Without proof, unnatural death within 7 years, alone NOT sufficient to convict. Supreme court

Factum of unnatural death within 7 years of marriage is not ipso facto sufficient for conviction for dowry death
Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In the appeal filed by the in-laws of the deceased upon being aggrieved by the conversion of their acquittal into conviction by the High Court under Sections 498A and 304B IPC, the Court said if the prosecution fails to demonstrate by cogent coherent and persuasive evidence to prove such fact, the person accused of either of the above referred offences cannot be held guilty by taking refuge only of the presumption to cover up the shortfall in proof.

The bench of Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy, JJ explained that the expression “dowry” is ordained to have the same meaning as in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The expression “cruelty”, contains in its expanse, apart from the conduct of the tormentor, the consequences precipitated thereby qua the lady subjected thereto. Be that as it may, cruelty or harassment by the husband or any relative of his for or in connection with any demand of dowry to reiterate is the gravamen of the two offences.

In the present case, where the deceased was found hanging from the fan, the Court noticed that the family of the in-laws of the deceased was sufficiently well-off and did enjoy appreciable reputation in the society and no demand as imputed had ever been made. Considering the failure of the prosecution to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt, the Court said that the proof of cruelty or harassment by the husband or her relative or the person charged is the sine qua non to inspirit the statutory presumption, to draw the person charged within the coils thereof. The factum of unnatural death in the matrimonial home and that too within seven years of marriage therefore is thus ipso facto not sufficient to bring home the charge under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code against them.

 [Baijnath v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1287, decided on 18.11.2016].

Supreme Court of India
Baijnath And Ors vs State Of M P on 18 November, 2016
Author: A Roy
Bench: Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy
                                                                              REPORTABLE
                             

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                              

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                           

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1097 OF 2016

                    

[ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (CRL.) NO.9718 OF 2014)

BAIJNATH & OTHERS .…APPELLANTS
                                      VERSUS
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH ….RESPONDENT
                               

J U D G M E N T

AMITAVA ROY, J.
The appellants, the in-laws of the deceased Saroj Bai, being aggrieved by the conversion of their acquittal into conviction by the High Court under Sections 498A and 304B of the Indian Penal Code (for short hereinafter referred to as the “Code”) seek defeasance of this verdict in the present appeal.
(2) Heard Mr. Siddhartha Dave, learned counsel for the appellants and Mr. Naveen Sharma, learned counsel for the respondent.
(3) The genesis of the prosecution case lies in the information lodged by appellant Baijnath, the elder brother of the appellant No.2, Shivraj, the father-in-law of the deceased. The information disclosed that on 09.06.1996 at about 8 p.m. the family had dinner together and after watching television, retired to the respective rooms for the night. The deceased was married to Rakesh, son of appellant No.2. According to the informant, in the next morning she was found dead, hanging from the fan by a ligature.
(4) On this information Merg No.20/1996 was registered with the Chanderi Police Station and on the completion of the investigation charge-sheet was laid against the appellants together with Rakesh, husband of the deceased and Prem Bai, wife of the appellant No.1 under Sections 302, 304B, 498A, 201 read with Section 34 of the Code. According to the prosecution, the investigation revealed that the husband of the deceased along with the appellants had been demanding dowry and in pursuit thereof had subjected the deceased to harassment and torture in the proximate past of the incident.
(5) At the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge concerned framed charges against the accused persons under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code, which were denied by the accused persons. Subsequent thereto Rakesh committed suicide on 09.06.1998 by consuming poison and therefore he was deleted from the array of the persons indicted.
(6) The prosecution at the trial examined 12 witnesses including the Investigating Officer and the Doctor who had performed the postmortem examination. The defence, after the recording of the statements of the appellants under Section 313 Cr.P.C., examined 4 witnesses.
(7) The Trial Court on an exhaustive assessment of the evidence adduced, acquitted the accused persons of the charges against which the respondent/State preferred appeal before the High Court. The impugned decision has been rendered thereby upturning the acquittal.
(8) The learned Trial Court while recording the admitted fact of marriage between the deceased and Rakesh and also that the incident had occurred in the matrimonial home of the wife within 7 years of the alliance, dismissed the evidence with regard to demand of motorcycle in dowry and the imputation of torture, cruelty and harassment as projected by the prosecution and thus exonerated the accused persons of the charges levelled holding that in the attendant materials on record, the statutory presumption as envisaged in Section 113B of the Evidence Act, 1892 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act, 1892”) was not available for invocation.
(9) The High Court however being of the opinion that the deceased had died an unnatural death in suspicious circumstances in her matrimonial home within 7 years of marriage and that the same was preceded by persistent demands for a motorcycle as dowry in marriage accompanied by cruelty, returned the finding of guilt against the appellants but exonerated Prem Bai, the wife of appellant No.1 i.e. Baijnath. It accepted the evidence adduced by the prosecution qua the charge of dowry demand, harassment and cruelty in connection therewith and applied the deeming prescription/statutory presumption contained in Section 304B of the Code and Section 113B of Act, 1892.
(10) The learned counsel for the appellants has in this backdrop insistently urged that the evidence in support of the charge of demand for a motorcycle as dowry in marriage by the husband and his family members being patently inadequate and unconvincing to furnish the ingredient relating thereto qua the charges levelled against the appellants, their conviction is utterly unsustainable and if allowed to stand would amount to travesty of justice. According to Mr. Dave, the imperative essentials of Sections 498A and 304B of the Code not having been proved, the High Court had fallen in error in applying the deeming edict/statutory presumption mandated by Section 304B of the Code and Section 113B of Act, 1892 in converting their acquittal to conviction. The learned counsel contended that as the medical evidence as well did not disclose with certainty the cause of death–homicidal or suicidal, there was as such no incriminating evidence on record to prove the culpability of the appellants. As not only the testimony of the prosecution witnesses with regard to demand for a motorcycle as dowry in marriage is visibly inconsistent, mutilating each other, the defence evidence to the contrary formidably establish the falsity of this charge, he urged. According to Mr. Dave the analysis of the evidence on record by the High Court has been erroneous leading to findings not borne out by the materials on record and thus are indefensible in any view of the matter warranting the acquittal of the appellants.
(11) In emphatic refutation, the learned counsel for the respondent has argued that as admittedly the unfortunate incident had occurred within seven years of marriage in the matrimonial home and that too in suspicious circumstances, all the prerequisites of the offences under Sections 498A and 304B were proved beyond reasonable doubt and thus the impugned decision does not merit interference. The learned Trial Court did err in evaluating the evidence in the correct perspectives and the High Court having undertaken a painstaking review thereof, the findings arrived at by it, following a proper appreciation of the materials on record are not only valid in law but also in the exigent espousal of the cause of justice.
(12) After outlining the rival submissions as above, it is considered expedient next to take a synopsised stock of the evidence adduced by the parties, so as to facilitate a better comprehension of the facets of the lis and the desired adjudication.
(13) PW-1 Kundan Singh, the uncle of the deceased, deposed that the families of the accused persons were joint and that at the marriage, cash and other valuables were gifted to the in-laws of the deceased and that the ceremony was solemnized without any hassle. The witness however referred to a grievance being expressed later on by the deceased alleging that she was being harassed by her husband Rakesh and the appellants as well as Prem Bai, the wife of appellant No.1 relating to the demand of motorcycle in dowry. The witness also referred to another occasion where a similar complaint had been made by the deceased to him. He claimed to have seen the dead body of the deceased hanging from the fan.
(14) In cross-examination, this witness deposed about a demand for motorcycle at the time of marriage but however conceded that no complaint was made to the police for such demand at any point of time. He denied the suggestion that the deceased had committed suicide as because her fidelity to her husband was being questioned in the face of her love affairs with the son of one Thoran Singh, the Sarpanch of the village.
(15) PW-2 Jahar Singh, the father of the deceased mentioned about the demand for a motorcycle by the husband and the in-laws of the deceased at the time of the marriage and also the harassment in connection therewith suffered by the deceased as reported by her to him. The witness also referred to the same demand by the husband in the year 1996 on the occasion of Chowk Vidai, a ritual, whereupon he was assured that as and when it would be financially feasible, the same would be arranged. This witness as well stated that though the demand for the motorcycle was being made since the time of marriage in the year 1994, no complaint was made by him with regard thereto to anybody. When confronted with his statement in course of the investigation, he admitted of the omission in the disclosure that the deceased had confided in him about such demand during her limited stay at the matrimonial home and the harassment and mal-treatment in connection therewith. He denied the suggestion that the deceased had eloped with the son of Thoran Singh and that as a result there was a confrontation between him with the family of Thoran Singh. He also denied the suggestion that in view of this episode there was unpleasantness in the family of the in-laws of the deceased for which they had some reservation in accommodating her in the nuptial house.
(16) PW-3 Jhulla, who at the relevant time was the Sarpanch of the village deposed that the deceased had committed suicide and that when he visited the spot, he did not see any injury on her body.
(17) In cross-examination, he clarified that the appellant No.1 was living separately from the in-laws of the deceased from before the marriage. He also mentioned that the accused persons were held in high esteem in the village and used to behave decently with their daughter-in-law. He also stated that he had not heard about any demand of dowry made by the accused persons.
(18) PW-4 Narayan Singh, a neighbour did mention about the demand of a motorcycle in dowry at the time of marriage and that the deceased had disclosed to her father about harassment meted out to her by the appellants and Prem Bai in connection therewith. In cross-examination the witness testified that there was no demand for dowry before the marriage and that there was no report with regard thereto to the police.
(19) PW-5 Prembai, the mother of the deceased testified that no dowry was fixed before the marriage and no demand was made by the accused persons but they still offered Rs.1 lac to them. She stated that her son-in-law while dining made a demand for motorcycle which according to the witness was assured as and when the finances would be available. This witness deposed that even after two years of marriage, the appellants repeated the said demand to which a similar assurance was again given.
(20) In cross-examination, this witness admitted that before the marriage no demand for motorcycle had been made as dowry, though she mentioned about the complaints made by the deceased to her about harassment by the accused persons for not providing the bike. She admitted that no complaint in this regard was ever made and the relations as well were not informed about the treatment suffered by the deceased.
(21) PW-7 Jahar Singh did state about a demand of motorcycle made by Rakesh, the husband of the deceased.
(22) PW-8 Gyasibai, a neighbour deposed that the deceased had committed suicide and that when she visited the place of occurrence, she did not notice any injury mark on her body. In cross-examination the witness stated that the deceased did never speak to her about the demand and testified that the in-laws did treat her properly and that there was no confrontation at any point of time.
(23) PW-11 Manish Kapuria, the Investigating Officer narrated the steps taken by him in course of the inquisition and mentioned amongst others about the preparation of the panchnama of the dead body. Though this witness stated that the whole exercise was videographed, he admitted that the same had not been produced as evidence. He claimed to have seen two ligature marks on the neck of the deceased.
(24) PW-12 Dr. R.P. Sharma, who had performed the postmortem examination, stated to have identified contusion on the right cheek, middle of left side of neck and middle of left parietal region in the dead body. According to him, the ligature mark was found to be ante-mortem in nature. He also mentioned that the 3 contusions were ante-mortem but opined that the ligature mark was postmortem in occurrence. On an overall assessment however, the witness stated that as at the time of autopsy the body had started putrefying, no opinion as to the cause of death could be given. In cross-examination the witness admitted that the dead body did not wear any other injury other than those mentioned.
(25) The witnesses of the defence, namely, DW-1 Gaya Prasad, DW-2 Munna, DW-3 Har Kunwar Bai and DW-4 Sirnam Singh in unison testified that there was no demand for dowry or motorcycle ever made by the husband of the deceased or her in-laws. They further stated that the appellant No.1 Baijnath had been residing separately from the in-laws of the deceased from before the marriage. According to them, the family of the in-laws of the deceased was sufficiently well-off and did enjoy appreciable reputation in the society. These witnesses were all neighbours of the appellants.
(26) DW-3 Har Kunwar Bai, in addition stated that the deceased had during her marriage eloped with the son of Pradhan of the Village Chitara and that in the night of the incident she was with her, watching television before they parted for their respective rooms to sleep. This witness is the daughter-in-law of appellant No.2 and asserted that neither she nor the deceased had ever been harassed in the family.
(27) The evidence on record and the competing arguments have received our required attention. As the prosecution is on the charge of the offences envisaged in Sections 304B and 498A of the Code, the provisions for reference are extracted hereunder:
“304B. Dowry death.-(1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called “dowry death”, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.
Explanation. – For the purpose of this sub-section, “dowry” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).
(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.
498A. 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 purpose 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.
(28) Whereas in the offence of dowry death defined by Section 304B of the Code, the ingredients thereof are:
(i) death of the woman concerned is by any burns or bodily injury or by any cause other than in normal circumstances and
(ii) is within seven years of her marriage and
(iii) that soon before her death, she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of the husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry.
the offence under Section 498A of the Code is attracted qua the husband or his relative if she is subjected to cruelty. The explanation to this Section exposits “cruelty” as:
(i) 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) or
(ii) 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.
(29) Patently thus, cruelty or harassment of the lady by her husband or his relative for or in connection with any demand for any property or valuable security as a demand for dowry or in connection therewith is the common constituent of both the offences.
(30) The expression “dowry” is ordained to have the same meaning as in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The expression “cruelty”, as explained, contains in its expanse, apart from the conduct of the tormentor, the consequences precipitated thereby qua the lady subjected thereto. Be that as it may, cruelty or harassment by the husband or any relative of his for or in connection with any demand of dowry to reiterate is the gravamen of the two offences.
(31) Section 113B of the Act enjoins a statutory presumption as to dowry death in the following terms:
“113B. Presumption as to dowry death. – When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.
Explanation. – For the purpose of this section, “dowry death” shall have the same meaning as in section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)” (32) Noticeably this presumption as well is founded on the proof of cruelty or harassment of the woman dead for or in connection with any demand for dowry by the person charged with the offence. The presumption as to dowry death thus would get activated only upon the proof of the fact that the deceased lady had been subjected to cruelty or harassment for or in connection with any demand for dowry by the accused and that too in the reasonable contiguity of death.
Such a proof is thus the legislatively mandated prerequisite to invoke the otherwise statutorily ordained presumption of commission of the offence of dowry death by the person charged therewith.
(33) A conjoint reading of these three provisions, thus predicate the burden of the prosecution to unassailably substantiate the ingredients of the two offences by direct and convincing evidence so as to avail the presumption engrafted in Section 113B of the Act against the accused. Proof of cruelty or harassment by the husband or her relative or the person charged is thus the sine qua non to inspirit the statutory presumption, to draw the person charged within the coils thereof. If the prosecution fails to demonstrate by cogent coherent and persuasive evidence to prove such fact, the person accused of either of the above referred offences cannot be held guilty by taking refuge only of the presumption to cover up the shortfall in proof.
(34) The legislative primature of relieving the prosecution of the rigour of the proof of the often practically inaccessible recesses of life within the guarded confines of a matrimonial home and of replenishing the consequential void, by according a presumption against the person charged, cannot be overeased to gloss-over and condone its failure to prove credibly, the basic facts enumerated in the Sections involved, lest justice is the casualty.
(35) This Court while often dwelling on the scope and purport of Section 304B of the Code and Section 113B of the Act have propounded that the presumption is contingent on the fact that the prosecution first spell out the ingredients of the offence of Section 304B as in Shindo Alias Sawinder Kaur and another Vs. State of Punjab – (2011) 11 SCC 517 and echoed in Rajeev Kumar Vs. State of Haryana – (2013) 16 SCC 640. In the latter pronouncement, this Court propounded that one of the essential ingredients of dowry death under Section 304B of the Code is that the accused must have subjected the woman to cruelty in connection with demand for dowry soon before her death and that this ingredient has to be proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt and only then the Court will presume that the accused has committed the offence of dowry death under Section 113B of the Act. It referred to with approval, the earlier decision of this Court in K. Prema S. Rao Vs. Yadla Srinivasa Rao – (2003) 1 SCC 217 to the effect that to attract the provision of Section 304B of the Code, one of the main ingredients of the offence which is required to be established is that “soon before her death” she was subjected to cruelty and harassment “in connection with the demand for dowry”.
(36) Tested on the judicially adumbrated parameters as above, we are of the unhesitant opinion that the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt, cruelty or harassment to the deceased for or in connection with any demand for dowry as contemplated in either of the two provisions of the Code under which the accused persons had been charged. Noticeably, the alleged demand centers around a motorcycle, which as the evidence of the prosecution witnesses would evince, admittedly did not surface at the time of finalization of the marriage. PW-5, the mother of the deceased has even conceded that there was no dowry demand at that stage. According to her, when the husband (who is dead) had insisted for a motorcycle thereafter he was assured that he would be provided with the same, finances permitting. Noticeably again, the demand, as sought to be projected by the prosecution, if accepted to be true had lingered for almost two years. Yet admittedly, no complaint was made thereof to anyone, far less the police. Apart from the general allegations in the same tone ingeminated with parrot like similarity by the prosecution witnesses, the allegation of cruelty and harassment to the deceased is founded on the confidential communications by her to her parents in particular and is not supported by any other quarter.
(37) To the contrary, the evidence of the defence witnesses is consistent to the effect that no demand as imputed had ever been made as the family of the husband was adequately well-off and further the appellant No.1 Baijnath had been living separately from before the marriage. According to them there was no occasion for any quarrel/confrontation or unpleasantness in the family qua this issue. Significant is also the testimony of DW-3, the sister-in-law of the deceased who indicated abandonment of the matrimonial home by her with the son of Thoran Singh, the Sarpanch of the village for which she understandably had incurred the displeasure of the in-laws. DW-4, the father of DW-3 who had given his daughter in marriage in the same family had deposed that he did not ever encounter any demand for dowry. The testimony of the prosecution witnesses PW-3 and PW-7 fully consolidate the defence version.
(38) A cumulative consideration of the overall evidence on the facet of dowry, leaves us unconvinced about the truthfulness of the charge qua the accused persons. The prosecution in our estimate, has failed to prove this indispensable component of the two offences beyond reasonable doubt. The factum of unnatural death in the matrimonial home and that too within seven years of marriage therefore is thus ipso facto not sufficient to bring home the charge under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code against them.
(39) The predicament of the prosecution is compounded further by the by its failure to prove, the precise cause of the death of the deceased. It is not clear as to whether the death has been suicidal or homicidal. It is also not proved beyond doubt, the origin and cause of the external injuries. Though the obscurity of the causative factors is due to the putrefaction of the body, the benefit of the deficiency in proof, logically would be available to the persons charged.
(40) In all, tested on the overall scrutiny of the evidence as a whole, in our comprehension, the conviction of the accused persons including the appellants herein on the basis of the materials on record would not be out of risk. To reiterate, the prosecution has failed to prove the crucial ingredient of cruelty and harassment by direct and cogent evidence thereby disentitling itself to the benefit of the statutory presumption available under Section 113B of the Act.
(41) Whereas the analysis of the evidence by the Trial Court, in our view, has been in the proper perspectives, factual and legal and thus the findings recorded by it are valid, the High Court based its determination substantially on presumptive inferences taking the aid of Section 113B of the Act, divorced from the attendant facts and the evidence with regard thereto. We are thus of the opinion, that the conclusions of the High Court do not constitute a plausible view on the materials on record and cannot be sustained.
(42) The appellants thus in view of the evaluation made hereinabove are entitled to the benefit of doubt. The appeal is allowed. The impugned judgment and order is set-aside. The appellants are hereby ordered to be set at liberty forthwith if not wanted in connection with any other case. Let the records of the Trial Court be remitted immediately for the needful.
……………………………………….J. (DIPAK MISRA) ……………………………………….J.
(AMITAVA ROY) NEW DELHI;
NOVEMBER 18, 2016.

Courts can’t impose onerous & unreasonable conditions (huge cash deposit) before bail !! Madras HC

in this case the lower courts ordered deposit of Rs 15000 by village labour (daily wage earners) and the HON MADRAS HC after considering various HC and SC cases decided that such onerous conditions cannot be imposed. the cases quoted by the HC are very important and strike at the very root of lower courts imposing such onerous conditions

This case should help husbands who are seeking AB in 498a, 406 cases filed by wife

The cases referred to should also make good reading

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

Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

Date: 05-02-2015

Coram
The Hon?ble Mr.Justice S.Vaidyanathan

Crl.O.P.(MD)Nos.19196 of 2014
& Crl.O.P.(MD)Nos.19197 of 2014
&
M.P(MD)No.1 of 2014 in
Crl.OP.(MD)No.19196 of 2014

1.Amaldoss
2.Kannan
3.Meganathan
4.Saminathan
5.Santhana Raju            .. Petitioners in Crl.O.P.(MD)No.
19196 of 2014
1.Mathialagan
2.Tamilalagan
3.Karunanithi
4.Tamilarasan
5.Kalaiyarasan            .. Petitioners in Crl.O.P.(MD)No.
19197 of 2014

Versus

State,
Rep. by the Inspector of Police,
Patteeswaram Police Station,
Thanjavur District.                        .. Respondent

in both petitions Prayer These Criminal Original Petitions are filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., praying to set aside the second condition imposed by the learned Principal Sessions Judge, Thanjavur in his order, dated 14.10.2014 in Crl.M.P.No.3779 and 3827 of 2014.

!For Petitioners : Mr.M.Karunanithi ^For Respondents : Mr.P.Kandasamy Government Advocate (Crl. Side) for R1 Mr.B.Jameel Arasu for Intervenor :COMMON ORDER By order, dated 14.10.2014 in Crl.M.P.Nos.3779 and 3827 of 2014, while granting anticipatory bail to the petitioners herein, the learned Principal District and Sessions Judge, Thanjavur, apart from other conditions, imposed a condition, directing the petitioners to deposit a sum of Rs.15,000/- each before the learned Judicial Magistrate, Kumbakonam.

  1. Aggrieved by the said condition, the petitioners have come forward with the present petitions, seeking to set aside the same.
  2. The learned counsel for the appearing for petitioner would submit that the petitioners are agricultural coolies and they find difficulty even to eke out their day-to-day livelihood and hence, they are unable to comply with the condition imposed by the Court below in respect of making deposit of Rs.15,000/- before the learned Magistrate. He would contend that the learned Judge is not having jurisdiction to impose such condition and in fact there is no statutory provision nor any judicial pronouncement empowering the learned Judge to impose condition for depositing of money upon a person at the time of granting bail to him. Therefore, he contended that condition imposed by the Court below is onerous and it tantamounts to abuse of the process of the Court. In support of his contention, the learned counsel relied upon decisions of this Court, in ?Alluvdin versus Inspector of Police, Vandhavasi Police Station?(2001 Crl.L.J.2672); ?N.Sasikala versus Enforcement Officer, Enforcement Directorate, Madras?(1997 Crl.L.J.2120) and also of the Hon?ble Supreme Court reported in ?Ramathal & others versus Inspector of Police and another? (2009 Crl.L.J.2271).

  3. On the other, the learned Government Advocate (Crl.side) would contend that in cases where there would be no possibility of granting anticipatory bail, if the Court comes to the conclusion on facts and satisfied that the person is entitled to anticipatory bail on certain terms and conditions, the same should be not ordinarily interfered with by this Court.

  4. Chapter XXXIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the provisions as to ?Bail and Bonds?.

  5. Section 437 of Cr.P.C. empowers the authority of law to impose any condition while granting bail to any person accused of, which reads as under: “437. When bail may be taken in case of non-bailable offence. 1[(1) When any person accused of, or suspected of, the commission of any non- bailable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer in charge of a police station or appears or is brought before a court other than the High Court or Court of Session, he may be released on bail, but- (i) Such person shall not be so released if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life; (ii) Such person shall not be so released if such offence is a cognizable offence and he had been previously convicted of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for seven years or more, or he had been previously convicted on two or more occasions of a non- bailable and cognizable offence: Provided that the court may direct that a person referred to in clause (i) or clause (ii) be released on bail if such person is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm: Provided further that the court may also direct that a person referred to in clause (ii) be released on bail if it is satisfied that it is just and proper so to do for any other special reason: Provided also that the mere fact that an accused person may be required for being identified by witnesses during investigation shall not be sufficient ground for refusing to grant bail if he is otherwise entitled to be released on bail and gives an undertaking that the shall comply with such directions as may be given by the court.] (2) If it appears to such officer or court at any stage of the investigation, inquiry or trial as the case may be, that there are not reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has committed a non-bailable offence, but that there are sufficient grounds for further inquiry into his guilt, 2[the accused shall, subject to the provisions of section 446A and pending such inquiry, be released on bail], or, at the discretion of such officer or court on the execution by him of a bond without sureties for his appearance as hereinafter provided. (3) When a person accused or suspected of the commission of an offence punishable with imprisonment which may extend to seven years or more or of an offence under Chapter VI, Chatter XVI or Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code 45 of 1860 or abetment of, or conspiracy or attempt to commit, any such offence, is released on bail under sub-section (1) the court may impose any condition which the court considers necessary- (a) In order to ensure that such person shall attend in accordance with the conditions of the bond executed under this Chapter, or (b) In order to ensure that such person shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused or of the commission of which he is suspected, or (c) Otherwise in the interests of justice. (4) An officer or a court releasing any person on bail under sub-section (1), or sub- section (2), shall record in writing his or its 3[reasons or special reasons] for so doing. (5) Any court which has released a person on bail under sub-section (1), or sub- section (2), may, if it considers it necessary so to do, direct that such person be arrested and commit him to Custody. (6) If, any case triable by a Magistrate, the trial of a person accused of any non bailable offence is not Concluded within a period of sixty days from the first date fixed for – taking evidence in the case, such person shall, if he is in custody during the whole of the said period, be released on bail to the satisfaction of the Magistrate, unless for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Magistrate otherwise directs. (7) If, at any time after the conclusion of the trial of a person accused of a non bailable offence and before Judgment is delivered the Court is of opinion that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of any such offence, it shall release the accused, if he is in custody, on the execution by him of a bond without sureties for his appearance to hear judgment delivered.”

  6. Sub-Section 2 of Section 438 envisages conditions which can be imposed while granting anticipatory bail, which as under: “438 (2) When the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction under sub- section (1), it may include such conditions in such directions in the light of the facts of the particular case, as it may thinks fit, including – (i) A condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer and when required; (ii) A condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly,- make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or to any police officer, (iii) A condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the court; (iv) Such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted -under that section.”

  7. Section 440, 441 and 445 of Cr.P.C. are also relevant and they are extracted as under: ?440. Amount of bond and reduction thereof. (1) The amount of every bond executed under this chapter shall be fixed with due regard to the circumstances of the case and shall not be excessive. (2) The High Court or Court of Session may direct that the bail required by a police officer or Magistrate be reduced. ?441. Bond of accused and sureties. (1) Before any person is released on bail or released on his own bond, a bond for such sum of money as the police officer or Court, as the case may be, thinks sufficient shall be executed by such person, and, when he is released on bail, by one or more sufficient sureties conditioned that such person shall attend at the time and place mentioned in the bond, and shall continue so to attend until otherwise directed by the police officer or Court, as the case may be. (2) Where any condition is imposed for the release of any person on bail, the bond shall also contain that condition. (3) If the case so requires, the bond shall also bind the person released on bail to appear when called upon at the High Court, Court of Session or other Court to answer the charge. (4) For the purpose of determining whether the sureties are fit or sufficient, the Court may accept affidavits in proof of the facts contained therein relating to the sufficiency or fitness of the sureties, or, if it considers necessary, may either hold an inquiry itself or cause an inquiry to be made by a Magistrate subordinate to the Court, as to such sufficiency or fitness. ?445. Deposit instead of recognizance. When any person is required by any Court or officer to execute a bond with or without sureties, such Court or officer may, except in the case of a bond for good behaviour, permit him to deposit a sum of money or Government promissory notes to such amount as the Court of officer may if in lieu of executing such bond. ?

  8. A careful consideration of the provisions of Sections 437(3) and 438(2) Criminal Procedure Code shows that conditions which can be imposed are primarily with a view to ensure availability of the accused during investigation, enquiry or trial and his non-interference with the course of justice. Other conditions which Court may think fit can also be imposed but idea should be to ensure his presence as and when required and his non- interference with the investigation, enquiry or trial.

  9. Section 440 Cr.P.C. denotes that the amount of every bond executed shall be fixed with due regard to the circumstances of the case and shall not be excessive. Section 441 Cr.P.C. reads that before any person is released on bail or released on his own bond, a bond for such sum of money as the Court thinks sufficient shall be executed by such person. Section 441 does not speak about deposit of any cash security. Only in certain contingencies, where the accused is unable to secure sureties for his release, he is permitted to deposit a sum of money or Government promissory Note as the Court may fix in lieu of executing such bond, under Section 445, Cr.P.C.

  10. Keeping in view of the above, the issue for consideration is whether the Court below can insist for deposit of money as a condition for grant of bail to the petitioners?

  11. In fact, this issue is no longer res integra as in catena of decisions, various High Courts as well as the Hon?ble Supreme Court have consistently held that imposing condition of depositing money is excessively onerous and unreasonable and such condition may even amount to denial of bail itself.

  12. In ?Sreenivasulu Reddy versus State of Tamil Nadu? reported in (2002) 10 SCC 653, wherein, this Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused on condition to deposit total Rs.50 crores apart from other conditions, which was also complied with by the accused, however aggrieved by imposition of such condition, the accused preferred appeal before the Hon?ble Apex Court. While dealing with the same, the Hon?ble Supreme Court had emphasized that while exercising jurisdiction under Section 438(2) of the Cr.PC, the Court ought only to impose such conditions/terms for enlarging an accused on bail as would ensure that the accused does not abscond. In para 6, it has been held as under: ?6. Having considered the rival submissions and the provisions of Section 438 Cr. PC, we are of the considered opinion that the Court while exercising jurisdiction under Section 438 Cr. PC, must bear in mind and be satisfied that the accused will not abscond or otherwise misuse liberty and this can be ascertained from several factors like conduct of the accused in the past, his assets in the country and so on. But, while granting such anticipatory bail, though the Court may impose such conditions as it thinks fit, but the object of putting conditions should be to avoid the possibility of the person hampering investigation. The discretion of the Court while putting conditions should be an exercise of judicial discretion. ?.

  13. In ?Sandeep Jain v. State of Delhi? reported in (2000) 2 SCC 66, wherein, a direction of the Metropolitan Magistrate, to deposit Rs. 2 lacs apart from furnishing of a bond of Rs. 50,000 with two solvent sureties as a condition precedent for bail, was held to be unreasonable. In ?Sheikh Ayub v. State of M.P.? (2004) 13 SCC 457, wherein, the Supreme Court deleted the direction to deposit a sum of Rs. 2,50,000/-, which was the amount allegedly misappropriated by the accused.

  14. In ?Shyam Singh v. State? reported in (2006) 9 SCC 169, wherein, the Hon?ble Supreme Court, has held in para 4 as under : ?4. We are unable to appreciate even the first order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate imposing the onerous condition that an accused at the FIR stage should pay a huge sum of Rs 2 lakhs to be set at liberty. If he had paid it is a different matter. But the fact that he was not able to pay that amount and in default thereof he is to languish in jail for more than 10 months now, is sufficient indication that he was unable to make up the amount. Can he be detained in custody endlessly for his inability to pay the amount in the range of Rs 2 lakhs? If the cheques issued by his surety were dishonoured, the Court could perhaps have taken it as a ground to suggest to the payee of the cheques to resort to the legal remedies provided by law. Similarly if the Court was dissatisfied with the conduct of the surety as for his failure to raise funds for honouring the cheques issued by him, the Court could have directed the appellant to substitute him with another surety. But to keep him in prison for such a long period, that too in a case where bail would normally be granted for the offences alleged, is not only hard but improper. It must be remembered that the Court has not even come to the conclusion that the allegations made in the FIR are true. That can be decided only when the trial concludes, if the case is charge-sheeted by the police.?

  15. In ?Keshab Narayan versus State of Bihar? reported in AIR 1985 SC 1666, the Hon?ble Supreme Court held that the condition to furnish cash security with sureties for the likesum appears to be excessively onerous and such conditions may virtually amount to denial of bail itself.

  16. In ?Hussainara Khatoon (I) v. Home Secy., State of Bihar, reported in (1980) 2 SCC 81, the Hon?ble Supreme Court has held as under in para 3: ?3. Now, one reason why our legal and judicial system continually denies justice to the poor by keeping them for long years in pre-trial detention is our highly unsatisfactory bail system. It suffers from a property oriented approach which seems to proceed on the erroneous assumption that risk of monetary loss is the only deterrent against fleeing from justice. The Code of Criminal Procedure, even after its re-enactment, continues to adopt the same antiquated approach as the earlier Code enacted towards the end of the last century and where an accused is to be released on his personal bond, it insists that the bond should contain a monetary obligation requiring the accused to pay a sum of money in case he fails to appear at the trial. Moreover, as if this were not sufficient deterrent to the poor, the courts mechanically and as a matter of course insist that the accused should produce sureties who will stand bail for him and these sureties must again establish their solvency to be able to pay up the amount of the bail in case the accused fails to appear to answer the charge. This system of bails operates very harshly against the poor and it is only the non-poor who are able to take advantage of it by getting themselves released on bail. The poor find it difficult to furnish bail even without sureties because very often the amount of the bail fixed by the courts is so unrealistically excessive that in a majority of cases the poor are unable to satisfy the police or the Magistrate about their solvency for the amount of the bail and where the bail is with sureties, as is usually the case, it becomes an almost impossible task for the poor to find persons sufficiently solvent to stand as sureties. The result is that either they are fleeced by the police and revenue officials or by touts and professional sureties and sometimes they have even to incur debts for securing their release or, being unable to obtain release, they have to remain in jail until such time as the court is able to take up their cases for trial, leading to grave consequences, namely, (1) though presumed innocent, they are subjected to psychological and physical deprivations of jail life, (2) they are prevented from contributing to the preparation of their defence, and (3) they lose their job, if they have one, and are deprived of an opportunity to work to support themselves and their family members with the result that the burden of their detention almost invariably falls heavily on the innocent members of the family. It is here that the poor find our legal and judicial system oppressive and heavily weighted against them and a feeling of frustration and despair occurs upon them as they find that they are helplessly in a position of inequality with the non-poor. The Legal Aid Committee appointed by the Government of Gujarat under the chairmanship of one of us, Mr Justice Bhagwati, emphasised this glaring inequality in the following words: ?The bail system, as we see it administered in the criminal courts today, is extremely unsatisfactory and needs drastic change. In the first place it is virtually impossible to translate risk of non-appearance by the accused into precise monetary terms and even its basic premise that risk of financial loss is necessary to prevent the accused from fleeing is of doubtful validity. There are several considerations which deter an accused from running away from justice and risk of financial loss is only one of them and that too not a major one. The experience of enlightened Bail Projects in the United States such as Manhattan Bail Project and D.C. Bail Project shows that even without monetary bail it has been possible to secure the presence of the accused at the trial in quite a large number of cases. Moreover, the bail system causes discrimination against the poor since the poor would not be able to furnish bail on account of their poverty while the wealthier persons otherwise similarly situate would be able to secure their freedom because they can afford to furnish bail. This discrimination arises even if the amount of the bail is fixed by the Magistrate is not high, for a large majority of those who are brought before the courts in criminal cases are so poor that they would find it difficult to furnish bail even in a small amount.?

  17. In ?Mahesh Chandra versus State of U.P.? reported in (2006) 6 SCC 196, wherein, while remitting the matter for fresh consideration, the Hon?ble Supreme Court set aside the order of the High Court of U.P., in and by which, as a condition for grant of anticipatory bail, the High Court has recorded the undertaking of the petitioners to pay to the victim daughter-in-law a sum of Rs. 2000 per month and failure to do so would result in vacation of the order granting bail. The Hon?ble Supreme Court observed that the parties cannot be made liable to deposit Rs.2000 per month for the maintenance for the victim and while deciding a bail application, it is not the jurisdiction of the High Court to decide civil disputes as between the parties.

  18. Therefore, the practice of imposing condition for depositing of money for granting the bail has been deprecated by the High Courts and the Hon?ble Supreme Court. Of course, while granting the bail, the Court of law is entitled to put certain conditions at its discretion, however, it should not be ignored that such conditions must be reasonable and judicious and should not be arbitrary. In fact, no provision in Code of Criminal Procedure contemplates cash deposit as a condition precedent for grant of bail, but may permit the person to deposit a sum of money in lieu of executing a bond and giving surety of one or two persons. It is needless to state that granting or denying the bail depending upon the circumstances of each case, is within the exclusive discretion of the Court of law or authority, however, such discretion should not be exercised arbitrarily. Once the court comes to the conclusion on the facts and circumstances of the case that a person is entitled to the benefit of bail, then no condition other than those enumerated in Section 437(3) or 438(2) can be imposed. Imposition of such unreasonable condition is not only beyond the purview of the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure but also beyond the powers of the court. Discretion does not mean that it has no arena or boundary. No Court having howsoever absolute power can traverse beyond the arena carved out for it. Even absolute discretion does not admit element of arbitrariness or whimsicality or capriciousness.

  19. Having regard to the above, this Court is of the view that the condition imposed by the learned Principal Sessions Judge, Thanjavur in his order, dated 14.10.2014 in Crl.M.P.No.3779 and 3827 of 2014, while granting anticipatory bail to the petitioners, to deposit a sum of Rs.15,000/-, is onerous and unreasonable and hence, it is set aside.

Accordingly, these Criminal Original Petitions are allowed. Consequently, the connected Miscellaneous petition is closed.

Suk                            05-02-2015
Index: Yes/No
Internet:Yes/No
S.VAIDYANATHAN, J.

Suk

When a PARAMOUR sought maintenance from his mistress & was denied by AP HC!

A paramour who lived-in with a woman when he was already legally married to another with three other children, tries to file a restitution (RCR – sec 9 HMA) on her !! She seems to have filed a 498a cocktail in response !!. The 498a is quashed because she is NOT the legally wedded wife of that guy. Then this Paramour goes on to file Sec 125 against that woman !!! (yes !) and the lower court seems to have admitted the case. So the wife goes for quashing the case

and the Hon AP HC appreciates the facts and orders “…….When the husband is not entitled to claim maintenance even from his legally wedded wife by pressing into service Section 125 Cr.P.C., the question of claiming maintenance by a paramour from a kept mistress or a husband from his second wife is unimaginable. Allowing a paramour to claim maintenance from his kept mistress or concubine under Section 125 Cr.PC., certainly would amount to making mockery of the provisions of Cr.P.C. If this type of petitions are allowed, the very purpose of Section 125 Cr.PC will be defeated or frustrated.

  1. From a perusal of the record, it is manifest that the first respondent instituted the proceedings against the petitioner with an ulterior motive to wreak vengeance against her. When the statute itself does not entitle a husband to claim maintenance, petition under Section 125 Cr.PC is not maintainable. ….”

Well.. court cases are stranger than fiction !!

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

Andhra High Court

Smt.Malleshwaramma, … vs G.S.Srinivasulu, … on 15 July, 2016

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE T. SUNIL CHOWDARY

CRIMINAL PETITION No.6481 OF 2010

15-7-2016

Smt.Malleshwaramma, D/o.K.Venkataiah ..PETITIONER

G.S.Srinivasulu, S/o.Satyanarayana And another …RESPONDENTS

Counsel for Petitioner  :Sri C.M.R.Velu

Counsel for Respondent No.1:Ms.G.Sudha
Counsel for Respondent No.2:Public Prosecutor

HEAD NOTE:

? Cases referred
1.      AIR 1988 SC 644
2.      (2005) 3 SCC 636
3.      2006(2) ALD (Crl.) 493 (AP)
4.      (2014) 1 SCC 188
5.      Keynote address on Legal Education in Social Context delivered at National Law University, Jodhpur on October 12, 2005.
6.      III (2015) DMC 705 (MP)
7.      1982 CRI.L.J. 1022
8.      (2011) 12 SCC 189
9.      Mohabhai Ali Khan v Mohd. Ibrahim Khan, (1928-29) 56 IA 201: AIR 1929 PC 135
10.     (2002) 3 SCC 533
11.     1992 Supp (1) SCC 335
12.     (2009) 3 SCC 78
13.     (1976) 3 SCC 736
14.     (2007) 12 SCC 1

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE T.SUNIL CHOWDARY

CRIMINAL PETITION No.6481 of 2010

ORDER:

  1. This petition is filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C., to quash the proceedings in M.C. No.7 of 2010 on the file of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Shadnagar.
  2. The facts leading to filing of the present criminal petition are as follows: The first respondent herein filed M.C. No.7 of 2010 claiming maintenance of Rs.8,000/- per month from the petitioner alleging that she is his legally wedded wife and the first respondent is unable to maintain himself due to ill health. It is the case of the first respondent that his marriage was solemnized with petitioner on 27.10.1994 at Yadagirigutta as per the customs prevailing in their community. Immediately after the marriage, the petitioner joined with him to lead conjugal life and they were blessed with a daughter by name Srilatha. The petitioner left the matrimonial home of the first respondent along with her daughter at the instigation of her parents. Prior to the marriage, the first respondent helped the petitioner to prosecute her studies and get job in Health department. The first respondent filed O.P. No.72 of 2006 for restitution of conjugal rights on the file of the court of Senior Civil Judge, Mahabubnagar and the same was allowed on 14.11.2007. Basing on the complaint of the petitioner, the Station House Officer, Atchampet Police Station, Mahabubnagar District registered a case in Crime No.30 of 2007 for the offences under Section 498A, 506 and 509 IPC against the first respondent. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

  3. The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is three fold: (1) the petitioner is not the legally wedded wife of the first respondent; (2) a husband is not entitled to claim maintenance from his wife under Section 125 Cr.PC; and (3) the proceedings against the petitioner are nothing short of abuse of process of law; therefore it is a fit case to quash the proceedings by exercising inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.PC. Per contra, learned counsel for the first respondent submitted that under Section 125 Cr.P.C., first respondent is entitled to claim maintenance from the petitioner, who is his legally wedded wife. She further submitted that the order passed in O.P. No.72 of 2016 clinchingly establishes that the petitioner is legally wedded wife of the first respondent.

  4. To substantiate the argument, learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn my attention to the following decisions: (i) Smt.Yamunabai Anantrao Adhav v Anantral Shivaram Adhav , wherein the Honble Apex Court held as follows: 8. We, therefore, hold that the marriage of a woman in accordance with the Hindu rites with a man having a living spouse is a complete nullity in the eye of law and she is not entitled to the benefit of Section 125 of the Code. The appeal is accordingly dismissed. (ii) Savitaben Somabhai Bhatia v State of Gujarat , wherein the Honble Apex Court held as follows: 15. .. The marriage of a woman in accordance with the Hindu rites with a man having a living spouse is a complete nullity in the eye of law and she is therefore not entitled to the benefit of Section 125 of the Code or the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (in short the ‘Marriage Act’). : (iii) Buddepu Khogayya v Buddepu Kamalu , wherein this court held as follows: 7. Therefore, the averment itself clearly indicates that there is legally wedded wife to the first respondent by the date of marriage of the petitioner. Hence, she cannot be treated as wife as per the provisions of Section 125 Cr.PC and therefore, she is not entitled for any maintenance.

  5. The learned counsel for the first respondent, while submitting that strict proof of marital relationship is not necessary in proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C., relied upon the following decisions: (i) Badshah v Urmila Badshah Godse , wherein the Honble Apex Court held as follows: 13.3. While dealing with the application of a destitute wife or hapless children or parents under this provision (Section 125 Cr.PC), the Court is dealing with the marginalized sections of the society. The purpose is to achieve social justice which is the constitutional vision, enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution of India.  4. Of late, in this very direction, it is emphasized that the courts have to adopt different approaches in social justice adjudication, which is also known as social context adjudication as mere adversarial approach may special protection and benefits to vulnerable groups in the society. Prof. Madhava Menon describes it eloquently: It is, therefore, respectfully submitted that social context judging is essentially the application of equality jurisprudence as evolved by Parliament and the Supreme Court in myriad situations presented before courts where unequal parties are pitted in adversarial proceedings and where courts are called upon to dispense equal justice. Apart from the social-economic inequalities accentuating the disabilities of the poor in an unequal fight, the adversarial process itself operates to the disadvantage of the weaker party. In such a situation, the Judge has to be not only sensitive to the inequalities of parties involved but also positively inclined to the weaker party if the imbalance were not to result in miscarriage of justice. This result is achieved by what we call social context judging or social justice adjudication . (ii) Roshan Singh Nepali v Meena Nepali , wherein the Madhya Pradesh High Court observed as follows: 4. In a proceeding under Section 125 of the Code, the Court is expected to pass appropriate order after being prima facie satisfied about the relation status of the parties. (iii) Aijaz Ahmad Lalri v Smt.Shahjehan Begum , wherein Allahabad High Court held as follows: The proceedings under Section 125, Cr.PC may be akin to civil proceedings, but one important distinction between the two cannot be overlooked, namely, the object behind the enactment of maintenance provisions in the Cr.PC. The crux of the matter always is whether the party claiming maintenance has the means or not. The law of pleading in civil cases may be more strict, but it may not be so when the matter of public policy and its objective are involved. Apart from that, the powers under Section 482 Cr.PC are exercised to secure the ends of justice and to prevent abuse of the process of any law and when the clear finding of fact is that the opposite parties have no means to maintain themselves, the Court will not exercise any such inherent powers in favour of the applicant on account of any defect in pleadings. (iv) Pyla Mutyalamma v Pyla Suri Demudu , wherein the Honble Apex Court held at Para No.1 as follows: Under the law, a second wife whose marriage is void on account of survival of the previous marriage of her husband with a living wife is not a legally wedded wife and she is, therefore, not entitled to maintenance under Section 125 Cr.PC for the sole reason that law leans in favour of legitimacy and frowns upon bastardy . But, the law also presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a long number of years and when the man and woman are proved to have lived together as man and wife, the law will presume, unless the contrary is clearly proved, that they were living together in consequence of a valid marriage and not in a state of concubinage.

  6. From the above case law the following principles can be deduced. (1) If a man and woman lived together for such a long time as wife and husband, the wife is entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C., notwithstanding establishment of marriage as per the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act; (2) A man who marries second time by concealing the subsistence of his valid marriage with another woman cannot escape from payment of maintenance to the second wife under Section 125 Cr.PC; 3) A woman who marries a man knowing fully well about subsistence of his valid marriage with another woman is not entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 Cr.PC. (4) While dealing with the petitions filed under Section 125 Cr.PC prima facie proof of relationship is sufficient to award maintenance.

  7. Let me consider the facts of the case on hand in the light of the above legal principles. Establishment of prima facie relationship of wife and husband is sine qua non to file petition under Section 125 Cr.PC. If the parties to the proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C., are Hindus, the claimant has to establish that the marriage with the first respondent is legally valid and their marriage is not hit by Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

  8. The crucial question that falls for consideration is whether the first respondent is entitled to claim maintenance from the petitioner by filing petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C or not. As per the averments made in the petition (M.C.), the marriage of the first respondent was performed with the petitioner on 27.10.1994 at Yadagirigutta as per the customs prevailing in their community. Basing on the petition averments, one can safely come to a conclusion that the petitioner is the only legally wedded wife of the first respondent. The first respondent filed O.P. No.72 of 2006 on the file of the court of Senior Civil Judge, Mahabubnagar against the petitioner under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rites and the same was allowed on 14.11.2007. The first respondent is placing much reliance on the order in the O.P. to establish that the petitioner is his legally wedded wife. It is not in dispute that the petitioner did not contest the O.P.; therefore, the court passed the ex parte order. Basing on the complaint lodged by the petitioner, the Station House Officer, Atchampet Police Station registered a case in Crime No.30 of 2007 against the first respondent for the offences under Sections 498A, 506 and 509 IPC. The first respondent obtained anticipatory bail in Crl.P. No.6818 of 2007 on 18.11.2007. For better appreciation of the rival contentions, it is not out of place to extract paragraph No.2 of Crl.P.No.6818 of 2007. 2. As per the said report, the petitioner herein was married and was having three children. He developed contact with her in the year 1994 when she was working at Government Civil Hospital, Perur. They together lived for 10 years at Shadnagar, Mahaboobnagar District and they were blessed with a daughter aged 11 years. It is said that suspecting her character and making wild allegations, he used to abuse her and threaten her saying that he will kill her and her daughter. He also used to abuse on Telephone the staff working in the hospital.

  9. A reading of the above paragraph clearly shows that the first respondent has taken a specific stand that he developed intimacy with the petitioner in the year 1994. If the contents of this criminal petition are taken into consideration, the first respondent did not marry the petitioner. The first respondent also filed Crl.P.No.2745 of 2007 seeking to quash the criminal proceedings against him in Crime No.30 of 2007 on the file of the Station House Officer, Atchampet Police Station. This court, vide order dated 20.7.2007, allowed the criminal petition and quashed the criminal proceedings against the first respondent in Crime No.30 of 2007 for the offence under Section 498A IPC. The relevant observations in the order read as follows: Even if the entire allegations in the complaint are taken as true and correct, they do not go to show that the de facto complainant is the legally wedded wife of the petitioner. At best, it would go to show that the de facto complainant was kept mistress. It is also stated that the petitioner was having wife and three children. The petitioner was harassing her after making her as his second wife. He was suspecting the conduct of the de facto complainant and was abusing her in vulgar language and he also threatened to kill her and her child. Therefore, the allegations do not show prima facie case of the offences under Sections 506 and 509 IPC. Hence, question of quashing the proceedings does not arise. Prima facie Section 498A IPC has no application. Hence, the proceedings are liable to be quashed.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

  10. This court made an observation that the petitioner is only kept mistress of the first respondent basing on the stand taken by the first respondent in Crl.P. No.2745 of 2007.

  11. Before filing M.C. No.7 of 2010, the first respondent has taken specific stand that he developed intimacy with petitioner in the year 1994 which resulted in the birth of Srilatha. The fact remains that the petitioner was having legally wedded wife before developing contacts with petitioner in 1994. Even as per the case of the first respondent, he was blessed with three children through his first wife. In order to constitute a valid marriage, neither of the partiesif they are Hindusshall have a spouse living at the time of marriage in view of Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

  12. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and also the principles enunciated in the decisions cited supra, I am unable to accede to the contention of the learned counsel for the first respondent that the petitioner is the legally wedded wife of the first respondent.

  13. Even assuming, but not admitting, that the first respondent is husband of the petitioner, the point to be determined in this case is, whether a husband is entitled to claim maintenance from wife by filing petition under Section 125 Cr.PC. It is not out of place to extract hereunder the relevant portion of Section 125 Cr.PC.

  14. Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents: (1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain (a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or (b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, unable to maintain itself, or (c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself, or (d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself, a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at such monthly rate as such magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct.

  15. The object of Section 125 Cr.PC is to wipe off the tears of destitute wife, hapless legitimate or illegitimate children and parents. The Parliament in its wisdom incorporated Section 125 Cr.PC to achieve the above social object. There is a social and legal obligation on the part of a man to look after the welfare of his wife, legitimate and illegitimate minor children and parents. There is no ambiguity in the language employed in Section 125 Cr.PC.

  16. It is a cardinal principle of interpretation of statutes that the court shall not substitute or omit any of the words used in the statute unless there is ambiguity in it. The court has to interpret the words used in a statute in the context and the purpose for which it is used. In interpreting a statutory provision, the first and foremost rule of interpretation is the literal construction. All that the Court has to see, at the very outset, is what the provision says. If the provision is unambiguous and if, from the provision, the legislative intent is clear, the Court need not call into aid the other rules of construction of statutes. The other rules of construction of statutes are called into aid only when the legislative intent is not clear.

  17. In Padma Sundara Rao v State of T.N. , the Honble Apex Court in paragraph No.12 (relevant portion) observed as follows: It is well-settled principle in law that the court cannot read anything into a statutory provision which is plain and unambiguous. A statute is an edict of the legislature. The language employed in a statute is the determinative factor of legislative intent. The first and primary rule of construction is that the intention of the legislation must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. The question is not what may be supposed and has been intended but what has been said.

  18. It appears, the Parliament, in its wisdom, intentionally not included the words husband or spouse after the words his wife and preceding the words unable to maintain in clause (a) of Sub- section (1) of Section 125 Cr.PC; therefore, a husband is not entitled to file application under Section 125 Cr.PC claiming maintenance from the wife. My view is supported by Section 24 of HM Act, which reads as follows: 24 Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings. Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the first respondent to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner’s own income and the income of the first respondent, it may seem to the court to be reasonable: Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be.

  19. A perusal of Section 24 of H.M. Act makes it clear that not only the wife but also the husband is entitled to claim maintenance on showing that he has no independent source of income. However, the husband will have to satisfy the court that either due to physical or mental disability he is handicapped to earn and support his livelihood.

  20. After reading Section 24 of H.M. Act and Section 125 Cr.P.C., the court can safely arrive at a conclusion that under Section 125 Cr.P.C., husband is not entitled to claim maintenance from his wife. When the husband is not entitled to claim maintenance even from his legally wedded wife by pressing into service Section 125 Cr.P.C., the question of claiming maintenance by a paramour from a kept mistress or a husband from his second wife is unimaginable. Allowing a paramour to claim maintenance from his kept mistress or concubine under Section 125 Cr.PC., certainly would amount to making mockery of the provisions of Cr.P.C. If this type of petitions are allowed, the very purpose of Section 125 Cr.PC will be defeated or frustrated.

  21. From a perusal of the record, it is manifest that the first respondent instituted the proceedings against the petitioner with an ulterior motive to wreak vengeance against her. When the statute itself does not entitle a husband to claim maintenance, petition under Section 125 Cr.PC is not maintainable. (i) In State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal , the Honble Supreme Court held at clause (7) of paragraph No.102 as follows: (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. (ii) In V.Y. Jose v. State of Gujarat , the Honble Supreme Court held at paragraph No.23 as follows: 23. Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure saves the inherent power of the court. It serves a salutary purpose viz. a person should not undergo harassment of litigation for a number of years although no case has been made out against him. (iii) In State of Karnataka v L.Muniswamy , the Supreme Court observed that the wholesome power under Section 482 Cr.P.C., entitles the High Court to quash proceedings when it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceedings to continue would be an abuse of the process of the court or that the ends of justice require that the proceedings ought to be quashed. (iv) A three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Inder Mohan Goswami v State of Uttaranchal , after examining the scope and ambit of Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, observed that inherent powers under Section 482 should be exercised for the advancement of justice. If any abuse of the process leading to injustice is brought to the notice of the Court, then the Court would be fully justified in preventing injustice by invoking the inherent powers of the Court.

  22. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and also the principles enunciated in the cases cited supra, I am of the considered view that continuation of the proceedings against the petitioner would certainly amount to abuse of process of law. Therefore, it is a fit case to quash the proceedings against the petitioner in order to secure ends of justice. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

  23. In the result, the criminal petition is allowed, quashing the proceedings in M.C.No.7 of 2010 on the file of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class, Shadnagar. Miscellaneous petitions, if any pending in this criminal petition, shall stand closed.

T.SUNIL CHOWDARY, J

July 15, 2016.


*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 344 OF 2009

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

Munish Bhasin & Ors. … Appellants

Versus

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

J U D G M E N T

J.M. PANCHAL, J.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  10. The Appeal is accordingly disposed of.

…………………………J. [R.V. Raveendran]

…………………………J. [J.M. Panchal]

New Delhi;

February 20, 2009.


*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.


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


Hon JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA quashes #fake498a against NRI husband. Guj HC #498aQuash

In this case, wife files #498a case on her #NRI_Husband. Three incidents are alleged, one of which is on on Feb 2014 while the husband has left India on 04th june 2013 !! He seems to have taken employment and is living in Bahrain (Middle East). The Mother in law is projected as a cruel woman but the allegations against her are vague in nature.

The Hon Judge orders as follows “….I have no hesitation worth the name in quashing the proceedings of the Criminal Case referred to above so far as the mother-in-law is concerned. As such, there are no allegations which constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. Whatever allegations have been levelled are quite vague and general. So far as the husband is concerned, I take notice of the fact that from June 2013 he is in Bahrain. It seems that he has taken up employment in Bahrain. As usual, it appears that the first informant could not adjust herself at her matrimonial home on account of the disputes which could be termed as mundane matters. In the result, this application is allowed. The FIR being CR-II No.44 of 2014 registered with the Jalalpore Police Station, District Navsari, as well as the proceedings of the Criminal Case No.3757 of 2014 pending in the Court of the learned JMFC, Navsari, are hereby quashed. …”

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

R/CR.MA/12027/2015 ORDER

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION (FOR QUASHING & SET ASIDE FIR/ORDER) NO. 12027 of 2015

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

PARESHBHAI PRAVINBHAI PATEL & 1….Applicant(s)

Versus

STATE OF GUJARAT & 1….Respondent(s)

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

Appearance:
MR ZUBIN F BHARDA, ADVOCATE for the Applicant(s) No. 1 – 2
DS AFF.NOT FILED (R) for the Respondent(s) No. 2
MS NISHA THAKORE, APP for the Respondent(s) No. 1

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

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA

Date : 02/02/2017

ORAL ORDER

The respondent no.2 although served with the notice issued by this Court, yet has chosen not to remain present either in person or through an advocate and oppose this application.

By this application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the applicants – original accused nos.1 and 2 seek to invoke the inherent powers of this Court praying for quashing of the FIR being CR-II No.44 of 2014 registered with the Jalalpore Police Station, District Navsari, for the offence punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 504 read with Section 114 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

The applicants before me are none other than the husband and the mother-in-law of the respondent no.2 – first informant.

It appears from the materials on record that the respondent no.2 got married to the applicant no.1 on 10th December 2012. It is alleged in the FIR that the husband is addicted to liquor. The husband used to pick up quarrel on petty issues and harass the first informant.

In the FIR, there is a reference of three specific incidents. Let me start with the incident of 15th February 2013. It is alleged that on that day, the applicant no.1 came home heavily drunk and started beating the first informant. According to the first informant, she left the matrimonial home. While at her parental home, she realized that she had conceived. On 28th September 2013, the first informant gave birth to a baby girl at the Civil Hospital, Navsari. It is alleged that no one from the family of the husband came to inquire about the health of the first informant or to have a look at the new born baby. The third incident is dated 26th February 2014. It is alleged that on that particular day, the applicant no.1 called up the first informant on her mobile and told her that if she would get Rs.1 lac from her parents he would come on the next day and take her back to the matrimonial home. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

As usual, the mother-in-law has also been projected as a very cruel woman.

Mr.Bharda, the learned counsel appearing for the applicant, submitted that even if the entire case of the first informant is accepted or believed to be true, none of the ingredients to constitute an offence of cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code are spelt out. He submitted that the FIR is false for the simple reason that on 26th February 2014, the applicant no.1 was not in India and was in Bahrain (Middle East). The learned counsel pointed out that the applicant no.1 left India on 4th June 2013. This itself goes to show that the FIR was concocted by levelling false allegations. He submitted that there is no case worth the name so far as the mother-in-law is concerned.

On the other hand, this application has been vehemently opposed by Ms.Thakore, the learned APP appearing for the State. The learned APP would submit that the plain reading of the FIR prima facie discloses commission of a cognizable offence. The learned APP would submit that the police should be permitted to complete the investigation so far as the applicant no.1 is concerned. She pointed out that charge-sheet has been filed so far as the mother-in-law is concerned, and in the said charge-sheet, the applicant no.1 has been shown as an absconder. She prays that this application be rejected. Having heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and having considered the materials on record, the only question that falls for my consideration is, whether the FIR so far as the applicant no.1 is concerned, should be quashed and the proceedings of the Criminal Case No.3757 of 2014 pending in the Court of the learned JMFC, Navsari, so far as the applicant no.2 is concerned, should be quashed. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

I have no hesitation worth the name in quashing the proceedings of the Criminal Case referred to above so far as the mother-in-law is concerned. As such, there are no allegations which constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. Whatever allegations have been levelled are quite vague and general. So far as the husband is concerned, I take notice of the fact that from June 2013 he is in Bahrain. It seems that he has taken up employment in Bahrain. As usual, it appears that the first informant could not adjust herself at her matrimonial home on account of the disputes which could be termed as mundane matters.

In the result, this application is allowed. The FIR being CR-II No.44 of 2014 registered with the Jalalpore Police Station, District Navsari, as well as the proceedings of the Criminal Case No.3757 of 2014 pending in the Court of the learned JMFC, Navsari, are hereby quashed. Rule made absolute to the aforesaid extent. Direct service is permitted.

(J.B.PARDIWALA, J.)

MOIN


*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.


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