Calcutta High Court (Appellete Side)
Priyabrata Mukhopadhyay & Ors vs The State Of West Bengal & Anr on 17 July, 2019
                       IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
                           Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction

Before:

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice Madhumati Mitra


                                C.R.R. 2255 of 2017


                         Priyabrata Mukhopadhyay & Ors.
                                       Vs.
                         The State of West Bengal & Anr.



For the Petitioners               :      Mr. Md. Sabir Ahmed,
                                         Mr. Hillol Saha Poddar,
                                         Mr. Arpan Saha.

For the State                     :      Mr. Saryati Datta.


For the Opposite Party No.2       :      Mr. Sanat Chatterjee,
                                         Mr. Sujan Chatterjee.


Judgement delivered on            :      17.07.2019


Madhumati Mitra, J. :


      The petitioners have prayed for quashing of the proceedings in G.R. Case

No. 261 of 2011 arising out of Chandannagore Police Station Case No.42 of

2011 dated 4th April, 2011 under Sections 498A, 406, 341, 323 and 325 of the

Indian Penal Code pending before the learned Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Chandannagore.



      The petitioners are the in-laws of the opposite party no.2.
                                             2



       The facts which are necessary to dispose of the present application for

quashing of the criminal proceedings pending against the petitioners are as

follows:-

        The marriage of the opposite party no.2 was solemnised with one

Punyabrata Mukherjee in the year 2002 in accordance with the Hindu Rites and

Ceremonies. At the time of marriage, a sum of Rs.3,00,000/- cash, golden

ornaments weighing of 25 to 30 bhoris and other valuable articles were given.

After marriage the opposite party no.2 and her husband started their conjugal life.

One daughter was born out of their wedlock.



       On the basis of the First Information Report lodged by the opposite party

no.2, Chandannagore Police Station Case No.42 of 2011 dated 4.4.2011 under

Sections 498A, 406, 341, 323 and 325 of the Indian Penal Code was started

against all the FIR named persons.



       After completion of investigation, charge sheet was submitted against all

the FIR named persons except Jyotsna Mukherjee, wife of Atal Behari

Mukherjee.

       Learned Advocate appearing for the State has produced a copy of the

case diary.

       Learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners has submitted that in the

First Information Report there is no specific allegation against the present

petitioners. He has contended that the names of the petitioners have been

mentioned in the First Information Report out of personal grudge and malice.

There is nothing in the First Information Report, wherefrom, it can be presumed

that the petitioners treated the opposite party no.2 with cruelty. In the absence of
                                             3



any specific allegation against the present petitioners in the First Information

Report, the continuance of the proceedings against them would be an abuse of

the process of Court.



       The present petitioners are the in-laws of the opposite party no.2. From

the materials placed on record, it appears that the marriage of the opposite party

no.2 was solemnised with Punyabrata Mukherjee who is accused no.1 in the

First Information Report. After marriage, the opposite party no.2 and her husband

started their conjugal life. From the allegations contained in the First Information

Report, it appears that prior to lodging of the First Information Report, the

opposite party no.2 and her husband used to reside together with their daughter.

It has been alleged by the opposite party no.2 in the First Information Report that

she was subjected to cruelty and torture for demand of dowry since her marriage.



       In matrimonial dispute the general tendency is to involve all the members

of the family of the matrimonial home and to make exaggerated allegation in the

First Information Report or complaint. As such it is the duty of the Court in

matrimonial dispute to scrutinize averments of the First Information Report with

great care and circumspection specially against the relative of the husband

otherwise innocents may be victimised. In the instant case, the names of the

present petitioners have been mentioned in the First Information Report in a very

cursory and casual manner. The First Information Report is completely silent

about the role played by the present petitioners individually at the time of

commission of the alleged offences. The allegations of facts as contained in the

First Information Report do not constitute prima facie case against the present

petitioners, In the instant case admittedly, charge sheet has been submitted for
                                             4



commission of the alleged offences against all the FIR named accused persons

except one for commission of the offences under Sections 498A, 406, 341, 323

and 325 of the Indian Penal Code. The allegations in the First Information

Report, if taken on their face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute

the alleged offences under Sections 498A, 406, 341, 323 and 325 of the Indian

Penal Code against the present petitioners. In this connection, it would not be

out of place to place reliance on the decision laid down in R.P. Kapur Vs. State

of Punjab reported in AIR 1960 SC 866. The principles as laid down by the

Hon'ble Supreme Court are as follows:


         (i)           where it manifestly appears that there is a legal

                 bar against the institution or continuance of the

                 proceedings;

         (ii)          where the allegations in the First Information

                 Report or the complaint taken at their face value and

                 accepted in their entirety, do not constitute the offence

                 alleged;

         (iii)         where the allegations constitute offence, but

                  there is no legal evidence adduced or the evidence

                  adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the

                  charge".


       I would like to cite the decision of State of Haryana and Others Vs. Ch.

Bhajan Lal and Others reported in AIR 1992 SC 604.

        In paragraph 108, the illustrations are as follows:-
                                     5



1.

“Where the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirely do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused;

2. Where the allegations in the FIR and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by Police Officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code;

3. Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out case against the accused;

4. Where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a Police Officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplate under Section 155 (2) of the Code;

5. Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can even reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused;

6. Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuation of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress, for the grievances of the aggrieved party;

7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly accompanied with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.”

In the instant case, the First Information Report does not disclose any specific allegation in respect of the above-mentioned petitioners and the materials collected by the Investigating Officer during investigation do not justify to proceed against the petitioners for commission of the alleged offences.

After considering all aspects, I am of the view that it is a fit case to exercise discretion under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as the continuance of the criminal proceedings against the present petitioners would be an abuse of the process of Court. Thus the proceedings being G.R. Case No. 261 of 2011 arising out of Chandannagore Police Station Case No.42 of 2011 dated 4th April, 2011 under Sections 498A406341323 and 325 of the Indian Penal Code pending before the learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandannagore in respect of the present petitioners namely Priyabrata Mukhopadhyay, Shibabrata Mukhopadhyay, Usha Mukhopadhyay, Amiyo Kumar Mukherjee, Ajanta Mukhopadhyay, Sujata Mukherjee, Atal Behari Mukhopadhyay and Arkabrata Mukherjee are hereby quashed.

The revisional application being C.R.R. 2255 of 2017 is allowed. The case diary be handed over to the learned Advocate appearing for the State immediately.

Urgent photostat certified copy of this order may be supplied to the parties expeditiously, if applied for.

(Madhumati Mitra, J.) NB

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