498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022 - Madhya Pradesh High Court – Misuse of Section 498A IPC by making false allegations against the in-laws. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022 - Madhya Pradesh High Court – Misuse of Section 498A IPC by making false allegations against the in-laws. FIR Quashed.

498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022 - Madhya Pradesh High Court – Misuse of Section 498A IPC by making false allegations against the in-laws. FIR Quashed.
498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

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Mr. S.S. Seshan vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 24.08.2022


498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022 – In this article, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that the allegations made against the in-laws were false in nature. Madhya Pradesh High Court further held that it is clear from reading the FIR that no specific allegations are made against the in-laws and the FIR has been lodged after the divorce petition has been filed by the husband. The allegations made against the in-laws do not attract the provisions of Section 498A. Therefore, the criminal proceeding against the in-laws is hereby quashed.

 

Case brief - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

According to the facts mentioned in FIR, filed by the wife, the marriage of the husband and the wife was solemnized on 15.12.2018 at Gwalior as per their rites & religion. Thereafter, on 18.12.2018, the wife came to Mumbai and found that the husband’s home was not as good as it was described by him before their marriage.

During her stay in Mumbai, the family members complained that the dowry given by the parents of the wife was not adequate and the father of the wife had not given a car as the dowry.

The wife along with her husband went to Munnar (Kerla) on 24.12.2018 for their honeymoon and spent four days there. The wife came back to Delhi on 01.01.2019. Thereafter, on 09.02.2019 the husband came to Gwalior to attend the funeral/last rites of the grandmother of the wife.

During his stay at Gwalior, the husband pressurized the wife to fulfill the dowry demand. Upon this complaint, the FIR for the offence punishable under Section 498A, 506,34 IPC, and section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act was registered against the family members at police station Maharajpura, District Gwalior.

 

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Arguments - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

Advocate appearing for the petitioners submitted that the wife is the daughter-in-law of the father-in-law and wife of the husband. The wife left her matrimonial home in Mumbai on the pretext of resigning from her job in Delhi. 


However, when the husband inquired about her resignation and returned back to Mumbai, the wife was reluctant to give any details as she was not in a position to resign from her job due to her family problems.

The petitioners and their family members kept on requesting the wife to come back to Mumbai, which she never did. Ultimately, the husband filed a case for divorce under section 13B of the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955, and only after receipt of summons from the Family Court, Mumbai, did the wife initiate the criminal proceedings against the petitioners.

Arguments - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

It is further argued that the FIR filed by the wife is barred by time and there is no explanation for the delay in lodging of the FIR by the wife. 

The WhatsApp chats between the husband and the wife, filed with this petition, clearly prove that the wife never wanted to leave her job in Delhi and live in Mumbai and, therefore, she never came back to join her husband.

The criminal proceedings have been started by the wife with an oblique motive. Therefore, FIR lodged by the wife and the consequential criminal proceedings be quashed.

Arguments - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

On the other hand, the advocate for the wife argued that the allegations made in the FIR are serious in nature and the wife has been harassed in order to fulfill the dowry demand.

Further, even if the contentions made by the wife herein are disputed, by the petitioners, their veracity can be tested in trial before the Trial Court.

It is further submitted that the Apex court in various cases has clearly held that even if a prima facie case is made disclosing all the ingredients of an offence, Court should not quash the complaint. Therefore, this petition should be dismissed.

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Referred cases - 498A quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

1. Kamlesh Kalra & Another v. Shilpika Kalra

2. Kahkashan Kausar @ Sonam and Others v State of Bihar and Others

3. Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar

4. Preeti Gupta v.State of Jharkhand

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Court opinion - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

In this case, the contents of the FIR reveal that the wife has hardly resided for a week in Mumbai with the family members of the husband from her arrival there on 18.12.2018. The FIR also reveals that the wife did not establish any physical relations with the husband during her stay and the marriage was not consummated.

Further, the facts mentioned in the FIR show that the wife came back to Delhi on 01.01.2019. During this short span of time, the wife alleged to have been harassed by the petitioners for dowry demands.

The allegations made in the FIR show that allegedly the offence of dowry demand and harassment occurred from 18.12.2018 to 09.02.2019. However, the record reveals that the wife has never filed any report at any police station about the harassment until 09.05.2022, after a period of more than three years.

Court opinion - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

It is not in dispute that the husband has filed a case for divorce against the wife. The document filed along with the complaint shows that the notice with respect to said divorce petition was issued on 18.02.2022 for the appearance of the wife, before Family Court, Mumbai on 23.03.2022.

It is clear that the FIR has been lodged after more than three years only after receiving the notice of the divorce petition. There is no material to show for whatever reason the wife failed to file the complaint on which the FIR was registered on 09.05.2022, i.e.; beyond the period of limitation of three years.

Thus, there is no justification for the delay in filing the complaint beyond the period of limitation and there is no allegation that any physical or mental harassment continued against the wife.

Court opinion - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

It is a settled law that the offence under Section 498A is a continuous offense, but at present, there is no explanation for the delay in lodging of the FIR by the wife. Admittedly, the wife left the matrimonial home on 01.01.2019. There is no mention that she ever met her father-in-law after leaving Mumbai on 01.01.2019.

As per the allegations after leaving the matrimonial home, the husband visited the wife only once in Gwalior on 19.02.2019 at her parent's home to attend the last rites of her grandmother.

The wife never visited her matrimonial home. Under these circumstances, lodging the FIR. only after filing of the divorce petition by the wife itself shows that the FIR is a counter-blast of the divorce petition as there is no allegation that any physical or mental harassment has been continued against the wife after 09.02.2019.

Court opinion - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

In view of the above discussion, this petition is allowed and the FIR registered at police station Maharajpura, District Gwalior for the offence punishable under Section 498A, 506, 34 of IPC and section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act as well as the criminal proceedings pending before the Court are hereby quashed.

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Conclusion - 498A Quash after Chargesheet 24.08.2022

In this article, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that the allegations made against the in-laws are false in nature. It is clear from the FIR that the allegations were made without attributing any specific avert act done by them just to wreak vengeance after receiving the notice of divorce petition filed by the husband.

Therefore, the FIR against the petitioners is hereby quashed. 


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