498a quash judgement by Supreme Court- Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court- Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

498a quash judgement by Supreme Court- Preeti Gupta v. Jharkhand

498a quash judgement by Supreme Court

498a quash judgement by Supreme Court-  Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand - This article is based on the Landmark Judgemnet of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Apex court in this judgemnet clears that the in-laws not living with the complainant and they have no interference in her life do not constitute any offense against them. Hence the Case u/s 498a is quashed against them.


Case Brief 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court- Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

The Complainant was married at Kanpur on 10.12.2006. Immediately after the marriage, the complainant left for Mumbai along with her husband who was working with the Tata Consultancy Services and was permanently residing in Mumbai.  

The complainant also joined the TCS at Mumbai and visited Ranchi to participate in the "Gangaur" festival. After staying there for a week, she came back to Mumbai. The Complainant filed a complaint under sections 498A, 406, 341, 323, and 120-B of the IPC read with sections 3 and 4 of the DP Act against her in-laws. 

The complaint was transferred to the court in Ranchi. It was stated that a luxury car was demanded by all the in-laws named in the complaint. It was also alleged that the complainant was physically assaulted in Mumbai. 

According to the said allegations of the complainant, it appears that the averments made for incidents had taken place either at Kanpur or Mumbai. According to the allegations of the complaint, except for the demand of the luxury car, no incident of harassment took place at Ranchi.

498a quash judgment by Supreme Court

According to the in-laws, there was no specific allegation against both the in-laws in the complaint. Father-in-law had been permanently residing with her husband at Surat for the last more than seven years. 

She had never visited Mumbai during the year 2007 and never stayed with the complainant or her husband. Similarly, her mother-in-law and unmarried brother-in-law of the complainant has also been permanently residing at Goregaon, Maharashtra.

It was submitted that there is no specific allegation in the entire complaint against both the in-laws. These in-laws had very clearly stated in this appeal that they had never visited Ranchi. 

The in-laws also stated that they had never interfered with the internal affairs of the complainant and her husband. According to them, there was no question of any interference because the in-laws had been living in different cities for a number of years.

498a quash judgment by Supreme Court

It was clearly stated by the in-laws that they had been falsely implicated in this case. It was further stated that the complaint against the in-laws was total without any basis or foundation. The in-laws also alleged that even if all the allegations incorporated in the complaint were taken to be true, even then no offense could be made out against them.

The in-laws had submitted that the High Court ought to have quashed this complaint as far as both the in-laws are concerned because there were no specific allegations against them and they ought not to have been summoned.

In this appeal, both the mother-in-law and brother-in-law specifically alleged that they had never visited Ranchi, therefore, the allegations that they made any sarcastic remarks to the complainant had no basis or foundation as far as the in-laws are concerned.

The complainant could not dispute that the father-in-law was a permanent resident living with her husband at Surat, Gujarat for the last more than seven years and the mother-in-law was a permanent resident of Goregaon, Maharashtra. They had never spent any time with the complainant.

According to the in-laws they are not the residents of Ranchi and if they are compelled to attend the Ranchi Court repeatedly then that would lead to insurmountable harassment and inconvenience to the in-laws as well as to the complainant.

Arguments - 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court-  Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

The acts relating to demand or subjecting to cruelty, have taken place at the place where the complainant was living with her husband. However, the complainant in her submitted that under solemn affirmation has stated that when she came to Ranchi on the occasion of Holi, all the in-laws came and passed sarcastic remarks which in absence of actual wordings, according to the advocate appearing for the petitioner could never be presumed to be an act constituting an offense under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

The complaint under Section 498A IPC has led to several other cases. It is mentioned that a divorce petition has been filed by the husband of the complainant. Both husband and wife are highly qualified and are working with reputed organizations like Tata Consultancy Service.

498a quash judgment by Supreme Court

If because of their lack of compatibility they cannot live with each other then it is proper that they should jointly get a decree of divorce by mutual consent. Both husband and wife are in such an age group that if proper efforts are made, their resettlement may not be impossible.

We have very carefully considered the allegations 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 in-laws in the complaint and none of the witnesses have alleged any role of both of them.

Admittedly, her father-in-law is a permanent resident of Surat, Gujarat, and has been living with her husband for more than seven years. Similarly, her mother-in-law is a permanent resident of Goregaon, Maharashtra.

They have never visited the place where the stated incident had taken place. They had never lived with the complainant and her husband. Their implication in the complaint is meant to harass and humiliate the in-laws.

This seems to be the only basis to file this complaint against the in-laws. The complainant to pursue this FIR would be an abuse of the process of law. It is a matter of common experience that unfortunately, matrimonial litigation is rapidly increasing in our country.

Referred Cases 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court-  Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

1. R.P. Kapur v. the State of Punjab

2. State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy & Others

3. Madhu Limaye v. The State of Maharashtra

4. Madhavrao Jiwajirao Scindia & Others v. Sambhajirao Chandrojirao Angre & Others

5. State of Haryana & Others v. Bhajan Lal & Others.

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Court Opinion 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court-  Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

All the courts in our country including this court are flooded with matrimonial cases. Unfortunately, at the time of filing of the FIR, the implications and consequences are not properly shown by the complainant that such a complaint can lead to insurmountable harassment, agony, and pain to the complainant, against the in-laws.

The ultimate object of the judiciary is to find out the truth and punish the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a herculean task in the majority of these complaints. The probability of implicating the husband is also not uncommon. 



Conclusion 498a quash judgment by Supreme Court-  Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand

It is difficult to ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be very careful and cautious in dealing with these matrimonial complaints and must take reasonable realities into consideration while dealing with these matrimonial cases. The allegations of harassment of her in-laws who had been living in different cities and rarely visited the place where the complainant resided would have an entirely different complexion.

The allegations of the complaint are required to be scrutinized with ultimate care and circumspection. It is also a matter of common experience that in cases filed by the complainant if the husband or her in-laws had to remain in jail even for a few days, it would ruin the chances of amicable settlement altogether. The process of facing this is extremely long and painful.

It is also a matter of common knowledge that hyped versions of the incident are reflected in a large number of complaints. The probability of over implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases.

The Court considers the background of legal principles set out in proceedings, then it would be unfair to compel the in-laws to undergo the rigmarole of a criminal trial. In the interest of justice, we deem it appropriate to quash the complaint against the in-laws. Hence FIR was Quashed. 


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