Father’s Neglect & Refusal To Get Child Medically Treated Won’t Amount To Cruelty U/s. 498-A IPC: Andhra Pradesh HC
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has held that the neglect and refusal by a father to get the child medically treated would not amount to cruelty under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.
The Court also held that such actions of neglect by the father would not amount to criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the IPC.
A Single Bench of Justice R. Raghunandan Rao observed, “The allegations made against the petitioner, for neglect and refusal to take up responsibility for the treatment of the child of the de facto complainant would not fall under either of these provisions. … The allegations made against the petitioner, for neglect and refusal to take up responsibility for the treatment of the child of the de facto complainant would not fall under either of these provisions.”
The Bench was dealing with a case wherein a woman had filed a complaint against her husband and in-laws.
Advocate Raja Reddy Koneti appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Advocate T.V. Sridevi appeared on behalf of the complainant.
Brief Facts -
The petitioners were accused of the offences under Sections 498-A, 509, 506 r/w 34 of the IPC. The complainant had alleged that the petitioners had harassed and mistreated her as if she was a maid or servant in their house and that their behaviour did not change even after the delivery of her son.
It was further alleged that the complainant was sent away to her matrimonial home and neither her husband nor any of her in-laws bothered to look after her son. It was also alleged that her son had some problems in his testicles and no assistance was given to her for the treatment of her son.
The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “None of the allegations in the complaint or the charge sheet make out any case of the de facto complainant being assaulted or criminal force being used against the de facto complainant. There are also no allegations that such criminal force has been used or an assault had been made against the de facto complainant with the intention of outraging the modesty of the de facto complainant.”
The Court said that the cognizance of Section 354 of IPC by the Magistrate, is clearly not in accordance with the law and would have to be quashed on that short ground.
“The gap between the date on which the de facto complainant went back to the house of her parents and the date on which she filed her complaint is more than three years. This would result in the complaint under Sections 498-A, 509 or 506 of I.P.C being barred by limitation”, the Court asserted.
The Court further noted that the allegations in relation to the later period are allegations of neglect and refusal to visit or meet the complainant or her child.
“… it would have to be held that the complainant, filed by the de facto complainant, is beyond the period prescribed under Section 468 of Cr.P.C. … Hon’ble Supreme Court after reviewing the earlier Judgments on this subject, had held that a complaint filed more than three years after separation of the couple would have to be held to be barred by limitation”, said the Court.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea and quashed the case.
Cause Title- Gudipati Mallikarjuna Rao v. Gudipati Saranya