S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) 1/9 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT JODHPUR JUDGMENT
S.B. CRIMINAL MISC. PETITION NO.51/2012 Bhupendra Vs.
State of Rajasthan & Anr.
Date of judgment : 14.12.2012 HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA Mr. M.K.Garg, for the petitioner.
Mr. K.K.Rawal, P.P.
Mr. Rakesh Matoria, for the respondent No.2.
<><><> Reportable The instant misc. petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking quashing of the FIR No.444/2011 registered at the Police Station Suratgarh, District Sriganganagar for the offences under Sections 498A and 406 IPC.
Succinctly stated the facts of the case are that the petitioner was married to respondent No.2 Smt. Dhanvanti Devi on 20.10.2007. The respondent No.2 filed a complaint in the court of the Addl. Chief Judl. Magistrate Suratgarh on 22.10.2011 with the allegation that after her marriage to the petitioner, the petitioner as well as his other family members started taunting her with the comments of inappropriate dowry and also made sarcastic comments regarding the functions of marriage, which had been organized by her S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) father. The complaint was allegedly taunted that no motorcycle had been given at the time of the marriage. It was alleged that her relatives intervened and pacified the accused and with great difficulty the complainant could be sent with her husband. The complainant has further alleged that after she reached her matrimonial home, the accused persons again started torturing and harassing her regarding the demand of dowry. She further alleged that her husband the petitioner used to bring his friends Tarun and Lovely Arora to the house and after drinking liquor, she was beaten and the demand of a motorcycle was repeated. She gave birth to a male child and at that time also, her father gave sufficient articles and items to the accused to the best of his ability but the accused were not satisfied and when she reached the matrimonial home after the delivery period, she was again harassed on the count of demand of dowry and particularly with a demand of a motorcycle and one lac rupees. She was told that if she did not bring the motorcycle and rupees one lac from her father, she would not be kept in the house. She allegedly called her father regarding this demand of the accused and her father talked to her father-in-law but he did not pay heed to the requests and threatened the complainant that she should leave the house or she would be done to death by hiring henchmen. The complainant has further alleged that on 7.7.2010 Lovely Arora and Tarun called her and told her that they had snapped certain photographs of her while she was sleeping in a compromising position with her husband and if she wanted the photographs, then she would have to come to their house. When the complainant went there, Tarun and Lovely forcibly took her in a Tata Sumo and threatened her with a knife.
S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) Thereafter, both of them committed rape with her. Tarun then took her to Bharatpur. A case was filed in this regard at Ganganagar and she was recovered from Bharatpur and thereafter, her in-laws refused to keep her with them. Thereafter, she started residing at her father’s house. She further alleged in the complaint that later on, she came to know that Tarun and Lovely conspired with her in-laws and had taken her away under the false pretext of the indecent photographs on the advice of her father-in-law. She further alleged that when she took out the call details of phone numbers of her in-laws home, it was revealed that before she was taken away by Tarun and Lovely, both of them had continuously talked with her father-in-law, husband and the brother-in-law.
After she was recovered, the in-laws pressurised her into giving a statement against the accused Tarun in pursuance to a conspiracy and therefore, she was forced to give the statement against the accused in the aforesaid FIR. Under the pressure of her in-laws she did not disclose the fact regarding the connivance of her father-in-law etc. in facilitating her abduction and rape by the accused Tarun and Lovely. The complainant further alleged that her father called a Panchayat at Suratgarh and her in-laws were also called in the Panchayat but her in-laws did not accept the proposals of the Panchayat and persisted with their demand of Rs.1 lac and insisted that the complainant would be taken back only if the demand was met. On this, the complainant allegedly refused to go back with the accused and requested that her dowry articles be returned back but her husband and brother-in-law started abusing her and assaulted her in the Panchayat, S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) whereafter the Panchayat Members interfered and the accused went away without returning her dowry articles.
The said complaint was sent to the Police Station, Suratgarh for investigation under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C., where FIR No.444/2011 was registered for the offences under Sections 498Aand 406 IPC and investigation commenced.
Now the petitioner has approached this Court by way of the instant misc. petition seeking quashing of the FIR impugned registered against him at the instance of the complainant.
The contention of Shri M.K.Garg, learned counsel for the petitioner is that the allegations levelled in the FIR are patently false and malafide. He has relied upon the statement of the complainant recorded during investigation of FIR of rape registered against the aforementioned Tarun and Lovely being FIR No.117/10 registered at the Mahila Police Station, Sriganganagar. He submits that in the said statement, the prosecutrix specifically gave out that she was knowing the accused Tarun from before as they were classmates in school. Tarun used to call her on her phone regularly before the marriage and even thereafter also. She further stated that Tarun called her on the basic phone of in-laws house and conveyed to her that he was infatuated with the complainant and could not live without her and desired her. The complainant as per the statement recorded under Section 161Cr.P.C. specifically replied to the accused Tarun as below:-
“मन तरण क समझ य कक मर ल ईफ बन चक ह।
अगर आप मर भल च हत ह त मर क मर ससर ल म! मनर पतत और बचच% क स थ रहन द । मर एक लडक उम 1½ वर. क ह।”
“मन उस य कह कक मर घर पररव र अच1 ह और म इस3 म! खश ह6 ू8ू9।”
S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.)Learned counsel thus submits that the specific version of the complainant in the said statement recorded in connection with the FIR of rape being FIR No.117/10 registered against the aforesaid Tarun was that she was living happily in her matrimonial home and was not desirous of establishing any relationship with Tarun. The complainant has further alleged that on 5th July Tarun called her from Lovely’s phone and insisted upon her to go with him, threatening her that he was having some compromising photographs of himself and the complainant with him and that he would reveal the same to everybody. Thereafter, she on the insistence of the accused Tarun went to the Jindal Hospital and from there, Tarun forcibly dragged her into a car and took her away and thereafter committed rape with her. Learned counsel has further pointed out to this Court the statement of the complainant recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. in connection with the aforesaid FIR on 22.7.2010 and particularly relying on the portion of the statement wherein the complainant has stated that when Tarun insisted upon trying to establish relations with her, she replied to Tarun that she was happy in her matrimonial home. Learned counsel submits that had the allegation of the harassment of the complainant for bringing less dowry etc. been true, she would not have given this statement to the Investigating Officer as well as to the Magistrate when she was examined under Section 161 and 164 Cr.P.C. in relation to the FIR No.117/10. Learned counsel submits that it is only when the petitioner took action regarding the elopement of the complainant with the accused Tarun and did not take her back in matrimony and initiated proceedings for dissolution of the marriage, that the S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.)impugned FIR has been filed by the complainant. He submits that the FIR is not only a counter-blast, but is malafide and patently false and has been filed in order to wreak vengeance.
Learned counsel submits that if at all the story of the complainant regarding the alleged harassment given out to her by the accused petitioner and his family members and regarding them having conspired with the alleged rapist Tarun been true, then there was no rhyme or reason for the complainant to have waited for a period of nearly one year and four months before filing the FIR. He submits that admittedly the complainant was denied access to the house of the accused immediately on being recovered back from the possession of Tarun the person who allegedly abducted her. The said action took place in July 2010 and the FIR has been filed belatedly in December 2011. This obviously shows that the FIR is malafide. Learned counsel further submits that the petitioner Bhupendra moved to the District Judge, Sriganganagar by way of an application under Section 13(1)(A) of the Hindu Marriage Act for dissolution of marriage filed against the complainant Dhanvanti Devi and Tarun Arora citing adultery as a ground of divore and immediately on coming to know of the divorce petition being filed, the impugned FIR has been filed malafide against the petitioner and his family members. Learned counsel thus submits that the misc. petition is fit to be accepted and the FIR impugned is liable to be quashed.
This Court whilst considering the misc. petition had directed that the statement of the complainant should be recorded in Sessions Case No.117/10 which was registered on the basis of the FIR of rape filed against the accused Tarun.
S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) The said statement was recorded on 17.4.2012 and a copy of the statement has been placed on the file.
Shri M.K.Garg has drawn attention to the said statement of the complainant and submitted that in the said statement, the complainant has nowhere alleged that the statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. which was recorded in connection with FIR No.117 was recorded under the pressure of her in-laws. He further pointed out that the theory of the complainant that Tarun called her under the pretext of having her indecent photographs is also false because she in her cross-examination has admitted that she never established any relations with the accused and therefore, there was no question of accused possessing any of her indecent photographs. Learned counsel thus, submits that the theory set out by the prosecutrix in the impugned FIR becomes totally false in light of the admissions made by her in the said statement. He thus prays that it is a fit case for quashing the impugned FIR No.444/2011 by exercising inherent powers of this Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
Per contra, Shri Rakesh Matoria learned counsel for the respondent No.2 and the learned Public Prosecutor vehemently opposed the submissions advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner. They argued that the FIR ex-facie discloses commission of offences under Sections 498A and 406 IPC and therefore, the same is not liable to be interfered with. It is further submitted that the complainant was under intense pressure and stress when she was recovered after her being abducted by the accused Tarun and therefore, she did not disclose anything about her harassment by the petitioner and his family members for bringing less dowry when she was S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) examined in connection with the FIR of rape. They therefore, contend that the FIR impugned is not liable to be interfered with by this Court while exercising its inherent powers.
I have given my thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced at the bar have carefully perused the FIR impugned and the case diary. The following undisputed position emerges from an analysis of the facts.
The complainant was married to the accused petitioner on 20.10.2007. Admittedly, the complainant was knowing Tarun Arora from before her marriage and used to talk to him before and after her marriage also. Tarun Arora took the complainant away from the matrimonial home on 7.7.2010. The complainant travelled with him in a public transport and after traversing various places, which were thickly populated, went to Bharatpur and stayed there with Tarun. From there, she was recovered by the Police on 10.7.2010. After being recovered, she has been examined under Section 161 as well as 164 Cr.P.C. and when being thus examined, she has levelled no allegation of ill-treatment for any reason whatsoever by her matrimonial relations at any point of time, rather she has specifically stated that she was living happily in matrimony with her husband. The petitioner did not take back the prosecutrix in matrimony after her being recovered from the possession of the accused Tarun and then filed an application for divorce on the ground of adultery in August 2011. All through this period, the complainant did not choose to launch any criminal action against the accused for the alleged acts of her harassment by the accused for bringing less dowry etc. If at all there had been any iota of truth in the S.B.Cr.Misc.Petition No.51/2012 (Bhupendra Vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr.) allegations of the complainant, then the complainant would not have waited for a period of nearly one year and four months prior to launching the prosecution of the accused under Sections 498A and 406 IPC. The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Priya Vrat Singh & Ors. Vs. Shyamji Sahai, reported in (2008) 8 SCC 232 has held that where the prosecution under the offences of Section 498A and 406IPC is launched with the objection of wreaking vengeance and as a counter-blast, the inherent powers of the High Court can be exercised for quashing the same at the threshold. The present is such a case wherein this Court is convinced that the complainant has not launched the prosecution of the accused bonafide but the prosecution is tainted with motive of taking vengeance on the petitioner.
In view of the aforesaid discussion, this Court is of the opinion that the FIR in this case is nothing short of a gross abuse of the process of the Court and deserves to be quashed.
Accordingly, the misc. petition is allowed and the FIR No.444/2011 impugned registered at the Police Station Suratgarh, District Sriganganagar as well as all the subsequent proceedings thereupon are hereby quashed.
(SANDEEP MEHTA), J.