498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022 - Karnataka High Court - Stray statement against distant relatives. FIR Quashed.

 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022 - Karnataka High Court - Stray statement against distant relatives. FIR Quashed.

498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022 - Karnataka High Court - Stray statement against distant relatives. FIR Quashed
498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022

Read More Judgements on 498a Quash

Ramu S/O Shankreppa Baigeri vs The State Of Karnataka on 9.02.2022

498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022 – In this article, the Karnataka High court has held that the allegations made against the distant relatives of the husband are general and stray in nature without quoting any specific incident against them. Further, the Karnataka High court has held that it is clear by reading the FIR that majorly the allegations are made against the husband, and the allegations made against the petitioner's in-laws are attributed to minor disputes and don’t attract the provisions of Section 498A IPC. Therefore, the Karnataka High court ordered to quash the proceedings against the petitioners.


Case Brief – 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022

The relationship between the parties is relevant to be noticed at the outset. The wife of the husband, who is not here before the Court. The petitioners seeking to quash the proceedings present before the Court are the uncle of the husband and relatives of the husband and a stranger who has been dragged into the proceedings.

The present petition is lodged by the relatives and other family members of the husband. A bare look at the complaint dated 14.2.2020 registered by the wife clearly indicates that all the allegations are against the husband and some vague statements are made about the family members, who did reside with the wife in her matrimonial home.

As far as the petitioners are concerned, a bare reading of the complaint would not indicate any act that would attract the provisions of the offenses under Section 498A and 323 IPC.

It is indisputable that the uncle did not reside with the couple. Close relatives and a stranger is no way concerned or connected with the squabble between the couple. Therefore, it is a clear case where all the other petitioners are dragged into the web of crime by the complaint lodged by the wife.

Allowing further proceedings to be continued against the petitioners in the above-mentioned circumstances at hand would result in a miscarriage of justice and would be an abuse of the process of law.

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Arguments - 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022

Advocate of the petitioners submitted that after registration of the present complaint, the husband and the wife have sought annulment of their marriage, and the same is decreed, and the marriage is dissolved by the order of the Family Court, by its judgment dated 9.11.2021. Therefore, the husband and the wife have parted ways for the present.


Referred cases – 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022


The view taken by the high court in this regard is cleared by the latest judgment of the Supreme court in the case of Kahkashan Kausar @ Sonam & Ors. Vs. State of Bihar & Ors., on 8.2.2022,

1. Rajesh Sharma and Ors. v. State of Uttar Pradesh 

Section 498A was inserted in the statute with the sole object of punishing the husband or his relatives for cruelty caused to the wife particularly when such cruelty has the potential to result in the suicide or murder of a woman as mentioned in the Act. The term 'cruelty' in Section 498A covers conduct that may drive a woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury (mental or physical) or danger to life or harassment to meet unlawful demands.

This Court has noticed the fact that the maximum number of such complaints are lodged in the heat of the moment. Many of such complaints are malaise. Sometimes filing of such complaints results in uncalled harassment not only to the accused but to the complainant as well.

2. Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar

An increase is seen in matrimonial disputes in recent years. Section 498A IPC was introduced with the objective to minimize the harassment caused to a woman by her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498A IPC is a cognizable and non-bailable offense has given a place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shields by wives. The easiest way to harass is to make the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In many cases, bed-ridden grandfathers and grandmothers of husbands, and sisters living abroad for decades are arrested.

3. Preeti Gupta & Anr. V. State of Jharkhand

4. G.V. Rao v. L.H.V. Prasad & Ors.

In this case, the Court has held that the High Court should quash the complaint arising out of a matrimonial dispute where all family members of the husband are dragged into the matrimonial dispute. The High court observed that:

“A tremendous increase in matrimonial disputes is seen in recent times. Marriage is considered a sacred ceremony in the country. But small matrimonial issues arise suddenly which are often considered as serious issues resulting in heinous crimes in which elders of the family are also involved resulting in those who could have talked and solved are left helpless.”

The view considered by the judges in this matter was that the courts would not encourage such disputes.”

5. K. Subba Rao v. The State of Telangana

In this case, the courts found out that the Courts must be careful in initiating proceedings against the distant relatives of the husband in crimes related to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths. The relatives of the husband shouldn’t be dragged in on the basis of false allegations unless and until any specific instance of their involvement in the crime is mentioned.

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Court Opinion - 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022

After considering the contents of the FIR dated 14.02.2020, it arose that general & stray allegations are made against the petitioners. The wife alleged that ‘all the petitioners harassed her & tortured her both mentally and physically. In addition to this, no specific role is alleged in the complaint against any of the petitioners, i.e., none of the petitioners have been attributed any specific role except the common general and stray allegations made against them. This has to lead to a situation where a person of sound mind fails to find the role that is played by each petitioner in connection with the offense.

The allegations are therefore general and stray and can be attributed to minor disputes. As far as the husband is concerned, since he hasn’t appeared before the court, we haven’t examined the authenticity of the allegations made against him. However, as far as the petitioners are concerned, the allegations made against them don’t attract the provisions of Section 498A IPC. Therefore, to continue proceedings against the petitioner's in-laws would simply result in an abuse of the process of law.

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Conclusion - 498a quash after mutual divorce 09.02.2022

In this article, the Karnataka High Court has held that when the above-mentioned circumstances are considered and there is no specific role alleged by the petitioners, it would not be fair if the petitioners are made to struggle with the difficulties of trial.

Therefore, in view of the above-mentioned facts and arguments, the FIR against the petitioners under Sections 498A IPC stands quashed.


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