Scrutinize the allegations carefully against close relatives of husband when FIR is filed under S. 498-A IPC

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The High Court recently addressed the case of petitioners under Section 482 CrPC for quashing the FIR filed under Sections 323, 406, 498-A, 420, 506 and 120-B IPC on the ground that they had been falsely implicated in the case. Petitioner 1  was the mother-in-law of the complainant who lodged complaint against her as well as her husband after the matrimonial relations of complainant and her husband did not remain cordial any more.

After the registration of FIR, when the DSP thoroughly investigated into the matter, he concluded that the dispute was between the husband and wife and no role could be attributed to Kamaljit Kaur- the petitioner. After this, the complainant prepared a Divorce Deed in which she had clearly testified that she was giving divorce to her husband and had received lump sum money from the petitioner as life time maintenance as well as alimony.

However after this, the complainant filed a complaint against the petitioner under Section 156(3) CrPC before the Magistrate alleging the demand of dowry from her. The petitioner now before the High Court contended that she had been roped in the case without any adequate reasons and that the dispute was between her daughter-in-law and the son who does not even reside with them, but in Canada. The petitioner also highlighted the contents of the ‘Divorce Deed’ that had been signed by the complainant.

The Court looked into the antecedents of the case and found that main allegations of the complainant have been against her husband that he solemnized another marriage in Canada after taking dowry from her father and did not talk to her after that and so on. The Court observed that the allegations were general in nature qua the petitioners and thus, not sustainable. Also, the Bench of Jaishree Thakur, J. said that details made out in the FIR do not satisfy the ingredients of Sections 406 and 498-A against the petitioners.

The Bench cited Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand, (2010) 7 SCC 667 in support of its observations in which it has been laid down by the Supreme Court that the allegations of harassment of husband’s close relations to the complainant filing under Section 498-A, should be scrutinized with great care and circumspection. It further considered the fact that the petitioner had already paid maintenance to the complainant and was also looking after the minor child of complainant and her husband, it decide to accept the petition and quash the FIR against petitioners. [Kamaljit Kaur @ Kamla Devi v. State of Haryana, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 2344, decided on 15.09.2017]

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