498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021 – Karnataka High Court – General allegations made against the mother-in-law, brother-in-law & sister-in-law. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021 – Karnataka High Court – General allegations made against the mother-in-law, brother-in-law & sister-in-law. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021 – Karnataka High Court – General allegations made against the mother-in-law, brother-in-law & sister-in-law. FIR Quashed.
498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021

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498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021 – In this article, the Karnataka High court has held that the allegations against the mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were made just to pressurize the petitioners who are the relatives of the husband of the wife. It was further held by the Karnataka High court that it is a clear case of misuser of Section 498A IPC. Hence, the high court decided to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioners.

Case Brief - 498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021

The marriage of the wife & the husband got solemnized on 28.11.2004. The wife gave birth to two children out of this wedlock. Though, since the day of the marriage, both husband & wife are living separately. The wife has stated that right from the first day of marriage wife’s husband and his family members were torturing her both physically & mentally for not fulfilling their dowry demand.

The wife further stated that the family members of the husband were also not serving food to the wife and to her children. Because of this reason, the wife started to reside at her parents' home for about almost 3 years.

It is stated that the husband was not providing maintenance to the wife and her children, nor was providing anything else towards their maintenance. But on the other hand, it is mentioned that the husband has gifted his property in favor of his mother, without the knowledge of the wife.

Therefore, it is the contention of the complainant that the petitioners in the present case i.e.; the mother-in-law, the brother-in-law, and the sister-in-law have forcibly taken away the property which belonged to her husband. Hence, the FIR was lodged on 04.01.2020 by the wife for the initiation of criminal proceedings under Section 498A of IPC.

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Arguments - 498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021

The advocate of the petitioner submitted that the petitioners are lined-up as accused who are mother-in-law, brother-in-law & sister-in-law of the wife. Marriage of the husband & wife got solemnized on 28.11.2004. Since then, they have both been residing separately & begotten two children.

It is further stated that from last 3 years the wife is staying at her parents’ home. It is to be noted that the only allegation made by the wife is that the husband has gifted his property in favor of his mother without intimating the wife.

Apart from the above-mentioned allegation, there is absolutely no allegation against the present petitioners. Under such circumstances, provisions of Section 498A IPC are not at all attractive considering the facts and circumstances of the case. Hence, he prays to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioners.

The advocate of the wife submitted that there are prima facie materials to constitute the offense punishable under Section 498A of IPC. The wife lodged the FIR with the specific allegations that, she is being harassed both mentally and physically since the date of her marriage.

There are references made to these petitioners in the FIR. After investigation, the charge sheet is filed making allegations against all the accused. Under such circumstances, the criminal proceedings cannot be quashed, and the accused are required to face the trial before the Trial Court. Hence, he prays for the petition to be dismissed.

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Court opinion – 498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021

In this case, court has laid its eyes upon the clauses of Section 498A IPC which deals with cruelty caused to a woman by her husband or by other relatives of the husband.

The word 'cruelty' is also defined in the explanation appended to this Section, which means willful conduct that is of such a nature that is likely to drive women to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to her life or health or cause harassment of the woman with a view of causing her or any other person who is related to her to fulfill any demand which is unlawful for any property or valuable security etc.

If provisions under Section 498A IPC are considered in the light of the given facts and circumstances of the present case, by no stretch of the imagination Section 498A of IPC could be invoked. Even as stated by the wife, she had left the matrimonial home about 3 years ago to the filing of the complaint i.e., on 04.01.2020, and is staying at her parents' house.

The only grievance which gave rise to the lodging of this complaint is that the husband has gifted his property to his mother, which cannot be considered cruelty as defined under Section 498A.

Hence, the Karnataka High court finds considerable force in the contention taken by the advocates of the petitioners that it is a clear case of misuser of Section 498A IPC to pressurize the petitioners who are the relatives of the husband of the wife. Therefore, the Karnataka High court is of the opinion that, the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioners are a clear abuse of the process of the Court and it requires to be quashed.

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Conclusion - 498A Quash after chargesheet 17.12.2021

In this article the Karnataka High court held that the allegations made against the family of the husband i.e.; mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law are made to pressurize the petitioners. As it is clear from the reading of the complaint that it is a clear case of misuse of Section 498A IPC. Therefore, The criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioners for the offense punishable under Section 498A of IPC are hereby quashed.


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