The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently discharged the husband of the charges under Section 498-A of IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. The high court observed that the wife lodged an FIR against her husband after learning that he is going to marry another lady,
The Bench of Justice Sanjay Dwivedi noted that the wife had alleged those incidents, which had occurred two years prior to the date of lodging the FIR and the same was lodged after the husband filed suit for seeking divorce decree. The court said,
The FIR is nothing but an afterthought and counter-blast to the suit filed by the husband for seeking decree of divorce. Charges framed are liable to be quashed.
Couple got married in 2015, however, the wife started living separately since 2016. The relations between them were allegedly not cordial and there was some dispute between them.
Later, when it became almost impossible to settle the disputes, the applicant no.1 (husband) filed a suit in 2019 seeking a decree of divorce under Section 13-A of the Hindu Marriage Act.
When the notice was issued to the wife, she in turn lodged a complaint with Police Station, Kotwali, Mandla District Mandla under Section 498-A. After going through the woman’s complaint, the police registered the offence against the accused persons under:
- Section 498-A of IPC
- Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act
Matter Before Court
When the matter reached the Court, the counsel for the applicants moved an application before the court below under Section 227 of Cr.P.C. for discharging them, which was ultimately rejected.
Thus, the applicants (husband and his relatives) preferred a criminal revision against the order of framing charge against the husband and relatives under Section 498-A of IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act and various sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Madhya Pradesh High Court
Going through the material facts on record, the high court noted that nothing had come to indicate that from the date of living separately till the date of lodging the FIR, any complaint had ever been made by the wife to any of the authorities or to the police attributing against the applicants that they ever demanded any dowry or created any act which comes under the provisions of SC/ST Act or any offence was made under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
The court further observed that the husband/applicant no.1 had filed a suit for seeking decree of divorce on May 7, 2019 before the Family Court and subsequently, wife filed the FIR on January 9, 2020. The court remarked,
It is also clear from the statement that the non-applicant no.2 (wife) after coming to know that applicant no.1 (husband) was going to get married with a lady namely xxx then only she lodged the report to the police and made several allegations of dowry and also of offences relating to the Atrocities Act.
FIR Lodged Because Husband Was Going To Remarry
The court also noted that the woman’s statement filed along with the charge-sheet clearly reflected that she approached the police ‘only because applicant no.1 was going to marry another lady.’
The high court thus concluded that the wife lodged the FIR only to harass her husband and his family members. Discharging husband, his relatives of the charges under Section 498-A of IPC and Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and various provisions of SC/ST Act, the court said,
She has also not disclosed and not stated when she started living separately from 2016, she did not lodge any report to the police but only after coming to know about filing of the suit and fact of marriage of the non-applicant no.2 with another lady, the complaint/FIR was lodged to the police.
It can be easily presumed that it is nothing but an after-thought and the allegations made in the FIR are improbable and do not constitute the offence as alleged against the applicants“,
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