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Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners (A2 to A6), the learned counsel appearing for the second respondent/de facto complainant and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor representing the State.
The petitioners (A2 to A6) and the first accused were charge sheeted for the offences punishable under sections 323, 406, 498-a of i.p.c., and sections 4 and 5 of dowryprohibition act.
The present Criminal Petition is filed by the petitioner (A2 to A6) under section 482 of cr.p.c., to quash the charge sheet in C.C.No.77 of 2011 on the file of the XIII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad in so far as the petitioners are concerned.
It is alleged in the complaint that at the time of marriage of the de facto complainant with first accused, he was a Post Graduate in Management from IIM., Kokata and drawing monthly salary of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only) by working as Project Manager in GIS at Cyber Towers. The petitioners and first accused demanded an amount of Rs.2.50 lakhs cash, 25 tulas of gold and Maruti Car and other articles at the time of marriage and received the same. It is further alleged that the petitioners have been instating the first accused to demand the de facto complainant to bring additional dowryof Rs.5.00 lakhs and on that score, the first accused was harassing the de facto complainant for additional dowry.
It is alleged against the first petitioner (A2) specifically that she used to sleep in the bed room along with the de facto complainant on the cot, whereas the first accused used to sleep in the hall. When the complainant asked for privacy to lead conjugal life with her husband, the petitioners and first accused informed her that unless she brings additional dowry of Rs.5.00 lakhs, she cannot have exclusive bed room. According to the complainant, when she conceived , they never bothered to take her to the doctor and that the 5th petitioner (A6) in the month of April, 2009 once again instigated A1 to A5 to pressurise the de facto complainant to get additional dowry of Rs.5.00 lakhs from her parents in view of her pregnancy. In that connection, the first petitioner (A2) and first accused beat the complainant on her refusal to get additional dowry. Other allegations have been made against the first accused who is the husband of the de facto complainant on the ground that he is having relationship with several women. As the first accused is not a party to the Criminal Petition, it is not necessary to go into the said allegations.
The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that only to involve the petitioners, some accusations are made against them in the complaint. Except the first petitioner (A2), the other petitioners are residing separately and they are in no way connected with the affairs of the de facto complainant and her husband.
On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing for the second respondent/de facto complainant would submit that this is not a case, where no specific allegations have been made against the petitioners. Since there are specific allegations, the petitioners have to be tried for the said allegations and it is not appropriate to quash the proceedings against them in exercise of the powers under section 482 of cr.p.c.
I have gone through the allegations made against all the petitioners. Merely because certain allegations are made in the complaint, this Court is not supposed to be swayed away by those allegations and the said allegations need to be scrutinized. If the Court adopts mechanical approach in each and every case, where there are some allegations, it would not be possible for the Court to exercise powers under section 482 of cr.p.c.
In this connection, it is relevant to go through the Judgment in PREETI GUPTA AND ANOTHER Vs. STATE OF JHARKHAND AND ANOTHER (2010) 7 Supreme Court Cases 667), relied on by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners, wherein the Supreme Court held as follows:-
“It is a matter of common knowledge that unfortunately matrimonial litigation is rapidly increasing in our country. All the courts in our country including Supreme Court are flooded with matrimonial cases. This clearly demonstrates discontent and unrest in the family life of a large number of people of the society. It is a matter of common experience that most of these complaints under section 498-A IPC are filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues without proper deliberations. It is seen that a large number of such complaints which are not even bona fide and are filed with oblique motive. At the same time, rapid increase in the number of genuine cases of dowry harassment are also a matter of serious concern.”
“The learned members of the Bar have enormous social responsibility and obligation to ensure that the social fiber of family life is not ruined or demolished. They must ensure that exaggerated versions of small incidents should not be reflected in the criminal complaints. Majority of the complaints are filed either on their advice or with their concurrence. The learned members of the Bar who belong to a noble profession must maintain its noble traditions and should treat every complaint under section 498-A as a basic human problem and must make serious endeavour to help the parties in arriving at an amicable resolution of that human problem. They must discharge their duties to the best of their abilities to ensure that social fiber, peace and tranquility of the society remains intact. The members of the Bar should also ensure that one complaint should not lead to multiple cases.”
Thus, the Supreme Court emphasized the need to scrutinize the allegations by the members of the Bar as well as the Courts so as to find out the truth in the allegations.
In the instant case, of course there are some allegations against the petitioners, in so far as the petitioners 3 to 6 are concerned, they are living at different places in Hyderabad. They are coming to the house of first accused and instigating him frequently does not seem to be probable. The 5th petitioner (A6) is a distant relative and some allegations have been made against him to the effect that he has been instigating the remaining accused. Whenever there are some allegations made in the complaint, the Court is not supposed to leave the allegations to be tried by the trial Court. The Court has to satisfy prima facie about the involvement of the relatives of the husband of the de facto complainant basing on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and also the fact that more particularly the first accused is well educated and an employee, I am of the view that basing on the instigation of petitioners 3 to 5 (A3 to A6), he could not have resorted to harass the de facto complainant for additional dowry. In these types of cases, there is a normal tendency to implicate all the close relatives of the husband of the de facto complainant as accused.
As regards the first petitioner (A2) who is the mother-in-law of the de facto complainant, she is residing with first accused and de facto complainant in the same house and certain allegations were made against her specifically to the effect that she was harassing the de facto complainant for additional dowry. Therefore, I am of the view that the proceedings against her are not liable to be quashed.
However, though there are certain allegations against the petitioners 2 to 5 (A3 to A6), obviously it would appear that they are made only with a view to implicate them in the present case as they happened to be the relatives of the first accused. If they need to face the trial, in the considered opinion of this Court, it is nothing but abuse of process of law. Therefore, the proceedings are liable to be quashed against them in exercise of the powers under section 482 of cr.p.c.
For the foregoing reasons, the Criminal Petition filed by the first petitioner (A2) is dismissed. The Criminal Petition filed by the petitioners 2 to 5 (A3 to A6) is allowed and the proceedings against them in C.C.No.77 of 2001 on the file of the XIII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad are quashed.
Accordingly, the Criminal Petition is partly allowed. Consequently, the Miscellaneous Petitions pending if any shall stand closed.