498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022- Bombay High Court- No specific allegations against parents-in law, sister and brother-in-law. FIR quashed.

 498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022- Bombay High Court-  No specific allegations against parents-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law. FIR quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022
498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022

Read More Judgements on 498A


498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022- In this article, the Bombay High Court held that the allegations made against the parents-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law are not specific in nature. It is clear that allegations against In-laws are made only with a view to harass them and allegations made against In-laws do not attract provisions of Section 498A. Therefore Criminal Proceedings against In-laws are hereby quashed.


Case Brief - 498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022

According to the facts mentioned in the FIR filed by the wife, the marriage of the husband and wife was solemnized on 07.03.2021 as per Buddhist rites and customs.


She stated that, on the date of their engagement ceremony i.e. 25.01.2021, her husband tried to establish physical relations with her, and even though she resisted but husband had sexual intercourse with her.


After marriage, the wife lived at her matrimonial home for a few days and then went to Pune to live with her husband and in-laws.


During her stay in Pune, her in-laws started abusing her and used to pressurize her to fulfill their dowry demand. On 25.03.2021, she underwent a pregnancy test by means of a pregnancy kit and the result was positive.


Later a sonography test was conducted which showed that she was three and a half months pregnant. 


She submitted that on 04.05.2021  she, her husband, and her father and mother -in law came to her matrimonial home where she was abused and threatened by her In-laws that if she did not fulfill dowry demand they would not allow her to cohabit.

 

She further stated that her husband physically assaulted her and drove her out of her house and since then she is staying with her parents.


After 2-3 days of reaching her parent's house, she got her menstruation period and realized that the fetus in her womb got aborted due to leg blows inflicted on her womb by her husband.


Later she filed the complaint with the Women's Grievance Redressal Forum, and both husband and wife were called by the said forum but mediation was unsuccessful.


Thereafter the wife registered an FIR for the offense punishable under Section 315, 323, 498A, 504 r/w 34 of IPC against her husband and his family members at Pundlik Nagar Police Station, Aurangabad.

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Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022


The advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted that allegation in respect of sexual intercourse on the day of the engagement ceremony is false and improbable as there were many guests present in the ceremony. 


He further submitted that the sonography test taken by the wife shows that the child was conceived even before the engagement ceremony and therefore petitioner cannot be the biological father of the fetus in the womb of the wife.


He further submitted that she terminated the pregnancy illegally and destroyed the evidence with help of her family members so that a DNA test could not be conducted which was only conclusive proof of paternity and there are no documents available that show that the petitioner terminated the pregnancy of wife by inflicting kicks on her.


He further submitted that the father-in-law and mother-in-law of the respondent had nothing to do with the marital life of the respondent as they both stayed with the respondent for only two days before she went to Pune with her husband and there are no specific allegations against the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the respondent. 


The FIR is lodged against the petitioner and his family members only to counter the FIR, marriage petition and legal notice issued by the petitioner therefore application should be allowed and FIR lodged by the wife should be quashed.


On the other hand APP for state and advocate appearing for the wife submitted that there are specific allegations against the petitioner and his family members and the allegations made in FIR are serious in nature and the wife has been harassed in order to fulfill the dowry demand. 


They further submitted that Apex court in various cases has held that even if a prima facie case is made disposing of all the ingredients of the offense then the court should not quash the complaint. Therefore grant for relief in favor of the petitioner should be dismissed.

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Referred Judgments - 498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022


Narayan s/o Eknath Devkar and Others Vs. State of Maharashtra and Others

Geeta Mehrotra Vs. State of U.P

Shaikh Mushrraf Pasha s/o Shaikh Mushtakh Pasha and Others Vs. The state of Maharashtra and another


Court Opinion - 498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022


In this case, the contents of the FIR show that the allegations leveled are mainly against the husband.


As far as the father-in-law and mother-in-law of the respondent are concerned, allegations against them are that they made an unlawful demand of Rs 5.00 lakhs and the respondent hardly stayed with them for two or three days. There are no specific allegations against, the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the respondent. 


Under these circumstances, lodging an FIR by the respondent against her In-laws shows that it is done only to give counterblast to the proceeding initiated by the husband and there are no allegations that the alleged demand for money was followed by acts of “cruelty” of specific nature.


The court observed that the Wife is the only one who has the intention to harass and with ulterior motives filed the complaint against near and dear relatives of her husband i.e Petitioner.


The court was of opinion that the continuation of prosecution against the husband and his relatives would amount to an abuse of the process of law. There are no specific allegations against the in-laws of the respondent and only with a view to harassing them, they have been arrayed as an accused in FIR.


In view of the above discussion, a Criminal Application is partly allowed in respect of the In-laws of the wife and as far as the husband is concerned, the criminal application stands disposed of as withdrawn and  FIR dated 19.01.2022 registered at Pundlik Nagar Police Station, Aurangabad for an offense punishable under Sections 315, 323, 498A, 504 r/w 34 of IPC stands quashed and set aside as against In-laws of the respondent.

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Conclusion -  498A Quash Judgement 14.09.2022


In this article, the Bombay High Court held that the allegations made against the In-laws are non-specific in nature.


It is clear that allegations are mainly against the husband and allegations made against In-laws made only with a view to harass them have been arrayed as accused in FIR and continuance of prosecution against a relative of the husband will be an abuse of power.


So Criminal Application is allowed in respect of the In-laws of the respondent and FIR against them is quashed and set aside.


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