The Karnataka High Court, Dharwad Bench has said that it has become a habit to lay Sections 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in every offence merely because they are non-cognizable.

The petitioner was before the court calling in question the proceedings in a case registered for offences punishable under Sections 498A, 504, and 506 of the IPC.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna noted, “It has become a habit to lay Sections 504 and 506, in every offence merely because they are non-cognizable. But, nonetheless they are also offences for which trial at times can be conducted. Therefore, those offence also should bear scrutiny as to whether they are present at all, in any given case. The facts narrated, the complaint and the summary charge sheet would at all satisfy the tenor of Sections 504 and 506 is required to be noticed.”

The Bench also said that it has become a norm these days for the complainants to drag all the members of the family and in some cases even the husband projecting trivial grievances.

Advocate K.S. Patil appeared for the petitioner while HCGP V.S. Kalasurmath and Advocate G.I. Gachchinamath appeared for the respondents.

Facts of the Case -

The respondent was the wife of the petitioner and the two were married for over 15 years, and had a 14 years old son from the wedlock. The relationship between them floundered on several grievances between the two and on such floundering of relationship, a compliant was registered by the respondent for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 324B, 504, 506, and 34 of the IPC.

On registration of the crime, the Police conducted investigation and the result of the investigation was the charge sheet against the petitioner. All the other members of the family who were arrayed as accused at the time when the crime was registered, were all dropped. The filing of the charge sheet and taking of cognizance by the concerned Court is what drives the petitioner to the High Court.

The High Court in the above context of the case observed, “If the facts narrated hereinabove are considered on the bedrock of the principles laid down by the Apex Court in the cases of Abhishek and Mohammad Wajid (supra) what would unmistakably emerge is that criminal proceedings are sought to be conducted on glorified trivialities between the husband and the wife. If criminal proceedings on such trivialities are permitted to continue, it would be putting a premium on such allegations made in every case.”

The Court said that these are criminal proceedings and mere pendency of the same would have dire consequences on the members of the family or any accused. It concluded that the permitting criminal process to go on against the petitioner will be an abuse of the process of law.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the criminal petition and quashed the proceedings against the petitioner.

Cause Title- Vivekananda v. The State of Karnataka & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2023:KHC-D:10044)

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