IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
Crl. Misc. No. 7009-M of 2008
Date of Decision: 3.12.2008
Neena & Ors.
U.T. Chanidgarh & Ors.
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ARVIND KUMAR,
Present:- Mr. J.S. Dadwal, Advocate
for the petitioners.
Mr. Sukhant Gupta, Addl. PP
for UT Chandigarh.
Mr. Vishal Deep Goyal, Advocate
for respondents No.2 and 3.
ARVIND KUMAR, J.
Through the present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., the petitioners are seeking quashing of FIR No.30 dated 21.1.2008, under Sections 406, 498-A, 506 IPC at Police Station Sector 34, Chandigarh as also the subsequent proceedings taken therein. The brief facts of the case are that, the complainant-respondent Nos.2 and 3, the father and mother respectively of Nainu jointly filed a complaint in the Court against husband Mohan, father-in-law and mother- in-law Ramanand and Kamlesh respectively, sisters-in-law namely Neena and Sunita and their husbands Bhim Sngh and Rajinder Kumar (petitioners No.1,3,2,4 respectively) , which was forwarded to the police by means of Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. and ultimately culminated into registration of the impugned FIR against the aforesaid persons. The said complaint is voluminous one and running about 28 pages of the paper-book. However, in nutshell, it has been alleged in the said complaint that the marriage of daughter of complainant namely Nainu was solemnized with one Mohan son of Ramanand on 11.5.2005 as per Hindu Rites and 2
ceremonies. According to the complainant at the time of marriage, all the demands of the accused persons were fulfilled by them by giving gold ornaments, cash, household articles, clothes etc., but despite having given sufficient dowry in the marriage, her in-laws were not satisfied with it and they used to harass and maltreat their daughter Nainu for bringing more dowry. Initially the accused raised a demand of motor-cycle, which was fulfilled, but lateron a demand of Rs.15 lacs was imposed upon her for the purchase of the plot and construction thereupon, which was not fulfilled and due to this she was harassed and tortured by the accused persons. It has further been alleged in the complaint that the petitioners frequently visited to the house of their daughter and have active interference in matrimonial life of their daughter. As per complainants, the petitioners were having participation in the harassment and humiliation to their daughter in the matrimonial home and they passed on taunts upon their daughter for bringing less dowry. It is further mentioned in the complaint that the accused persons turned out their daughter out of her matrimonial home, however, the matter was settled on 8.7.2007 with the tendering of apology by the husband Mohan, but thereafter the accused did not change their behavior and at last their daughter was turned out of the matrimonial home. Thus, it was prayed in the complaint that action be taken against the accused persons for demanding dowry, maltreating and harassing, misappropriating Istridhan and extending criminal threat to their daughter to kill. It has been contended by learned counsel for the petitioners that that petitioners No.1 and 3 are married sisters-in-law of the Nainu while petitioners No.2 and 4 respectively are their husbands. They are living separately and have nothing to do with the alleged demand of dowry and harassment but they only being the relatives of the husband have been roped into this false case.
No reply was filed on behalf of the respondents despite opportunity granted. However, during the course of arguments, it has been contended on their behalf that the petitioners were very much instrumental in committing the aforesaid offences and even they were found involved in the commission of offence during the course of the enquiry conducted pursuant to the complaint by complainant and as such they have rightly been booked in the aforesaid FIR. Hence, dismissal of the petition has been 3
The arguments have been scanned. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Kans Raj Vs. State of Punjab & Ors., 2000(2) Rcr (Criminal) 695 (SC), has observed that a tendency has developed for roping in all the relations in dowry cases and if it is not discouraged, it is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against the real culprits. Further, in the case of Anita & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab, 2003(4) RCR (Criminal) 313, when a first information report was lodged by the wife under Sections 498-A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code against the entire family members of the husband, this Court exercising its powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. quashed the FIR against the unmarried sisters and brothers, by observing that "it is not believable that the unmarried sisters or unmarried brother of the husband would be entrusted with any article of dowry separately. There is a tendency to involve all the relatives of the husband when the relations between the husband the wife become strained." Similarly, in the case of Harjinder Kaur & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab, 2004(4) RCR (Criminal) 332, a criminal complaint was filed under Sections 498-A and 406 IPC against the husband, his parents and 5 sisters and the proceedings qua sisters were quashed with the observation that the allegations against the sisters are vague and there is growing tendency to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations, roping in each and every relation of the husband.
Similarly in the instant case, the allegations, so far as petitioners are concerned, are omnibus and are very general in nature. It is also not believable that the petitioners who are admittedly living separately with their families from the married couple, are in any way beneficiary to the alleged demand of a motor cycle and cash for purchase of a plot. Thus, they in the facts and circumstances of the case, in no way, can have any interference in the life of married couple and it cannot be said that the petitioners were ever instrumental in the alleged commission of offence. The allegations, so far as the petitioners are concerned, appears to be an outcome of frustration of the complainants, whose daughter since has failed to maintain her matrimonial ties, due to whatever reason and whosoever fault and had attempted to widen the net of penal laws. Therefore, in view of the discussion made above, the instant 4
petition is allowed and the impugned FIR and consequent proceedings thereto, to the extent of petitioners, are quashed.
December 3 ,2008