matters and should not be exaggerated and blown out of proportion to destroy what is said to have been made in the heaven. The Court must appreciate that all quarrels must be weighed from that point of view in determining what constitutes cruelty in each particular case, always keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their
      character and social status. A very technical and hyper sensitive approach would prove to be disastrous for the very institution of the marriage. In matrimonial disputes the main sufferers are the children. The spouses fight with such venom in their heart that they do not think even for a second that if the marriage would come to an end, then what will be the effect on their children. Divorce plays a very
      dubious role so far as the upbringing of the children is concerned. The only reason why I am saying so is that instead of handling the whole issue delicately, the initiation of criminal proceedings would bring about nothing but hatredness for each other. There may be cases
      of genuine illtreatment and harassment by the husband and his family members towards the wife. The degree of such ill-treatment or harassment may vary. However, the Police machinery should be resorted to as a measure of last resort and that too in a very genuine case of cruelty and harassment. The Police machinery cannot be utilized for the purpose of holding the husband at ransom so that he could be squeezed by the wife at the instigation of her parents or relatives or friends. In all cases where wife complains of harassment or ill-treatment, Section 498-A of the IPC cannot be applied mechanically. No F.I.R is complete without Sections 506(2) and 323 of the IPC. Every matrimonial conduct, which may cause annoyance to the other, may not amount to cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels between spouses, which happen in day today married life, may also not amount to cruelty.
    23. Lord Denning, in Kaslefsky Vs. Kaslefsky (1950) 2 All ER 398 observed as under:- “When the conduct consists of direct action by one against the other, it can then properly be said to be aimed at the other, even though there is no desire to injure the other or to inflict misery on him. Thus, it may consist of a display of temperament, emotion, or perversion whereby the one gives vent to his or her own feelings, not intending to injure the other, but making the other the object-the butt-at whose expense the emotion is relieved.” When there is no intent to injure, they are not to be regarded as cruelty unless they are plainly and distinctly proved to cause injury to health ……..when the conduct does not consist of direct action against the other, but only of misconduct indirectly affecting him or her, such as drunkenness, gambling, or crime, then it can only properly be said to be aimed at the other when it is done, not only for the gratification of the selfish desires of the one who does it, but also in some part with an intention to injure the other or to inflict misery on him or her. Such an intention may readily be inferred from the fact that it is the natural consequence of his conduct, especially when the one spouse knows, or it has already been brought to his notice, what the consequences will be, and nevertheless he does it, careless and indifferent whether it distresses the other spouse or not. The Court is, however not bound to draw the inference. The presumption that a person intends the natural consequences of his acts is one that may not must-be drawn. If in all the circumstances it is not the correct inference, then it should not be drawn. In cases of this kind, if there is no desire to injure or inflict misery on the other, the conduct only becomes cruelty when the justifiable remonstrances of the innocent party provoke resentment on the part of the other, which evinces itself in actions or words actually or physically directed at the innocent party.”
    24. What constitutes cruelty in matrimonial matters has
      been well explained in American Jurisprudence 2nd edition
      Vol. 24 page 206. It reads thus:- “The question whether the misconduct complained of constitute cruelty and the like for divorce purposes isdetermined primarily by its effect upon the particular person complaining of the acts. The question is not whether the conduct would be cruel to a reasonable person or a  person of average or normal sensibilities, but whether it would have that effect upon the aggrieved spouse. That which may be cruel to one person may be laughed off by another, and what may not be cruel to an individual under one set of circumstances may be extreme cruelty under
      another set of circumstances.”
    25. For the foregoing reasons, I hold that if the investigation of the First Information Report is permitted to continue, then it will be nothing but abuse of process of the law and travesty of justice. This is a fit case wherein the inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code should be exercised for the purpose of quashing the FIR. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
    26. The application succeeds and is hereby allowed. The First Information Report being C.R. No.I-87/2015 lodged before the Gotri Police Station, District- Vadodara, is hereby quashed. Rule is made absolute.
    27. At this stage, I may only say that since the applicant no.1 and the first informant are quite young they should dissolve the marriage by initiating appropriate proceedings before the Court concerned so that both can start living their own life.

    (J.B.PARDIWALA, J.)

    ABHISHEK

    Unconsummated marriage as wife refused access and left 16 years ago but 498a lingering on !! Good jurisdictional quash @ Patna HC

    • Marriage approx 20 years ago but unconsummated !! “…it is also submitted that petitioner no.1 was married to Manisha Sah on 30th May, 1997, but Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 the marriage was never consummated, as she never allowed the petitioner no.1 to share her bed. ….”
    • Allegations of beating etc etc. Allegations of second marriage etc
    • Finally Ablaa’s dad files complaint case u/s 498A, 420 and 406 IPC
    • ablaa goes away and gets re married to some one else and the father who gave complaint is dead
    • prosecution also agrees that the woman is NOT co-operating on the investigations !! (why will she when she has got married and gone away ) !!
    • finally husband and party go for quash on jurisdiction !!! and get it quashed on jurisdiction as the offences happened at Varnasi while case was filed in Mothari / Bihar
      * while this case highlights the fate of lingering cases where women fire a 498a, make money or get divorce, go away to get married the state is left with the sh!t !! and your tax money and my tax money is wasted on such nonsense, it is STILL this is a good case to use for jurisdictional quash

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA

    Criminal Writ Jurisdiction Case No.383 of 2015

    Arising Out of PS.Case No. -null Year- null Thana -null District- EASTCHAMPARAN(MOTIHARI)

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

    1. Pradeep Kumar Jaiswal son of Prakash Chand Gupta

    2. Prakash Chand Gupta @ Prakash Chand son of Late Baldeo Prasad

    3. Champa Devi wife of Prakash Chand Gupta

    4. Sanjay Jaiswal @ Sanjan Kumar Jaiswal son of Prakash Chand Gupta.

    5. Praveen Kumar Jaiswal son of Prakash Chand Gupta

    6. Rekha Gupta @ Rekha Jaiswal wife of Sanjay Kumar Jaiswal All residents of 131, Station Road, P.S.- Kotwali Nagar, Town Pratapgarh, District – Pratapgarh, U.P. …. …. Petitioner/s

    Versus

    1. The State of Bihar through Director General of Police, Bihar, Patna, Old Secretariat, Patna.

    2. Superintendent of Police, Motihari, District – East Champaran.

    3. The Officer-in-charge, Motihari Town Police Station, At Motihari, District – East Champaran.

    4. Manisha Sah daughter of Late Vishwanath Prasad Sah, Sah Bagicha, Mangal Prasad Sah Marg, P.S.-Nagar, P.S.-Motihari, District- East Champaran …. …. Respondent/s

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

    Appearance :

    For the Petitioner/s : Mr. Anil Jaiswal, Advocate
    For the Respondent/s : Mr. N.H.Khan, S.C.-1 : Mr. Md. Naushaduzzoha, A.C. to S.C.-1

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

    CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ASHWANI KUMAR SINGH

    ORAL JUDGMENT

    Date: 29-08-2016

    1. Be it noted that vide order dated 29.1.2016, this Court had issued notice to respondent no.4 Vishwanath Prasad Sah. Since the process server reported that Vishwanath Prasad Sah had already died, his name was deleted from the cause title and by order dated 5.5.2016, the victim Manisha Sah, the daughter of the informant, was permitted to be impleaded as respondent no.4 in the case. Despite valid service of notice upon Manisha Sah, she has chosen not to appear either in Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 person or through counsel.
    2. Heard Mr. Anil Jaiswal, learned counsel for the petitioners and Mr. Naushad Hussain Khan, Standing Counsel No.1, for the State.
    3. In the present application preferred under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners have prayed for quashing of Motihari Town P.S. Case No.76 of 2000 dated 28.3.2000, as contained in Annexure-1 to the present application, and the entire police investigation made upon it after institution of the police case lodged by Vishwanath Prasad Sah. <SMALL>http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick </SMALL>
    4. Initially, a complaint case being Complaint Case No.251 of 2000 was instituted by the aforesaid Vishwanath Prasad Sah in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Motihari, East Champaran on 1st March, 2000. The aforesaid complaint was referred to the police under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure for investigation pursuant to which East Champran Town P.S. Case No.76 of 2000 was registered on 28th March, 2000 under Sections 498A, 420 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code as also under Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
    5. The prosecution case, in short, is that marriage of the informant’s daughter Manisha Sah was performed on 30th May, 1997 with petitioner no.1 at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in which the informant and his relatives gave cash, ornaments and other articles Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 mentioned in the FIR. After marriage, the informant’s daughter went to her ‘Sasural? at Pratapgarh (U.P.) and lived there for twenty days. Then, she came to her „Maikey? at Motihari in Bihar and after a month’s stay over there she again went to her ‘Sasural? with her husband. On the second visit to her ‘Sasural?, she, without any reason, was abused by the accused persons, who also pressurized her to bring rupees two lakhs as dowry.
    6. It is further alleged that in March, 1998, the informant’s daughter came to know that her husband had married another girl named Purnima and he also had a son from her. The informant’s daughter informed about this fact to the informant and on coming to know about this, the informant went to his daughter’s ‘Sasural? with his son and scolded the accused persons. Then, the informant, after staying at his daugher’s ‘Sasural? for a week, returned to his home at Motihari in Bihar.
    7. It is further alleged that in June, 1998 the petitioner no.1 told the informant’s daughter that he would keep his beloved Purnima throughout his life and when it was protested by the informant’s daughter she was beaten up by the accused persons with fists, slaps and Danda. Thereafter, on getting opportunity, Manisha Sah informed the informant, who again went to her ‘Sasural? on 8th June, 1998 with his son Ravi Kumar and got her treated in the Hospital at Pratapgarh (U.P.) and also got her X-Ray done on the advice of the doctor. It is Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 also alleged that while coming to her ‘Maikey’, the accused persons coerced Manisha Sah and got it written by her that she is taking away all her ornaments and belongings. It has been alleged that all her belongings were retained by the accused persons. The informant went to his daughter’s ‘Sasural? several times and asked the accused persons to return her daughter’s ornaments and belongings, but they declined to return the same.
    8. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioners that petitioner no.1 is husband, petitioners no.2 and 3 are father-in-law and mother-in-law respectively, petitioners no.4 and 5 are brothers-in- law of the victim Manisha Sah and petitioner no.6 is wife of petitioner no.4 of the present case.
    9. It is submitted that taking the entire allegations in the FIR to be true, from the FIR it would be obvious that all the cause of action, whatever they may be, took place either at Varanasi (U.P.) or at Pratapgarh (U.P.) and no cause of action of any kind occurred in Bihar; much less, at Motihari within the territorial jurisdiction of the court at Motihari. As such, the officers of the Town Police Station at Motihari have got no jurisdiction to investigate the case and, on this ground alone, the entire investigation in the police case is fit to be quashed.
    10. Advancing the argument, it is also submitted that petitioner no.1 was married to Manisha Sah on 30th May, 1997, but Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 the marriage was never consummated, as she never allowed the petitioner no.1 to share her bed. Then, in the year 1998 itself petitioner no.1 filed a divorce case bearing Original Case No.179 of 1998, in the court of Additional Civil Judge, Pratapgrah (U.P.) for decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act on the ground of mental cruelty for having refused to cohabit with him without any reason. In that case, even after due service of court’s summons, Manisha Sah did not appear. Thereafter, that case was decided ex-parte in favour of petitioner no.1 on 1.5.2012 and he was granted decree of divorce.
    11. It is also urged that during pendency of the divorce case, Manisha Sah has married another person and petitioner no.1 has also remarried after his divorce.
    12. Per contra, learned counsel for the State has submitted that the petitioners are not co-operating with the investigation of the case and because of their non-co-operation, the investigation of the case could not be completed till date. He has submitted that steps are being taken to arrest the accused persons so that charge-sheet may be filed before the court. However, he concedes that no part of cause of action ever took place in Bihar.
    13. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the records, I find substance in the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioners. The facts stated in the FIR arising out of Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 complaint would clearly show that all the alleged acts, as per the informant, had taken place in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
    14. It appears that the informant has lodged the complaint at Motihari because of his residence at Motihari and his daughter Manisha Sah resided together with him after she left her matrimonial home.
    15. In a criminal case, the territorial jurisdiction is not decided on the basis of place of residence. It is on the basis of place where the alleged offence occurred.
    16. Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short (‘CrPC’) clearly lays down that every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.
    17. Section 178 of the CrPC further lays down:
      • (a) when it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed, or
      • (b) where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another, or
      • (c) where an offence is a continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local areas than one, or
      • (d) where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, then such offence may be inquired into or tried by a court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas.
    18. Thus, it would be evident from a reading of Sections 177 and 178 of the CrPC that there are certain rules with regard to where the FIR for an offence may be registered and the trial for such an Patna High Court Cr. WJC No.383 of 2015 dt.29-08-2016 offence may be conducted. The FIR has to be registered where the offence took place or where at least a part of the offence took place. The place of residence of the complainant or of the accused is irrelevant in this regard.
    19. In an identical case, in the matter of Bhura Ram and Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan and Anr., since reported in AIR 2008 SC 2666, the Supreme Court had quashed the entire criminal proceedings, which was instituted at Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan; whereas all the alleged acts, as per the complaint giving rise to FIR, had taken place in the State of Punjab. The operative part of the order of the Supreme Court in Bhura Ram and others (supra) reads as under:
      • “4. The facts stated in the complaint disclose that the
        complainant left the place where she was residing with her
        husband and in- laws and came to the city of Sri Ganganagar,
        State of Rajasthan and that all the alleged acts as per the
        complaint had taken place in the State of Punjab. The Court at
        Rajasthan does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the
        matter. On the basis of the factual scenario disclosed by the
        complainant in the complaint, the inevitable conclusion is that
        no part of cause of action arose in Rajasthan and, therefore,
        the Magistrate concerned has no jurisdiction to deal with the
        matter. As a consequence thereof, the proceedings before the
        Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar are
        quashed. The complaint be returned to the complainant and if she
        so wishes she may file the same in the appropriate court to be
        dealt with in accordance with law. 
      • The appeal is accordingly allowed.”
    20. Keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the present case and the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court in the matter of Bhura Ram and others (supra), the first information report of Motihari Town P.S. Case No.76 of 2000 dated 28.3.2000 and the consequential ongoing investigation of the said case are hereby quashed.
    21. The application stands allowed.
    22. The victim Manisha Sah would be at liberty to take steps in accordance with law at the place where the alleged offence is said to have taken place or where at least a part of the offence is alleged to have taken place.

      (Ashwani Kumar Singh, J) Md.S./-

      AFR/NAFR          AFR

      CAV DATE         N/A

      Uploading Date   4.9.2016

      Transmission     4.9.2016

      Date

    #498a #406 case because in laws wanted me to study further !! #GujHC #Quashes #fake cases, orders return of #passports

    Missuse of women friendly laws is a known disease

    Sometimes the missuse of laws Reaches epic and crazy proportions

    This is one such case in this case a woman has filed criminal complaint against the husband and in-laws

    This complaint is supported by vague allegations

    In addition to the vague allegations she also claims that in-laws forced her to study more !!

    Study more ?? really lady !!, is that cruelty ?? should you take your in-laws to the Police and impound their passports just because they requested you to study more !!!

    The honourable High Court quashes the case and sets the falsely accused in laws free, alas after a few years of misery


    Gujarat High Court

    Kumar Kamalbabu Bhatt & 2 vs State Of Gujarat & on 22 January, 2016

    R/CR.MA/19394/2014

    ORDER

    IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

    CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION (FOR QUASHING & SET ASIDE FIR/ORDER) NO. 19394 of 2014

    KUMAR KAMALBABU BHATT & 2….Applicant(s)
    Versus
    STATE OF GUJARAT & 1….Respondent(s)

    Appearance:

    MR KASHYAP R JOSHI, ADVOCATE for the Applicant(s) No. 1 – 3

    DS AFF.NOT FILED (R) for the Respondent(s) No. 2

    MR SANDEEP N BHATT, ADVOCATE for the Respondent(s) No. 2

    PUBLIC PROSECUTOR for the state

    CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA

    Date : 22/01/2016

    ORAL ORDER

    1. By this application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the applicants-original accused persons seek to invoke the inherent powers of this Court, praying for quashing of the First Information Report dated 11th November, 2014 being C.R. No. I-57 of 2014 registered with the Mahila Police Station, Ahmedbad for the offence punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 506(2) read with Section 114 of the Indian Penal Code.
    2. The case of the prosecution is as under:-
    3. The first informant got married with the applicant No.1 in the year 2010 to be precise on 14th December, 2010. It appears that the first informant holds a degree of Bachelor of Engineering. As usual, soon after the marriage, matrimonial problems cropped up between the husband and the wife. It is alleged that the applicants herein who are none other than the husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law respectively of the first informant started harassing the first informant. I take notice of a very curious allegation in the First Information Report that the in-laws forced the daughter-in-law to do her post graduation i.e. Master of Engineering. It appears that the first informant did complete her Masters in Engineering. All other allegations are quite vague and general in nature. They are nothing but an outcome of the usual wear and tear in the marriage.
    4. For some reason or the other, the first informant thought fit to take up the issue with the Police and left the matrimonial home on 3rd March, 2013. She thought fit to lodge the FIR on 11th November, 2014.
    5. I am told that the husband has preferred a petition for divorce before the Family Court at Rajkot and the proceedings are pending. Those proceedings may proceed further in accordance with law.
    6. However, having regard to the nature of the allegations, I am of the view that no case worth the name is made out to attract Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. I had an occasion to consider almost an identical problem between the husband and the wife, in the case of Dipakbhai Ratilal Patel and other vs. State of Gujarat reported in 2014 (3) GLH 788. In the said case, I explained why Police should not be involved in these type of matrimonial problems because the involvement of the Police would put an end to the marriage, rather than giving an opportunity to the couple to reunite. I may quote the observations made by this Court from paras 16 to 33 as under:-

    “16. It is now well settled that the power under Section 482 of the Code has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution, only where such exercise is justified by the tests laid down in the Section itself. It is also well settled that Section 482 of the Code does not confer any new power on the High Court but only saves the inherent power, which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Code. There are three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely

    (i) to give effect to an order under the Code,

    (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of Court, and

    (iii) to otherwise secure the ends of justice.

    17. The investigation of an offence is the field exclusively reserved for the Police Officers, whose powers in that field are unfettered, so long as the power to investigate into the cognizable offence is legitimately exercised in strict compliance with the provisions under Chapter XII of the Code. While exercising powers under Section 482 of the Code, the Court does not function as a Court of appeal or revision. As noted above, the inherent jurisdiction under the Section, although wide, yet should be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the Section itself. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone courts exist. Authority of the court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice, the court has power to prevent such abuse. It would be an abuse of process of the court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice.

    In exercise of the powers court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation or continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. When no offence is disclosed by the complaint, the court may examine the question of fact. When a complaint is sought to be quashed, it is permissible to look into the materials to assess what the complainant has alleged and whether any offence is made out even if the allegations are accepted in toto.

    18. In R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab (AIR 1960 SC 866) the apex Court summarized some categories of cases where inherent power can, and should be exercised to quash the proceedings.

    (i) where it manifestly appears that there is a legal bar against the institution or continuance e.g. want of sanction;
    ii) where the allegations in the first information report or complaint taken at its face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence alleged;

    (iii) where the allegations constitute an offence, but there is no legal evidence adduced or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge.

    19. The Supreme Court, in the case of State of A.P. Vs. Vangaveeti Nagaiah, reported in AIR 2009 SC 2646, interpreted clause (iii) referred to above, observing thus:

    “6. In dealing with the last category, it is important to bear in mind the distinction between a case where there is no legal evidence or where there is evidence which is clearly inconsistent with the accusations made, and a case where there is legal evidence which, on appreciation, may or may not support the accusations. When exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court would not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry whether the evidence in question is reliable or not or whether on a reasonable appreciation of it accusation would not be sustained. That is the function of the trial Judge. Judicial process no doubt should not be an instrument of oppression, or, needless harassment. Court should be circumspect and judicious in exercising discretion and should take all relevant facts and circumstances into consideration before issuing process, lest it would be an instrument in the hands of a private complainant to unleash vendetta to harass any person needlessly. At the same time the Section is not an instrument handed over to an accused to short-circuit a prosecution and bring about its sudden death. The scope of exercise of power under Section 482 of the Code and the categories of cases where the High Court may exercise its power under it relating to cognizable offences to prevent abuse of process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice were set out in some detail by this Court in State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal [1992 Supp. (1) SCC 335].A note of caution was, however, added that the power should be exercised sparingly and that too in rarest of rare cases.

    The illustrative categories indicated by this Court are as follows:

    “(1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.

    (2) Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code.

    (3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the F.I.R. or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.

    (4) Where the allegations in the F.I.R. do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a Police Officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.

    (5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

    (6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.
    (7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.

    20. Bearing the aforesaid principles in mind, I need to consider whether the FIR deserves to be quashed so far as the applicants Nos. 2 to 6 are concerned. I have already set out the relations of the petitioners Nos. 2 to 6 with the petitioner No.1 i.e. the husband of the respondent No.2, the complainant.

    21. A plain reading of the FIR and the charge-sheet papers reveal that the allegations levelled by the respondent No.2 are quite vague, general and sweeping, specifying no instances of criminal conduct. Although the respondent No.2 is much more annoyed with her husband, with an obvious motive, has arrayed all the close relatives of her husband in the FIR. The Police also seems to have recorded stereo-type statements of the witnesses who are none other than the parents and other relatives of the respondent No.2 and has filed a charge-sheet. If a person is made to face a criminal trial on some general and sweeping allegations without bringing on record any specific instances of criminal conduct, it is nothing but abuse of process of the Court. The Court owes a duty to subject the allegations levelled in the complaint to a thorough scrutiny to find out prima-facie whether there is any grain of truth in the allegations or whether they are made only with the sole object of involving certain individuals in a criminal charge. To prevent abuse of process of the Court, and to save the innocent from false prosecutions at the hands of unscrupulous litigants, the criminal proceedings, even if they are at the stage of framing of the charge, if they appear to be frivolous and false, should be quashed at the threshold.

    22. In Preeti Gupta Vs. State of Jharkhand, reported in 2010 Criminal Law Journal 4303(1), the Supreme Court observed the following:-

    “28. It is a matter of common knowledge that unfortunately matrimonial litigation is rapidly increasing in our country. All the courts in our country including this court are flooded with matrimonial cases. This clearly demonstrates discontent and unrest in the family life of a large number of people of the society.

    29. The courts are receiving a large number of cases emanating from section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code which reads as under :

    “498-A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.-

    Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

    Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, ‘cruelty’ means :

    (a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
    (b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.”

    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 tranquillity 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 HC-NIC Page 7 of 14 Created On Fri Jan 29 00:13:42 IST 2016 R/CR.MA/19394/2014 ORDER 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 and Justice to take appropriate steps in the larger interest of the society.”

    23. In the aforesaid context, it will also be profitable to quote a very recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, Criminal Appeal No. 1277 of 2014, decided on 2nd July, 2014. In the said case, the petitioner, apprehending arrest in a case under Section 498A of the IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, prayed for anticipatory bail before the Supreme Court, having failed to obtain the same from the High Court. In that context, the observations made by the Supreme Court in paras 6, 7 and 8 are worth taking note of. They are reproduced below:-

    “6. There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498- A is a cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bed-ridden grand-fathers and grand-mothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested. Crime in India 2012 Statistics published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all over India during the year 2012 for offence under Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year 2011. Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is 6% out of the total persons arrested under the crimes committed under Indian Penal Code. It accounts for 4.5% of total crimes committed under different sections of penal code, more than any other crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge- sheeting in cases under Section 498A, IPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.

    7. Arrest brings humiliation, curtails freedom and cast scars forever. Law makers know it so also the police. There is a battle between the law makers and the police and it seems that police has not learnt its lesson; the lesson implicit and embodied in the Cr.PC. It has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence, it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public. The need for caution in exercising the drastic power of arrest has been emphasized time and again by Courts but has not yielded desired result. Power to arrest greatly contributes to its arrogance so also the failure of the Magistracy to check it. Not HC-NIC Page 8 of 14 Created On Fri Jan 29 00:13:42 IST 2016 R/CR.MA/19394/2014 ORDER only this, the power of arrest is one of the lucrative sources of police corruption. The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable. It has become a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique motive.

    8. Law Commissions, Police Commissions and this Court in a large number of judgments emphasized the need to maintain a balance between individual liberty and societal order while exercising the power of arrest. Police officers make arrest as they believe that they possess the power to do so. As the arrest curtails freedom, brings humiliation and casts scars forever, we feel differently. We believe that no arrest should be made only because the offence is non-bailable and cognizable and therefore, lawful for the police officers to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing, the justification for the exercise of it is quite another. Apart from power to arrest, the police officers must be able to justify the reasons thereof. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent and wise for a police officer that no arrest is made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness of the allegation. Despite this legal position, the Legislature did not find any improvement. Numbers of arrest have not decreased. Ultimately, the Parliament had to intervene and on the recommendation of the 177th Report of the Law Commission submitted in the year 2001, Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short Cr.PC), in the present form came to be enacted. It is interesting to note that such a recommendation was made by the Law Commission in its 152nd and 154th Report submitted as back in the year 1994. …. …..”

    24. In the case of Geeta Mehrotra and anr. Vs. State of U.P. reported in AIR 2013, SC 181, the Supreme Court observed as under:-

    “19. Coming to the facts of this case, when the contents of the FIR is perused, it is apparent that there are no allegations against Kumari Geeta Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra except casual reference of their names who have been included in the FIR but mere casual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimonial dispute without allegation of active involvement in the matter would not justify taking cognizance against them overlooking the fact borne out of experience that there is a tendency to involve the entire family members of the household in the domestic quarrel taking place in a matrimonial dispute specially if it happens soon after the wedding.

    20. It would be relevant at this stage to take note of an apt observation of this Court recorded in the matter of G.V. Rao vs. L.H.V. Prasad & Ors. reported in (2000) 3 SCC 693 wherein also in a matrimonial dispute, this Court had held that the High Court should have quashed the complaint arising out of a matrimonial dispute wherein all family members had been roped into the matrimonial litigation which was quashed and set aside. Their Lordships observed therein with which we entirely agree that:

    there has been an outburst of matrimonial dispute in recent times. Marriage is a sacred ceremony, main purpose of which is to enable the young couple to settle down in life and live peacefully. But little matrimonial skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume serious proportions resulting in heinous crimes in which elders of the family are also involved with the result that those who could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered helpless on their being arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There are many reasons which need not be mentioned here for not encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties may ponder over their defaults and terminate the disputes amicably by mutual agreement instead of fighting it out in a court of law where it takes years and years to conclude and in that process the parties lose their young days in chasing their cases in different courts.
    The view taken by the judges in this matter was that the courts would not encourage such disputes.

    21. In yet another case reported in AIR 2003 SC 1386 in the matter of B.S. Joshi & Ors. vs. State of Haryana & Anr. it was observed that there is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XXA containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punish the husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. But if the proceedings are initiated by the wife under Section 498A against the husband and his relatives and subsequently she has settled her disputes with her husband and his relatives and the wife and husband agreed for mutual divorce, refusal to exercise inherent powers by the High Court would not be proper as it would prevent woman from settling earlier. Thus for the purpose of securing the ends of justice quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 Cr.P.C. would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. It would however be a different matter depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not to exercise such a power.”

    25. Thus, it could be seen from the above that the apex Court has noticed the tendency of the married women roping in all the relatives of her husband in such complaints only with a view to harass all of them, though they may not be even remotely involved in the offence alleged.

    26. Once the FIR is lodged under Sections 498A/406/323 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, whether there are vague, unspecific or exaggerated allegations or there is no evidence of any physical or mental harm or injury inflicted upon woman that is likely to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health, it comes as an easy tool in the hands of Police and agencies like Crime Against Women Cell to hound them with the threat of arrest making them run helter skelter and force them to hide at their friends or relatives houses till they get anticipatory HC-NIC Page 10 of 14 Created On Fri Jan 29 00:13:42 IST 2016 R/CR.MA/19394/2014 ORDER bail as the offence has been made cognizable and non-bailable. Thousands of such complaints and cases are pending and are being lodged day in and day out. There is a growing tendency to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations roping in each and every relation of the husband and if one of them happens to be of higher status or of a vulnerable standing, he or she becomes an easy prey for better bargaining and blackmailing.

    27. Mr. Raval, the learned APP in his own way may be right in submitting that the Court, while exercising inherent power under Section 482 of the Code, should not embark upon an enquiry as regards the truthfulness of the allegations because, according to Mr. Raval, once there are allegations disclosing commission of a cognizable offence, then whether they are true or false, should be left for the trial Court to decide at the conclusion of the trial. According to Mr. Raval, at the best, the applicants Nos. 2 to 6 could plead in their defence the category No.7, as indicated by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana (supra).

    28. Since Mr. Raval has raised such issue, I must deal with it as it goes to the root of the matter. For the sake of convenience, category 7, as laid down by the Supreme Court in State of Haryana (supra) is reproduced hereinbelow:-

    “(7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.”

    29. I am of the view that the category 7 referred to above should be taken into considerationand applied in a case like the present one, a bit liberally. If the Court is convinced by the fact that the involvement by the complainant of all close relatives of the husband is with an oblique motive, then even if the FIR and the charge-sheet disclose commission of a cognizable offence on plain reading of the both, the Court, with a view to doing substantial justice, should read in between the lines the oblique motive of the complainant and take a pragmatic view of the matter. If the proposition of law as sought to be canvassed by Mr. Raval, the learned APP is applied mechanically to this type of cases, then in my opinion, the very inherent power conferred by the Code upon the High Court would be rendered otiose. I am saying so for the simple reason that if the wife, due to disputes with her husband, decides to not only harass her husband, but all other close relatives of the husband, then she would ensure that proper allegations are levelled against each and every such relative, although knowing fully well that they are in no way concerned with the matrimonial dispute between the husband and the wife. Many times the services of professionals are availed of and once the complaint is drafted by a legal mind, it would be very difficult thereafter to pick up any loopholes or other deficiencies in the same. However, that does not mean that the Court should shut its eyes and raise its hands in helplessness, saying that whether true or false, there are allegations in the first information report and the charge-sheet papers discloses the commission of a cognizable offence.

    It is because of the growing tendency to involve innocent persons that the Supreme Court in the case of Pawan Kumar Vs. State of Haryana, AIR 1998 SC 958 has cautioned the Courts to act with circumspection. In the words of the Supreme Court “often innocent persons are also trapped or brought in with ulterior motives and therefore this places an arduous duty on the Court to separate such individuals from the offenders. Hence, the Courts have to deal such cases with circumspection, sift through the evidence with caution, scrutinize the circumstances with utmost care.”

    30. More importantly, the respondent No.2 has not explained as to why it took more than four years for her to register the FIR. Is it so because the husband initiated proceedings for divorce in the year 2006. My attention has been drawn by Mr. Patel, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the applicants to a notice dated 17th April, 2008, issued by the respondent No.2, through her advocate to the petitioner No.1, wherein there is not a whisper of any allegations against any of the relatives of the husband, which includes the applicants Nos. 2 to 6.

    31. Many times, the parents including the close relatives of the wife make a mountain out of a mole. Instead of salvaging the situation and making all possible endeavours to save the marriage, their action either due to ignorance or on account of sheer hatredness towards the husband and his family members, brings about complete destruction of marriage on trivial issues. The first thing that comes in the mind of the wife, her parents and her relatives is the Police, as if the Police is the panacea of all evil. No sooner the matter reaches up to the Police, then even if there are fair chances of reconciliation between the spouses, they would get destroyed. The foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another. Tolerance to each other’s fault to a certain bearable extent has to be inherent in every marriage. Petty quibbles, trifling differences are mundane matters and should not be exaggerated and blown out of proportion to destroy what is said to have been made in the heaven. The Court must appreciate that all quarrels must be weighed from that point of view in determining what constitutes cruelty in each particular case, always keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their character and social status. A very technical and hyper sensitive approach would prove to be disastrous for the very institution of the marriage. In matrimonial disputes the main sufferers are the children. The spouses fight with such venom in their heart that they do not think even for a second that if the marriage would come to an end, then what will be the effect on their children. Divorce plays a very dubious role so far as the upbringing of the children is concerned. The only reason why I am saying so is that instead of handling the whole issue delicately, the initiation of criminal proceedings would bring about nothing but hatredness for each other. There may be cases of genuine ill-treatment and harassment by the husband and his family members towards the wife. The degree of such ill-treatment or harassment may vary.

    However, the Police machinery should be resorted to as a measure of last resort and that too in a very genuine case of cruelty and harassment. The Police machinery cannot be utilized for the purpose of holding the husband at ransom so that he could be squeezed by the wife at the instigation of her parents or relatives or friends. In all cases where wife complains of harassment or ill-treatment, Section 498-A of the IPC cannot be applied mechanically. No F.I.R is complete without Sections 506(2) and 323 of the IPC. Every matrimonial conduct, which may cause annoyance to the other, may not amount to cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels between spouses, which happen in day today married life, may also not amount to cruelty.

    32. Lord Denning, in Kaslefsky Vs. Kaslefsky (1950) 2 All ER 398 observed as under:-

    “When the conduct consists of direct action by one against the other, it can then properly be said to be aimed at the other, even though there is no desire to injure the other or to inflict misery on him. Thus, it may consist of a display of temperament, emotion, or perversion whereby the one gives vent to his or her own feelings, not intending to injure the other, but making the other the object-the butt-at whose expense the emotion is relieved.”

    When there is no intent to injure, they are not to be regarded as cruelty unless they are plainly and distinctly proved to cause injury to health ……..when the conduct does not consist of direct action against the other, but only of misconduct indirectly affecting him or her, such as drunkenness, gambling, or crime, then it can only properly be said to be aimed at the other when it is done, not only for the gratification of the selfish desires of the one who does it, but also in some part with an intention to injure the other or to inflict misery on him or her. Such an intention may readily be inferred from the fact that it is the natural consequence of his conduct, especially when the one spouse knows, or it has already been brought to his notice, what the consequences will be, and nevertheless he does it, careless and indifferent whether it distresses the other spouse or not. The Court is, however not bound to draw the inference. The presumption that a person intends the natural consequences of his acts is one that may not must-be drawn. If in all the circumstances it is not the correct inference, then it should not be drawn. In cases of this kind, if there is no desire to injure or inflict misery on the other, the conduct only becomes cruelty when the justifiable remonstrances of the innocent party provoke resentment on the part of the other, which evinces itself in actions or words actually or physically directed at the innocent party.”

    33. What constitutes cruelty in matrimonial matters has been well explained in American Jurisprudence 2nd edition Vol. 24 page
    206.

    It reads thus:-
    “The question whether the misconduct complained of constitute cruelty and the like for divorce purposes is determined primarily by its effect upon the particular person complaining of the acts.

    The question is not whether the conduct would be cruel to a reasonable person or a person of average or normal sensibilities, but whether it would have that effect upon the aggrieved spouse. That which may be cruel to one person may be laughed off by another, and what may not be cruel to an individual under one set of circumstances may be extreme cruelty under another set of circumstances.”

      7. In view of the above, this application succeeds and is hereby allowed. The First Information Report being C.R. No. I-57 of 2014 lodged with the Mahila Police Station, Ahmedbad is hereby ordered to be quashed. I am told that the Passports are with the Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer shall hand over the Passports to the applicants at the earliest.

    (J.B.PARDIWALA, J.)

    Manoj