498A quash judgement by supreme court- The bald allegations against married sister-in-law do not attract section 498A. FIR Quashed

498A quash judgement by supreme court- The bald allegations against married sister-in-law do not attract section 498A. FIR Quashed

498A quash judgement by supreme court
498A quash judgement by the supreme court

498A quash judgement by supreme court- This article is based on the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter Ramesh and Ors.v/s State of Tamil Nadu. It was held by the Apex court that married sister-in-law against whom no specific allegations of cruelty and demand of any dowry are levied the offense under section 498A is not made out. FIR Quashed against the married sister-in-law.

Case Brief 498A quash judgement by the supreme court

The complainant in the appeal arising out of filed a complaint on 23.6.1999 with the All Women Police Station, Trichy alleging the commission of offenses under Section 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. 

Allegations were made in the said complaint against the husband, her sister-in-law, and the brother-in-law who was all the accused before the High Court and the relatives herein.

The married sister of her husband is undisputedly living in Delhi with her family. Assuming that during the relevant time between March and October 1997, when the in-law lived in Mumbai in her marital home, the said lady stayed with them for some days.

Certain acts of taunting and ill-treatment by her sister-in-law were alleged but they do not pertain to dowry demand or entrustment and misappropriation of property belonging to the informant.

After registration of the F.I.R. and investigation, the chargesheet was filed by the Police at All Women Police Station, Trichy. Thereupon, it took cognizance of the offense and issued warrants against the in-laws on 13.2.2002. 

It appears that four of the appellants were arrested and released on bail in Mumbai. The in-laws then filed a complaint in the Bombay High Court for quashing the F.I.R. or in the alternative to transfer the F.I.R. to Mumbai. 

The proceedings were stayed by the High Court. On 2.6.2003, the complaint was dismissed as withdrawn while giving liberty to approach the High Court of Madras at Chennai for appropriate relief. 

Thereafter, her sister-in-law filed the complaint under Section 482 Cr.P.C. before the Madras High Court for quashing the proceedings. The High Court by the impugned order dismissed the complaint. 

Arguments 498A quash judgement by the supreme court

She said against her in the F.I.R. is that on some occasions, she directed the complainant to wash and she used to abuse her and used to pass remarks such as even if you have got a lot of jewelry, you are our slave.

It is further stated in the report that she would make wrong imputations to provoke her husband and would warn her that nobody could do anything to her family. These allegations, even if true, do not amount to harassment with a view to coercing the informant or her relation to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security. 

There is nothing in the complaint which connects her with an offense under Section 498A or any other offense of which cognizance was taken. 

At the most, the allegations reveal that her sister-in-law was insulting and making derogatory remarks against her and behaving rudely against her. Even acts of abetment in connection with unlawful demand for property/dowry are not alleged against her. 


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Court Opinion 498A quash judgement by the supreme court

But the grounds raised by the in-laws are all subject matters to be heard by the trial court for better appreciation after conducting a full trial and hence this Court is of the view that it is only desirable to dismiss the complaint and the same is dismissed as such.

However, the High Court was directed to dispense with the personal attendance of the in-laws. Aggrieved by the order of the Madras High Court dismissing the complaint under Section 482 Cr. P.C, the special leave petitions giving rise to these appeals were filed by the husband.

The last two conditions are stressed before us. As far as the husband in the appeal arising out is concerned, it is contended that the allegations in the F.I.R. do not make out any offense of which cognizance could be taken.

Before we proceed to deal with the two contentions relating to limitation and territorial jurisdiction, we would like to consider first the contention advanced on behalf of the. Looking at the allegations in the F.I.R. and the contents of the chargesheet, we hold that none of the alleged offenses, Section 498A, 406 of the I.P.C. and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act are made out against her. 

Conclusion 498A quash judgement by the supreme court

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 chargesheet furnished the legal basis to take cognizance of the offenses alleged against her husband.

The High Court ought not to relegated the order of the trial. Accordingly, the proceedings against the sister-in-law are hereby quashed and her appeal stands allowed.

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