498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023- Kerala High Court - General and Non-Specific Allegations against the Sister-in-law, Proceedings Quashed.

 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023- Kerala High Court – General and Non-Specific Allegations against the Sister-in-law, Proceedings Quashed.

498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023
498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023

498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023- In this article, the Kerala High Court held that there are general and non-specific allegations of cruelty, and demanding dowry against the Sister-in-law to attract the provision of Section 498A of IPC. The wife did not file any complaint for 18 years against the Sister-in-law for the alleged offenses, and there are omnibus and general allegations against the Sister-in-law in the complaint filed by the wife. Therefore, the criminal proceedings against the Sister-in-law are hereby quashed.


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Case Brief- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


According to the facts mentioned in the complaint filed by the wife, the marriage between the wife and her husband was solemnized on 28.03.2002, and after the marriage, the husband and wife started living together.


It is stated that within a year of marriage, the sister-in-law came to the house of the wife for her delivery, where the wife along with her husband were residing, and at that time, the sister-in-law exercised mental cruelty upon the wife by stating that the gold ornaments given to the wife by her parents were less than what was given to the sister-in-law by her parents.


It is also stated that the husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law subjected the wife to cruelty, and demanded more dowry from the wife.


Case Brief- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


Upon this, the wife filed a private complaint in the year 2021, and the private complaint was forwarded to the police for investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC, and later the case was registered for the offenses punishable under Sections 323, 498A, and 5069(i) read with Section 34 of IPC against the Sister-in-law, and after the investigation, the final report was filed.


The sister-in-law has filed the present petition to quash all further proceedings against her in the present case on the file of the Magistrate Court, Kodungallur.


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Arguments- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


The advocate appearing on behalf of the sister-in-law submitted that even if the entire allegations alleged in the First Information Statement of the wife recorded by the police during the investigation under Section 161 of CrPC, along with the materials collected during the investigation are to be believed in total, no offenses under Sections 323, 498A and 506(i) of IPC are attracted against the sister-in-law.


Therefore, he prayed that the proceedings against the sister-in-law shall be quashed.


On the other hand, the advocate appearing on behalf of the wife submitted that there are sufficient allegations to attract the offense against the sister-in-law, and when the prima facie case is made out against the sister-in-law, the jurisdiction vested with the court under Section 482 of CrPC cannot be invoked.


Therefore, it is prayed that there is no question of quashing the proceedings against the sister-in-law, and the petition filed by the sister-in-law shall be dismissed.


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Referred Judgements- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023

  • K. Subha Rao Vs. State of Telangana


Court’s Opinion- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


The court heard all the statements submitted by the advocate appearing on behalf of the sister-in-law, the advocate appearing on behalf of the state, and the advocate appearing on behalf of the wife.


It is stated by the court that in the present case, there are general and non-specific allegations of demanding dowry, and cruelty upon the wife by the Sister-in-law to attract the provision of Section 498A of IPC, and the said incident took place in the year 2003, and till 2021, there was no complaint filed by the wife.


It is also stated by the court that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has on several instances expressed concerns over the misuse of the provision of Section 498A of IPC, and over the increased tendency of implicating the relatives, and family members of the husband in matrimonial disputes.


Court’s Opinion- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


It is further stated by the court that the Supreme Court has warned the courts from the proceedings against the husband's relatives, family members, and In-laws of the husband when there is no prima facie case against them.


The court also stated that in one of the above-mentioned cases, the Hon’ble Supreme court held that the court should be careful in the proceedings against the husband's distant relatives in the crimes pertaining to dowry deaths, and matrimonial disputes.


It was also held by the Supreme Court that the relatives and family members of the husband should not be roped in on the basis of general and omnibus allegations unless there are certain specific instances of their involvement in a crime are made out.


Court’s Opinion- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


It was further held that in the absence of any specific role attributed to the In-laws of the wife, it would be unjust to the In-laws if they are forced to go through the distress of the trial, and when there are allegations that are general and omnibus, then it does not warrant prosecution under Section 498A of IPC.


It is also stated by the court that in the present case, apart from the omnibus and general allegations against the Sister-in-law, that too for something which took place 18 years prior to the filing of the private complaint by the wife, there are no specific allegations against the Sister-in-law.


In view of the above discussion, the court held that no purpose will be served in the present proceedings against the sister-in-law, and therefore all further proceedings against the sister-in-law in the case on the file of the Magistrate Court, Kodungallur are hereby quashed.


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Conclusion- 498A Quash Judgement 18.01.2023


In this article, the Kerala High Court held that apart from the omnibus and general allegations against the Sister-in-law, that too for something which took place 18 years prior to the filing of the private complaint by the wife, there are no specific allegations against the Sister-in-law.


It is also held that there are general and non-specific allegations of demanding dowry, and cruelty by the Sister-in-law, and the said incident took place in the year 2003, and till 2021, there was no complaint filed by the wife.


Therefore, all further proceedings against the Sister-in-law are hereby quashed.



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