Karnataka High Court
Smt Hemalatha A C vs State Of Karnataka on 9 September, 2019
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU
DATED THIS THE 09TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2019
THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JOHN MICHAEL CUNHA
CRIMINAL PETITION No.7977/2016
This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. praying to quash the charge sheet dated 10.06.2014 and entire proceedings in C.C.No.9063/2016 pending on the file of XLIV A.C.M.M., Bengaluru and quash the complaint and FIR dated 10.06.2014 in Cr.No.408/2014 registered by the Station House Officer, J.P.Nagar Police Station now C.C.No.9063/2016 pending before the Hon’ble XLIV A.C.M.M., Bengaluru for the offences punishable under Section 498(A) and 506 read with 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of D.P.Act.
This Criminal Petition coming on for Admission, this day, the Court made the following:
- Heard learned Counsel for petitioner and learned Additional SPP for respondent No.1. Learned Counsel for respondent No.2 is absent.
- Charge sheet came to be laid against accused No.1, son of the petitioner herein, and against the petitioner under Sections 498Aand 506read with 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. According to the prosecution, respondent No.2 married accused No.1 on 27.2.2011 and at the time of marriage, huge quantity of gold and silver articles were given to accused No.1 by way of dowry. After the marriage, accused Nos.1 and 2 were alleged to have subjected respondent No.2 to cruelty and harassment by making further demand of dowry for expanding their business.
- Learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the allegations made in the complaint, even if accepted on the face value, do not constitute the ingredients of the offences punishable under Sections 3sand 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. According to the prosecution, the alleged demand was made for expansion of business of accused Nos.1 and 2, and not by way of dowry and as such, the ingredients of the provisions of Dowry Prohibition Actare not attracted. Secondly, the allegations made against the petitioner attracting Section 498A are vague and uncertain. Prosecution has not gathered any material to prove even a single instance of cruelty meted out to respondent No.2. In the said circumstances, the charges under Sections 498A and 506 of IPC are baseless and the prosecution of the petitioner is malafide and vexatious.
- Learned Additional SPP, however, argued in support of the impugned action contending that, the allegation made against the petitioner prima facie makes out the ingredients of the above offences and as such, there is no reason to quash the proceedings instituted against the petitioner.
- Considered the submissions and perused the records.
- The marriage between respondent No.2 and accused No.1 was performed on 27.2.2011. Complaint was lodged on 10.6.2014 alleging that at the time of marriage, dowry amount was paid into the hands of accused No.1. Though it is alleged that the said amount was paid to accused No.1, at the instance of the petitioner, there is no material to substantiate this allegation.
- According to the prosecution, after marriage, accused No.1 and respondent No.2 were residing together at J.P. Nagar, Bengaluru. During this period, accused Nos.1 and 2 are alleged to have demanded respondent No.2 to bring money from her parental house to expand their business. This allegation, even if accepted as true, does not make out the ingredients of the offence under the provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act.
‘Dowry’ is defined in Section 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act as under:
” `Dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly:
(a) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or
(b) by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person; at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.
Explanation II – The expression `valuable security’ has the same meaning as in Sec. 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860). ” The specific case of the prosecution is that the amount in question was demanded to expand the business. This demand even if accepted as true, it does not fall within the ambit of Section 2(a) of Dowry Prohibition Act. As such, the charges under the provisions Dowry Prohibition Act cannot be sustained against the petitioner.
- Insofar as the allegations under Sections 498Aand 506of IPC are concerned, on going through the charge sheet papers, it is seen that the case of the prosecution is that two months after the marriage, respondent No.2 was ill-treated and harassed in the matrimonial home. The complainant has not narrated any specific instance of cruelty meted out to her by the petitioner nor has the investigating agency collected any material to show that respondent No.2 was ill treated in the matrimonial home. On the other hand, the material allegations are confined to the demand alleged to have been made by accused Nos.1 and 2 for expansion of business. If accused Nos.1 and 2 were interested to get money from respondent No.2 for the purpose of expansion of business, it is highly improbable that they would subject her to cruelty. Thus, taking into consideration all the above facts and circumstances, I am of the view that the material on record is not sufficient to make out an offence under Sections 498A and 506 of IPC against the petitioner herein.
- The records indicate that accused No.1 has committed suicide on 19.7.2014, as a result, the proceedings against accused No.1 is dismissed as abated.
- In the circumstances, the petition is allowed. The charge sheet and FIR dated 10.06.2019 and the entire proceedings in C.C No.9063/2016 pending on the file of the XLIV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Benglauru are quashed.
In view of the above, I.A.No.1/2019 does not survive for consideration and hence, it is dismissed.
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