IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA Criminal Miscellaneous No.34147 of 2017 Arising Out of PS.Case No. -2024 Year- 2016 Thana -KATIHAR COM PLAINT CASE District- KATIHAR ====================================================== 1. Shankar Pandey, S/o Late Ardhapad Pandey. 2. Gita Pandey, D/o Late Aradhpad Pandey. 3. Jailata Pandey, W/o Alok Sharma. 4. Pallavi Pandey, W/o Shankar Pandey. 5. Anita Pandey, W/o Late Aradhpad Pandey. 6. Ranjita Pandey @ Kumari Ranjita, D/o Late Aradhpad Pandey 7. Sridhar Pandey, S/o Late Aradhpad Pandey, All are resident of Village- Begana, P.S. Nagar, District- Katihar. .... .... Petitioner/s Versus 1. The State of Bihar. 2. Minu Devi, W/o Sridhar Pandey, D/o Jai Narayan Choubey, resident of Tingachiya Bazar Samiti, P.S.- Nagar, District- Katihar. .... .... Opposite Party/s ====================================================== Appearance : For the Petitioner/s : Mr. Krishna Prasad Singh, Sr.Adv. For the Opposite Party No.1 : Mr. Ram Sevak Choudhary, Adv. For the Opposite Party No.2 : Mr.Binod Kumar, Adv. ====================================================== CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE RAJEEV RANJAN PRASAD ORAL ORDER
2 29-10-2018 Heard learned senior counsel for the petitioners, learned counsel representing the complainant-opposite party no.2 and learned counsel for the State.
After some arguments, appreciating the difficulties being faced in persuading this Court to grant relief to the husband (petitioner no.7), learned senior counsel requests this Court to allow him to withdraw this application with respect to petitioner no.7 with liberty to raise all such pleas which are available to him at the time of framing of charge.
Let the application as regards the petitioner no.7 be dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid.
So far as petitioner nos.1 to 6 are concerned, learned senior counsel submits that they are elder brother, his wife, married and un-married sisters and mother of the husband and all of them have been made accused in the complaint case filed by the opposite party no.2 in the court of learned S.D.J.M., Katihar in which cognizance of the offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code has been taken and all these petitioners have been summoned to face trial.
Referring to the allegations made in the complaint petition (Annexure-1) and the statement of the complainant on oath, learned senior counsel submits that in the complaint petition filed in the year 2016, the complainant-opposite party no.2 has vaguely stated that after her marriage with the petitioner no.7 on 06.04.2014 she had gone to her sasural and she was with her mother-in-law at Malda where she stayed in a hotel where two elderly persons came and started making filthy fun with her. It is stated that she somehow saved herself and told this to her mother- in-law but she did not do anything, thereafter she came to her husband and gotani at Katihar and from there she went to Sitapur with her husband where she was living happily and gave birth to a daughter also. At this stage, the allegation is that when she told her husband about the occurrence which has taken place at Malda, he abused her and threw her out from house.
Learned senior counsel submits that it is apparent from the statements made on oath made by the complainant that she has neither made any specific allegation against mother-in-law nor any allegation at all against elder brother, his wife and the married and unmarried sisters-in-law. It is further pointed out that in course of her deposition on query made by the learned Magistrate the complainant admitted that she was in her Maike for last five months and has received the notice of divorce case. It is thus submitted that the whole allegation at this stage are being made to harass each and every member of the family and the complaint case has been lodged by the complainant-opposite party no.2 only after receiving the notice of divorce case.
Learned senior counsel has further taken to this Court through the allegations made in the compliant petition and submits that a bare reading of the same would show that there are only vague allegations against all the family members and the whole intention behind such allegation is to harass each and every member of the family of the husband which has now become a trend in the complaint cases and in the police cases being filed on account of matrimonial discords between the wife and husband.
It is submitted that these petitioners have nothing to do with the family of the complainant-opposite party no.2 and her husband which will be also apparent from the fact that the complainant herself admits that the elder brother has constructed his house at Katihar. The complainant also admits that one of the sisters is married and her husband is working in I.B. at Kashmir.
It is submitted that Annexure-2 is the petition of divorce filed by the husband of the complainant-opposite party no.2 in the court of learned Principal Judge, Family Court, Katihar. It is further submitted that the learned Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate while taking cognizance of the offence under 498A of the Indian Penal Code has acted in a routine and mechanical manner and has not even recorded that there are sufficient materials in terms of Section 204 Cr.P.C. to proceed against these petitioners. Learned senior counsel has relied upon the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the cases of Pritam Ashok Sadaphule Vs. State of Maharashtra reported in (2015) 11 SCC 769 and Kailash Chandra Agrawal & Anr. Vs. State of U.P. & Ors. reported in (2014) 16 SCC 551.
On the other hand, learned counsel representing the complainant-opposite party no.2 submits that the learned SDJM has found a prima-facie case against all the accused persons and has rightly issued summons to them. Learned counsel submits that at this stage no interference is required. It is submitted that at this stage of summoning of the accused, learned SDJM is not required to deal with the allegations made in the complaint petition against each and every accused and, therefore, no fault may be found with the order of the learned SDJM so as to warrant interference.
Learned counsel for the State is present and has supported the case of the complainant-opposite party no.2.
After hearing learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the records, this Court finds that so far as mother-in-law is concerned, she has been made accused by vaguely referring to an occurrence which has taken place at Malda. According to complainant-opposite party no.2 while she got prepared to go to Kali-sthan, two elderly people came and they indulged in making filthy comments. At this stage, according to the complainant, the accused no.2 was not there, the allegation is that when she went in search of accused no.2 she could not be found and thereafter the complainant returned back on her own. The accused no. 2 is sister- in-law and not mother-in-law. In the entire complaint petition in so far as the allegations against these petitioners are concerned, are totally vague and have been made in a most casual and cryptic manner. The manner in which the complaint petition has been filed admittedly five months after the complainant had spent in her Maike and then when she received notice of the divorce case, this Court is of the considered opinion that the petitioner nos. 1 to 6 have been made accused in the complaint petition only because they happen to be the close kith and kin/family members of the husband of the complainant-opposite party no.2.
The Hon’ble Apex Court has on many occasions dealt with the cases in which the entire family members of the husband are made accused without there being any allegation of commission of an overt act or cruelty/torture against them. In the case of Pritam Ashok Sadaphule (supra), the Hon’ble Apex Court has taken note of the growing tendency among the complainant to implicate each and every family members of the husband.
In the facts of the present case, after going through the statements of the complainant on oath, this Court finds that in her statement on oath also she has not made any statement which may cause a prima-facie belief in the mind of this Court that there are sufficient materials to proceed against the petitioner nos. 1 to
6. It appears that the learned SDJM, Katihar has, after taking cognizance of the offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, acted in a routine and mechanical manner and decided to issue summons to all the family members of the husband. The impugned order nowhere says that there are sufficient materials as required under Section 204 Cr.P.C. to proceed against the petitioners.
In result, the impugned order in so far as it relates to the petitioner nos.1 to 6 is hereby quashed and the application is partly allowed as regards them in terms indicated hereinabove.
(Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, J) Arvind/-