498a quash judgement by Supreme court- Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

498a quash judgement by Supreme court-  Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

498a quash judgement by the supreme court
498a quash judgement by the Supreme court


498a quash judgement by supreme court- Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.- This article is based on the Landmark Judgement by the Supreme court. In the case the FIR does not disclose specific allegations 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 husband and his elder brother suffer the ordeal of a criminal case is pending against them especially when the complaint does not disclose ingredients of an offense under Sections 498A/323/504/506, IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. Hence the Hon’ble Supreme Court quashed the proceedings against them.


Case Brief 498a quash judgement by supreme court - Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.


It was submitted that the atmosphere in the house was peaceful for some time but soon after the wedding when the in-laws left, the maid who cooked meals was first of all paid off by the four persons who then told the wife that from now onwards, she will have to prepare all the food for the whole family. 


In addition, the in-laws started taunting and scolding her on trivial issues. The complainant also came to know that her husband was not employed anywhere and always stayed in the house. Her husband gradually took away all the money which the complainant had with her and then told her that her father had not given dowry as demanded in the form of property, therefore, she should get Rupees five lakhs from her father in order to enable him to start a business, because he was unemployed.


When his wife clearly declined and said that she will not ask her parents for money, her husband, on the instigation of other family members, started beating her occasionally. Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.


Just on her return from work, the household people started playing loud bhajans after which she had to get up at 7'o clock in the morning to prepare and serve food to all the members of the family. Often on falling asleep in the morning, her in-laws tortured the complainant every day mentally and physically. 


Father-in-law often provoked the other three family members to torture and often used to make her feel sad by making disrespectful statements about her and her parents. Her husband also took away her salary.


After persistent efforts, her husband got a job in Chennai and he went to Chennai. The complainant often called him on the phone to talk to him but he always did the irrelevant conversation. 


He never spoke properly with his wife whenever he visited home and often used to hurl filthy language. The complainant states that she often wept and tolerated the tortures of the in-laws for a long time but did not complain to her family members, as that would have made her feel sad.


At last, when the complainant realized that even her life was in danger, she tells everything to her father on the phone who was very upset after hearing her troubles. The complainant heard some conversation of her mother-in-law and sister-in-law from which it appeared to her that they wanted to kill the complainant in the night only.

Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

Thereupon she apprised her father of the situation on the phone to which her father replied that he will call her father-in-law and she should go with him immediately and he will come the next morning.


The father and mother who were living in Noida thereafter came in the night and somehow took the complainant to their home who also came to know of everything. Her father and brother later went to her matrimonial home. On seeing her father and brother, her mother-in-law and sister-in-law started speaking loudly and started saying that her husband would be coming by the evening and so he should come in the evening to talk to them. 


Her husband and brother-in-law also reached home. On reaching there, her husband abused her on the phone and told her to send her father.


On the basis of the complaint, the investigating authorities at P.S. Daraganj, Allahabad started an investigation of the case, and thereafter the police submitted a chargesheet against the in-laws and of the complainant's husband.


Arguments 498a quash judgement by supreme court- Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.


Prior to marriage the complainant and her family members were told that her husband is employed as a Team Leader in a top I.T. Company in Chennai and is getting a salary of Rs.45,000/-per month. 


After negotiation between the parents of the complainant and the in-laws, the marriage of the complainant with her husband was performed after which the husband and wife left for the house of her in-laws.


It was, therefore, left open to the in-laws to move the trial court for dropping the proceedings on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction. The High Court however granted interim protection to the in-laws by directing the authorities not to issue coercive process against the in-laws until disposal of the application filed by the in-laws with a further direction to the trial court to dispose of the application is moved by the relatives of the husband, within a period of two months.

The in-laws in spite of the liberty granted to them to move the trial court, have filed this appeal for quashing the proceedings which had been initiated on the basis of a case lodged by the complainant against her husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law.

Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

It stands to indicate that although a prima facie case against the husband and some other in-laws may or may not be constituted, it surely appears to be a case where no ingredients making out a case against the unmarried sister of her husband and his brother appear to be existing for even when the complainant came to her in-law's house after her wedding, she has alleged physical and mental abuse by stating in general that she had been forced to do household activities of cooking meals for the whole family.

But there appears to be no specific allegation against the sister-in-law and brother-in-law of the complainant as to how they could be implicated in the mutual bickering between the complainant and her husband, including his parents.

But if the proceedings are initiated by the complainant under Section 498A against the husband and her in-laws and subsequently she has settled her issues with her husband and in-laws and the husband-wife agreed to mutual divorce, refusal to exercise inherent powers by the High Court would not be proper as it would prevent women from settling earlier. 

Thus for the purpose of securing the ends of justice quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 Crpc would not be a bar to the exercise of the power of quashing.


Referred 498a quash judgement by supreme court

1. Ramesh vs. State of Tamil Nadu 

2. G.V. Rao vs. L.H.V. Prasad & Ors

3. B.S. Joshi & Ors. vs. State of Haryana & Anr.

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Court opinion 498a quash judgement by supreme court- Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

The High Court has failed to exercise its jurisdiction in so far as the consideration of the case of the appellants are concerned, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant and are not alleged even by the complainant to have demanded dowry from her. 

The High Court ought to have considered that even if the court had the jurisdiction to hold the trial, the question still remains the same against the brother and sister of the husband, whether that would amount to an abuse of the process of the law.

There was still no material to hold that the trial should proceed against them in spite there is no prima facie material constituting the offense alleged against them.

The High courts are expected to adopt a cautious approach in matters of quashing especially in cases of matrimonial dispute whether the complaint, in fact, discloses commission of an offense by the relatives of the husband or the FIR prima facie discloses a case of over-implication by involving the entire family members of her husband at the instance of the complainant, who is out to settle her scores arising out of the trivial problem or skirmish of domestic bickering while settling down in her new matrimonial surrounding.

The High Court opinion appears to have missed that assuming the trial court had territorial jurisdiction, it was left to be decided whether it was an exact case to send the in-laws for trial when the complaint failed to make out a prima facie case against them regarding the allegation of inflicting physical and mental abuse to the complainant demanding dowry from the complainant.



Conclusion 498a quash judgement by supreme court - Geeta Mehrotra & Another v. State Of U.P.

This Court as already stated hereinbefore could have remitted the matter to the High Court to consider whether a case was made out against the in-laws to proceed against them. 

But as the contents of the complaint do not disclose specific allegations against the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant except casual reference of their names, it would not be just to direct them to go through the procedure by remanding for consideration of the matter all over again by the High Court and make the unmarried sister-in-law and brother-in-law suffer the ordeal of a criminal case pending against them especially when the FIR does not disclose ingredients of an offense under Section 498A/323/504/506, IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Therefore, deem it just and legally appropriate to quash the proceedings initiated against the brother-in-law and sister-in-law as the FIR does not disclose any material which could be held to constitute an offense against these two. 

Merely by making a general allegation that also involved in physical and mental abuse of the complainant without mentioning even a single incident against them in the fact as to how they could be motivated to demand dowry when they are only related as brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant. Hence FIR Quashed. 


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