Delhi High Court
Ms. Anu Gill vs State & Anr. on 30 May, 2001
Equivalent citations: 2001 VAD Delhi 411, 92 (2001) DLT 179, II (2001) DMC 690, 2001 (59) DRJ 467
Author: S.K. Agarwal
Bench: S Agarwal
ORDER S.K. Agarwal, J
- This is a petition under section 482Cr. P.C. for quashing of FIR No. 140/99 u/s 498A/406 IPCPS Patel Nagar qua the petitioner; the married sister-in-law “Nanad” of the complainant (Respondent no. 2).
I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner, learned counsel for the State and respondent no. 2 who is appearing is person.
Brief facts necessary for the disposal of this petition are: on 16.1.1994 (Respondent No. 2- complainant) was married to Major Sanjeev Kaloti who was serving in the Indian Army; the marriage was solemnised in Delhi; she lived with her husband at the places of his postings, firstly at Kanput and at Dibrugarh, Assam. The petitioner, at the time of marriage of her brother Sanjeev was working as an assistant in the Ministry of Finance, Delhi was allotted Government accommodation. On 16.11.1997 the petitioner was married and she is living in her matrimonial home at Noida. On 9th June, 1998 respondent no. 2 sent a detailed complaint to the DCP, CAW Cell, Nanakpura, Delhi alleging physical and mental torture by her husband and his other family members on account of demand of dowry. On the basis of the same abovenoted case was registered. Investigations have been completed. Challan has been filed. Against the petitioner it was alleged:-
“(a) besides above mentioned articles my in-laws had demanded and had taken Gold ornaments i.e. 1 Chain, 1 Ring for Shri P.R-Kaloty, Father-in-law, golden chain and ear-ring and a golden bracelet for Mrs. Swaran Kaloty (mother-in-law) one golden chain, bracelet and earring for Ms.Anu(sister-in-law) and 2 golden sets, 2 gold chain, 2 gold bangles, 5 gold rings, and 6 gold ear-rings for myself and later on their demand for a golden Mangal-Sutra was also met by my parents….”
“(b) the Govt. Quarter allotted to Mrs. Anu Gill(Sister-in-law) is learn to have been in the possession of parents of my husband illegally and is being used by them for them for their illegal and other nefarious activities which I feel ashamed and not in a position to express myself in writing…..”
“(c) till January, 1998 the pay and allowances of my husband were being received by my in-laws at Delhi and only 10% of the pay and allowance were being received by us to meet our domestic expenses which were quite meagre and not sufficient to meet out essential requirements at home. With great difficulty my father-in-law and my husband arrange its disbursement at our place of posting since February, 1998. Thereafter a lot of criminal force by way of beating me and my son had started by my husband at the behest and intimation by Shri. P.R. Kaloty, Mrs. Swaran Kaloty and Mrs. Anu Gill (Family of my husband) followed by breaking and destruction of domestic property provided by my parents mercilessly and
(d) that it was at the behest and sudden demand of my husband (after the receipt of telephone call from his father at Delhi) that I should arrange Rs. 11 lakh in cash to meet the expenses for “Chuchak” to be given by his parents to M.S. Anu Gill (Sister-in-law) as she was in family way and also a brand new Maruti Car and certain other domestic costly appliances for Ms. Anu Gill from my parents who were at that time on live in Delhi. My husband gave me strict instructions to meet above demands immediately otherwise he shall get me killed…..”
Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that there is no specific allegation against the petitioner and that no case either under section 498-Aor 406 IPCis made out against her even if the allegations are taken to be true in verbatim. Respondents argued to the contrary.
Legal position regarding inherent powers of court to quash the proceedings to prevent the abuse of process of law in well settled by several authoritative pronouncements. Reference can be made to the Supreme Court decision in K Ramakrishna & Ors vs. State of Bihar & Anr, wherein it was observed:-
“3. The inherent powers of the High Court under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure can be exercised to quash proceedings, in appropriate cases either to prevent the abuse of process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Ordinarily the criminal proceedings which are instituted against the accused must be tried and taken to logical conclusions under the Code of Criminal Procedure and the High Court should be reluctant to interfere with the proceedings at an interlocutory stage. However, there may be cases where the inherent jurisdiction to quash proceedings can and should be exercised. Where there is legal bar against the institution or continuance of the criminal proceedings in respect of the alleged offence, the High Court should not be reluctant to exercise the inherent jurisdiction. Similarly, where the allegations in the FIR or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value do not constitute the offence alleged or without appreciating the evidence but merely by looking at the complaint of the FIR or the accompanying documents, the offence alleged is not disclosed, the person proceeded against in such a frivolous criminal litigation has to be saved.”
To constitute the offence under section 406IPC there must be clear and specific allegation that the accused was entrusted with some property or domain over it, by the complainant; that the accused has dishonestly misappropriated or converted the same to his own use or that accused refused to return back the articles when the same were demanded by the complainant. Perusal of the allegations appearing against the petitioner do not show that the articles of istridhan were even entrusted to her. In the absence of the allegation of entrustment, question of misappropriation or conversion to her use does not arise. Thus the most vital ingredient to constitute the offence under section 406IPC is missing. In view of the above, no case under section 406 IPC is spelt out against the petitioner.
Now coming to the offence under section 498-AIPC. After her marriage complainant-respondent no. 2 started living with her husband who was never posted in Delhi. Admittedly petitioner was employed in Ministry of Finance at the time of marriage of the complainant. The petitioner was married in 1997 and since then she is living in her own matrimonial home. Allegation made by the complainant that her husband used to misbehave with her, at the behest of the petitioner are totally vague, inherently improbable and unworthy of credence. From these allegation even a strong suspicion cannot be inferred. Even the statements recorded during investigation do not furnish the requisite material so as to make out the prima facie case under section 498AIPC against the petitioner.
It has almost become a practice that whenever a police report is lodged consequent upon a matrimonial discord, there is always a tendency on the part of the complainant to involve practically all the relations of her in-laws’ family either out of vengeance or to curl out appropriate settlement. Such a tendency ought to be deprecated.
For the foregoing reasons, petition is allowed. Abovenoted FIR and proceedings thereon against the petitioner are quashed. Trial court record be sent back forthwith. Any observation made herein would not effect the merits of the case.
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