The Madhya Pradesh High Court observed that the objection to the daughter-in-law’s certain household works by the mother-in-law does not amount to cruelty under Section 498-A IPC.

The Court held thus while hearing an application filed by the mother-in-law, Alka Sharma under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the FIR registered under Sections 498-A, 506 r/w Section 34 of IPC and Section 3, 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

The bench of Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia observed, “If mother-in-law was objecting to certain household works of her daughter-in-law, then by no stretch of imagination it can be said that such act of the mother-in-law would fall within the category of cruelty as defined under Section 498-A of IPC.”

Advocate Aviral Vikas Khare appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Akash Agarwal appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

The Respondent and applicant's son had a love marriage with the consent of family members. At the time of marriage, the applicant was in service and she was posted in Chakhrata (Uttarakhand). According to the respondent, after four months of her marriage, the applicant took voluntary retirement and shifted to Pune and started residing with the respondent as well as her son/husband of respondent.

While considering the scope of interference at the stage of 482 of Cr.P.C. the Court mentioned the decision of the Supreme Court in State of A.P. v. Gourishetty Mahesh (2010) 11 SCC 226 and quoted, “While exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code, the High Court would not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry whether the evidence in question is reliable or not or whether on a reasonable appreciation of it accusation would not be sustained. That is the function of the trial Judge/Court.”

As per the Court, the allegations such as interference of mother-in-law in day-to-day household work and her continuously saying that as per the astrologers, there are two marriages in the life of respondent were general.

To consider whether the respondent’s allegations were sufficient to prosecute the applicant or not, the Court went through Section 498-A IPC and observed, “If the daughter-in-law gets mental harassment on account of certain objections raised by her mother-in-law in the household works, then it can be said that daughter-in-law may be hypersensitive. But, certain disputes with regard to household works would certainly not amount to cruelty.”

According to the Court, considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, no offence under Sections 498-A, 506/34 of IPC read with Section 3/ 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act would be made out.

Hence, the Court quashed the FIR and allowed the application.

Cause Title: Alka Sharma v. State of Madhya Pradesh


Appellant: Adv. Aviral Vikas Khare

Respondent: Adv. Akash Agarwal, Government Advocate Swati Aseem George

Click here to read/download Judgment