Court:PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE N.K. Agrawal
SHANTI DEVI Vs. STATE OF HARYANA On 5 February 1999
Allegations appear to be totally vague. Not clear from complaint as to when alleged articles or money demanded or misappropriated or given to bride or bridegroom during marriage. Nothing to show prima facie that those articles dishonestly kept by other family members or they declined to return same. Criminal case prima facie baseless, false and frivolous against mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife. Complaint qua quashed.
This is a petition under Section 482, Criminal Procedure Code, for quashing the proceedings arising out of the FIR No. 71, dated February 8, 1989 registered at P.S. Ambala City. These proceedings are pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Ambala City, under Sections 406, 498-A, 504, 506 and 120-B, I.P.C. All the petitioners accused persons are residents of Hoshiarpur and are facing the criminal case at Ambala.
2. The Criminal case arose from a complaint of Meena Kumari (respondent No. 2) alleging illegal demand of refrigerator, television, washing machine, fan etc. as the articles of dowry from her parents at the time of her marriage on July 28, 1987. She alleged that her parents met all the demands raised by the accused persons. Besides the aforementioned articles, gold and silver jewellery and cash were also given. The accused persons named in the complaint are the husband, Narinder Kumar Jain, his mother Smt. Shanti Devi, his brother Vipin Kumar Jain and brother’s wife Mohini. It was also alleged in the complaint that the accused persons made the demand of more dowry after marriage and started humiliating her. A sum of Rs. 50,000/- was demanded for starting a new business by her husband. She was not taken to his house by her husband as the sum of Rs. 50,000/- was not paid by her father. She, however, after some time went to her husband’s house but the accused persons started harassing, humiliating and beating her for not bringing money and other articles from her parents. She was turned out of the house in July, 1988. The articles given to her at the time of her marriage were sold by them. They came to her father’s house on November 20, 1988 at Ambala City and gave abuses to her and her mother. They again demanded Rs. 50,000/-.
3. Learned Counsel for the petitioners has argued that the allegations in the complaint are very vague. The date and time in respect of the demand of more dowry have not been mentioned. No specific allegation is made as to which article was given to which accused and when the demand for its return was made. It is also not stated as to when the articles were sold away by the accused persons. The learned Counsel has contended that the complaint is based on false and frivolous allegations. The entire family has been falsely implicated.
4. Mr. Pramod Goel, learned Deputy Advocate General, Haryana, has, on the other hand, contended that the matter is still before the learned Magistrate and evidence has yet not been examined. Therefore, no conclusion can be drawn at this stage.
5. On a consideration of the matter, it appears that the allegations made, against the husband may have prima facie some substance but that too depends upon the evidence which may ultimately be produced by the complainant. The allegations made against mother, brother and sister-in-law of the husband appear to be totally vague. It is not clear from the complaint, which -is the basis for prosecution, as to when the mother, the brother and the brother’s wife of Narinder Kumar Jain demanded articles or money or misappropriated the articles given to the bride or the bridegroom at the time of marriage. If certain dowry articles were given to the complainant or her husband, she may perhaps demand those articles back from her husband. There is nothing to show prima facie that those articles have been dishonestly kept by other members of the family or that they have declined to return those articles on demand by-the complainant. In these circumstances, the Criminal case appears prima facie to be baseless, false and frivolous as against Shanti Devi, Vipin Kumar Jain and Mohini.
6. In the result, the petition is partly allowed with the order that the criminal case pending against Shanti Devi, Vipin Kumar Jain and Mohini stands set aside. The case shall, however, proceed against Narinder Kumar Jain, the husband of the complaint in accordance with law. Since the case against the aforementioned three persons goes, he offences under Section 120-B, I.P.C. also does not sustain against Narinder Kumar Jain.
Petition partly allowed.
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