The Karnataka High Court held that in a case where the mother denies visitation rights to the father to meet his child, and the father tries to meet his daughter, that cannot amount to criminal intimidation or trespass.

The Court held thus in a petition filed by the father praying to quash an FIR registered by the police for the offence punishable under Section 506, 504, and 448 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against him.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed, “Section 503 criminal intimidation requires threatening another person by the accused with an injury to his person, reputation or property. Where from the husband has criminally intimated the daughter is again ununderstandable. Therefore, all the offences are loosely laid against the petitioner. If any further investigation is permitted to continue, it would become, on the face of it, an abuse of the process of law and misuse of the provisions of law by the wife against the husband to settle her scores. Therefore, to avoid patent injustice and ultimate miscarriage of justice, I deem it appropriate to exercise my jurisdiction under Section 482 of the CrPC and obliterate the proceedings against the petitioner.”

Advocate R. Pallava appeared for the petitioner while HCGP K.P. Yashodha and Advocate Rosa Paramel appeared for the respondents.

Factual Background -

The petitioner/husband and the complainant/wife got married and their relationship turned sour. On turning sour, proceedings were initiated before the concerned Family Court at Delhi and the two dissolved their marriage by mutual consent and a decree of divorce was granted on such mutual consent under Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The term of compromise for divorce by mutual consent was that the parties would agree with the right of the husband to visit the daughter on every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. either at the residence of the wife or at a neutral place like the activity zone, or mall. Based upon the said compromise, the custody of the daughter was with the wife.

The husband alleged that the wife had intermittently breached the undertaking of visitation as available to him in terms of the compromise. A particular incident happened wherein the wife communicated a mail to the husband rescheduling the visitation to which the husband confirmed. But, despite rescheduling, the husband entered the wife’s building and despite being denied permission three times on the mygate app, he tried to get through other modes to meet his daughter. At that point of time, the wife was not at home and the husband attempted to meet the daughter. Such attempt to meet the daughter forcefully led the wife to register a complaint before the jurisdictional police. After registration of crime, the husband knocked at the doors of the High Court.

The High Court in the above regard noted, “The husband had valid visitation right on the day that he wanted to visit the daughter. Therefore, he had a right in law by an order of the competent Court, to visit the daughter. He seeks to visit the child. It is rescheduled by the wife to the next Saturday. The husband lost the opportunity of looking at the daughter on 20-08-2022. He, therefore, enters into a garbage van and meets the daughter as if he is one amongst the people who would enter the house to lift the garbage. This is the anxiety of the father to meet the daughter. This is dubbed by the wife to be a criminal trespass into the house with a criminal intent to intimidate the daughter.”

The Court said that whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with an intention to commit an offence is said to be committing criminal trespass but it is ununderstandable from where the ingredients of the offence can spring in the case.

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

Cause Title- ABC v. The State & Anr.

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