The Calcutta High Court quashed criminal proceedings against a husband, citing the lack of supporting materials to substantiate even a prima facie case of cruelty.

The case involved a wife's complaint against her husband, alleging cruelty and other matrimonial offences. However, upon examining the complaint and available evidence, the Court noted that the allegations lacked substance and were not supported by satisfactory evidence.

The allegations in the written complaint are general in nature and do not make out even a prima facie case against the petitioner in respect of the offences alleged. The present case has been filed 19 years after marriage with no supporting materials on record, to show that the ingredients required to constitute the offences alleged are present against any of the petitioners and thus permitting such a case to proceed towards trial will be an abuse of the process of law and the proceeding is liable to be quashed, in the interest of justice”, the Bench of Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) observed.

Advocate Arun Kr. Maiti appeared for the Petitioners and Advocate Anwar Hossain appeared for the State.

The wife filed a complaint under Sections 498A, 406, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against her husband, mother-in-law as well as sister-in-law. However, the couple was granted divorce by the High Court’s order. The Petitioner-Husband approached the High Court seeking to quash the criminal proceedings.

The Cout noted that the complaint was filed 19 years after marriage, and prima facie, there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the charges against the Petitioner. The Court also noted that the claims of physical abuse were unsubstantiated as no seizure list or medical papers were found in the case diary to support these allegations.

The Bench observed that the written complaint contained general allegations that failed to establish even a prima facie case against the husband. The Bench held that allowing such a case to proceed to trial would be an abuse of the legal process, and therefore, the proceedings should be quashed in the interest of justice.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and quashed the criminal proceedings.

Cause Title: Suman Kumar Das & Ors. v The State of West Bengal & Anr

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