498A Acquittal Judgment 15.05.2020- Great News! One More family Saved from the 498A IPC Menace – Madhya Pradesh High Court Acquitted Husbands & In-Laws

498A Acquittal Judgment 2020, Fighting 498A
498A, 498a acquittal Judgment, Fighting 498A


498A Acquittal Judgment 15.05.2020- Great News! One More family Saved from the 
498A IPC Menace – Madhya Pradesh High Court upheld the decision of Appellate Court – Husband, Mother-In-Law, Father-In-Law & Married Sister-In-Law all acquitted on the grounds of Unnatural Approach of the Wife & Contradictory Value of Dowry in the Witness Statements & Lack of Evidence of Cruelty & Dowry Demands.

PDF Download is available with the details relating to the Decision.  

Learning Taken from the Decisions:-


  1.    If the F.I.R/Chargesheet have the name of Married Sister in Laws who are living separately from the couple with their husbands in separate location than can apply for the quash of the FIR/Chargesheet in the beginning of the case, no need to wait till the acquittal decision, it will save their time & Peace of mind.
  2. If there is no evidence or medical record relating to the cruelty than the chances of sentence does not appear.
  3. Emphasizes should be on the absence of evidence which proves the allegations.
  4. Emphasis should be on the contradictory statements in the complaint, statement of complainant & witnesses will help in making the case strong towards husband & In-Laws Side.
  5. If the contradiction comes in the beginning of the case in the complaint & the statements taken at the time 161 CRPC during investigation than the case can be quashed after the submission of the chargesheet and can be argued at the time of framing of charges.
  6. The Misuse of the 498A IPC provision is on higher side. The false allegations of dowry demands & cruelty are just meted out in the complaint just to attract the provisions of 498A IPC without any proofs & Evidence to harass the husband & In-Laws.
  7. Right approach and Guidance will help in saving long battles in the courts.
  8. A noble person is not made to waste his precious time in court, one can use the way of mediation to resolve the matter and get himself away from these menace.

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AN EYE FOR AN EYE ONLY ENDS UP
MAKING THE WHOLE WORLD
BLIND

Mahatma Gandhi

Reason of the Appeal - The Revision petition has been preferred by the wife challenging the judgment of acquittal dated 05.12.2014 passed by the learned appellate Court in Criminal Appeal and also the part of judgment of acquittal passed by the trial Court whereby, husband & In-Laws have been acquitted from the charges under Section 294 and 506-II of IPC. The revision petition Passed by the trial Court confirming the judgment of acquittal passed by the judgment of trial Court dated 27.11.2012 whereby, Married sister-in-law has been acquitted from the charges under Section 498-A, 294 and 506-B of IPC.

Brief Facts of the case- 
The factum of marriage of complainant with husband on 30.04.2002 is admitted fact and a complaint has been lodged on 30.06.2006 with respect to the incident said to have taken place on 27.06.2006 by wife stating there in that after her marriage, she remained in her matrimonial house for two months and there was no dispute, but thereafter, her husband along with her in-laws have started abusing and harassing her and started demand of dowry of Rs. 2,00,000/-. She was beaten by her husband and in-laws. The information was sent to her father on 08.02.2004, thereafter, father came to her matrimonial house and took her along with him. A maintenance case was filed by the wife against her husband, which was compromised on 27.06.2006 and she went to her matrimonial house along with her husband from the Court itself. Again she was harassed by the husband and in-laws with respect to demand of dowry of Rs. 2,00,000/-. Her brother Pradeep Kumar Shukla and his friend Ravi Kumar came to her matrimonial house and saw that she was being beaten and was pushed out of the house saying that there is no compromise without money (two lacs). She was threatened and was asked to bring Rs.2,00,000/- (two lacs) from her father, failing which, they will not keep her and will kill her. On the basis of the aforesaid information, an FIR was got registered at police Station for offence under Sections 294, 506-II and 498-A of IPC. After completion of the investigation, charge sheet has been filed before the learned trial Court. The prosecution has got examined Nine prosecution witnesses including investigation officer in support of their case.

The learned trial Court after going through the entire oral as well as documentary evidence on record and after hearing the parties at length has arrived at conclusion that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against all the accused persons- husband & In-Laws under Section 294, 506-II of IPC. Charges under Section 498-A of IPC has not been found proved against Smt. Married sister-in-law and she has been acquitted from all the charges vide judgment of acquittal dated 27.11.2012, but charges under Section 498-A of IPC were found to be proved against husband, Father-in-law, Mother-in-law and Un-Married Sister-in- law/nand and accordingly, vide judgment dated 27.11.2012 they were convicted under Section 498-A of IPC for one year RI and fine of Rs. 500/- each with default stipulation. Against the judgment passed by the learned trial Court, two appeals were preferred in which one appeal was filed by husband & In-Laws and another appeal was preferred by wife against the judgment of acquittal for the offence under Sections 294 and 506-B of IPC and also the acquittal of Married sister-in-law from all the charges, the same was registered as Criminal Appeal No.419/2012. The learned appellate Court after appreciation of all the evidences are available on record has arrived at the conclusion that the learned trial Court has not committed any error in acquitting Married sister-in-law from all the charges and other accused persons for the offences under Section 294 and 506-II IPC, but has committed an error in convicting the appellants/husband & In-Laws for offence under Section 498-A of IPC and accordingly, both the appeal decided analogously and decided by common judgment dated 05.12.2014 and Criminal Appeal  filed by the appellants has been allowed and all the accused/husband & In-Laws have been acquitted from the charges under Section 498-A of IPC and the appeal preferred by the wife being Criminal Appeal No.419/2012 was dismissed by the same judgment dated 05.12.2014. It is being aggrieved by the judgment of acquittal dated 05.12.2014 passed by the learned appellate Court in Criminal Appeal  and Criminal Appeal No. 419/2012 as well as the part of the judgment dated 27.11.2012 passed by the learned trial Court, whereby the husband & In-Laws have been acquitted from the charges under Section 294 and 506-II of IPC, the present criminal revisions are being filed.

It is alleged that the learned Appellant Court has committed grave error in acquitting all the accused persons from all the charges despite of the fact that there is ample evidence available on record which is sufficient for convicting the accused persons-husband & In-Laws. It is further submitted that the learned appellate Court has considered the aspect that father of the wife (PW-4) has stated in his cross examination and has admitted the fact that there was no demand of dowry being made at any point of time. The learned Appellate Court has further considered the aspect that wife has made a letter the basis of her case, it is argued that the letter was posted by the wife to her father informing about harassment being caused to her and the demand of dowry being made to her husband, but the aforesaid letter could not have been placed on record. Therefore, the learned Appellate Court has held that the aforesaid letter was important piece of evidence to corroborate the entire prosecution story. It is argued that the statement of his brother and his friend who have categorically stated that regarding her marpeet and harassment and demand of dowry has not been taken into consideration by the learned Appellate Court. It is argued that the learned trial Court has rightly found the accused-husband & In-Laws guilty of charges under Section 498-A of IPC, but the aforesaid findings given by the learned trial Court has been reversed by the learned Appellate Court without there being assigning any cogent reason in the same.

Learned counsel for the revisionist has drawn attention of High Court to the judgment of the trial Court and has argued that learned trial Court has placed reliance upon the witness- (PW-3) who is brother of the wife as well as statement of (PW-6) who is his friend, wherein they have categorically stated in their statements that on 30.06.2006 they went to the matrimonial house of the wife, wherein, they found some altercation taking place between wife and her husband and in-laws. They have categorically stated that wife was being badly abused and beaten by the accused-husband & In-Laws and they have made demand of Rs. 2,00,000/- in lieu of compromise between the wife and her husband. The aforesaid statements were duly supported by the statements of father and mother of the wife i.e. (PW-2) and (PW-4), but the aforesaid aspect has not been taken into consideration by the learned Appellate Court. It is further argued that the learned Appellate Court has failed to take note of the fact that there was some matrimonial dispute between the parties, owing to which, the wife went to her parental house and started residing there. Thereafter a maintenance case was filed by wife.


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Learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn attention of High Court to the statement of wife, whereby she has categorically stated that on 27.06.2006, her husband and in-laws have started harassing her and making demand of Rs. 2,00,000/-. She has further stated that the case under Section 125 of Cr.P.C claiming maintenance has been closed down by way of compromise, but after closer of the case of maintenance, when she went to her matrimonial house, where again she was harassed and demand of Rs. 2,00,000/- was made and on 30.06.2006, her brother and his friend came to her matrimonial house to know whereabouts of the wife and they saw that there was some altercation between the husband, in-laws and the wife and she was beaten and pushed out of the house saying that there cannot be any compromise without money and was asked to bring Rs. 2,00,000/-. The aforesaid statement was duly supported by the statement of her brother (PW-3) and his friend (PW-6). Thus, the learned trial Court has considered the aforesaid aspect of the case and has found that the offence under Section 498-A of IPC is clearly made out against the four accused persons and accordingly, they were convicted under Section 498-A of IPC, but the learned Appellate Court has failed to consider the aforesaid aspects of the case and has reversed the findings given by the learned trial Court. It is further argued that the statement of mother (PW-2) and father (PW-4) of the wife have not been taken into consideration by the learned Appellate Court. Learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn attention of High Court to statements of parents of the wife as PW-2 and PW-4 and has argued that in examination in chief as well as in cross examination the entire story of the prosecution is being supported. The factum of previous case of maintenance being closed down by way of compromise is being mentioned in their statements, but the aforesaid aspect has not been taken into consideration by the learned Appellate Court. He has drawn attention of High Court to para 7 onwards of the judgment of the trial Court wherein, the learned trial Court has considered the statements of the wife and other material witnesses. The factum of registration of the case under Section 125 of Cr.P.C for maintenance is taken note of by the learned trial Court.

Considering the overall evidence available on record the learned trial Court has rightly arrived at conclusion that the offence under Section 498-A is being made out against the husband & In-Laws- accused except Married sister-in-law, but the learned Appellate Court has not considered the aforesaid aspect of the case. Therefore, she prayed for setting aside of the judgment of Appellate Court.


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Per contra, learned counsel for the husband & In-Laws has denied all the arguments which is advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner and has contended that learned Appellate Court has considered the aforesaid aspect of the case and appellants- husband & In-Laws have rightly been acquitted from all the charges. It is further argued that the learned Appellate Court has found that the prosecution has failed to prove the charges under Section 498-A of IPC and the husband & In-Laws have been acquitted from the aforesaid charges, whereas, the factum of charges under Section 294 and 506- II of IPC were not found proved by the learned trial Court, then, there was no occasion to arrive at conclusion that the offence under Section 294 and 506-II of IPC are being made out against the husband & In-Laws except Married sister-in-law. The learned trial Court has rightly acquitted Married sister-in-law of all the charges on the basis of evidence available on record. It is further contended that the entire prosecution story itself is doubtful. The wife has written a letter and the same has laid the foundation of the case and thereafter, an FIR has been registered, but the aforesaid letter was neither being produced before the police authorities, nor the same was being produced before the Court by the prosecution. On the contrary, father of the wife i.e. PW-4 has specifically admitted in para 8 of his cross examination that there was no demand of dowry being made at any point of time. Learned counsel for the husband & In-Laws has drawn attention of High Court to para 12 of the judgment of the trial Court and has argued that the prosecution has not produced any documents (the letter) to show that any demand of dowry was being made by the husband and in-laws of the wife. The wife has stated that she has posted a letter to her father informing about the harassment and demand of dowry, but the aforesaid letter neither handed over to the police authorities nor the same was being produced by the prosecution. Even in the statement of the wife, she has admitted that the police station was just opposite to the post office, from where, she has posted the letter and If there is being any harassment regarding illegal demand of dowry has been made by in-laws, then the matter could have been reported the police station then and there, but the same has not been done and inspite going to police station she has gone to the post office. Even the demand which is shown by the wife is of Rs. 2,00,000/-, whereas, witnesses of the prosecution have categorically stated that the demand of Rs.1,00,000/- was being made. There is material deference between the aforesaid two amounts. Learned counsel for the husband & In-Laws has further drawn attention of High Court to document filed in defense i.e. judgment and decree of divorce passed by the learned District Judge,dated 20.08.2013, wherein, marriage between husband and the wife dated 30.04.2002 has been dissolved. It is argued that the divorce case was filed on the ground of desertion and false allegation being made by the wife/wife against her husband. Counsel for the husband & In-Laws has further drawn attention of High Court to para 19 of the judgment, wherein the statement of Dr.(PW-10) is being dealt with. The doctor has not found any injuries on the body of the wife, thus, the prosecution story itself is falsified by the medical evidence. Under these circumstances, the learned Appellate Court has not committed any error in acquitting the husband & In-Laws from the charges under Section 498-A of IPC and the appeal filed by the wife has rightly been rejected. They prayed for dismissal of the present criminal revision petition.


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The Madhya Pradesh High Court after perusal of the record held that, the concurrent finding recorded by the learned trial Court as well as Appellate Court with respect to acquittal of Married sister-in-law from all the charges. The learned trial Court has considered the aforesaid aspect of the case and has observed that marriage of Married sister-in-law took place 5-6 years back and she was residing separately along with her husband and there was no occasion of harassment or demand of dowry being made by Married sister-in-law. Thus, she was acquitted from all the charges by the learned trial Court which is duly affirmed by the learned Appellate Court. The wife has failed to establish that Married sister-in-law was residing with her and was abusing and harassing her and was making demand of dowry. Thus, the findings recorded by both the Courts' regarding acquittal of Married sister-in-law does not call for any interference especially in the revision against acquittal, and against the against the concurrent findings given by the learned Courts below.

The Madhya Pradesh further held that the husband & In-Laws have already been acquitted by the learned trial Court under Section 206 and 506-II of IPC and learned trial Court has convicted under Section 498-A of IPC for 1 year RI. The learned Appellate Court has reversed the findings given by the learned trial Court on several grounds. The grounds which have been raised by the wife as far as reversal of the judgment passed by the learned Appellate Court is concerned, it is seen from the record that the wife has failed to produce the letter which is said to have been posted to her father mentioning all the allegations against in-laws and her husband regarding harassment and demand of dowry. Further analysis of the record, it was concluded by the high court that the post office, from where, the aforesaid letter is said to have been posted is opposite to the police station, but the wife has chosen to post the aforesaid letter and not to inform the police authorities regarding the harassment and illegal demand of dowry. The approach of the wife appears to be unnatural. Apart from this, in the entire case the prosecution has not been produced the letter which is could be the vital piece of evidence. The learned Appellate Court has further considered the aspect that the demand which have been raised is of Rs. 2,00,000/- as pointed out by the wife, whereas the demand which have been shown to have been made by the other witnesses (family members of the wife) is of Rs. 1,00,000/- which is considerably a different amount, causing material contradiction in the statement. The incident which is said to have taken place on 30.06.2006 is not medically corroborated as so said injuries received by the wife was not found by the doctor (PW-10). Thus, the learned Appellate Court has arrived at conclusion that the prosecution has failed to establish the charges under Section 498-A of IPC against the present husband & In-Laws and has affirmed the finding given by the learned trial Court as far as charges under Section 294 and 506-II of IPC are concerned.

The high court held that it is a settled position of law laid down while dealing with the appeal/revision against acquittal, the findings given by the Courts below generally should not be disturbed until and unless, there is substantive material available on record to reverse those findings even if two views are possible, the view supporting in the accused should be taken.


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Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Kali Ram Vs. State of Himanchal Pradesh, AIR 1975 SC 2773 has observed that "the golden thread which runs through the web of the administration of justice in criminal case is that if two views are possible on the evidence adduced in the case, one pointing towards its guilt and other pointing towards its innocence, the one favoring accused should be taken." Certainly it is a primary principle that the accused must be and not merely, may be guilty before the court, can be convicted and the mental distinction between may be and must be is long and divides vague conjectures from such considerations.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Rajasthan Vs. Ram Niwas reported in 2010 (15) SCC 463 has considered the similar aspect and has followed the ratio laid down in the case of Kali Ram (Supra).

Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case and also the ratio of law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the aforesaid cases, the Madhya Pradesh High Court held that the judgment passed by the learned Appellate Court appears to be justified and the same does not call for any interference in the present criminal revision petitions. Therefore, the Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed the wife contention and upheld the decision of Appellate court for the acquittal decision for the husbands & In-Laws in this Case.
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