498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022- Madras High Court - No Prima Facie material available against the Husband and Parents-in-law. F.I.R Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022- Madras High Court - No Prima Facie material available against the Husband and Parents-in-law. F.I.R Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022
498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022



498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022- In this article, the Madras High Court held that the report of the Revenue Divisional Officer, shows that there is no element of the dowry harassment to force the wife to commit suicide and there is no material even prima facie to indicate her death was due to abetment by the husband and parents-in-law of the wife. There is no whisper of any demand for dowry from anyone, including the parents of the deceased wife, and no complaint of dowry demand or any suspicion of the suicide of the wife has been made. Therefore, the criminal proceedings against the husband and parents-in-law are hereby quashed.

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Case Brief- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


According to the facts mentioned in the report filed by the father of the wife, the marriage between the wife and her husband was solemnized on 28.01.2016, it was a love cum arranged marriage and the matrimonial home of the wife was set up at Maduravoyal.


It is stated that even after three years of the marriage, the wife did not conceive and in view of that, there were, frequent quarrels between the wife and her husband.


It is also stated that on 02.09.2018 during the night hours, the wife and her husband were engaged in serious arguments, and thereafter, the wife went to her bedroom and locked herself and her husband was sleeping in the living room and went to the bedroom the next day morning.


Case Brief- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


It is further stated that since there is no response from the wife, who was sleeping inside the bedroom, the door was broken open and the husband found that the wife was lying dead by hanging herself. And in this connection, the parents of the wife were informed by her brother-in-law.


Upon this, the father of the wife filed an F.I.R dated 03.09.2018 and a case was registered at the Police Station, Maduravoyal under Section 174 Cr. P. C. against the husband and parents-in-law of the wife.


Later, on 15.01.2019, the father of the wife caused notice through his advocate to the husband and mother-in-law of the wife, calling upon them to return Sovereigns of gold ornaments and cash that was given for the purchase of the car.


Case Brief- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


In response to the notice, the husband and mother-in-law, have replied on 15.05.2019 through their counsel stating that the claim of Sovereigns alleged to have been given during the marriage is an imaginary one, whereas the car which was purchased from the fund provided by the father of the wife has not been used by them, but it is in their custody and any time, the father of the wife can take back the car.


After receiving the reply, the State has altered the charges for the offenses under Sections 306, 406, and 498A of IPC vide report dated 01.06.2019 against the husband and parents-in-law of the wife.

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Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


The advocate appearing on behalf of the husband and parents-in-law submitted that soon after receiving the intimation about the death of the wife within seven years of the marriage, the police registered the F.I.R., and requested the Revenue Divisional Officer to conduct an inquiry.


It is also submitted that after receiving of R.D.O inquiry, it indicated that there was no material to indicate that there was dowry harassment and the investigation is supposed to be closed. But due to ill advice, the father of the wife after four months of the Incident, caused notice to the husband and mother-in-law to return sovereigns of gold jewelry and money given for the purchase of the car.


It is further submitted that since the fact of receiving money for the purchase of the car is true, the husband and parents-in-law come forward to return the car which was purchased with the money given by the wife.


Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


It is also submitted that the husband and parents-in-law denied the Sovereigns of gold jewelry offered to them at the time of the marriage, thereafter, with false allegations, the police have been pressured to alter the charges for the offenses under Sections 306, 406, and 498A of IPC.


The advocate also submitted that these are admitted facts that the wife died three years after the marriage and that she cannot conceive, due to which there was a quarrel between the wife and her husband. On the date of the incident also, there was a quarrel between them and the wife went into her bedroom and locked herself.


He further submitted that during the R.D.O., or primary inquiry conducted by the police, there was no material or whisper from any witness including the father of the wife, that there was a demand for dowry or cruelty and except worldly quarrel between the wife and her husband, there is not even a prima facie material to prosecute the husband and parents-in-law for the offenses under Sections 306, 406 & 498A of IPC.


Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


He also submitted that the lawyer notice dated 15.01.2019 was caused after four months of the incident and the reply, which was sent by the husband and parents-in-law in the month of May 2019, refusing to budge to the pressure of the father of the wife, has triggered his expectation to file the complaint.


Furthermore, he further submitted that the course of the investigation due to the undue influence of the father of the wife has been manipulated with the help of the Assistant Commissioner of Police.


Therefore, he prayed for the quashing of criminal proceedings and F.I.R filed by the father of the wife against the husband and parents-in-law of the wife.


Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


On the other hand, the advocate appearing on behalf of the father of the wife submitted that the father of the wife hails from Kerala, and he was not aware of the actual cruelty caused to his daughter since his daughter did not reveal it to him, except saying that there is only small misunderstanding between her and her husband and nothing serious.


He also submitted that only a few months after the daughter’s death, the father of the daughter came to know that his daughter was subjected to cruelty, hence he caused notice and thereafter approached the police and placed before them the necessary particulars.


He further submitted that it is a matter for investigation to ascertain whether the wife who died within three years of her marriage committing suicide was due to cruelty or abetment or otherwise.


Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


Furthermore, he also submitted that there is some admission in the anticipatory bail petition filed by the husband and mother-in-law which lends prima facie material for investigation.


Therefore, he prayed that the investigation cannot be foreclosed by quashing the complaint without proper investigation against the husband and parents-in-law of the wife. 

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Court’s Opinion-  498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


It is stated that the court time and again has held that admissions or allegations made in the bail or anticipatory bail petition to get relief cannot be taken as gospel truth, since they are prepared by the respective counsel and made at the instructions of the accused/petitioners who are in duress.


It is also stated that in normal circumstances, the court would have rejected the quash petition then and there, by holding that it would not be proper to make a summary appreciation of evidence under Section 482 of Cr. P. C.


But the present case is an exception as the court finds that from 03.09.2018 till 15.01.2019 there is no whisper of any demand of dowry from any quarter including the parents of the deceased wife and there is no complaint of demand for dowry or any suspicion in the suicide of wife made immediately.


Court’s Opinion-  498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


It is further stated that only after causing notice, the demand of Sovereigns made and the allegations against the petitioners been further improvised after the receipt of the reply notice dated 15.05.2019 and the coercive steps have been adopted by the father of the wife through his connection in the police department.


In view of the above discussion, the court held that on perusing the report of the Revenue Divisional Officer who conducted an inquiry soon after the receipt of the information about the death of the wife within a period of seven years of her marriage, finds that there is no element of dowry harassment to force the wife to commit suicide and there is also no material even prima facie to indicate her death was due to abetment by any person much less the husband and parents-in-law of the wife.


Therefore, the Criminal Original Petition to quash the F.I.R against the husband and parents-in-law of the wife is allowed and the criminal complaint against them stands quashed and consequently, the connected Criminal Miscellaneous Petition is also closed.

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Conclusion-  498A Quash Judgement 31.10.2022


In this article, the Madras High Court held that there is no whisper of any demand for dowry from anyone including the parents of the deceased wife and there is no complaint of dowry demand or any suspicion of the suicide of the wife made immediately.


It is also held that on perusing the report of R.D.O finds that there is no element of dowry harassment to force the wife to commit suicide and there is no material even prima facie to indicate her death was due to abetment by husband and parents-in-law of the wife.


Therefore, the F.I.R against the petitioners is hereby quashed. 



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