The Supreme Court reiterated that the term “relative” in Section 498­A IPC would be limited only to the blood relations or the relations by marriage.

The court therefore quashed summoning orders issued against neighbours in a complaint with respect to the allegation of commission of offence under Section 498A of the IPC.

Accordingly, a bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Kumar observed, “…we modify the judgment assailed in this appeal and quash the summoning order as against the appellants so far as the allegation of commission of offence under Section 498A of the IPC is concerned. The appellants cannot be implicated in that offence. So far as other offences are concerned, the prosecution of the appellants shall proceed in accordance with law”.

Advocate Rajesh Pathak appeared for the petitioner and AOR Vishwa Pal Singh appeared for the respondents.

In the present matter, the appellants were implicated in a case under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The appellants were neighbours of the family of the husband (accused no.1).

The appellants herein appeared to have had facilitated the marriage between the complainant and the said accused. Therefore, the main argument of the appellants was that they are not relatives of the husband and hence they cannot be implicated in any offence punishable under Section 498A of the IPC.

The High Court in the impugned order dismissed the petition of the appellants for quashing the summoning order. The order read, “…In support of his argument, the learned counsel for the applicants has submitted, that he wants to place reliance on a judgment in which it has been dealt as to what the impact of the term 'relative' would be under Section 498A of IPC, had been considered by the judgment of the Allahabad High Court but, unfortunately, the learned counsel for the applicants is not ready with the said judgment and the various lame excuses have been taken for not being able to present the said judgment before the Court, because for the purposes of appreciation of a case to decide the matter on merits, the judgments are required to be scrutinized in the light of the actual controversy involved in a C482 application, and there cannot be only an oral assertion at the behest of the learned counsel for the applicants that the issue stands covered by the certain judgments, without placing the same before the Court”.

The High Court then requested the counsel for the applicants to place the judgment before the Court. However, since the counsel submitted that he did not have a copy of the same, the application stood dismissed.

The Apex Court, while allowing the appeal, referred to Vijeta Gajra v. State of NCT 2010 (11) SCC 618 and U. Suvetha v. State By Inspector of Police and Anr 2009 (6) SCC 757 wherein it was held that reference to the word “relative” in Section 498­A, IPC would be limited only to the blood relations or the relations by marriage.”


Petitioner: Advocate Rajesh Pathak, AOR Sumit Kumar, Advocates Anshuman Purohit, Gokul, Kumari Supriya, Bharath

Respondents: AOR Vishwa Pal Singh, Advocates Vikas Negi, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Prateek Rai, Mukesh Kumar, Vishal Chauhan, Suraj Pal Singh, Himanshus Pal

Cause Title: Ramesh Kannojiya & Anr. v. State Of Uttrakhand & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Order