The Karnataka High Court emphasised that there are scores of cases where the family of the husband without reason is dragged into the web of crime by frivolous complaints made by wife and the same must be nipped in the bud.

The Court was dealing with a criminal petition filed by the accused persons against the registration of crime for the offences punishable under Section 498A read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (DP Act).

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed, “There are scores and scores of cases where allegations are made that have pointed overt acts by every member of the family which are sustained and further trial is permitted. There are even scores and scores of cases where every member of the family without rhyme or reason is dragged into the web of crime by frivolous complaints registered by the complainant/wife while the entire grievance is against the husband and every imaginary member of the family is dragged in. It is these cases which are to be nipped in the bud. Bud, I mean, at the stage of registration of the crime, ailing which, it would run foul of the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of KAHKASHAN KAUSAR v. STATE OF BIHAR”

Advocate Praveenkumar K.S. represented the petitioners while HCGP Harish Ganapathi represented the respondents.

Factual Background -

The petitioners were the father-in-law and mother-in-law of the respondent/complainant who was the wife of the accused no. 1. The marriage between the two took place in 2021 and after about two months, the husband flied to Germany for his work. The relationship between the couple floundered and this resulted in a complaint registered before the jurisdictional police by the complainant for the offences punishable under Section 498A read with Section 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of DP Act.

Due to the registration of the crime against the accused, the petitioners (in-laws) approached the High Court, questioning the same. The Court had earlier granted an interim order of stay of further investigation qua the petitioners and therefore, further investigation was not moved forward. The counsel for the petitioners contended that all the allegations and grievances were against the accused husband and hence, the father-in-law and mother-in-law (petitioners) had nothing to do with the squabble between the couple.

The High Court in the above regard noted, “In the entire narration of the complaint, it is only in the penultimate paragraph, the names of the petitioners spring, not for any ingredients of offences punishable under Section 498A of the IPC, but only omnibus hurling of abuses. No specific overt act is indicated in the complaint qua these petitioners as the entire narration in the complaint is the squabble between the husband and the wife. Whether it would be harassment or otherwise is not a subject matter of the present petition.”

The Court said that there appears to be a squabble with regard to visa and minor skirmishes between the members of the family and though investigation has not taken place against the petitioners, there is no statement recorded that would touch upon the ingredients of Section 498A of the IPC.

“An omnibus statement cannot result in permitting investigation or a criminal trial against the father-in-law and mother-in-law on false allegations”, it enunciated.

The Court, therefore, concluded that in view of the unequivocal facts and the finding that there is no allegation against the petitioners, permitting further investigation would become an abuse of the process of law and result in miscarriage of justice.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the criminal petition and quashed the FIR registered against the petitioners.

Cause Title- C.B. Prakash & Anr. v. The State by Women Police & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:KHC:19132)


Petitioners: Advocate Praveenkumar K.S.

Respondents: HCGP Harish Ganapathi and Advocate Pruthveen Prahalad.

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