Friday, September 1, 2023

HC Can Act On Section 482 Petition To Quash FIR Even If Chargesheet Has Been Filed During Its Pendency : Supreme Court

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'Far-Fetched, Vague Allegations' : Supreme Court Quashes Sec 498A IPC Case By Wife Against Mother-in-Law & Brothers-in-Law.

The Supreme Court recently quashed the criminal proceedings initiated at the instance of a wife against her in-laws for the offence of cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code after noting that the allegations were "mostly general and omnibus in nature".

The woman had lodged the FIR against her mother-in-law and two brothers-in-law (one of them a judicial officer). The accused persons approached the Supreme Court after the High Court refused to quash the proceedings under Section 482 CrPC.

A bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar and SVN Bhatti noted that many of the allegations were improbable and inconsistent. It noted that the brothers-in-law resided in different cities and the interaction of the complainant with them was limited to only during the festival seasons. The complainant resided in her matrimonial home for only about two years and in 2009, she had voluntarily left it and started residing with her parents.

The most striking fact that the Court noted was that the complaint was filed only in 2013 soon after the husband filed a petition seeking divorce. The wife had also caused an anonymous complaint to be sent against her brother-in-law, who was in judicial service, to the High Court as well as to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Later, she admitted that she was the author of the complaint.

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