Court:PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE R.C. Kathuria
HARSH VARDHAN ARORA Vs. SMT. KAVITA ARORA On 19 February 2002
Sections 498-A, 406 — Quashing of Proceedings : Cruelty, Criminal Breach of Trust : Omnibus Allegations made against All Accused in Respect of Demand of Dowry, Harassment, Torture and Beating Given to Her during Her Stay in Matrimonial Home : Allegations Vague and General : No Offence under Section 498-A, I.P.C. made Out : Complaint and Proceedings Quashed.
The petitioners seek quashing of complaint dated 23.7.1994 (Annexure P-3) filed by Kavita Arora under Sections 406 and 498-A, I.P.C. in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Amritsar and the subsequent proceedings taken therein.
2. Harsh Vardhan Arora, his father Ved Parkash Arora, brothers Karmal Arora and Vijay Arora, Smt. Vina wife of Kamal Arora and Smt. Kanchan wife of Vijay Arora had visited the house of the father of the complainant on 2.2.1986 at the ring ceremony. On the said ceremony the parents of the complainant spent Rs. 10,000/-. Thereafter the marriage of complainant with Harsh Vardhan Arora was performed at Kanpur on 19.4.1986. An expenditure of Rs. 80,000/- was incurred for the reception of the Barat. Out of this wedlock, one female child was born. After one week of the marriage all the above named accused came to the house of the parents of the complainant at Amritsar and the dowry articles detailed in the list enclosed with the complaint were entrusted to them. They were specifically informed that these articles were meant for the use of the complainant. The accused stayed 2-3 days at Amritsar and thereafter left for Kanpur along with dowry articles. Right from the inception of the marriage the accused used to taunt the complainant, for insufficiency of dowry and harassed and coerced her to force her parents to arrange for the cash amount and additional dowry articles. She was subjected to beating by all the accused on 3-4 occasions. Father of the complainant visited the accused at Kanpur to persuade the accused not to give beating to the complainant. Initially the complainant remained in the house of the accused upto 28.5.1988 and during this period she was pressed to bring V.C.R., Scooter and cash amount of Rs. 50,000/- which they were expecting at the time of marriage of the complainant. During this period she was also taunted for giving birth to a female child. Reference was made to set her ablaze by sprinkling kerosene oil on her body and to force her to commit suicide. The complainant ultimately left the house of the accused on 28.5.1993 and thereafter nobody came to fetch her. Under these circumstances the complaint was filed.
3. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties.
4. The Court can exercise extraordinary jurisdiction vested under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 primarily to prevent abuse of the process of the Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Basically it would depend on fact situation of each case which would enable the Court after reading the complaint as a whole whether allegations made therein at their face value bring out the ingredients of the offence or whether these do not constitute the offence for which cognizance was taken by the Magistrate and in the later case the Court would be justified in quashing the complaint.
5. In the present case the facts detailed in the complaint have been noticed above. Omnibus allegations had been made against all the accused in respect of demand of dowry, harassment, torture and beating given to her during the period she stayed in the matrimonial home. No specific date, month or year had been specified when these incidents had taken place. It cannot be ignored that every member of the family of the complainant’s husband has been implicated in this case. The allegations made are vague and general and for that reason no offence under Section 498-A, I.P.C. is made out against the accused.
6. It has been contended on behalf of the petitioners-accused that the complainant is guilty of suppressing the material facts. After the marriage of the complainant was solemnised with Harsh Vardhan Arora on 19.4.1986 at Kanpur and the complainant gave birth to a female child on 27.3.1987, she was taken away by the parents of the complainant when they suddenly came to Kanpur on 29.5.1988 on the pretext that she was to attend the marriage of her relation. Thereafter she never returned to the matrimonial home despite efforts made by the husband of the complainant. It was also pointed out by learned Counsel for the petitioners that a divorce petition was filed by the husband on 6.4.1991 in which the complainant had filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act on 31.7.1991 claiming interim maintenance which had been granted to the minor daughter of the complainant @ Rs. 500/- per month but not to the complainant as per order dated 20.8.1993. The petition was ultimately accepted on 7.9.1993. Another civil suit was filed by the complainant for the recovery of Rs. 7,20,000/- as an indigent person on 16.11.1992 which was dismissed on 10.10.1994. The facts highlighted as such cannot be gone into. For the purpose of adjudication of the present petition, the facts as stated in the complaint have to be considered which, as already noticed, do not disclose any prima facie offence against the petitioners-accused.
For the aforesaid reasons, the petition is accepted. The complaint dated 23.7.1994 and the subsequent proceedings taken therein are hereby quashed.