The Chhattisgarh High Court observed that the allegations against family members for the offences u/s 498A IPC were not specific and were only bald and omnibus.

The Petitioners approached the High Court under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR and proceedings pending before the lower Court against the Petitioners for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 323/34 of the Indian Penal Code.

The bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Singh and Justice Rajani Dubey observed, “only bald and omnibus allegations have been made against respondents No.2 to 4 and specific allegation has been made against petitioner No.1 (husband), we are of the considered opinion that prima-facie no offences under Sections 498A and 323/34 are made out..”

Senior Advocate Ashish Shrivastava appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Pawan Shrivastava appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

The marriage of the respondent was solemnised with the petitioner by Hindu rites and rituals and out of their wedlock they were blessed with two sons namely Aryavrat and Devvrat Singh after about 16 years respondent lodged a written report at the Police Station alleging there that she was subjected to cruelty by her husband and family members of her husband. Based on the written report, offences under Sections 498A and 323/34 of the IPC were registered against the petitioners and upon completion of the investigation, a charge sheet was submitted before the Magistrate.

The Court mentioned the decision of the Supreme Court in the matter of State of Haryana and others v. Bhajan Lal and others where it laid down the principles of law relating to the exercise of extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to quash the first information report and according to the Court it was held that such power can be exercised either to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.

The Court further relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in K. Subba Rao and others v. State of Telangana represented by its Secretary, Department of Home in which the Court observed, “ the Court should be careful in proceeding against distant relatives in crime pertaining to matrimonial disputes and dowry deaths and further held that relatives of husband should not be roped in on the basis of omnibus allegations, unless specific instances of their involvement in offences are made out.”

The Court noted that the complainant only made omnibus and general allegations against the petitioners without full particulars about date and place that all the petitioners including the husband treated her with cruelty for not bringing sufficient dowry at the time of marriage.

According to the Court, there was no specific allegation regarding any of the petitioners except common and general allegations against all the petitioners that they have demanded cash and household articles.

The Court noted that the allegations were made after 16 years and they were not specific.

As per the Court, no prima facie case for the offences under Sections 498A and 323/34 is made out for petitioners other than the husband.

The Court partially allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Manoj Singh v. State of Chattisgarh (Neutral Citation: 2024:CGHC:14423)
Appellant: Senior Adv. Ashish Shrivastava, Adv. Rahul Ambast, Adv. Ankur Diwan, Adv. Aman Menon and Adv. Udit Khatri
Respondent: Panel Lawyer Hariom Rai And Adv. Pawan Shrivastava