Tag Archives: supreme court

#Wife #convicted of murdering 3 children files #false #dowry case. Husband wins #divorce on #cruelty. SCC

Classic case where #matrimonial #cruelty is discussed; Smt. #Mayadevi vs #Jagdish #Prasad on 21 February, 2007; #Supreme #Court of India

A married woman, mother of four kids acts cruelly to her children, keeps them tied with ropes, does NOT even feed the husband, borrows monies and refused to repay the same and finally #kills #three of her children #throwing them into a #well !! She is arrested and #convicted u/s #302IPC. She filed an application for bail. While on bail, she filed a false case alleging dowry demand against the respondent-husband and his family members. Final report was given by police and it was observed that a false case had been lodged. However husband wins divorce on grounds of crulety. Supreme court affirms the same !!

This case establishes that proof beyond reasonable doubt is NOT required in matrimonial disputes: The concept of proof beyond the shadow of doubt is to be applied to criminal trials and not to civil matters and certainly not to matters of such delicate personal relationship as those of husband and wife. Therefore, one has to see what are the probabilities in a case and legal cruelty has to be found out, not merely as a matter of fact but as the effect on the mind of the complainant spouse because of the acts or omissions of the other. Cruelty may be physical or corporeal or may be mental. In physical cruelty, there can be tangible and direct evidence, but in the case of mental cruelty there may not at the same time be direct evidence. In cases where there is no direct evidence. Courts are required to probe into the mental process and mental effect of incidents that are brought out in evidence. It is in this view that one has to consider the evidence in matrimonial matters.

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Supreme Court of India

Smt. Mayadevi vs Jagdish Prasad on 21 February, 2007

Author: . A Pasayat

Bench: Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Dalveer Bhandari

CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 877 of 2007

PETITIONER: Smt. Mayadevi

RESPONDENT: Jagdish Prasad

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 21/02/2007

BENCH: Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & DALVEER BHANDARI

JUDGMENT:

J U D G M E N T (Arising out of SLP (C) NO. 3686 OF 2006) Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.

Leave granted.

Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment rendered by a learned Single Judge of the Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur dismissing the appeal filed by the appellant under Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (in short the ‘Act’).

Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:

Respondent filed an application for divorce on the ground of cruelty alleging that because of the acts of cruelty on several occasions perpetuated by the appellant, the respondent- husband was under apprehension that it would not be desirable and safe to stay with the appellant and to continue their marital relationships.

It was, inter-alia, stated in the divorce petition as follows:

Parties got married according to the Hindu rites on 17.4.1993. The appellant’s father was an employee in the Railway department and the appellant used to make demands for money frequently and used to quarrel when money was not paid. She did not even provide food to her husband or the children and used to threaten the husband to falsely implicate him in a case of dowry demand and to kill the children and to put the blame on the respondent-husband and his family members. On 23.10.1999 she took Rs.1,05,000/- from the respondent and acknowledged the receipt of the money in the diary of the respondent-husband. She used to borrow money from time to time at the behest of her parents. From the wedlock four children were borne namely, Neha, Anu, Khemraj and Vishnu Sagar. The appellant used to keep the children tied by ropes and she attempted to throw them down from the rooftop and used to physically torture them. She was temperamentally very cruel and used to behave cruelly with the children also. She always used to threaten that she will destroy the whole family of the respondent and that there would be no successor left in the family. On 5.4.2002 at about 12.00 noon she left her parental home alongwith three children namely, Neha, Anu and Khemraj on the pretext that she was going to her parental house which was located in the same village. Since she did not return till evening as was told to the respondent-husband, he started searching for her. During course of search the garments and slippers of the children and the appellant were found lying near the well of Ramialji. Police was informed and on search dead bodies of the three children were recovered from the well and appellant was also taken out of the well. A criminal case was instituted and she was convicted for an offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the ‘IPC’). She was pregnant at that time and subsequently delivered a child. She filed an application for bail. While on bail, she filed a false case alleging dowry demand against the respondent-husband and his family members. Final report was given by police and it was observed that a false case had been lodged. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

The appellant filed her response to the petition for divorce and contended that no amount was borrowed by her father or any of her family members. The respondent-husband used to threaten her for dowry and she had never perpetuated any cruelty so far as the children and the husband are concerned. She did not know as to how the children fell into the well. She was herself unconscious and recovered after about four days. The husband, in fact, turned her out of matrimonial home on 5.4.2002 alongwith their three children. Unfortunately, she and the three children fell into the well. The appeal is pending against her conviction. The trial Court found that the allegation of cruelty was established. Several instances were noted. One of them related to her behaviour on the date of judgment in the criminal case. After the judgment of conviction was pronounced, she threatened to kill the husband and prosecute him. It was also noted by the trial Court that the allegation made by her alleging for dowry demand was dis-believed and the police gave final report stating that the case was falsely lodged. The trial Court granted the decree of divorce which was, as noted above, confirmed by the High Court in appeal by dismissing appellant appeal.

Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the foundation of decree for divorce is the alleged conviction for which the appeal is pending and, therefore, the High Court should not have disposed of the matter. In any event, it is submitted that it was the husband and his family members who were torturing her and being threatened by the husband she had not made any grievance with the police. Unfortunately, when she made the allegation, the police did not properly investigate the matter and gave a final report exonerating the husband.

Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand submitted that the instances highlighted by the trial Court and analysed in great detail by the High Court clearly made out a case for dowry and no interference is called for in this appeal.

The expression “cruelty” has not been defined in the Act. Cruelty can be physical or mental. Cruelty which is a ground for dissolution of marriage may be defined as wilful and unjustifiable conduct of such character as to cause danger to life, limb or health, bodily or mental, or as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of such a danger. The question of mental cruelty has to be considered in the light of the norms of marital ties of the particular society to which the parties belong, their social values, status, environment in which they live. Cruelty, as noted above, includes mental cruelty, which falls within the purview of a matrimonial wrong. Cruelty need not be physical. If from the conduct of his spouse same is established and/or an inference can be legitimately drawn that the treatment of the spouse is such that it causes an apprehension in the mind of the other spouse, about his or her mental welfare then this conduct amounts to cruelty. In delicate human relationship like matrimony, one has to see the probabilities of the case. The concept, a proof beyond the shadow of doubt, is to be applied to criminal trials and not to civil matters and certainly not to matters of such delicate personal relationship as those of husband and wife. Therefore, one has to see what are the probabilities in a case and legal cruelty has to be found out, not merely as a matter of fact, but as the effect on the mind of the complainant spouse because of the acts or omissions of the other. Cruelty may be physical or corporeal or may be mental. In physical cruelty, there can be tangible and direct evidence, but in the case of mental cruelty there may not at the same time be direct evidence. In cases where there is no direct evidence, Courts are required to probe into the mental process and mental effect of incidents that are brought out in evidence. It is in this view that one has to consider the evidence in matrimonial disputes.

The expression ‘cruelty’ has been used in relation to human conduct or human behaviour. It is the conduct in relation to or in respect of matrimonial duties and obligations. Cruelty is a course or conduct of one, which is adversely affecting the other. The cruelty may be mental or physical, intentional or unintentional. If it is physical, the Court will have no problem in determining it. It is a question of fact and degree. If it is mental, the problem presents difficulties. First, the enquiry must begin as to the nature of cruel treatment, second the impact of such treatment in the mind of the spouse, whether it caused reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to live with the other. Ultimately, it is a matter of inference to be drawn by taking into account the nature of the conduct and its effect on the complaining spouse. However, there may be a case where the conduct complained of itself is bad enough and per se unlawful or illegal. Then the impact or injurious effect on the other spouse need not be enquired into or considered. In such cases, the cruelty will be established if the conduct itself is proved or admitted (See Shobha Rani v. Madhukar Reddi, AIR 1988 SC 121 and A. Jayachandra v. Aneel Kaur 2005 (2) SCC 22 ).

To constitute cruelty, the conduct complained of should be “grave and weighty” so as to come to the conclusion that the petitioner spouse cannot be reasonably expected to live with the other spouse. It must be something more serious than “ordinary wear and tear of married life”. The conduct, taking into consideration the circumstances and background has to be examined to reach the conclusion whether the conduct complained of amounts to cruelty in the matrimonial law. Conduct has to be considered, as noted above, in the background of several factors such as social status of parties, their education, physical and mental conditions, customs and traditions. It is difficult to lay down a precise definition or to give exhaustive description of the circumstances, which would constitute cruelty. It must be of the type as to satisfy the conscience of the Court that the relationship between the parties had deteriorated to such an extent due to the conduct of the other spouse that it would be impossible for them to live together without mental agony, torture or distress, to entitle the complaining spouse to secure divorce. Physical violence is not absolutely essential to constitute cruelty and a consistent course of conduct inflicting immeasurable mental agony and torture may well constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 10 of the Act. Mental cruelty may consist of verbal abuses and insults by using filthy and abusive language leading to constant disturbance of mental peace of the other party.

The Court dealing with the petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty has to bear in mind that the problems before it are those of human beings and the psychological changes in a spouse’s conduct have to be borne in mind before disposing of the petition for divorce. However insignificant or trifling, such conduct may cause pain in the mind of another. But before the conduct can be called cruelty, it must touch a certain pitch of severity. It is for the Court to weigh the gravity. It has to be seen whether the conduct was such that no reasonable person would tolerate it. It has to be considered whether the complainant should be called upon to endure as a part of normal human life. Every matrimonial conduct, which may cause annoyance to the other, may not amount to cruelty. Mere trivial irritations, quarrels between spouses, which happen in day-to-day married life, may also not amount to cruelty. Cruelty in matrimonial life may be of unfounded variety, which can be subtle or brutal. It may be words, gestures or by mere silence, violent or non-violent.

The foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another. Tolerance to each other’s fault to a certain bearable extent has to be inherent in every marriage. Petty quibbles, trifling differences should not be exaggerated and magnified to destroy what is said to have been made in heaven. All quarrels must be weighed from that point of view in determining what constitutes cruelty in each particular case and as noted above, always keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their character and social status. A too technical and hyper-sensitive approach would be counter-productive to the institution of marriage. The Courts do not have to deal with ideal husbands and ideal wives. It has to deal with particular man and woman before it. The ideal couple or a mere ideal one will probably have no occasion to go to Matrimonial Court. (See Dastane v. Dastane, AIR 1975 SC 1534). http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick

The instances of cruelty highlighted by the trial Court and also by the High Court clearly prove that the husband was subjected to mental and physical cruelty. It is not a fact as submitted by learned counsel for the appellant that the conviction in the criminal case was the foundation for the decree. On the contrary, the trial Court clearly mentioned that the aspect was not taken note of as the appeal was pending.

In view of what has been stated above, the inevitable result is dismissal of the appeal which we direct. There will be no order as to costs.

Merely weekends together or a #one #night #stand would #not make it #domestic #relationship’ SCC

classic case defining domestic relationship . Hon J Katju, SCC

/////////33. In our opinion a relationship in the nature of marriage' is akin to a common law marriage. Common law marriages require that although not being formally married :- (a) The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses. (b) They must be of legal age to marry. (c) They must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried. (d) They must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time. (seeCommon Law Marriage’ in Wikipedia on Google) In our opinion a relationship in the nature of marriage' under the 2005 Act must also fulfill the above requirements, and in addition the parties must have lived together in ashared household’ as defined in Section 2(s) of the Act. Merely spending weekends together or a one night stand would not make it a `domestic relationship’.

34. In our opinion not all live in relationships will amount to a relationship in the nature of marriag8e to get the benefit of the Act of 2005. To get such benefit the conditions mentioned by us above must be satisfied, and this has to be proved by evidence. If a man has a `keep’ whom he maintains financially and uses mainly for sexual purpose and/or as a servant it would not, in our opinion, be a relationship in the nature of marriage’ //////////

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 2028-2029__OF 2010
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) Nos.2273-2274/2010]

D. Velusamy                                         ..        Appellant

-versus-

D. Patchaiammal                                    ..      Respondent

JUDGMENT

Markandey Katju, J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. Heard learned counsel for the appellant. None has appeared for the respondent although she has been served notice. We had earlier requested Mr. Jayant Bhushan, learned Senior counsel to assist us as Amicus Curiae in the case, and we record our appreciation of Mr. Bhushan who was of considerable assistance to us.
  3. These appeals have been filed against the judgment of the Madras High Court dated 12.10.2009.
  4. The appellant herein has alleged that he was married according to the Hindu Customary Rites with one Lakshmi on 25.6.1980. Out of the wedlock with Lakshmi a male child was born, who is now studying in an Engineering college at Ooty. The petitioner is working as a Secondary Teacher in Thevanga Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore.
  5. It appears that the respondent-D. Patchaiammal filed a petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. in the year 2001 before the Family Court at Coimbatore in which she alleged that she was married to the appellant herein on 14.9.1986 and since then the appellant herein and she lived together in her father’s house for two or three years. It is alleged in the petition that after two or three years the appellant herein left the house of the respondent’s father and started living in his native place, but would visit the respondent occasionally.
  6. It is alleged that the appellant herein (respondent in the petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C.) deserted the respondent herein (petitioner in the proceeding under Section 125 Cr.P.C.) two or three years after marrying her in 1986. In her petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. she alleged that she did not have any kind of livelihood and she is unable to maintain herself whereas the respondent (appellant herein) is a Secondary Grade Teacher drawing a salary of Rs.10000/- per month. Hence it was prayed that the respondent (appellant herein) be directed to pay Rs.500/- per month as maintenance to the petitioner.
  7. In both her petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. as well as in her deposition in the case the respondent has alleged that she was married to the appellant herein on 14.9.1986, and that he left her after two or three years of living together with her in her father’s house.
  8. Thus it is the own case of the respondent herein that the appellant left her in 1988 or 1989 (i.e. two or three years after the alleged marriage in 1986). Why then was the petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. filed in the year 2001, i.e. after a delay of about twelve years, shall have to be satisfactorily explained by the respondent. This fact also creates some doubt about the case of the respondent herein.
  9. In his counter affidavit filed by the appellant herein before the Family Court, Coimbatore, it was alleged that the respondent (appellant herein) was married to one Lakshmi on 25.6.1980 as per the Hindu Marriage rites and customs and he had a male child, who is studying in C.S.I. Engineering college at Ooty. To prove his marriage with Lakshmi the appellant produced the ration card, voter’s identity card of his wife, transfer certificate of his son, discharge certificate of his wife Lakshmi from hospital, photographs of the wedding, etc.
  10. The learned Family Court Judge has held by his judgment dated 5.3.2004 that the appellant was married to the respondent and not to Lakshmi. These findings have been upheld by the High Court in the impugned judgment. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
  11. In our opinion, since Lakshmi was not made a party to the proceedings before the Family Court Judge or before the High Court and no notice was issued to her hence any declaration about her marital status vis-`- vis the appellant is wholly null and void as it will be violative of the rules of natural justice. Without giving a hearing to Lakshmi no such declaration could have validly be given by the Courts below that she had not married the appellant herein since such as a finding would seriously affect her rights. And if no such declaration could have been given obviously no declaration could validly have been given that the appellant was validly married to the respondent, because if Lakshmi was the wife of the appellant then without divorcing her the appellant could not have validly married the respondent.
  12. It may be noted that Section 125 Cr.P.C. provides for giving maintenance to the wife and some other relatives. The word `wife’ has been defined in Explanation (b) to Section 125(1) of the Cr.P.C. as follows : “Wife includes a woman who has been divorced by, or has obtained a divorce from, her husband and has not remarried.”
  13. In Vimala (K) vs. Veeraswamy (K) [(1991) 2 SCC 375], a three- Judge Bench of this Court held that Section 125 of the Code of 1973 is meant to achieve a social purpose and the object is to prevent vagrancy and destitution. Explaining the meaning of the word `wife’ the Court held: “..the object is to prevent vagrancy and destitution. It provides a speedy remedy for the supply of food, clothing and shelter to the deserted wife. When an attempt is made by the husband to negative the claim of the neglected wife depicting her as a kept-mistress on the specious plea that he was already married, the court would insist on strict proof of the earlier marriage. The term `wife’ in Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, includes a woman who has been divorced by a husband or who has obtained a divorce from her husband and has not remarried. The woman not having the legal status of a wife is thus brought within the inclusive definition of the term `wife’ consistent with the objective. However, under the law a second wife whose marriage is void on account of the survival of the first marriage is not a legally wedded wife, and is, therefore, not entitled to maintenance under this provision.”
  14. In a subsequent decision of this Court in Savitaben Somabhat Bhatiya vs. State of Gujarat and others, AIR 2005 SC 1809, this Court held that however desirable it may be to take note of the plight of an unfortunate woman, who unwittingly enters into wedlock with a married man, there is no scope to include a woman not lawfully married within the expression of `wife’. The Bench held that this inadequacy in law can be amended only by the Legislature.
  15. Since we have held that the Courts below erred in law in holding that Lakshmi was not married to the appellant (since notice was not issued to her and she was not heard), it cannot be said at this stage that the respondent herein is the wife of the appellant. A divorced wife is treated as a wife for the purpose of Section 125 Cr.P.C. but if a person has not even been married obviously that person could not be divorced. Hence the respondent herein cannot claim to be the wife of the appellant herein, unless it is established that the appellant was not married to Lakshmi.
  16. However, the question has also be to be examined from the point of view of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Section 2(a) of the Act states :
    • “2(a) “aggrieved person” means any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent”; 
    • Section 2(f) states :
      • “2(f) “domestic relationship” means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family”;
    • Section 2(s) states :
      • “2(s) “shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household.”
    • Section 3(a) states that an act will constitute domestic violence in case it-
      • “3(a) harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse;” or (emphasis supplied)
  17. The expression “economic abuse” has been defined to include :  “(a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance”.  (emphasis supplied)
  18. An aggrieved person under the Act can approach the Magistrate under Section 12 for the relief mentioned in Section 12(2). Under Section 20(1)(d) the Magistrate can grant maintenance while disposing of the application under Section 12(1).
  19. Section 26(1) provides that the relief mentioned in Section 20 may also be sought in any legal proceeding, before a civil court, family court or a criminal court.
  20. Having noted the relevant provisions in The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, we may point out that the expression `domestic relationship’ includes not only the relationship of marriage but also a relationship `in the nature of marriage’. The question, therefore, arises as to what is the meaning of the expression `a relationship in the nature of marriage’. Unfortunately this expression has not been defined in the Act. Since there is no direct decision of this Court on the interpretation of this expression we think it necessary to interpret it because a large number of cases will be coming up before the Courts in our country on this point, and hence an authoritative decision is required.
  21. In our opinion Parliament by the aforesaid Act has drawn a distinction between the relationship of marriage and a relationship in the nature of marriage, and has provided that in either case the person who enters into either relationship is entitled to the benefit of the Act.
  22. It seems to us that in the aforesaid Act of 2005 Parliament has taken notice of a new social phenomenon which has emerged in our country known as live-in relationship. This new relationship is still rare in our country, and is sometimes found in big urban cities in India, but it is very common in North America and Europe. It has been commented upon by this Court in S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal & Anr. (2010) 5 SCC 600 (vide para 31).
  23. When a wife is deserted, in most countries the law provides for maintenance to her by her husband, which is called alimony. However, earlier there was no law providing for maintenance to a woman who was having a live-in relationship with a man without being married to him and was then deserted by him.
  24. In USA the expression `palimony’ was coined which means grant of maintenance to a woman who has lived for a substantial period of time with a man without marrying him, and is then deserted by him (see `palimony’ on Google). The first decision on palimony was the well known decision of the California Superior Court in Marvin vs. Marvin (1976) 18 C3d660. This case related to the famous film actor Lee Marvin, with whom a lady Michelle lived for many years without marrying him, and was then deserted by him and she claimed palimony. Subsequently in many decisions of the Courts in USA, the concept of palimony has been considered and developed. The US Supreme Court has not given any decision on whether there is a legal right to palimony, but there are several decisions of the Courts in various States in USA. These Courts in USA have taken divergent views, some granting palimony, some denying it altogether, and some granting it on certain conditions. Hence in USA the law is still in a state of evolution on the right to palimony.
  25. Although there is no statutory basis for grant of palimony in USA, the Courts there which have granted it have granted it on a contractual basis. Some Courts in USA have held that there must be a written or oral agreement between the man and woman that if they separate the man will give palimony to the woman, while other Courts have held that if a man and woman have lived together for a substantially long period without getting married there would be deemed to be an implied or constructive contract that palimony will be given on their separation.
  26. In Taylor vs. Fields (1986) 224 Cal. Rpr. 186 the facts were that the plaintiff Taylor had a relationship with a married man Leo. After Leo died Taylor sued his widow alleging breach of an implied agreement to take care of Taylor financially and she claimed maintenance from the estate of Leo. The Court of Appeals in California held that the relationship alleged by Taylor was nothing more than that of a married man and his mistress. It was held that the alleged contract rested on meretricious consideration and hence was invalid and unenforceable. The Court of Appeals relied on the fact that Taylor did not live together with Leo but only occasionally spent weekends with him. There was no sign of a stable and significant cohabitation between the two.
  27. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court in Devaney vs. L’ Esperance 195 N.J., 247 (2008) held that cohabitation is not necessary to claim palimony, rather “it is the promise to support, expressed or implied, coupled with a marital type relationship, that are indispensable elements to support a valid claim for palimony”. A law has now been passed in 2010 by the State legislature of New Jersey that there must be a written agreement between the parties to claim palimony.
  28. Thus, there are widely divergent views of the Courts in U.S.A. regarding the right to palimony. Some States like Georgia and Tennessee expressly refuse to recognize palimony agreements.
  29. Written palimony contracts are rare, but some US Courts have found implied contracts when a woman has given up her career, has managed the household, and assisted a man in his business for a lengthy period of time. Even when there is no explicit written or oral contract some US Courts have held that the action of the parties make it appear that a constructive or implied contract for grant of palimony existed.
  30. However, a meretricious contract exclusively for sexual service is held in all US Courts as invalid and unenforceable.
  31. In the case before us we are not called upon to decide whether in our country there can be a valid claim for palimony on the basis of a contract, express or implied, written or oral, since no such case was set up by the respondent in her petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C.
  32. Some countries in the world recognize common law marriages. A common law marriage, sometimes called de facto marriage, or informal marriage is recognized in some countries as a marriage though no legally recognized marriage ceremony is performed or civil marriage contract is entered into or the marriage registered in a civil registry (see details on Google).
  33. In our opinion a `relationship in the nature of marriage’ is akin to a common law marriage. Common law marriages require that although not being formally married :-
    • (a) The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses.
    • (b) They must be of legal age to marry.
    • (c) They must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried.
    • (d) They must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time. (see `Common Law Marriage’ in Wikipedia on Google)
    • In our opinion a `relationship in the nature of marriage’ under the 2005 Act must also fulfill the above requirements, and in addition the parties must have lived together in a `shared household’ as defined in Section 2(s) of the Act. Merely spending weekends together or a one night stand would not make it a `domestic relationship’.
  34. In our opinion not all live in relationships will amount to a relationship in the nature of marriag8e to get the benefit of the Act of 2005. To get such benefit the conditions mentioned by us above must be satisfied, and this has to be proved by evidence. If a man has a `keep’ whom he maintains financially and uses mainly for sexual purpose and/or as a servant it would not, in our opinion, be a relationship in the nature of marriage’
  35. No doubt the view we are taking would exclude many women who have had a live in relationship from the benefit of the 2005 Act, but then it is not for this Court to legislate or amend the law. Parliament has used the expression `relationship in the nature of marriage’ and not `live in relationship‘. The Court in the grab of interpretation cannot change the language of the statute.
  36. In feudal society sexual relationship between man and woman outside marriage was totally taboo and regarded with disgust and horror, as depicted in Leo Tolstoy’s novel `Anna Karenina’, Gustave Flaubert’s novel `Madame Bovary’ and the novels of the great Bengali writer Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya.
  37. However, Indian society is changing, and this change has been reflected and recognized by Parliament by enacting The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
  38. Coming back to the facts of the present case, we are of the opinion that the High Court and the learned Family Court Judge erred in law in holding that the appellant was not married to Lakshmi without even issuing notice to Lakshmi. Hence this finding has to be set aside and the matter remanded to the Family Court which may issue notice to Lakshmi and after hearing her give a fresh finding in accordance with law. The question whether the appellant was married to the respondent or not can, of course, be decided only after the aforesaid finding. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
  39. There is also no finding in the judgment of the learned Family Court Judge on the question whether the appellant and respondent had lived together for a reasonably long period of time in a relationship which was in the nature of marriage. In our opinion such findings were essential to decide this case. Hence we set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and Family Court Judge, Coimbatore and remand the matter to the Family Court Judge to decide the matter afresh in accordance with law and in the light of the observations made above. Appeals allowed.

………………………………J. (MARKANDEY KATJU)

……………………………….J. (T. S. THAKUR)

NEW DELHI;

21st OCTOBER, 2010


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


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


A #criminal #case, an #abuse of #process of #law 2 implicate accused after 12 years, quashed by SC !

Husbands often seek good quash cases. While it is nice to have 498a quash cases, it is also necessary to understand how various courts approach a quash and how sometimes one has to go up to Apex court to get results

Here is a good case that discusses the facts of the complaint and also various cornerstone cases, before quashing a criminal case, an abuse of the process of law
////////////////17. In view of the above discussion and facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that none of the offences for which the appellants are summoned, is made out from the complaint and material on record. We further find that it is nothing but abuse of process of law on the part of the complainant to implicate the appellants in a criminal case after a period of twelve years of execution of registered sale deeds in question, who is neither party to the sale deeds nor a member of the Society. Therefore, we allow the appeal and set aside the orders passed by the High Court and that of the courts below. Accordingly, the order passed by the Magistrate summoning the appellants in the criminal complaint filed by respondent No. 1, in respect of offences punishable under Sections 406, 409 and 420 IPC, also stands quashed.//////////

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Reportable

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.953 OF 2015

(@ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 330 of 2015)

Mr. Robert John D’Souza and others… Appellants

Versus

Mr. Stephen V. Gomes and another… Respondents

J U D G M E N T

Prafulla C. Pant, J.

  1. This appeal is directed against order dated 9.10.2014, passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in Criminal Petition No. 658 of 2014 whereby said court has dismissed the petition, and declined to quash the Criminal Complaint case No. 357 of 2012, filed by respondent No. 1, against the appellants.
  2. Brief facts of the case are that a Society named – Mukka Welfare Society was constituted on 28.3.1970 for charitable work and social service, registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1970. Appellant No. 1, appellant No. 2 and appellant No. 3 were President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively, while appellant Nos. 4 to 7 were Directors of the Society. Other appellants are their relatives. A piece of land bearing S. No. 239/10 measuring 0.50 acres in Village Suratkal, Taluk Mangalore, was purchased by the Society vide registered sale deed dated 28.1.1978 from one Smt. Kaveri Hengsu. It is alleged by the complainant (respondent No. 1) that appellant Nos. 1 to 7, being members of the Executive and Directors of Mukka Welfare Society, misusing the position, held Board Meetings on 22.9.1995 and 13.10.1995 facilitating the sale of the above mentioned land in favour of their relatives (appellant Nos. 7 to 12). The sale deeds were executed on 16.2.1996. It is further stated that the purchasers (appellant Nos. 7 to 12), executed sale deeds in the same year in favour of the Directors of the Society. It is alleged by the complainant/respondent No.1 that the appellants have fraudulently usurped the property through the sale deeds mentioned above, and thereby committed cheating.

  3. The criminal complaint filed by respondent No. 1 was registered by the 1 st Additional Senior Civil Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mangalore, DK, who, after recording the statement of the complainant under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short “CrPC”), summoned the appellants vide order dated 13.4.2012 in respect of offences punishable under Sections 406, 409, 420 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The appellants filed Criminal Revision Petition No. 58 of 2012 before the Principal Sessions & District Judge of D.K. District at Mangalore, which was dismissed vide order dated 6.2.2013. Thereafter, the appellants filed a petition under Section 482 CrPC before the High Court and the same was also dismissed. Hence this appeal through special leave.

  4. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the papers on record.

  5. The impugned orders passed by the High Court and the other authorities below are challenged before us mainly on the following grounds: – (i) Respondent No. 1/complainant is not a member of the “Mukka Welfare Society” nor is he in any manner connected with the affairs of the Society, as such he has no locus to file the criminal complaint. (ii) The sale deeds in question were executed in the year 1996, and the criminal complaint is filed malafide by respondent No. 1 after a period of fourteen years, in the year 2010, as such the courts below have erred in law in not taking note of said fact. (iii) The courts below have erred in law in not appreciating that the complaint in question was filed to get personal vendetta by respondent No. 1 against the Directors of the Society. (iv) The courts below further erred in not considering the fact that the complainant/respondent No. 1 had earlier filed a complaint, with same set of facts, before the Deputy Commissioner, Dakshin Kannada, Mangalore, and the same was sent to Police Station Suratkal for investigation, and the Circle Inspector, after investigation, did not find any offence to have been committed by the appellants, as the dispute was purely of civil in nature. (v) Ingredients of the offences punishable under Sections 406, 409 and 420 IPC are not made out. (vi) None of the transactions of sale in question is against any bye-law or clause of Memorandum of Association of the Society.

  6. In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of respondent No.1, it has been stated that the complainant came to know of the transactions of sale, only in the year 2009, whereafter he complained before the Deputy Commissioner, D.K., as such the issue raised as to delay in filing the complaint is unfounded. It is further stated that the Mukka Welfare Society receives donations from various institutions and general public. The allegation of personal vendetta, pleaded in the appeal by the appellants, has been denied in the counter affidavit. Lastly, defending the orders passed by the courts below, it is stated that the courts below have committed no error of law.

  7. Arguments were advanced by learned counsel for the parties on the above lines pleaded before us. Having considered the submissions of the learned counsel for the parties what is apparent in the present case is that the complainant is not the member of Mukka Welfare Society. It is also not disputed that the sale deeds in question were executed way back in the year 1996 and the complainant, who is not even member of the Society, raises the issue that the sale deeds were executed for the benefit of the Directors of the Society, after a long gap of more than twelve years. Sale deeds in question are registered, and not declared null and void by any court of law. It is also relevant to mention here that admittedly earlier a complaint was made by the complainant to the Deputy Commissioner in the year 2009, which was got investigated by the police and the result of the investigation was that no offence was found committed by the appellants on the ground that the dispute is of civil in nature.

  8. In view of the above facts, apparent on the record, we are of the view that the High Court and the courts below have committed grave error of law in ignoring the same. Needless to say that to constitute an offence punishable under Section 406 IPC, the essential ingredient is the “entrustment” of the property. The complaint filed by the complainant nowhere discloses that the land in question purchased in the year 1978 was entrusted to the Society for the benefit of others. It is only after entrustment is shown, it can be said that there was criminal breach of trust.

  9. In Ram Narayan Popli v. Central Bureau of Investigation 1, this Court, per majority, has explained “entrustment” in paragraph 363 as under: –“ The term “entrustment” is not necessarily a term of law. It may have different implications in different contexts. In its most general signification all it imports is the handing over possession for some purpose which may not imply the conferring of any proprietary right at all.”

  10. In State of Gujarat v. Jaswantlal Nathalal 2, this Court in paragraph 8 has observed that a mere transaction of sale cannot amount to an entrustment.

  11. At this stage we also think it proper to observe that in the present case, even if the allegations made in the complaint are taken to be true, the ingredients of the offence punishable under Section 409 IPC for which appellants are summoned, are also not made out. To constitute an offence punishable under Section 409 IPC, apart from entrustment, it is also essential requirement that it should be shown that the accused has acted in the capacity of a public servant, banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or agent. It is nowhere shown in the complaint that the appellants have acted in any of the above capacities.

  12. As far as offence of cheating is concerned, the same is defined in Section 415 IPC, for which the punishment is provided under Section 420 IPC. Section 415 reads as under:-“ 415. Cheating. – Whoever, by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person in body, mind, reputation or property, is said to “cheat”. Explanation. – A dishonest concealment of facts is a deception within the meaning of this section. Illustrations……………”

  13. From the above language of the Section, one of the essential ingredients for the offence of cheating is deception, but in the present case, from the contents of the complaint it nowhere reflects that the complainant was deceived or he or anyone else was induced to deliver the property by deception. What was done, was so reflected in the resolutions, and sale deeds.

  14. In Mathavrao Jiwajirao Scindia and others v. Sambhajirao Chandrojirao Angre and others 3, a three-Judge Bench of this Court has laid down the law as to quashment of proceedings under Section 482 CrPC as follows:-“ 7. The legal position is well settled that when a prosecution at the initial stage is asked to be quashed, the test to be applied by the court is as to whether the uncontroverted allegations as made prima facie establish the offence. It is also for the court to take into consideration any special features which appear in a particular case to consider whether it is expedient and in the interest of justice to permit a prosecution to continue. This is so on the basis that the court cannot be utilised for any oblique purpose and where in the opinion of the court chances of an ultimate conviction is bleak and, therefore, no useful purpose is likely to be served by allowing a criminal prosecution to continue, the court may while taking into consideration the special facts of a case also quash the proceeding even though it may be at a preliminary stage.”

  15. In Suresh v. Mahadevappa Shivappa Danannava and another 4, criminal prosecution was quashed by the Court in respect offence of cheating noticing that the complaint was filed after a lapse of ten years.

  16. In Inder Mohan Goswami and another v. State of Uttaranchal and others 5, this Court in paragraphs 25 and 46 has observed as under: –“ 25. Reference to the following cases would reveal that the courts have consistently taken the view that they must use this extraordinary power to prevent injustice and secure the ends of justice. The English courts have also used inherent power to achieve the same objective. It is generally agreed that the Crown Court has inherent power to protect its process from abuse. In Connelly v. DPP (1964 AC 1254) Lord Devlin stated that where particular criminal proceedings constitute an abuse of process, the court is empowered to refuse to allow the indictment to proceed to trial. Lord Salmon in DPP v. Humphrys (1977 AC 1) stressed the importance of the inherent power when he observed that it is only if the prosecution amounts to an abuse of the process of the court and is oppressive and vexatious that the judge has the power to intervene. He further mentioned that the court’s power to prevent such abuse is of great constitutional importance and should be jealously preserved. xxx xxx xxx 46. The court must ensure that criminal prosecution is not used as an instrument of harassment or for seeking private vendetta or with an ulterior motive to pressurise the accused. On analysis of the aforementioned cases, we are of the opinion that it is neither possible nor desirable to lay down an inflexible rule that would govern the exercise of inherent jurisdiction. Inherent jurisdiction of the High Courts under Section 482 CrPC though wide has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when it is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the statute itself and in the aforementioned cases. In view of the settled legal position, the impugned judgment cannot be sustained.”

  17. In view of the above discussion and facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that none of the offences for which the appellants are summoned, is made out from the complaint and material on record. We further find that it is nothing but abuse of process of law on the part of the complainant to implicate the appellants in a criminal case after a period of twelve years of execution of registered sale deeds in question, who is neither party to the sale deeds nor a member of the Society. Therefore, we allow the appeal and set aside the orders passed by the High Court and that of the courts below. Accordingly, the order passed by the Magistrate summoning the appellants in the criminal complaint filed by respondent No. 1, in respect of offences punishable under Sections 406, 409 and 420 IPC, also stands quashed.

………………

……………..J. [Dipak Misra]

……………………………..J. [Prafulla C. Pant]

New Delhi;

July 21, 2015.

1 (2003) 3 SCC 641

2 AIR 1968 SC 700

3 (1988) 1 SCC 692

4 (2005) 3 SCC 670

5 (2007) 12 SCC 1

#Journo & #Lawyer’s son case. #SC reduces #maintenance from 60K to 25K p.m. though #husband family big #bizmen !!

#Journalist & #Lawyer woman’s son is in #matrimonial case with his wife. #Parties have filed #multiple #cases against each other. #HC has #awarded maintenance pendente lite of #Rs60,000 p.m. considering the status of parties … However SC reduces maint from Rs60,000 p.m. to #Rs25,000 p.m. though husband is supposed to be a big businessman (partner in a family business ) !!!

This is from the Honourable HC which awarded Rs 60,000 p.m.
/////13. Appellant-husband is stated to be a partner in the firms of his family business. It is also stated that the appellant-husband and his family own several valuable properties and has flourishing business. Insofar as the properties/income of appellant-husband, the High Court has made the following observations:- “38. From the pleading of the respondent before other Courts, it has come on record that the respondent’s family is having successful and flourishing business of electrical and non-ferrous metals for the last 22 years. They are successful in their business. His mother belongs to a family of journalists and lawyers…. 39. From the material placed on record by the petitioner, prima facie it appears to the Court that even the respondent has not made full disclosure about his income and correct status of the family in the affidavits filed by him. The statements made by him are contrary to the statement made in the bail application. Prima facie, it appears to the Court that the respondent is hiding his income by trying to show himself as a pauper, however, the documents placed on record speak differently. At the same time the family members have a reasonably flourishing business and many properties as admitted by him. It has now become a matter of routine that as and when an application for maintenance is filed, the non-applicant becomes poor displaying that he is not residing with the family members if they have a good business and movable and immovable properties in order to avoid payment of maintenance. Courts cannot under these circumstances close their eyes when tricks are being played in a clever manner.” ////////

However Honourable SC says //////16. In the present case, at the time of claiming maintenance pendente lite when the respondent-wife had no sufficient income capable of supporting herself, the High Court was justified in ordering maintenance. However, in our view, the maintenance amount of Rs.60,000/- ordered by the High Court (in addition to Rs.10,000/- paid under the proceedings of the D.V. Act) appears to be on the higher side and in the interest of justice, the same is reduced to Rs.25,000/- per month. ////// !!!!!!!!!

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4615  OF 2017

(Arising out of SLP (C) No.7670 OF 2014)

MANISH JAIN                                         …Appellant

Versus

AKANKSHA JAIN                                   …Respondent

O R D E R

R. Banumathi, J.

 

  1. Leave granted.
  2. The present appeal has been filed by the appellant-husband against the order dated 21.02.2014 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in C.M.(M) No.910 of 2010. In the said judgment, the High Court while setting aside the order dated 15.03.2010 passed by the Additional District Judge-II (West), Tis Hazari, Delhi who declined to award maintenance pendente lite to the respondent-wife under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has granted interim maintenance to the respondent-wife at the rate of Rs.60,000/- per month to be paid by the appellant-husband Manish Jain with effect from 1st February, 2012 till the disposal of divorce petition. The said amount was fixed in addition to Rs.10,000/- which the appellant-husband has already been paying by way of interim maintenance as per the order passed in Criminal Appeal No.65 of 2008 under Section 23(2) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 [for short ‘the D.V. Act’].
  3. This is a case of marital discord which has a chequered history. Brief facts leading to this appeal by way of special leave are as under:- Both the appellant and the respondent got married on 16.02.2005 and they were living at V-38, Green Park, New Delhi. The couple shifted to an accommodation at 303, SFS Apartment, Hauz Khas, New Delhi on 15.04.2007. In or about July, 2007 relationship between the parties got strained. In September, 2007 the appellant-husband filed a divorce petition HMA No.553/2007 under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 [for short ‘the HM Act’] seeking divorce on the grounds of cruelty.
  4. In November, 2007 the respondent-wife filed a petition under the D.V. Act along with interim relief i.e., maintenance. She also filed a complaint on 23.11.2007 under Section 498-A and Section 406 IPC with CAW Cell, Amar Colony, Nanakpura, New Delhi against the appellant-husband and his family members which was later on registered as FIR bearing No.190 of 2008, Police Station, Friends Colony, New Delhi on 04.03.2008. In December, 2007, respondent filed yet another Complaint Case No.381 of 2008 under Section 125 Cr.P.C. before the Mahila Court, Patiala House, New Delhi. Her interim application seeking maintenance amongst other reliefs under Section 23(2) of the D.V. Act was dismissed by the Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House, New Delhi by order dated 23.04.2008 on the ground that the respondent was employed and was getting a stable income and that no document was placed on record by the respondent to show that respondent had again become jobless as the publication of the Magazine FNL had been stopped. Against the dismissal of application for maintenance, the respondent had filed appeal before Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala House in Criminal Appeal No.65 of 2008. In the said appeal and in Criminal Revision No.66 of 2008, Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala House by an order dated 01.09.2009 granted maintenance of Rs.10,000/- per month to the respondent-wife.
  5. The appellant-husband filed an application under Section 438 Cr.P.C. on 22.04.2008 for grant of bail in anticipation of his likely arrest. The High Court granted anticipatory bail to the appellant-husband subject to return of Toyota Corolla and dowry/jewellery articles to the respondent-wife within a week from the date of order till the next date of hearing which is said to have been complied with. Order was also passed directing the respondent to deposit Rs.12,00,000/- towards alleged return of dowry articles.
  6. The respondent-wife filed application under Section 24 of the HM Act claiming interim maintenance pendente lite of Rs.4,00,000/- per month and also a sum of Rs.80,000/- to meet litigation expenses during the pendency of the divorce petition. In the said application, the respondent- wife pleaded that she was having no source of income to maintain herself and that she is dependent upon others for her day to day needs and requirements. The said application was resisted by the appellant-husband contending that the respondent-wife is an educated lady and that she had completed her one year course of Fashion Designing from J.D. Institute, Hauz Khas, New Delhi and that she is capable of earning monthly salary of Rs.50,000/. The application filed under Section 24 of the HM Act was dismissed by Additional District Judge-II, Tis Hazari, Delhi by order dated 15.03.2010. Being aggrieved, the respondent-wife filed Crl. M.A. No.17724 of 2012 before the High Court, Delhi. The High Court in its order dated 08.11.2011 in C.M.(M) No.910 of 2010 filed by the wife against the order dated 15.03.2010 directed both the parties to file an affidavit truthfully disclosing their correct income. Both the husband and the wife filed an affidavit as to their income in compliance of the aforesaid order. After so directing the parties to file affidavit regarding their income and after referring to the income of appellant-husband and the properties which the appellant and his family are owning and also the standard of living of the respondent-wife which she is required to maintain, the High Court by the impugned order directed the appellant-husband to pay interim maintenance of Rs.60,000/- per month in addition to Rs.10,000/- which was directed to be paid to the respondent-wife in the proceedings under the D.V. Act.
  7. Aggrieved by the order of the High Court, the appellant-husband came in appeal before this Court by way of special leave. After giving opportunity to the parties to work out a settlement which ultimately failed, the same was dismissed on 15.04.2014. Being aggrieved by the dismissal of the above petition, a review petition was filed on 13.05.2014 in which notice was issued by this Court on 06.08.2014 and on 03.02.2016 the same was allowed and the Special Leave Petition was restored to its original number which is the subject matter before us.
  8. Learned counsel for the appellant-husband submitted that the respondent-wife has concealed her employment and independent source of income on several occasions throughout the matrimonial proceedings before the courts below and also that the High Court has committed a grave error in interfering with the well-reasoned order of the trial Court under Section 24 of the HM Act. The learned counsel for the appellant-husband submitted that the trial court after analyzing the evidence that the wife was educated, professionally qualified in the Fashion industry and had sufficient independent income rejected the application of the wife seeking maintenance under Section 24 of the HM Act. It was submitted that the High Court without proper appreciation of the income of the parties had wrongly set aside the order of the trial Court and fixed an abnormal amount of Rs.60,000/- as maintenance to the respondent-wife under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Learned counsel further submitted that in Criminal Appeal No.65 of 2008 under Section 23(2) of the D.V. Act, the appellant- husband is paying an interim maintenance of Rs.10,000/- per month to the respondent-wife and the appellant-husband has so far made a total payment of Rs.7,50,000/- in the proceedings under D.V. Act, apart from returning a Toyota Corolla car worth Rs.13,00,000/- besides depositing a sum of Rs.12,00,000/- and a sum of Rs.2,75,000/- towards untraced admitted dowry articles in compliance with the order passed by the Court. It was further submitted that the appellant-husband’s firms/companies have been either shut down due to heavy loss and/or under the stage of winding up and the appellant-husband is not in a position to pay the exorbitant amount of Rs.60,000/- per month as maintenance pendente lite to the respondent-wife.
  9. Learned counsel for the respondent-wife at the outset submitted that the principle of providing maintenance is to ensure the living conditions of respondent-wife similar to that of appellant-husband whereas in the present case the respondent-wife is yet to receive any money.
  10. We have heard the matter at considerable length. Parties are entangled in several rounds of litigation making allegations and counter allegations against each other. Since various proceedings are pending between the parties, we are not inclined to go into the merits of the rival contentions advanced by the parties. The only question falling for consideration is whether the respondent-wife is entitled to maintenance pendente lite and whether the amount of Rs.60,000/- awarded by the High Court is on the higher side.
  11. The Court exercises a wide discretion in the matter of granting alimony pendente lite but the discretion is judicial and neither arbitrary nor capricious. It is to be guided, on sound principles of matrimonial law and to be exercised within the ambit of the provisions of the Act and having regard to the object of the Act. The Court would not be in a position to judge the merits of the rival contentions of the parties when deciding an application for interim alimony and would not allow its discretion to be fettered by the nature of the allegations made by them and would not examine the merits of the case. Section 24 of the HM Act lays down that in arriving at the quantum of interim maintenance to be paid by one spouse to another, the Court must have regard to the appellant’s own income and the income of the respondent.
  12. At the time of filing application under Section 24 of the HM Act in December, 2007, the respondent-wife was doing her internship in fashion designing in J.D. Institute of Fashion Technology and just completed the course and was not employed at that time. Only in the month of May, 2008, she became a trainee and joined FNL Magazine of Images Group as Junior Fashion Stylist and was earning an approximate/stipend income of Rs.21,315/- per month and due to recession, the same is said to have been reduced to Rs.16,315/- for three months that is July, August and September in the year 2009. It is stated that thereafter the respondent-wife has become jobless and associated with Cosmopolitan Magazine and according to the respondent- wife, she was working as a Stylist and is paid nominal amount of Rs.4,500/- per shoot and the said amount is inclusive of expenses like travelling etc. On a perusal of the judgment of the High Court and also the affidavit of the respondent-wife, it is clear that the respondent-wife has no permanent source of employment and no permanent source of income.
  13. Appellant-husband is stated to be a partner in the firms of his family business. It is also stated that the appellant-husband and his family own several valuable properties and has flourishing business. Insofar as the properties/income of appellant-husband, the High Court has made the following observations:- “38. From the pleading of the respondent before other Courts, it has come on record that the respondent’s family is having successful and flourishing business of electrical and non-ferrous metals for the last 22 years. They are successful in their business. His mother belongs to a family of journalists and lawyers…. 39. From the material placed on record by the petitioner, prima facie it appears to the Court that even the respondent has not made full disclosure about his income and correct status of the family in the affidavits filed by him. The statements made by him are contrary to the statement made in the bail application. Prima facie, it appears to the Court that the respondent is hiding his income by trying to show himself as a pauper, however, the documents placed on record speak differently. At the same time the family members have a reasonably flourishing business and many properties as admitted by him. It has now become a matter of routine that as and when an application for maintenance is filed, the non-applicant becomes poor displaying that he is not residing with the family members if they have a good business and movable and immovable properties in order to avoid payment of maintenance. Courts cannot under these circumstances close their eyes when tricks are being played in a clever manner.” 
  14. Section 24 of the HM Act empowers the Court in any proceeding under the Act, if 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 any one of them order the other party to pay to the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding and monthly maintenance as may seem to be reasonable during the proceeding, having regard to also the income of both the applicant and the respondent. Heading of Section 24 of the Act is “Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings”. The Section, however, does not use the word “maintenance”; but the word “support” can be interpreted to mean as Section 24 is intended to provide for maintenance pendente lite.
  15. An order for maintenance pendente lite or for costs of the proceedings is conditional on the circumstance that the wife or husband who makes a claim for the same has no independent income sufficient for her or his support or to meet the necessary expenses of the proceeding. It is no answer to a claim of maintenance that the wife is educated and could support herself. Likewise, the financial position of the wife’s parents is also immaterial. The Court must take into consideration the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay maintenance and whether the applicant has any independent income sufficient for her or his support. Maintenance is always dependent upon factual situation; the Court should, therefore, mould the claim for maintenance determining the quantum based on various factors brought before the Court.
  16. In the present case, at the time of claiming maintenance pendente lite when the respondent-wife had no sufficient income capable of supporting herself, the High Court was justified in ordering maintenance. However, in our view, the maintenance amount of Rs.60,000/- ordered by the High Court (in addition to Rs.10,000/- paid under the proceedings of the D.V. Act) appears to be on the higher side and in the interest of justice, the same is reduced to Rs.25,000/- per month. The maintenance pendente lite of Rs.25,000/- is to be paid to the respondent-wife by the appellant- husband (in addition to Rs.10,000/- paid under the proceedings of the D.V. Act).
  17. The order impugned herein is set aside and the appeal is allowed. The amount of Rs.60,000/- awarded as maintenance pendente lite is reduced to Rs.25,000/- per month which is in addition to Rs.10,000/- paid under the proceedings of the D.V. Act. The appellant-husband is directed to pay the arrears w.e.f. 01.02.2012 till the disposal of the divorce petition, within four weeks from today. The appellant-husband shall continue to pay Rs.25,000/- per month in addition to Rs.10,000/- paid under the proceedings of the D.V. Act on or before 10th of every English calendar month till the disposal of the divorce petition. If the appellant-husband has paid or deposited any amount of maintenance pursuant to the order of the High Court dated 21.02.2014, the same shall be set-off against the arrears to be paid by the appellant-husband. The respondent-wife is at liberty to withdraw the amount, if any, deposited by the appellant-husband pursuant to the order dated 21.02.2014. We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the matter. In case the appellant-husband does not comply with the order, as above, including for payment of arrears, he would be visited with all consequences including action for contempt of Court.

    ………………………….J. [KURIAN JOSEPH]

    .………………………..J. [R. BANUMATHI]

    New Delhi;

    March 30, 2017

SUPREME COURT quashes #FAKE #Rape Case filed to avoid #REPAYMENT of debt (#bounced #cheque !!)

A woman and her husband (and probably her son) borrow money and promise to repay by cheque ! That cheque is bounced / dishonored for want of funds ! so the lender files a case under Negotiable instruments act (a cheque bounce case). Promptly the woman files a #fake #Rape case on the poor lender, who has to run upto Supreme court to get the case quashed !!

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REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.577 OF 2017

(ARISING OUT OF SLP(CRL.) No.287 OF 2017)

VINEET KUMAR & ORS.                    …. APPELLANTS

VERSUS

STATE OF U.P. & ANR.                   …. RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.

 

  1. 1. This appeal has been filed against the judgment dated 16.12.2016 of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad dismissing the Application filed by the appellants under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Appellants had filed Application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the judgment and order dated 03.08.2016 passed by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-IV, Moradabad summoning the appellants for an offence under Section 452, 376(d) and 323 IPC, as well as order dated 22.10.2016 passed by the District Sessions Judge, Moradabad dismissing the Criminal Revision filed by the appellants. The appellants shall hereinafter be referred to as accused and respondent No.2 as complainant. The facts of the case as emerged from the records need to be noted for deciding the issues raised in this appeal.
  2. 2. The accused have made several financial transactions with complainant, Smt. Rekha Rani, her husband, Akhilesh Kumar and her son, Ankur in the months of May, 2015. Accused No.3 gave Rs.9 lakh to husband and son of the complainant for business purposes. An amount of Rs.7 lakh 50 thousand was given in cash to complainant and her husband by accused No.1. Further, husband of complainant received Rs.3 lakh 60 thousand in cash and Rs.2 lakh 40 thousand by cheque dated 29.05.2015 from accused No.1.
  3. 3. An agreement dated 29.05.2015 was signed by the husband of the complainant and accused No.1 acknowledging the payment of Rs.3 lakh 60 thousand in cash and Rs.2 lakh 40 thousand by cheque. A cheque of Rs.6 lakh was handed over by the husband of the complainant to accused No.1 to ensure the re-payment. Another agreement between the complainant and accused No.1 was entered into on 01.06.2015 wherein it was acknowledged that complainant and her husband had taken Rs.7 lakh 50 thousand in cash from accused No.1. Earlier, husband of complainant took Rs.6 lakh from accused No.1. Parties entered into an agreement agreeing with certain conditions. Third agreement was entered into between the son of complainant and accused No.1 on 31.08.2015 wherein son of complainant acknowledged that his parents have taken an amount of Rs.14 lakh 50 thousand. Complainant and her husband gave cheques of Rs.6 lakh and Rs.8 lakh 50 thousand to accused No.1 drawn on Prathama Bank, Kanth Branch, District Moradabad for recovery of the amount given by the accused. Agreement noticed that the amount was borrowed with promise to return the amount. The agreements were written on Non-Judicial Stamp Papers which were not registered but contained signatures of the parties mentioned therein.
  4. 4. Accused No.3 filed a complaint under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act being Complaint No.1587/2015 against husband and son of the complainant with the allegation that amount of Rs.9 lakh was paid to the opposite parties who had issued a cheque of Rs.9 lakh with the assurance that the amount will be repaid by 22.08.2016. It was stated by accused No.3 in the complaint that after lapse of time when the amount was not paid, the cheque was deposited which was returned back by the Bank with remark “No Sufficient Balance”. When the opposite parties were contacted in this regard, the opposite parties told not come to them. After giving a notice on 05.09.2016, complaint was filed on 21.09.2015. Accused No.1 had also filed an Application on 29.09.2015 under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. against the complainant, her husband and son. Cheque given by son of the complainant of Rs.6 lakh to accused No.2 was also dishonoured. Complaint filed by accused No.1 under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act was registered as Complaint No.3280/2015. Complaints against complainant, her husband and son were filed in the month of September, 2015 alleging dishonoured of cheque and complaint of non-payment of amount given to the complainant and her husband and son. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
  5. 5. On 30.10.2015 complainant filed an Application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. against all the three accused alleging commission of offence under Section 376(d),323 and 452 IPC. In the application allegation was made against the accused that on 22.10.2015 at about 7.30 p.m. all the three accused came to the house of the complainant. At that time she was alone in the house. It was alleged that all the three accused started misbehaving with her. They beat her with stick, fist and kick. Thereafter, accused, Vineet and Nitendra raped her one by one while Sonu stood outside the room. When Sonu told them about arrival of complaint’s husband, all the three accused fled away. It was further alleged that she went to the Police Station on the same day but the Police did not register FIR. An order dated 03.11.2015 was passed by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-IV, Moradabad for registration and investigation to the concerned Police Station. On 06.11.2015, the First Information Report was registered being No.251/2015 at Police Station Kanth, District Moradabad under Section 376(d), 323, 452 IPC against the accused. After registration of the case, crime was investigated by Investigating Officer(IO). The IO recorded the statements of complainant, her husband and mother-in-law. Complainant in her statement repeated her allegation. It was further stated that she went along with her husband to Police Station but report was not lodged. On next day, she went to Government Hospital, Moradabad with her husband for medical examination. Doctor conducted medical examination to external injuries but refused to her internal examination. Husband and father-in-law of the complainant also recorded statements. They stated that before they arrived at the house, accused had already fled away. IO asked the complainant “as to whether now she is ready to get done medical examination”, husband of the complainant answered “no, now there is no benefit out of medical examination. Now, I don’t want to get my wife’s medical examination done as much time has been elapsed“. When the husband was also asked some questions to get her wife medically examined following answers were given by the husband:
    • “Question – Now get the medical examination of hour wife done so that D.N.A. etc. proceeding could be done?
    • Ans.- This occurrence is of 22.10.2015 in the evening at 19.30 hrs. and since then till now I have also have sexual intercourse with my wife several times. Thus, now there is no benefit out of medical examination and instead I myself will be positive.”
  6. 6. Before the IO, complainant, her husband, father-in-law and mother-in- law all stated that at the time of occurrence there was no electricity.
  7. 7. The accused also recorded statement of various persons in support of the claim of the accused that at the time alleged by the complainant they were not present and till 9 p.m. they were with their friends in Dushehara Mela. IO recorded the statement of certain persons who stated that accused were with them till 9 p.m. on 22.10.2015.
  8. 8. Although, the complainant and her husband refused medical examination when they are so asked by IO on 07.11.2015, but she got her medical examination done on 20.11.2015. Pathology Report (filed at page 50 of paper book) stated as : “No spermatozoa alive or dead are seeing the received smears within sealed envelope”.
  9. 9. On 24.11.2015 complainant got her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. In the statement the age of complainant was recorded as 47 years. In the statement the complainant repeated her allegations.
  10. 10. After statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. was recorded, IO carried out detailed investigation by recording statements of brother of complainant’s husband and his wife. Along with the complainant, the brother of her husband as well as his wife were also staying in the same house at the relevant time. The IO recorded the statement of Nikesh Kumar, brother of complainant’s husband. It is useful to extract below the statement of brother of complainant’s husband as recorded by the IO: “Statement of Shri Nikesh Kumar son of Subhash Chandra Vishnoi resident of Mohalla Vishanpura, Kasba Kanth is present. Upon enquiry has stated that on 22.10.15 there was Dushehara Mela. I alongwith my children had gone to see Mela(Fair) and had returned back to my house at 5.00-5.30 p.m. Rekha Rani is my real Bhabhi (sister-in-law). There has been monetary transaction between Akhilesh and Vineet. Time to time my brother used to borrow a sum of Rs.Two lakh, four lakh from Vineet and used to invest the same in his business and then used to return. Now there has been inter-se dispute among them owing to monetary transaction. On this dispute my sister- in-law Rekha has instituted case against Vineet and others. It is not good to mention such shameful facts and my sister-in-law has not done good. There are young children in the family and there would be wrong effect of these facts. I have spade my brother Akhilesh and father have also scolded him. Now he is saying that mistake has been committed and whatever has occurred has occurred. I and my wife have gone to Court. Moradabad and have submitted our affidavit in the Court. We have mentioned the correct fact therein. We will tell the same fact in the Court that no such occurrence has taken place in our house. My Bhabhi Rekha has lodged a case in the Court out of anger which is a false case.”
  11. 11. The wife of Nikesh Kumar, Smt. Bina Vishnoi also made the following statement before the IO which is the part of the Case Diary: “Statement of Smt.Bina Vishnoi w/o Nikesh Kumar resident of Mohalla Vishanpura Kasba and P.S. Kanth is present. Upon enquiry, she has stated that on 22.10.15 there was Dushehara festival and we after seeing Dushehara Mela had returned back and came at our house at about 5.00 p.m. I had opened my shop. I have a grocery shop. Most of transaction takes place in the evening. Rekha is my elder real Jethani. My Jeth Akhilesh has monetary transaction with Vineet and others. He used to borrow money Rs. Two lakh, four lakh from Vineet to invest the same in his business and the returns the same. Now what has happened I do not know and inter-se dispute has cropped up among them and my Jethani has taken such a wrong step which does not happens in our house. Our family and the family of Vineet are the respected family of Mohalla and we have business and trade of lakh of rupees. We have spade an scolded them. Our children are also growing to be young. When you people visit it has effect on them. Now they are realising the mistake. No occurrence of rape etc. has happened in our house and in this regard the complete Mohalla will tender evidence. I have even appeared in the Court and submitted an affidavit and will tell the true fact in the Court.
    • Question- On 22.10.15 in the evening at 7.30 p.m. you were present at your room/shop the whether you have heard any cry or had seen Vineet coming or going?
    • Ans. – On 22.10.15 since 5.00 p.m. we were at our house and no one had come in our house and Rekha has informed us. No such occurrence of rape could take place in our house. You could enquire from our all neighbours.”
  12. 12. The affidavits were also given by Nikesh Kumar and Smt. Bina Vishnoi who were residing in the same house. Smt. Bina Vishnoi is also running a shop of General Store in one portion of the house. She stated that on the date of occurrence Rekha Rani was in her parental house to celebrate Dushehara and was not present at her house.
  13. 13. IO after completion of investigation and after taking into consideration the materials collected during the investigation came to the conclusion that no such incident took place on 22.10.2015 as alleged by the complainant. Final Report No.40/15 was submitted by the IO on 29.11.2015 which is to the following effect: “The First Information Report in the above mentioned incident was registered on 6.11.2015 and the investigation was taken up by me. After recording the statement of the witnesses and inspection of the place of occurrence the allegation was found to be false by me. Therefore this final report No.40/15 is being submitted for your consideration.”
  14. 14. After submission of Final Report on 29.11.2015 Police has also submitted a further report before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate for initiating proceeding under Section 182 Cr.P.C. against the complainant. Respondent No.2 moved Protest Petition dated 07.01.2016. It was allowed by the Addl.CJM on 28.05.2016. An Application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed before the High Court. It was allowed and order dated 28.05.2016 was set aside directing the Magistrate to pass fresh order. The Magistrate passed again order dated 03.08.2016 summoned the accused. Revision was filed before the Sessions Judge against the order dated 03.08.2016 which was dismissed by order dated 22.10.2016.
  15. 15. The accused filed Application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the order dated 03.08.2016 and the order passed by the Sessions Judge. It was prayed by the accused that orders were passed without appreciating the evidence and material on records, they deserve to be set aside and the Protest Petition be rejected. The High Court refused the prayer for quashing the orders by making the following observations: “From the perusal of the material on record and looking into the facts of the case at this stage it cannot be said that no offence is made out against the applicants. All the submission made at the Bar relates to the dispute question of fact, which cannot be adjudicated upon by this Court in exercise of power conferred under Section 482 Cr.P.C. at this stage only prima facie case is to be seen in the light of the law laid down by Supreme Court in case of R.P. Kapur Vs. State of Punjab, AIR 1960 SC 866, State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal, 1992 SCC (Cr.)426, State of Bihar Vs. R.P. Sharma, 1992 SCC (Cr.) 192 and lastly Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd. Vs. Mohd. Saraful Haq and another (par 10) 205 SCC (Cr.) 283. The disputed defence of the accused cannot be considered at this stage.”
  16. 16. Aggrieved by the above judgment of the High Court this appeal has been filed.
  17. 17. Learned counsel for the appellants contended that criminal proceedings initiated by the complainant in the facts of the present case was malafide and falsely initiated to save complainant, her husband and son from making repayment of the amount taken by them with regard to which complaint under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act by the accused were already filed and pending. After registration of case on Application filed by the complainant under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., the IO conducted thorough investigation by recording the statements of complainant, her husband as well as husband’s brother and brother’s wife. Various affidavits were also received by the IO and after conducting investigation there was sufficient materials to come to the conclusion that a story of alleged rape was wholly false and no such incident had taken place as alleged by the complainant. He has submitted a Final Report in the case which ought to have been accepted by the learned Magistrate. It is contended that Protest Petition has been allowed without adverting to the material collected by the IO. The fact that the Application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. itself was filed after 8 days of alleged rape, there is no medical report to prove the alleged rape, these were sufficient to discard the allegations made by the complainant. Summoning of the accused of such serious offence cannot be a mechanical exercise in the facts and circumstances of the case and material collected during investigation which were part of the Final Report were required to be adverted to by the Court while rejecting the Final Report. Learned counsel submits that prosecution in the present case is a clear abuse of the process of the Court and deserves to be set aside in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. by the High Court.
  18. 18. Learned counsel appearing for the respondent No.2 refuting the submission made by the learned counsel for the appellants contended that no error has been committed by the Courts below in summoning the accused, there was statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. of the complainant where she reiterated her case of rape by accused No.1 and 3. It is submitted that at this stage the Court was not required to marshal the evidence and examine the charge on merit and the High Court has rightly refused to exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the criminal proceedings.
  19. 19. We have considered the submissions made by the parties and perused the records.
  20. 20. Before we enter into the facts of the present case it is necessary to consider the ambit and scope of jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. vested in the High Court. Section 482 Cr.P.C. saves the inherent power of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.
  21. 21. This Court time and again has examined scope of jurisdiction of High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and laid down several principles which govern the exercise of jurisdiction of High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. A three-Judge Bench of this Court in State of Karnataka vs. L. Muniswamy and others, 1977 (2) SCC 699,held that the High Court is entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would be an abuse of the process of the Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. In paragraph 7 of the judgment following has been stated:  “7….In the exercise of this wholesome power, the High Court is entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would be an abuse of the process of the Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. The saving of the High Court’s inherent powers, both in civil and criminal matters, is designed to achieve a salutary public purpose which is that a court proceeding ought not to be permitted to degenerate into a weapon of harassment or persecution. In a criminal case, the veiled object behind a lame prosecution, the very nature of the material on which the structure of the prosecution rests and the like would justify the High Court in quashing the proceeding in the interest of justice. The ends of justice are higher than the ends of mere law though justice has got to be administered according to laws made by the legislature. The compelling necessity for making these observations is that without a proper realisation of the object and purpose of the provision which seeks to save the inherent powers of the High Court to do justice, between the State and its subjects, it would be impossible to appreciate the width and contours of that salient jurisdiction.”
  22. 22. The judgment of this Court in State of Haryana and others vs. Bhajan Lal and others, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, has elaborately considered the scope and ambit of Section 482 Cr.P.C. Although in the above case this Court was considering the power of the High Court to quash the entire criminal proceeding including the FIR, the case arose out of an FIR registered under Section 161, 165 IPC and Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. This Court elaborately considered the scope of Section 482 CR.P.C./ Article 226 in the context of quashing the proceedings in criminal investigation. After noticing various earlier pronouncements of this Court, this Court enumerated certain Categories of cases by way of illustration where power under 482 Cr.P.C. can be exercised to prevent abuse of the process of the Court or secure ends of justice. Paragraph 102 which enumerates 7 categories of cases where power can be exercised under Section 482 Cr.P.C. are extracted as follows:
    • “102. In the backdrop of the interpretation of the various relevant provisions of the Code under Chapter XIV and of the principles of law enunciated by this Court in a series of decisions relating to the exercise of the extraordinary power under Article 226 or the inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code which we have extracted and reproduced above, we give the following categories of cases by way of illustration wherein such power could be exercised either to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly defined and sufficiently channelised and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be exercised.
    • (1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.
    • (2) Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code.
    • (3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.
    • (4) Where, the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.
    • (5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.
    • (6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.
    • (7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.” http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
  23. 23. A three-Judge Bench in State of Karnataka vs. M. Devenderappa and another, 2002 (3) SCC 89, had occasion to consider the ambit of Section 482 Cr.P.C. By analysing the scope of Section 482 Cr.P.C., this Court laid down that authority of the Court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice the Court has power to prevent abuse. It further held that Court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation/continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of Court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. Following was laid down in paragraph 6: “6……All courts, whether civil or criminal possess, in the absence of any express provision, as inherent in their constitution, all such powers as are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in course of administration of justice on the principle quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, concedere videtur et id sine quo res ipsae esse non potest (when the law gives a person anything it gives him that without which it cannot exist). While exercising powers under the section, the court does not function as a court of appeal or revision. Inherent jurisdiction under the section though wide has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the section itself. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone courts exist. Authority of the court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice, the court has power to prevent abuse. It would be an abuse of process of the court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise of the powers court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation/continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. When no offence is disclosed by the complaint, the court may examine the question of fact. When a complaint is sought to be quashed, it is permissible to look into the materials to assess what the complainant has alleged and whether any offence is made out even if the allegations are accepted in toto.” Further in paragraph 8 following was stated: “8…..Judicial process should not be an instrument of oppression, or, needless harassment. Court should be circumspect and judicious in exercising discretion and should take all relevant facts and circumstances into consideration before issuing process, lest it would be an instrument in the hands of a private complainant to unleash vendetta to harass any person needlessly. At the same time the section is not an instrument handed over to an accused to short-circuit a prosecution and bring about its sudden death. The scope of exercise of power under Section 482 of the Code and the categories of cases where the High Court may exercise its power under it relating to cognizable offences to prevent abuse of process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice were set out in some detail by this Court in State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal.”
  24. 24. In Sunder Babu and others vs. State of Tamil Nadu, 2009 (14) SCC 244, this Court was considering the challenge to the order of the Madras High Court where Application was under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash criminal proceedings under Section 498A IPC and Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. It was contended before this Court that the complaint filed was nothing but an abuse of the process of law and allegations were unfounded. The prosecuting agency contested the petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. taking the stand that a bare perusal of the complaint discloses commission of alleged offences and, therefore, it is not a case which needed to be allowed. The High Court accepted the case of the prosecution and dismissed the application. This Court referred to the judgment in Bhajan Lal case (supra) and held that the case fell within Category 7. Apex Court relying on Category 7 has held that Application under Section 482 deserved to be allowed and it quashed the proceedings.
  25. 25. In another case in Priya Vrat Singh and others vs. Shyam Ji Sahai, 2008 (8) SCC 232, this Court relied on Category 7 as laid down in State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal(supra). In the above case the Allahabad High Court had dismissed an Application filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings under Section 494, 120-B and 109 IPC and Section 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. After noticing the background facts and parameters for exercise of power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. following was stated in paragraphs 8 to 12:
    • “8. Further, it is pointed out that the allegation of alleged demand for dowry was made for the first time in December 1994. In the complaint filed, the allegation is that the dowry torture was made sometime in 1992. It has not been explained as to why for more than two years no action was taken.
    • 9. Further, it appears that in the complaint petition apart from the husband, the mother of the husband, the subsequently married wife, husband’s mother’s sister, husband’s brother-in-law and Sunita’s father were impleaded as party. No role has been specifically ascribed to anybody except the husband and that too of a dowry demand in February 1993 when the complaint was filed on 6-12-1994 i.e. nearly after 22 months. It is to be noted that in spite of service of notice, none has appeared on behalf of Respondent 1.
    • 10. The parameters for exercise of power under Section 482 have been laid down by this Court in several cases.
    • 11. “19. The section does not confer any new power on the High Court. It only saves the inherent power which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Code. It envisages three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely,
    • (i) to give effect to an order under the Code,
    • (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of court, and
    • (iii) to otherwise secure the ends of justice.
    • It is neither possible nor desirable to lay down any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of inherent jurisdiction. No legislative enactment dealing with procedure can provide for all cases that may possibly arise. Courts, therefore, have inherent powers apart from express provisions of law which are necessary for proper discharge of functions and duties imposed upon them by law. That is the doctrine which finds expression in the section which merely recognises and preserves inherent powers of the High Courts. All courts, whether civil or criminal, possess, in the absence of any express provision, as inherent in their constitution, all such powers as are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in course of administration of justice on the principle quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, concedere videtur id sine quo res ipsa esse non potest (when the law gives a person anything it gives him that without which it cannot exist). While exercising powers under the section, the Court does not function as a court of appeal or revision. Inherent jurisdiction under the section though wide has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the section itself. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone courts exist. Authority of the court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice, the court has power to prevent abuse. It would be an abuse of process of the court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise of the powers court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation/continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of court or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. 20. As noted above, the powers possessed by the High Court under Section 482 of the Code are very wide and the very plenitude of the power requires great caution in its exercise. Court must be careful to see that its decision in exercise of this power is based on sound principles. The inherent power should not be exercised to stifle a legitimate prosecution. The High Court being the highest court of a State should normally refrain from giving a prima facie decision in a case where the entire facts are incomplete and hazy, more so when the evidence has not been collected and produced before the Court and the issues involved, whether factual or legal, are of magnitude and cannot be seen in their true perspective without sufficient material. Of course, no hard-and-fast rule can be laid down in regard to cases in which the High Court will exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction of quashing the proceeding at any stage.” [See Janata Dal v. H.S. Chowdhary, Raghubir Saran (Dr.) v. State of Bihar and Minu Kumari v. State of Bihar, SCC p. 366, paras 19-20.] 12. The present case appears to be one where Category 7 of the illustrations given in State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal is clearly applicable.
  26. 26. From the material on records, following facts are disclosed from the sequence of events which preceded the registration of FIR on 06.11.2015. The complainant, her husband and son had taken different amounts totalling Rs.22 lakh 50 thousand in the month of May, 2015 for business/shop purposes from the accused. Three agreements were written on Non-Judicial Stamp Papers on 29.05.2015, 01.06.2015 and 31.08.2015 wherein complainant, her husband and son have acknowledged receipt of the money in cash as well as by cheque. Cheques of Rs. 6 lakh, Rs.14 lakh 50 thousand were given to accused for ensuring the repayment. Cheques were drawn on the Prathama Bank, Kanth Branch, District Moradabad. Cheques were deposited in the Bank which were returned with endorsements “No Sufficient Balance”. After cheques having been dishonoured, complaints under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act were filed by the accused against the husband and son of the complainant which were registered in the month of September/October and were pending before alleged incident dated 22.10.2015.
  27. 27. The complainant alleges rape by the accused on 22.10.2015 at 7.30 p.m. at her house and alleges that on the same day she went to the Police Station but FIR was not registered. She states that after sending an application on 26.10.2015 to the SSP, she filed an Application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate. There is no medical report obtained by the complainant except medical report dated 20.11.2015. IO on 07.11.2015 when asked the complainant to get medical examination done, complainant and her husband refused. The incident having taken place on 22.10.2015 at 7.30 p.m. nothing was done by the complainant and her husband till 26.10.2015 when she alleges the Application was sent to SSP.
  28. 28. During investigation, IO has recorded the statements of brother of complainant’s husband as well as Smt. Bina Vishnoi, the wife of husband’s brother who were residing in the same house and have categorically denied that any incident happened in their house. Both, in their statements and affidavits have condemned the complainant for lodging a false report.
  29. 29. IO collected affidavits of several persons including affidavits of Nikesh Kumar and Smt. Bina Vishnoi and on collecting the entire material and visiting the spot IO had come to the conclusion that no such incident took place and submitted a Final Report dated 29.11.2015. On 29.11.2015 itself, the IO has submitted another report for prosecution of complainant under Section 182 Cr.P.C. for giving false information to the Police.
  30. 30. After submission of Final Report and submissions of Report under Section 182 Cr.P.C. dated 29.11.2015 complainant filed a Protest Petition on 07.01.2016.
  31. 31. It is true that in the statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C, the complainant repeated her allegation. Complainant has also recorded her age in the statement as 47 years.
  32. 32. The Magistrate in allowing the Protest Petition only considered the submission made by the State while summoning the accused in paragraph 6 which is to the following effect: “6. In compliance with the order passed by the Hon’ble High Court and from the perusal of evidence and entire case diary this Court comes to the conclusion that the complainant is required to be registered as police complainant and there are sufficient grounds to summon the accused Vinit Kumar, Sonu and Nitendra for their trial under Section 376D, 323 and 352 of Indian Penal Code.”
  33. 33. Learned Sessions Judge has also affirmed order taking note of statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C.
  34. 34. There was sufficient material on record to indicate that there were financial transactions between the accused and complainant, her husband and son. On dishonour of cheques issued by the complaint’s husband and son proceedings under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act were already initiated by the accused. All family members of the complainant were living in the same house. Brother of husband and his wife, in their statements before the IO have admitted monetary transactions of his brother with the accused. The statements before the IO of both the Nikesh Kumar and Smt. Bina Vishnoi have already been extracted above, which were part of the Case Diary and was material which ought to have been looked into which was submitted by the IO in the Final Report.
  35. 35. The fact is that no medical examination was got done on the date of incident or even on the next day or on 07.11.2015, when IO asked the complainant and her husband to get done the medical examination. Subsequently it was done on 20.11.2015, which was wholly irrelevant. Apart from bald assertions by the complainant that all accused have raped, there was nothing which could have led the Courts to form an opinion that present case is fit a case of prosecution which ought to be launched. We are conscious that statement given by the prosecutrix/complainant under Section 164 Cr.P.C. is not to be lightly brushed away but the statement was required to be considered along with antecedents, facts and circumstances as noted above. Reference to the judgment of this Court in Prashant Bharti vs. State(NCT of Delhi), 2013 (9) SCC 293, is relevant for the present case. In the above case the complainant lady aged 21 years lodged an FIR under Section 328 and 354 IPC with regard to the incident dated 15.02.2007. She sent a telephonic information on 16.02.2007 and on her statement FIR under Sections 328 and 354 IPC was registered against the appellant. After a lapse of five days on 21.02.2007 she gave a supplementary statement alleging rape by the appellant on 23.12.2006, 25.12.2006 and 01.01.2007. Statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. of the prosecutrix was recorded. Police filed charge-sheet under Section 328, 324 and 376 IPC. Charge-sheet although mentioned that no proof in support of crime under Section 328/354 could be found. However, on the ground of statement made under Section 164 Cr.P.C. charge-sheet was submitted. Paragraph 10 of the judgment which notes the charge-sheet is as follows: “ 10. On 28.6.2007, the police filed a chargesheet under Sections 328,354 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code. In the chargesheet, it was clearly mentioned, that the police investigation, from different angles, had not yielded any positive result. However, the chargesheet was based on the statement made by the complainant/prosecuterix before the Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which was found to be sufficient for the charges alleged – against the appellant-accused. A relevant extract of the chargesheet depicting the aforesaid factual position, is being reproduced below:- “I the Inspector, tried my best from all angles to recover the intoxicating substance/Pepsi/Pepsi glass and undergarments worn at the time of the rape. But nothing could be recovered and for this reason, the blood sample of accused could not be sent to FSL. As from the investigation so far conducted, no proof could be found in support of the crime under Section 328/354 IPC and even the position of accused Prashant Bharti is not available at Lodhi Colony at the date and time as his mobile phone ill. However, prosecuterix Priya Porwal made statement on 21.2.2007 and on 27.2.2007 under Section 164 Cr.P.C. which is sufficient in support of his challan for the offence under Section 376 IPC.” (emphasis supplied)”
  36. 36. Writ petition was filed by the accused for quashing the FIR which was dismissed by the High Court on 27.08.2007. Thereafter, charges were framed on 01.12.2008. Dissatisfied with the framing of charges Criminal Revision Petition was filed which was dismissed by Delhi High Cort on 16.01.2009. The order of Additional Sessions Judge has been extracted by this Court in paragraph 14 which is quoted below: “14. Dissatisfied with the action of the trial Court in framing charges against him, the appellant-accused filed Criminal Revision Petition no. 08 of 2009, whereby he assailed the order dated 1.12.2008 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi. The Delhi High Court dismissed the revision petition on 16.1.2009, by inter alia observing as under:- “12. Truthfulness or falsity of the allegations, essentially pertains to the realm of evidence and the same cannot be pre-judged at this initial stage. I do not find any illegality or infirmity in the impugned order. Consequently, this Revision Petition is dismissed in limine while making it clear that anything herein shall not be construed as an opinion on merits at trial.””
  37. 37. The appeal was filed against the aforesaid judgment of the High Court by the accused contending that there was sufficient material collected in the investigation which proved that allegations were unfounded and the prosecution of the appellant was an abuse of process of the Court. In paragraph 23 this Court noted several circumstances on the basis of which this Court held that judicial conscience of the High Court ought to have persuaded it to quash the criminal proceedings. This Court further noticed that Investigating Officer has acknowledged, that he could not find any proof to substantiate the charges. The charge-sheet had been filed only on the basis of the statement of the complainant/prosecutrix under Section 164 Cr.P.C. In paragraphs 24 and 25 of the judgment following was stated: “24. Most importantly, as against the aforesaid allegations, no pleadings whatsoever have been filed by the complainant. Even during the course of hearing, the material relied upon by the accused was not refuted. As a matter of fact, the complainant/prosecutrix had herself approached the High Court, with the prayer that the first information lodged by her, be quashed. It would therefore be legitimate to conclude, in the facts and circumstances of this case, that the material relied upon by the accused has not been refuted by the complainant/prosecutrix. Even in the charge sheet dated 28.6.2007, (extracted above) the investigating officer has acknowledged, that he could not find any proof to substantiate the charges. The charge-sheet had been filed only on the basis of the statement of the complainant/prosecutrix under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. 25. Based on the holistic consideration of the facts and circumstances summarized in the foregoing two paragraphs; we are satisfied, that all the steps delineated by this Court in Rajiv Thapar’s case (supra) stand – satisfied. All the steps can only be answered in the affirmative. We therefore have no hesitation whatsoever in concluding, that judicial conscience of the High Court ought to have persuaded it, on the basis of the material available before it, while passing the impugned order, to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against the accused-appellant, in exercise of the inherent powers vested with it under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. Accordingly, based on the conclusions drawn hereinabove, we are satisfied, that the first information report registered under Sections 328, 354and 376 of the Indian Penal Code against the appellant-accused, and the consequential chargesheet dated 28.6.2007, as also the framing of charges by the Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi on 1.12.2008, deserves to be quashed. The same are accordingly quashed.”
  38. 38. Thus, above was the case where despite statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. by prosecutrix the Court referring to material collected during investigation had held that the case was fit where the High Court ought to have quashed the criminal proceedings.
  39. 39. Inherent power given to the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is with the purpose and object of advancement of justice. In case solemn process of Court is sought to be abused by a person with some oblique motive, the Court has to thwart the attempt at the very threshold. The Court cannot permit a prosecution to go on if the case falls in one of the Categories as illustratively enumerated by this Court in State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal. Judicial process is a solemn proceeding which cannot be allowed to be converted into an instrument of operation or harassment. When there are material to indicate that a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive, the High Court will not hesitate in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceeding under Category 7 as enumerated in State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal, which is to the following effect: “(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.” Above Category 7 is clearly attracted in the facts of the present case. Although, the High Court has noted the judgment of the State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal, but did not advert to the relevant facts of the present case, materials on which Final Report was submitted by the IO. We, thus, are fully satisfied that the present is a fit case where High Court ought to have exercised its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr. P.C. and quashed the criminal proceedings. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; https://twitter.com/ATMwithDick
  40. 40. In the result, appeal is allowed, the judgment of the High Court dated 16.12.2016 as well as the order of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate dated 03.08.2016 and the order of the Sessions Judge dated 22.10.2016 including the entire criminal proceedings are quashed.

 

…………………J.

( A. K. SIKRI ) …………………J.

( ASHOK BHUSHAN )

New Delhi, March 31,2017.


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