Court:PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE Nirmal Singh
MUKESH RANI Vs. STATE OF HARYANA On 13 August 2001
Sections 498-A, 406 — Evidence Act, 1872 — Sections 113-A, 113-B — Quashing of Order : Cruelty, Criminal Breach of Trust : Sister and Brother-in-law of Accused Living Separately in Different Village : Presumption : Trial Court Rightly Discharged Respondents : No Ground to Interfere in Impugned Order.
This is a petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C. for quashing the impugned order Annexure P-1 vide which respondents 2 and 3 were discharged by the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Gohana vide order dated 24.4.1996 Annexure P-2 vide which the revision petition filed by the State has been dismissed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Sonepat.
2. The facts of the case are that on the complaint of Mukesh Rani a case under Sections 406, 498-A, 323, 506, 34, I.P.C. was registered against Sukhdev, Krishan, Bharto, Kalawanti and Ram Niwas, on the allegations that they have been harassing the complainant for bringing refrigerator, scooter and cash amounting to Rs. 50,000/- for the purchase of land. After the completion of the investigation, a report under Section 173, Cr.P.C. was presented before the Illaqa Magistrate. The learned Judicial Magistrate, after perusing the evidence on record discharged Ram Niwas and Kalawati whereas other accused were charge-sheeted under Sections 498-A, 406, 323, 506, 34, IPC. Aggrieved by the order of discharge, the State preferred a revision petition which came up for hearing before the Additional Sessions Judge, Sonepat who vide order dated 26.3.1998 dismissed the revision petition. Aggrieved by the orders of Courts below the present petition has been preferred.
3. I have heard Mr. Ramesh Hooda, learned Counsel for the petitioner and perused the record.
4. Mr. Hooda, learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the impugned orders are palpably erroneous. He submitted that at the time of framing the charge, the Courts are not to see whether the accused is to be convicted or to be acquitted. He submitted that at the time of framing the charge, only a prima facie case is to be seen. If from the evidence on record, a prima facie case is made out, then a charge is to be framed. He submitted that from the evidence on record, it has transpired that there is a prima facie case against respondents 2 and 3. He submitted that the petitioner was harassed by the respondent Nos. 2 and 3 along with their co-accused on account of demand of dowry. They were demanding scooter and refrigerator. He further submitted that the dowry articles have been recovered from the house of respondent No. 2. He submitted that these facts have been overlooked by the learned Trial Court.
5. After hearing the learned Counsel of the parties, I am of the considered opinion that there is no illegality or irregularity in the impugned order. There is no dispute regarding proposition of law putforth by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that at the time of framing the charge, the Trial Court is not to go into the merits of the case and only a prima facie case is to be seen. At that stage, it is not to be seen whether the accused is to be convicted or to be acquitted.
At the same time, if the allegations are vague and from the complaint itself, it shows that the accused has been falsely implicated then the charge is not to be framed. If the charge is framed it will tantamount to abuse of the process of the Court. Reliance can be placed upon Satyabir Singh & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Anr., 1993 (2) CLR 249; Parveen Kumari v. State of Punjab & Ors., 1994 (1) CLR 53; Madhu Bala Mahajan v. Sunayana Mahajan, 1991 (2) CLR 227.
6. In the instant case respondent No. 2 is the husband of respondent No. 3 and respondent No. 3 is the sister of husband of the complainant. In the FIR, it has not been specifically mentioned what dowry articles were entrusted to respondents 2 and 3 at the time of marriage. If no article has been entrusted to respondents 2 and 3, then no case under Section 406 is made out. It is also not the case of the complainant that respondents 2 and 3 are residing with the husband of the complainant. The respondents have placed on record the document showing that they are employed as teachers and are living separately in village Bambla from the complainant and her husband Satyadev. Even on the date when the alleged occurrence took place respondents were present in their school i.e. on 7.1.1994.
7. The provisions of Sections 498-A, 304-B, I.P.C. and 113-A and 113-B in the Evidence Act were added by the Legislature, in its wisdom, for the protection of women but these provisions are being misused day in and day out. Whenever there is a matrimonial dispute between husband and wife, for the fault of the husband, other relations of the husband i.e. brothers, sisters and parents, are also roped in the litigation on the allegation of demand of dowry, whether they are living joint or separate. Sometimes, the parents who are aged about 80 to 90 years and unable to walk or talk and the sisters living at far off places in the matrimonial house are also involved. In such like situation, the Courts while framing charge should be very cautious. Charge should be framed when there is cogent and convincing evidence. If on the face of the complaint it shows that complaint is false, charge should not be framed. In the instance case, there is evidence that respondent No. 3 who is the sister of the husband of the complainant was living separate with her husband-respondent No. 2 in a different village and were employed as teacher, therefore, the learned Trial Court has rightly discharged respondents 2 and 3 by observing as under :
“I am of the considered opinion that the prosecution has failed to bring a prima facie case against these two accused persons particularly when there is no statement of any eye-witness of the public of village Jasrana under Section 161, Cr.P.C. to support the contention of the complainant, about the presence in the village Jasrana, while they are serving as teacher in Distt. Bhiwani, prior to the marriage of the complainant with accused Satyadev, as stated by them, at the Bar, so the authorities of law quoted by learned APP as 1986 AIR 2046, 1989 (2) CLR 430, (sic) 1980 SC 52 and 1999 (2) CCJ 480 are not applicable to the facts of the present case with regards to the aforesaid two accused persons for which, relying upon the authorities of law quoted by learned defendant Counsel referred to above, both the said persons namely Ram Niwas and Kalawati are hereby discharged.”
For the reasons mentioned above, there is no ground to interfere in the well reasoned orders passed by the learned Courts below. Hence this petition is dismissed.