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498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021 - Case against Parents-in-laws and Married Sister-in-law do not attract 498A on nonspecific allegations. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021 - Case against Parents-in-law and Married Sister-in-law do not attract 498A on nonspecific allegations. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021
498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021- This Article is based on the high court judgment where the court quashed the proceedings against mother-in-law, father-in-law, and married sister-in-law on the grounds that allegations against mother-in-law and father-in-law found to be incorrect and no specific allegations against the married sister-in-law. Hence the proceedings were found to be an abuse of the process of law. FIR Quashed.

Case Brief 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

The complainant registered the FIR in Women Police Station against in-laws and her husband for the offenses punishable under Section 498A, 323, 506, and 34 of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

In the complaint, it is alleged that the marriage between the husband and the complainant had taken place on 21.01.2019. At the time of engagement and marriage as per the demand of the husband and his parents, gold, cash, and entire marriage expenses were given by the parents of the complainant. 

It is further alleged that even after the marriage, the husband was not properly looking after the complainant and in this regard, she had made a complaint to her in-laws. Even after such complaints, they had not bothered to advise their son. 

It is alleged in the complaint that her husband and in-laws have tortured her and demanded to bring the additional sum of Rs.25,00,000/- as dowry. Since she was pregnant and unable to bear the torture and she had left the matrimonial house and thereafter she was residing with her parents. 

She has stated in the complaint that her in-laws intimidated and also threatened her. Based on these allegations, FIR was registered against the father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law of the complainant who has approached this Court with a prayer to quash the entire proceedings against them.

Arguments 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

Advocate for in-laws submits that even if the entire complaint allegations are presumed to be true, no case as alleged against the in-laws is made out. He submits that there are no specific allegations of overt acts against the petitioners. 

Bald allegations are made against all the persons and having regard to those allegations, the in-laws cannot be asked to stand trial for the alleged offenses.

He submits that her sister-in-law is married and she is residing separately. He also submits that the complainant has left her matrimonial house voluntarily and she is now residing separately in her parent's house. 

He submits that since the husband could not tolerate the behavior of the complainant, he had tried to commit suicide. In this regard, NCR was registered and the statement of the husband was recorded on 29.06.2020. 

He submits that the allegations made in the complaint that her parents-in-law have sold the gold jewelry belonging to the complainant are totally false. In fact, after the complaint was filed all the gold jewelry belonging to the complainant has been returned to her. He prays to allow the petition. 


Arguments 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

Per contra, an advocate of the complainant opposes the petition submitting that there are prima facie materials in the complaint which would attract the alleged offenses against the in-laws, and he prays to dismiss the petition.

An advocate of the complainant would submit that having regard to the specific allegation against the in-laws that they have sold the gold jewelry belonging to the complainant, it would go to show that they were demanding cash from the complainant.

The complaint alleges that the principal grievance of the complainant is against her husband. In so far as the in-laws are concerned, the allegation against mother-in-law and father-in-law is that they have sold her gold jewelry. 

However, the subsequent statement 31 articles belonging to her, were handed over to her father by the police after the same was seized under the mahazar. Two articles being a gold ring and a pair of gold earrings were produced by mother-in-law hereinbefore. The police station and even the said two items have been received by her father. 

In her further statement, the complainant has categorically admitted that with regard to the alleged physical assault stated in the complaint, she has not taken treatment in any hospital and she has no specific document in regard to her treatment.

The complainant has also stated that during that time she was pregnant, she had left her matrimonial house and started residing with her parents. The other allegations against the in-laws are not specific.

Referred cases 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

1. Preeti Gupta and Another v. State of Jharkhand and Another. 
2. Tarbez Khan Alias Guddu and Others v. State of Uttar Pradesh 
3. Seenivasan v. State by Inspector of Police

Court Opinion 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

They must ensure that hyped versions of small incidents should not be reflected in the criminal complaints. The main purpose of justice is to find out the truth and punish the guilty and protect the innocent person. 

In the criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be especially careful and cautious while dealing with these kinds of complaints and must take pragmatic realities into consideration while dealing with matrimonial cases.

The allegations of harassment of her in-laws who had been living in different cities and never visited or rarely visited the place where the complainant resided would have an entirely different complexion. The allegations made by the complainant in the complaint are required to be scrutinized more carefully and circumspect.

Conclusion 498A Quash Judgement 29.06.2021

The mother-in-law and father-in-law of the complainant, while the sister-in-law of the complainant. She is married and she is residing separately along with her husband and children.

They have sold the gold jewelry belonging to the complainant, which prima facie appears to be not correct having regard to the fact that the gold jewelry belonging to the complainant has been now seized and handed over to the father of the complainant which is borne by records.

The complaint allegations and charge sheet materials are carefully perused, prima facie no case can be made out against the in-laws for the offenses alleged against them. The High Court has observed that the registration of criminal cases against the near relatives of the husband without there being specific allegations and overt acts is bad in law.

The High Court said that the offenses were punishable under Section 498A, 323, 506, and 34 of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The in-laws are concerned and stand quashed.

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