FIR lodged with revengeful intent to pressurize & harass in-laws - 498A IPC FIR quashed

FIR lodged with revengeful intent to pressurize & harass in-laws - 498A IPC FIR quashed

Alok Lodhi Vs State of MP

Madhya Pradesh HC

07/04/2022

MCRC 47904 of 2019

About/from the judgment:

The High Court quashed the FIR filed by a wife against her in-laws under Section 498-A IPC, observing that the same was filed 'to wreak vengeance' and 'with a revengeful intent in order to pressurize and harass' her in-laws.

The Court was dealing with an application under Section 482 CrPC moved by the Applicants seeking directions of the Court to quash the FIR registered against them for offences punishable under Section 498A, 506, 34 IPC and the consequential criminal proceedings against them.

As per the Applicants, the Respondent was a quarrelsome woman who could not adjust with the family of the Applicants after marriage. Resultantly, the Applicant/husband had filed an application for divorce. The father-in-law of the Respondent had also filed a complaint against the her for offences under Section 406, 504 IPC, prior to the registration of the impugned FIR. Therefore, in order to seek revenge against the Applicants, the Respondent got the FIR registered against them and therefore, the Applicants asserted, the same being without substance was liable to be quashed. To strengthen their contentions, the Applicants relied on the observations of the Apex Court in the recently decided case of Kahkashan Kausar alias Sonam & Ors. v. State of Bihar & Ors.

Per contra, the Respondent and the State submitted that other pending proceedings before Applicants and the Respondent were not an impediment for her to lodge the FIR for the alleged offences committed by the Applicants. They asserted that the offence under Section 498A IPC is a continuous offence and cause of action in the present case arose after the marriage of the Respondent as her in-laws were harassing her by demanding huge sum of dowry. Hence, they prayed for dismissal of the application.

Considering the submissions of the parties, documents on record and further examining the observations of the Supreme Court in relevant cases, the Court observed that the present application deserved to be allowed-

On perusal of the impugned FIR as well as the documents available on record and in the light of the judgments passed by Hon'ble Apex Court, it appears that the allegations made against petitioners are general and omnibus, therefore, they cannot be prosecuted u/S 498A of IPC…In the case at hand, earlier a petition under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act was filed on 13/03/2018 by husband of complainant and on 27/09/2019, a complaint was also filed by father-in-law of complainant where-after, the conciliation proceedings could not be succeeded due to difference of thoughts whatsoever between complainant and her husband. Present FIR has been lodged on 01/08/2019 by complainant is nothing, but only to wreck vengeance so also with a revengeful intent in order to pressurize and harass the petitioners.

The Court further noted-

Upon consideration of entire facts and circumstances of the case coupled with the fact that respondent No.2 has left her matrimonial home voluntarily without any rhyme and it is a fault on the part of the complainant to live separately prior to filing of the impugned FIR and in absence of specific allegation of demand of dowry or harassment, the impugned FIR deserves to be quashed.

With the aforesaid observations, the Court quashed the impugned FIR against the Applicants along with the other subsequent proceedings initiated therefrom and accordingly, the application was allowed.

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