Husband booked under 498A discharged, as wife filed case after receiving divorce notice

Husband booked under 498A discharged, as wife filed case after receiving divorce notice

Abhishek Pandey Vs State of Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh HC

18/08/2021

Criminal Revision No. 521/2021

About/from the judgment:

The High Court discharged a husband who was booked u/s 498A of IPC and u/s 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The Court observed that in the instant case the wife lodged the case after coming to know that the husband was marrying again.

The Court noted that the incident alleged in the complaint happened two years ago and the wife filed the complaint the Divorce proceedings began.

According to the court, the FIR was an afterthought and was instituted after the husband filed for divorce.

Background:

The couple got married in 2015, and the wife started living separately in 2016. After the couple was able to makeup, the husband filed a plea seeking a divorce.

After the Court issued notice against the wife, she filed a complaint u/s 498A of the IPC and also u/s 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and also under provisions of the SC-ST Act.

The accused approached the Special Judge, rejected their plea for quashing the proceedings, and they moved High Court.

Contentions:-

Counsel for the applicants argued that provisions of the SC-ST Act will not be attracted because the complainant after getting married, did not belong to any scheduled caste. It was also argued that the complainant had not made any prior dowry allegations and the same are alleged after the Divorce proceedings began.

On the other hand, the State’s counsel opposed the prayer and submitted that on the basis of the material on record, the Special Judge had rightly rejected the application u/s 227 of CrPC.

Court’s Reasoning and Order:-

The court noted that the couple had been separated since 2016 and the dowry allegations were only raised when the husband filed a divorce petition, and before that, there was no whisper of demand or harassment for dowry.

The Bench remarked that when the woman approached the court below, she did not disclose that she was separated since 2016 and she only filed the complaint after she found out that the husband was getting married.

Accordingly, the court allowed the application u/s 227 of CrPC and discharged the applicants.

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