The Rajasthan High Court quashed an FIR filed against the family members of a husband under Section 498-A of the IPC, pointing out a tendency to involve all family members of the husband in dowry harassment and cruelty cases.

The Jaipur Bench pointed out that the wife's allegation of involvement of the husband's family members in the offence under Section 323 of the IPC seemed "wholly baseless." The Court determined that the inclusion of the names of the husband's family members in the FIR appeared to be motivated with an "ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance or to settle or personal grudge."

A Single Bench of Justice Sudesh Bansal observed, “Although, petitioners have been discharged from offence under Section 406 IPC, nonetheless, considering delay of more than nine years, non-specific allegations, separate living of non-petitioner No.2, and frivolity of the general allegations due to being without any support of reliable evidence, petitioners could be discharged from offences under Sections 498-A and 323 IPC, but the trial Court acted in excess of jurisdiction, by making a meticulous analysis of statements of witnesses and thereby committed jurisdictional error in framing charges against petitioners, along with the husband of non-petitioner No.2. The charges framed against the husband are not under challenge.

Advocate Kapil Prakash Mathur represented the petitioners, while P.P. Suresh Kumar appeared for the respondents.

The father of the wife (complainant) had filed an FIR against the husband and his family alleging cruelty and harassment for demand of dowry nine years after the marriage.

The Court observed that the wife had admitted in her evidence before the Family Court that the complainant filed an FIR regarding dowry demands only after five years of the marriage. “Dragging the petitioners for offence under Section 498-A IPC, after nine years of marriage and on the basis of very common and general allegations cannot be appreciated,” the Court added.

The Court pointed out that the FIR lacked specific allegations against the petitioners and that they were implicated merely due to their relationship with the complainant. The absence of prima facie evidence to prosecute the accused under Section 406 IPC led the trial court to refrain from framing charges under this Section.

Consequently, in order to render ex debito justitiae the impugned order of framing charge against petitioners was quashed.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petitions.

Cause Title: X & Anr. v. State of Rajasthan & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:RJ-JP:16187)


Petitioners: Advocate Kapil Prakash Mathur

Respondents: P.P. Suresh Kumar

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