Section 498A of IPC- Allegations against Husband’s Relatives to be Scrutinized with Great Care

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April 04, 2019

Case name: Bablu Khan v. State of Bihar

In the present case, the Petitioners had filed application under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing Judicial Magistrate’s order, whereby the Magistrate took cognizance against the petitioners under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code. The allegation against the petitioners was of demand of dowry and torture. The Petitioners in the case are the brothers and their wives of the opposite party’s husband. From the facts of the case, it was learned that the thrust of complaint was against the husband, who is said to have married again and keeping two other wives and refusing to accept the petitioners and her two sons.

The Petitioners before the High Court averred that they are the brothers of the husband of the opposite party and their wives, who have nothing to do with the matrimonial discord between the parties. Moreover, the Petitioners in the case also consented to provide space equivalent to the share of the husband of the opposite party for her to live and reside as per her wish.

Bench’s Verdict

The High Court of Patna quashed the criminal proceedings in exercise of it’s power under Section 482 of CrPC and made the following observations in the case:

While noting the facts and circumstances, the High Court noted that the allegations against the petitioners were general and omnibus and further, when admittedly the main grievance is against the husband of having two more wives who live at Mumbai and not allowing the opposite party and her two sons to live with him, coupled with the fact that a categorical stand has been taken before the Court on behalf of the petitioners that they shall give sufficient place/space, as per the share of the husband of the opposite party in the ancestral matrimonial home to the opposite party, then allowing present criminal proceedings to continue would be an abuse of the process of the Court.

Hence, the Court while noting Supreme Court’s observation in the case of Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand[1] that the allegations against the husband’s relatives has to be scrutinized with great care and circumspection quashed the criminal proceedings against the Petitioners.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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[1] (2010) 7 SCC 667