The Karnataka High Court observed that a person who is not a family member cannot be implicated under Section 498A of the IPC.

In that context, the Bench of Justice K Natarajan observed that, "Accused No.9 is not a family member or in-laws in order to implicate under Section 498A of IPC and left with only Section 109 or 114 of IPC, which is an abatement or instigation for Section 497 or 494 of IPC, which is bar for taking cognizance under Section 198 of Cr.P.C. by the Magistrate. Therefore, proceeding against accused No.9 cannot be sustainable for the offence punishable under Section 498A of IPC or any other offences."

Counsel Sudharshan L appeared for the petitioner, while HCGP Venkat Satyanarayana and Counsel Venkata Rao appeared for the respondents.

The prosecution's case revolved around the complainant's allegations against accused No.1, her husband, who was accused of demanding and accepting dowry. The complainant asserted that there were demands for dowry and expensive gifts from the accused's family, leading to marital discord. Accused No.1 was accused of having an extramarital affair with accused No.9, leading to mental harassment of the complainant. Subsequently, a complaint was filed, resulting in police investigation and the filing of a charge sheet.

The petitioners argued that there were no specific allegations against them, and the entire case primarily focused on accused No.1. They contended that the addition of accused Nos.2 to 8 in the charge sheet was a false implication, and the proceedings against them were an abuse of process. The defense also emphasized that accused No.9, being a childhood friend of accused No.1, should not be implicated under Section 498A of IPC, as she was not related to the complainant as an in-law.

The defense sought the quashing of the charge sheet against all accused persons.

Subsequently, the Court held that, "there is no material against the petitioners No.1 to 8 for having committed any of the offences or abatement of Section 498A of IPC as the provision itself provides for the prosecution against the inlaws or husband. As regards accused No.9, it is as already held, the affairs between accused No.1 and accused No.9 is nothing but adultery, therefore, criminal case cannot be filed or FIR cannot be registered offence punishable under Section 497 of IPC in view of judgment of the Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court."

In light of the same, the criminal petitions were quashed.


Petitioner: Counsel Sudharshan L

Respondent: HCGP Venkat Satyanarayana, Counsel Venkata Rao

Cause Title: Dr Seema Bhutani vs State by Mysuru Women Police Station & Anr.

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