Telangana High Court
K. Suryanarayana, A2 vs N. Jyothi on 17 March, 2022
Bench: G.Radha Rani
THE HON'BLE Dr. JUSTICE G. RADHA RANI CRIMINAL PETITION No.13371 of 2016 ORDER:
This petition is filed by the petitioners-A2 to A4 under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings in CC No.5 of 2016 on the file of XIV Metropolitan Magistrate, LB Nagar, Cyberabad.
2. The case of the petitioners in brief was that the petitioners 1 and 2 were the parents of A1 and the petitioner No.3 was the younger brother of A1. The marriage between the 1st respondent and A1 was performed on 24-2-2012 at Secunderabad. At the time of marriage, 30 tulas of gold, Rs.5.00 lakhs in cash and 2 kgs., of silver were given as dowry. An amount of Rs.15 lakhs was spent towards the marriage. The parents of the 1st respondent registered a double bed room flat at Kukatpally in the name of A1. After the marriage, the 1st respondent stayed at her in-laws house at Yousufguda for about 2 months. During her stay, A1 and his parents used to comment about her hair style and dressing before the relatives. At the time of marriage, A1 promised to sought for his transfer to Bangalore. But without informing her, he went to UK in June 2012. Till January, 2013 he did not return to India. Vexed with his attitude, she resigned for her job at Bangalore in February, 2013 and went to UK. A1 was not happy, he used to ill treat her and suspect her. He used to check her mobile and read her Dr.GRR,J messages in the mobile. In October 2013, A1 sent her back to India. As her in-laws had not responded, she stayed at her parents’ house. In June 2014, the marriage of A4 (younger brother of A1) was performed. Her in-laws called her and her parents to the marriage. Her husband also attended the said marriage and asked her to stay with him. She stayed with her husband at her in-laws house for a period of 15 days. Her husband and in-laws abused her and scolded her before the relatives without any reason and used to laugh at her. Her in-laws and brother-in-law instigated A1 and supported him when he harassed her.
3. Basing on the said complaint of the 1st respondent on 3-8-2015 at 1:00 PM, Women Police Station, Saroornagar registered a case vide Crime No.146 of 2015 for the offence under Section 498-A IPC and Sections 3 &4 of Dowry Prohibition Act and issued FIR. After completing the investigation, they filed charge sheet against A1 to A4 for the above offences. The case was taken cognizance by XIV Metropolitan Magistrate, LB Nagar, Cyberabad and NBW was issued against A1.
4. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned Assistant Public Prosecutor. There is no representation for the 1st respondent-complainant.
5. The learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that the petitioners and the 1st respondent were closely related to each other, 1st respondent was none other than the maternal uncle’s daughter of A1, she suppressed the said fact while lodging the said complaint, 1st respondent stayed with the petitioners under the same roof only for 2 months after the marriage i.e. from February, 2012 to April, 2012. After that she moved to Bangalore for her job. Thereafter, she joined A1 in UK. She returned to India on 24-10-2013 and lived with her parents. The FIR was registered 2 years after her return to India on 3-8-2015. No explanation was given for the said delay. No specific overt acts were attributed against the petitioner No.3 (A4) in the charge sheet. The allegations against the petitioner No.1 and 2 were also not specific in nature.
6. He further submitted that the 1st respondent filed FCOP No.1706 of 2016 for divorce and a decree was granted ex parte on 3-4-2017 directing A1 to pay a sum of Rs.30.00 lakhs towards permanent alimony and Rs.5.00 lakhs towards marriage expenses. The 1st respondent also filed FCOP No.158 of 2018 claiming the scheduled property of A1 and another ex parte decree was passed directing A1 to execute the registered sale deed in favor of 1st respondent. Accordingly, the scheduled property was handed over to 1st respondent. As per their reliable information, she further sold the Dr.GRR,J said property to a third party as well. She was sufficiently compensated already. He relied upon the judgments of the Hon’ble Apex Court in Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar & Anr. Vs Union of India, Ministry of Law and Justice & Ors.1 Preeti Gupta & Anr. Vs State of Jharkand &Anr2 Arnesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar &Anr3 K. Subba Rao Vs The State of Telangana4 Kahkashan Kausar @ Sonam & Ors. Vs State of Bihar & Ors5
7. The learned Assistant Public Prosecutor reported to decide the petition on merits.
8. Perused the record. On a perusal of the complaint and the charge sheet, no specific allegations are found against the petitioners-A2 to A4. The allegations are made mainly against A1. The complaint also would disclose that she stayed for a short period with the petitioners. She was working at Bangalore by the date of her marriage itself and went to Bangalore on her job within a short time after the marriage and left to UK in February 2013, and returned on 24-10-2013 and stayed with her parents (2018) 10 SCC 443 (2010) 7 SCC 667 (2014) 8 SCC 273 (2018) 14 SCC 452 2022 SCC OnLine SC 162 Dr.GRR,J since then. As per her complaint, she stayed only for 15 days in the house of her in-laws at the time of marriage of petitioner no 3 on 7-6-2014. The allegations made against the petitioners were only general in nature that they used to instigate A1 to harass her physically and mentally for additional dowry. Nothing specific was found against them.
9. The Hon’ble Apex Court in Preeti Gupta’s case (2 supra) observed that:
“35. The ultimate object of justice is to find out the truth and punish the guilty and protect the innocent. To find out the truth is a herculean task in majority of these complaints. The tendency of implicating husband and all his immediate relations is also not uncommon. At times, even after the conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the real truth. The courts have to be extremely careful and cautious in dealing with these complaints and must take pragmatic realities into consideration while dealing with matrimonial cases. The allegations of harassment of husband’s close relations who had been living in different cities and never visited or rarely visited the place where the complainant resided would have an entirely different complexion. The allegations of the complaint are required to be scrutinized with great care and circumspection.”
10. The Hon’ble Apex Court in Arnesh Kumar’s case observed that:
“4. There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A is a cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of Dr.GRR,J pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bed- ridden grand-fathers and grand-mothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested. “Crime in India 2012 Statistics” published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all over India during the year 2012 for offence under Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year 2011. Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is 6% out of the total persons arrested under the crimes committed under Indian Penal Code. It accounts for 4.5% of total crimes committed under different sections of penal code, more than any other crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge-sheeting in cases under Section 498A, IPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.
5. Arrest brings humiliation, curtails freedom and cast scars forever. Law makers know it so also the police. There is a battle between the law makers and the police and it seems that police has not learnt its lesson; the lesson implicit and embodied in the Cr.PC. It has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence, it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public. The need for caution in exercising the drastic power of arrest has been emphasized time and again by Courts but has not yielded desired result. Power to arrest greatly contributes to its arrogance so also the failure of the Magistracy to check it. Not only this, the power of arrest is one of the lucrative sources of police corruption. The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable. It has become a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique motive.”
11. The Hon’ble Apex Court in K. Subba Rao’s case (4 supra) observed that:
Dr.GRR,J “6. Criminal proceedings are not normally interdicted by us at the interlocutory stage unless there is an abuse of process of a Court. This Court, at the same time, does not hesitate to interfere to secure the ends of justice. See State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal 1992 Supp. (1) SCC. The Courts should be careful in proceeding against the distant relatives in crimes pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths. The relatives of the husband should not be roped in on the basis of omnibus allegations unless specific instances of their involvement in the crime are made out. See Kans Raj v. State of Punjab & Ors. (2000) 5 SCC 207 and Kailash Chandra Agrawal and Anr. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. (2014) 16 SCC.”
12. The Hon’ble Apex Court in KahkashanKausar @ Sonam’s case (5 supra) observed that:
“22. Therefore, upon consideration of the relevant circumstances and in the absence of any specific role attributed to the accused appellants, it would be unjust if the Appellants are forced to go through the tribulations of a trial, i.e., general and omnibus allegations cannot manifest in a situation where the relatives of the complainant’s husband are forced to undergo trial. It has been highlighted by this court in varied instances, that a criminal trial leading to an eventual acquittal also inflicts severe scars upon the accused, and such an exercise must therefore be discouraged.”
13. Considering the principles reiterated by the Hon’ble Apex Court in its various judgments as referred above, as there are no specific allegations against the petitioners herein and they were roped in on the basis of omnibus allegations without any specific instances of their involvement, and considering the delay in filing the FIR and the matter ended in divorce between the parties and the financial matters between Dr.GRR,J the parties were also settled by way of registering the property in her name towards part realization of decretal amount in OP No.1706 of 2016 in FCOP No.158 of 2018, as the continuation of proceedings against the petitioners is nothing but an abuse of process of law, it is considered fit to quash the proceedings against the petitioners herein in CC No. 5 of 2016 on the file of XIV Metropolitan Magistrate, LB Nagar, Cyberabad.
14. In the result, the petition is allowed quashing the proceedings in CC No.5 of 2016 on the file of XIV Metropolitan Magistrate, LB Nagar, Cyberabad against the petitioners – A2 to A4. Miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall stand closed.
_____________________ Dr. G. RADHA RANI, J March 17, 2022 KTL