Husband’s Kin Shouldn’t Be Roped In On The Basis Of Omnibus Allegations In Matrimonial Dispute Cases
‘The Courts should be careful in proceeding against the distant relatives in crimes pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths.’
While quashing case against distant relatives of a ‘husband’ accused of kidnapping the child, the Supreme Court has cautioned the courts while proceeding against the distant relatives in crimes pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths.
The ‘wife’, had filed complaint alleging harassment by her husband and his family members including the maternal uncles of her husband. The allegation was that the uncles were supporting the husband who was physically and mentally torturing her and that they conspired together to kidnap the child from her custody and take him away to the USA. The plea seeking to quash the complaint filed by these ‘uncles’ was dismissed by the high court.
The bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao, perusing the charge sheet filed in the case, said: “The Appellants are not the immediate family members of the third Respondent/husband. They are the maternal uncles of the third Respondent. Except the bald statement that they supported the third Respondent who was harassing the second Respondent for dowry and that they conspired with the third Respondent for taking away his child to the USA., nothing else indicating their involvement in the crime was mentioned.”
The bench then remarked: “Criminal proceedings are not normally interdicted by us at the interlocutory stage unless there is an abuse of process of a Court. This Court, at the same time, does not hesitate to interfere to secure the ends of justice. The Courts should be careful in proceeding against the distant relatives in crimes pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths. The relatives of the husband should not be roped in on the basis of omnibus allegations unless specific instances of their involvement in the crime are made out.”
The bench then quashed the criminal proceedings as against the uncles, observing that no prima facie case has been made out against them for proceeding against them under Sections 498 A, 120 B, 420 and 365 IPC.