Court:PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE K.S. Kumaran
RAJ PAL SINGH Vs. STATE OF HARYANA On 26 April 2000
Sections 498-A, 406 — Allegations against petitioners (mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of complainant) are general and vague — At one breath complainant stated that dowry articles were handed over to accused Nos. 1 to 3 but in next breath she stated they were received by accused Nos. 1 to 4 — Allegations made by petitioners not only vague but varying — F.I.R. in question and consequential proceedings, if any, quashed.
Second-respondent Manjit Kaur wife of Kuljit Singh lodged a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Karnal, under Sections 406, 498-A and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against her husband Kuljit Singh and (2) Lila Devi, (3) Raj Pal @ Banti, and (4) Neelam (mother, brother and sister respectively of Kuljit Singh) wherein the following material allegations are found :
The complainant was married to Kuljit Singh in October, 1992 at South Howrah (Calcutta). At the time of the marriage customary gifts and dowry articles were given to the complainant (as per lists Annexures C-l and C-2 attached with the complai). All the articles were handed over to the accused Nos. 1 to 3, and these articles were received by accused Nos. 1 to 4.
2. From the very beginning all the accused especially accused No. 1 (husband) treated the complainant cruelly complaining that the dowry articles were not given according to their wishes. The complainant’s husband had encashed the fixed deposit for Rs. 30,000/- given by the parents of the complainant. The accused started torturing the complainant under one pretext or the other. The complainant’s husband sometimes kept the hands of the complainant under the cot. The other accused instigated the complainant’s husband to torture her so that she may leave the matrimonial home herself. The complainant’s parents gave Rs. 20,000/- for the purchase of a colour television. Hardly any day passed without the complainant being beaten by the accused. On 8.10.1993 a child was born to the complainant. Five months after the birth of the child, the complainant was turned out of her matrimonial home and, therefore, the complainant alongwith minor child came to Karnal (to her parental home).
3. In July, 1995, the maternal uncle of the complainant’s husband took the complainant and her son to Calcutta. In July, 1997, the complainant’s husband at the instigation of other accused beat the complainant and turned her out of the matrimonial home. The complainant contacted her husband on telephone but with no response, and her husband also refused to return the dowry articles. The accused persons have misappropriated some of the dowry articles.
4. The complaint which was lodged before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Karnal, was forwarded by the learned J.M.I.C. to the Station House Officer, Police Station City, Karnal, for necessary action, on which the F.I.R. No. 1298 dated 25.9.1997 has been registered at Police Station City, Karnal, under Sections 406, 498- A and 120-B, I.P.C.
5. The petitioners have approached this Court with this petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C. for quashing above said F.I.R. (Annexure P-5).
6. The first-respondent namely State of Haryana has filed reply by means of the affidavit of Inspector/Station House Officer, Police Station City, Karnal, mainly alleging that the petitioners sent the complainant time and again for bringing dowry from her father at Karnal. It is further alleged that investigation revealed that Manjit Kaur was sent to Karnal by the petitioners to bring dowry worth Rs. one and half lakhs on 9.7.1997 or to remain with her father at Karnal. It has also been stated that the marriage took place at Calcutta and that the dowry articles were handed over to the family members of Kuljit Singh. It has also been alleged that the petitioners committed cruelty even telephonically and as such the Karnal Court has jurisdiction. According to the State the complainant Kuljit Singh husband of the complainant and the petitioners reside in the same house and not in separate houses.
7. Though notice was served upon the complainant-Manjit Kaur (second respondent), she has not chosen to take part in these proceedings.
8. I have heard the learned Counsel for both the sides and perused the records on file.
9. The learned Counsel for the petitioners contends that complainant-Manjit Kaur and her husband Kuljit Singh lived in separate house at Calcutta, while the other petitioners lived separately in Calcutta. According to the petitioners, the complainant is a quarrelsome lady and had left the matrimonial home in March 1994 on her own volition, but in spite of the attempts made in April, 1994 to bring her back to the matrimonial home, she refused to come. The learned Counsel for the petitioners also contends that once again after earnest persuasion, complainant- Manjit Kaur came to the matrimonial home at Calcutta in March, 1955 but once again in July, 1997, she left matrimonial home and went to Karnal to live with her father on her own violation. The learned Counsel for the petitioners also contends that the efforts made to persuade and bring her back to the matrimonial home failed.
10. The learned Counsel for the petitioners also contends that since the complainant and her husband lived separately, the petitioners had no hand in their affairs, but, they have been falsely implicated with ulterior motive. According to the learned Counsel for the petitioners the allegations in the F.I.R. are vague, general and without details. According to the petitioners, the marriage had admittedly taken place in Hawra (Howrah ?) (Calcutta) and the alleged handing over of the articles and the alleged cruelty also happened at Calcutta and, therefore, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class at Karnal, had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint by the complainant and forward the same to the police under Section 156(3), Cr.P.C.
11. From the allegations in the F.I.R. which I have set-forth above, it is clear that the allegations against the petitioners (who are mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant) are general and vague, without details. At one breadth (breath ?), the complainant has stated that the dowry articles were handed over to accused Nos. 1 to 3 but in the next breadth (breath ?) she has stated that they were received by accused Nos. 1 to 4. Similarly, she has stated at first that when she demanded the dowry articles, the first accused (namely her husband) refused to return them, but has subsequently stated that accused persons have converted the dowry articles and have also misappropriated some of them. Therefore, I find that the complainant, apart from making general and vague allegations against the petitioners, has also made varying allegations.
12. So far as cruelty alleged by the complainant is concerned, the complaint is once again vague and general. The complainant has stated that from the beginning, all the accused especially accused No. 1 (her husband) treated her cruelly. There is no specific allegation against any of the petitioners. The further allegation that few days after the marriage the accused persons started torturing her is also vague and without details. Similarly the allegation that the other accused instigated her husband is also vague and general without being specific. Though the complainant has stated that five months after the birth of male child, she was turned out of the matrimonial home, she has not specified as to who has done so. Her allegation that in July, 1997, her husband at the instance of the other accused severely beat her and turned her out of the matrimonial home is again not specific about the petitioners, but, is only general. Similarly, the allegations regarding the entrustment of the dowry articles and the allegations regarding misappropriation are also not specific with reference to the petitioners. Further, the allegation in this petition is that the petitioners are living separately while the complainant and her husband lived separately in separate house and, therefore, there was no occasion for these petitioners to either demand dowry or misappropriate it or to treat the complainant cruelly as alleged by her. But the complainant has not chosen to appear and deny the allegation that herself and her husband resided separately while the petitioners resided separately in a separate house. This is also an additional factor which has to be taken into consideration. Therefore, I am of the view that the reading of the F.I.R. does not disclose any ground for proceeding against the petitioners for any of the offences alleged in the F.I.R. Therefore, the F.I.R. has to be quashed on this ground only.
13. Of course, the learned Counsel for the petitioners also contended that the marriage has taken place at Howrah, that it has been alleged by the complainant that the dowry articles were entrusted and misappropriated in Howrah, that she was treated cruelly at Howrah and was sent out from her matrimonial home at Howrah and, therefore, no part of the alleged acts took place within the jurisdiction of the Court at Karnal. The learned Counsel for the petitioner, therefore, contends that the Court at Karnal has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and then forward it to the police for necessary action. But in view of my finding that the allegations in the F.I.R. do not make out a case for proceedings against the petitioners for any of the offences, I am of the view that I need not go into this question. Therefore, I am not going into this aspect.
14. Resultantly, this petition is allowed. The F.I.R. in question and the consequential proceedings, if any, in so far as they relate to the petitioners are quashed.