498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021 – Bald, vague and general allegations against the mother-in -law and sisters-in-law. FIR Quashed.

 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021 – Bald, vague and general allegations against the mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021





498A Quash judgement 20.10.2021 - In this article, the high court held that the allegations against the mother-in-law and married sisters-in-law who have been residing separately are bald, vague and general in nature, further high court held that their implication of them is an instance of satisfying the anger of complainant wife to drag them in false prosecution in order to harass and put pressure on the husband to fulfil her terms and conditions. Hence the high court held that it would amount to an abuse of the process of the Court and quashed the proceedings against them.


Case Brief – 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021

The marriage of the wife and husband was solemnized on 29th November 2009. The marriage of the husband’s mother and father was solemnized in 2010, post the marriage of the wife and husband. Petitioners stated that the husband & wife were not at all happy with the marriage of the father & mother therefore, the husband’s parents resided separately.

Petitioners stated that the marital life of the wife & husband was affected by discord from the beginning as the wife had a strong suspicion that the husband is having an extramarital affair. However, the petitioners had no occasion to be part of the married life of the husband & wife. All the applicants were residing separately from the husband & wife.

The FIR stated that post-marriage the initial reason for problems between the husband & wife was that the husband used to come back home late, spent a long time on the mobile phone chatting, etc., and abused and assaulted her.

The wife stated that, after a few months of marriage, her husband and father-in-law demanded an amount of Rs. 1 Crore from her & her father & also to purchase land and a Mercedes car. In failure to meet the said demand, the husband abused, assaulted, and attempted to throttle her.

The wife further alleged that the husband continued to consume alcohol and return home late. When the wife confronted the husband, she was beaten by him. Father-in-law did not bother to the complaints of the wife regarding the extramarital affairs of the husband Instead, justified such dalliance. The wife alleged that even the mother-in-law & sisters of the husband did not make effort to comfort her despite grievances being made before them. On the contrary, the sister-in-law threatened the wife not to raise such issues & was insulted by the family for not conceiving a child.

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Arguments - 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021

Advocate of petitioners stated that first and foremost, the allegations in the FIR even taken at their face value, do not make the offence punishable under Section 498A of the Penal Code. Secondly, the petitioners have been residing separately from the wife and her husband, hence the allegations of matrimonial cruelty against the applicants are simply absurd.

Thirdly, from the allegations in the FIR, it becomes clear that the cause of the grievance is against the husband. Fourthly, the instant FIR is another reason of pulling in the family members of the husband in the wake of the matrimonial discord, for no reason.

Lastly, the gap of almost 11 years from the date of marriage erodes the potency of the allegations against the petitioner, even if those allegations are taken at par. Continuation of the proceedings on the basis of such allegations would cause grave injustice to the petitioners.

Advocate of the wife countered the submissions. He stated that the allegations against each of the petitioners cannot be delved into. The inquiry is limited to ascertaining the existence of allegations that prima facie make out the offences arraigned against the petitioner.

According to the advocate, the allegations in the FIR, make out the offences against all the applicants and, therefore, this Court would not be justified in interjecting the prosecution at this stage, when the investigation is still underway.


Referred Cases - 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021

1. Bhaskarlal Sharma & Ors. V. Monica

2. Ramesh and Ors. V. State of Tamil Nadu

3. Geeta Mehrotra & Anr. V. State of Uttar Pradesh

4. K. Subba Rao & Ors. Vs. The State of Telangana

5. Rashmi Chopra v. State of UP

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Contact for Counseling to discuss Your Case for Right Solution

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Court Opinion - 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021

In the backdrop of the aforesaid nature of the accusations, against the petitioners, the question which arises is whether the allegations, even if taken at par, would warrant the prosecution of one or more of the petitioners.

Provisions under Section 498A of the Penal Code have a definite legal connotation. It is not restricted to physical cruelty. The element of mental cruelty, which generally has a more severe impact on the mind of a married woman, is subsumed in the definition of cruelty.

Coming to the facts of this case, where the contents of the FIR are considered, it is clear that there are no allegations against petitioners except casual reference of their names mentioned in the FIR but just casual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimonial dispute without any allegation of active involvement in the matter would not justify taking action against them knowing the fact that there is a tendency to involve all the family members of the household in the domestic quarrel going in a matrimonial dispute.

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Conclusion - 498A Quash Judgement 20.10.2021

In the article, the high court held that when the allegations against the relatives of the husband who have been residing separately are bald, vague and general in nature, and the implication of the relatives in the case is an instance of satisfying the anger of complainant wife to drag them in false prosecution in order to harass and put pressure on the husband to fulfil her terms and conditions. Hence the high court held that it would amount to an abuse of the process of the law and FIR cannot be sustained hence quashed.


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