22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts

22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts Quash 498A F.I.R./Cases.
22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts Quash 498A F.I.R./Cases.  

22 Landmark 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts Quash 498A Cases. How To Quash 498A

Misuse of 498A can be observed from the decisions in the Supreme Court & various High Courts. 

The article will put light on 498a quash judgements by supreme court. The 498A section is misused in growing tendency amongst the women which is further perpetuated by their parents and relatives to rope in each and every relative-including minors and even school going kids nearer or distant relatives. 

In some cases against every person of the family of the husband whether living away or in other town or abroad and married, unmarried sisters, 'sisters-in-law, unmarried brothers, married uncles and in some cases grand-parents or as many as 10 to 15 or even more relatives of the husband.

A serious relook of the entire provision is needed by the legislation. It is also a matter of common knowledge that exaggerated versions of the incident/allegations are reflected in a large number of complaints. 

The tendency of over implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases clear from the observation below with a list of 22 landmark 498a quash judgments by Supreme Court & various High Courts.

“There can be no doubt whatsoever, that the allegations leveled against Appellant Nos. 2 to 5 do not justify any inference, which would lead to the conclusion, that they could be held responsible, for an offence in the nature of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. 

In the above view of the matter, we are satisfied in accepting the prayer made in the instant appeal, with reference to Appellant Nos. 2 to 5, and to order quashing of the first information report and the proceedings that may have arisen therefrom, including the charge sheet"

2. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 9 May 2014

“The allegations are vague and bereft of the details as to the place and the time of the incident. We had called for the records and have gone through the same. 

The materials before the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Indore are not sufficient to form an opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused-appellants have committed the offense under the charged Sections.”

3. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 17 October 2012

“But as the contents of the FIR does not disclose specific allegation against the brother and sister of the complainant’s husband except casual reference of their names. 

It would not be just to direct them to go through protracted procedure by remanding for consideration of the matter all over again by the High Court and make the unmarried sister of the main accused and his elder brother to suffer the ordeal of a criminal case pending against them especially when the FIR does not disclose ingredients of the offence under Sections 498A/323/504/506, IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.”

“Even if there is any demand for dowry, from the facts and circumstances of the case, it must have been from the first accused, but not from all the other accused who are the relatives of the first accused. 

It can be clearly understood from the nature of the allegations leveled in the complaint that A2 to A.12 has been implicated in this case only for the sole reason that they are related to the first accused.”

“Sequel, if the crux of the allegations leveled against the petitioners is clubbed together and is perused, then to me, the conclusion is inescapable that no indicated offense is made out and the complainant has maliciously and vexatiously filed a false second complaint(Annexure P-4) against them, in order to wreak vengeance. 

If the complainant is permitted to prosecute the married sisters-in-law of his daughter, then it will inculcate and perpetuate injustice to them. In this manner, the filing of the complaint against the petitioners is a deep misuse/abuse of the process of law.”

6. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 13 August 2010.

“We have very carefully considered the averments of the complaint and the statements of all the witnesses recorded at the time of the filing of the complaint. There are no specific allegations against the appellants in the complaint and none of the witnesses have alleged any role of both the appellants.

….. It is a matter of common experience that most of these complaints under section 498-A IPC are filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues without proper deliberations. 

We come across a large number of such complaints that are not even bona fide and are filed with oblique motive. At the same time, the rapid increase in the number of genuine cases of dowry harassment is also a matter of serious concern.”

“It is understandable or believable prima facie that her husband might have tied her subjecting her to cruelty with a view to demand dowry of Rs.5 lacs but extending the said allegations qua the present petitioners who are admittedly married sisters living separately in their own matrimonial homes is absurd, unbelievable and not worthy of credence and accordingly on merits also, 

I feel that the trial Magistrate has fallen into a serious error which will result in a great miscarriage of justice by directing the petitioners to face the trial for an offense u/s 498A IPC.”

8. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 13 November 2009.

“The only allegation against the petitioner is that they started harassing Complainant’s daughter for not bringing more dowry. 

No demand of dowry has been made by the petitioners, nor is there any specific entrustment, as alleged in the First Information Report of dowry articles to the petitioners.”

9. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 7 October 2009

“The High Court has merely mentioned that the allegation in the complaint is of retaining jewelry articles in possession of the husband and the petitioners. 

Now if the articles were in the possession of the husband, there is no question of the present appellants being in possession of the jewelry. 

This is apart from the fact that it has already been expressed by us that there is no mention of the date on which the said ornaments, if any, were entrusted to the appellants or even the date when they were demanded back and were refused to be given back by the appellants or any one of them. 

Insofar as the offence under Section 498A IPC is concerned, we do not find any material or allegation worth the name against the present appellants. All the allegations appear to be against the Husband.”

10. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 6 July 2009

“In the said FIR there is no allegation that subsequent thereto any harassment was made by the appellant with a view to coercing her or any person related to Respondent No. 2 to meet any unlawful demand or any property.

25. In that view of the matter, neither explanation (a) nor explanation (b) of Section 498 A of IPC is attracted in the present case. It is crystal clear that neither in the FIR nor in the charge sheet there is any ingredient of Section 498A IPC, which could prima facie constitute a case of cruelty as defined in that Section.”

11. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 29 May 2009.

“Thus, from the above, it is evident that the Trial Court itself had been of the view that there was no evidence of cruelty on the part of the appellant with a view to driving the complainant to commit suicide. 

The appellate Forum reached the conclusion that mental torture was of the magnitude that the complainant had to leave her matrimonial home during her pregnancy. The Revisional Court did not find that the complainant had been subjected to cruelty continuously.

29. Thus, in our opinion, all the three courts below erred in not considering the case in the correct perspective. 

The findings so recorded by the Courts below may be relevant for granting the relief in a matrimonial dispute i.e. divorce etc. but could not bring home the charge under Section 498-A IPC.”

“I consider that the kinds of vague allegations as made in the complaint by the petitioner against every member of the family of the husband cannot be accepted by any court at their face value and the allegations have to be scrutinized carefully by the Court before framing charge. 

A perusal of the complaint of the petitioner would show that she made all kinds of allegations against her husband regarding beating, that her husband was having an illicit relationship with 35 girls; he forced her to write a suicide note, abused her, taunted her, threatened and told her that he was getting another bride of the richer family while she was in Rewari with her husband and she made a telephone call to her parents who came to Rewari and took her to the parental home. 

She had also given the phone to one of her friends. A perusal of the statement of friend would show that she told her friend that it was her husband who was torturing her and behaving with cruelty. However, in her complaint, she made vague and omnibus allegations against every other family member. 

The statement made by her and other witnesses have been scrutinized by me, except vague allegations and allegations of taunting, there are no allegations of perpetuating cruelty on her by any of the four respondents in order to compel her to bring more dowry or any particular items.”

13. 498A Quash Judgements by Supreme Court of India on 3 March 2005

“The bald allegations made against her sister-in-law seem to suggest the anxiety of the informant to rope in as many of the husband's relations as possible. 

Neither the F.I.R. nor the charge-sheet furnished the legal basis to the Magistrate to take cognizance of the offenses alleged against the appellant. The High Court ought not to have relegated her to the ordeal of a trial.

“..facts while approaching the Court, the summoning of the petitioners, who are the maternal uncle and married brother-in-law and sister-in-law and are living separately, is wholly unjustified. 

Generally, it has become a tendency in the matrimonial disputes to implicate all the family members, even sometimes the remote relations, on the vague allegations. 

The Court while summoning those relations, who are living separately, should carefully analyze the incriminating material against those persons and only those persons should be summoned against whom there is a strong and reliable material.”

“The only allegation against the respondents is that they did not like the clothes brought by the petitioner as customary gifts for relatives of the husband. 

One of the sisters-in-law remarked that had the marriage taken place with her sister, more dowry would have been received. 

These allegations when tested on the anvil of aforesaid tests, do not make out a case of either 'cruelty' or 'harassment' as contemplated by Section 498A IPC Non-acceptance of gifts might have hurt her feelings and other remarks might have been unkindly and incisive but by no stretch of the imagination, such conduct involves any of the ingredients of either offense under Section 498A IPC or 406 IPC. 

Neither such an act nor conduct has the effect of driving the woman to commit suicide nor of causing grave injury nor, is likely to cause danger to life or limb nor did it amount to tormenting her either physically or mentally to compel or force her or her relatives to fulfill the demands of any property or valuable security. 

For the foregoing reasons, the petition is highly misconceived and is being used as a tool to hold the entire household to ransom and jeopardy”

“The allegations are not only vague but do not corroborate each other. In my view, these circumstances may give rise to some suspicion but not to grave suspicion, so as to warrant the framing of charge. 

Framing of charge does affect the liberty of a person and a cautious approach in such matters is called for. The position could be different if allegations were either more specific or corroborating, each other”

22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts

“Allegation made by the complainant that her husband used to misbehave with her, at the behest of the petitioner is totally vague, inherently improbable, and unworthy of credence. 

From these allegations, even a strong suspicion cannot be inferred. Even the statements recorded during investigation do not furnish the requisite material so as to make out the prima facie case under Section 498A IPC against the petitioner.”

‘A combined reading of the said reports along with the FIR would go to show that the charge under Section 498-A leveled against petitioner No. 2 was also groundless. 

It is well known that an estranged wife will go to any extent to rope in as many relations of the husband as possible in a desperate effort to salvage whatever remains of an estranged marriage. 

I am, therefore, of the view that the materials collected by the prosecuting agency do not give rise to any grave suspicion against the petitioners in respect of the offenses alleged to have been committed by them under Sections 498-A/406/506/509/34 IPC.”

22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts

“..no offense whatsoever is made out against the present petitioners, her husband who is the sister-in-law and brother-in-law of the complainant, there is no allegation of demand of dowry either directly or indirectly against them. Thus, the question of misappropriation of the same would not arise at all. 

Similarly, the case of the petitioners is also not prima facie covered under the offenses punishable under Section 498A IPC, 406, 120B, 494, 495, 149, IPC.”

“..The mere statement that the woman had fallen ill may not constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code unless the illness, either mental or physical, is of such nature as to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health. 

Similarly, the harassment must also be such as should have been actually meted out by the accused. Simply because the husband and others did not call the wife to the matrimonial home, it cannot amount to harassment. 

Driving her out from the matrimonial home to parental home will be harassment, but not calling her back to the marital home cannot amount to harassment, although the husband at the worst can be stated to be guilty of desertion if he makes the stay of the wife in the marital home unsafe and, therefore, makes her leave the matrimonial home. 

But, this cannot be stretched further and stated that the husband is guilty of harassment by not calling her to the marital home and thereby clothe the magistrate's court, within whose local jurisdiction the house of her parents is situated, with jurisdiction to entertain a complaint by her under Section 498A IPC.”

22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts

“In the absence of any specific allegation of cruelty against these petitioners they cannot be allowed to be proceeded with for an offence punishable Under Section 498A IPC.”

“Thus, there are no specific, clear, and unambiguous allegations against accused-petitioners about the demand or return of articles of dowry by the wife from them.

15. Taking into consideration the allegations leveled in the impugned first information report against accused-petitioners, no prima facie case concerning the commission of an offence punishable under Sections 406, 498A, 323/384/506 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code has been made out against them.”


This article on 22 Landmark 498a Quash Judgements by Supreme Court & Various High Courts put light on the extreme misuse of the law. This section is missed to the extent that the husband's family members are harassed just to blackmail the husband to bow down to the terms & conditions of the opposite party.


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