Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed an FIR in a domestic violence case in Maharashtra where the woman had slapped charges against a woman mediator in Maharashtra saying a stranger or an acquaintance cannot be named as an accused.
While quashing the FIR, the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court said that a stranger or acquaintance, who is not a relative by blood, marriage or adoption cannot be named as an accused under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The couple were married in 2018 and the wife alleged that two months after the marriage, the husband and his family started demanding money and taunting her. They allegedly even beat her up and ultimately threw her out seven months later in 2019.
The court was hearing a plea filed by the husband, his father, married and unmarried sisters, cousin’s father-in-law and a mediator who was not even related by marriage, blood or adoption to the wife.
Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court
Section 498A of IPC deals with domestic violence and the division bench of Justice Vishwas Jadhav and Justice Mukund Sewlikar refused to grant any relief to the husband and one of the married sisters so they withdrew their petitions. However, for the others, their advocates told the court that these relatives do not even stay under the same roof. The court noted that the allegations against them were vague.
No specific role is attributed to any of the applicants. On the basis of these vague and general allegations, it cannot be said that any cognizable offence is made out against these applicants.
The court further said,
Therefore, a continuation of prosecution would be nothing but an abuse of process of law. Moreover, the tendency is growing to implicate all the near and dear relatives of the husband.
The court further noted about another person who was seeking quashing of FIR against her had been a mediator but was named by the wife as an accused.
The court said,
Not only all the near and distant relatives have been named, applicant no.7 has also been implicated in this case, though she is not related to applicant no.1 (husband) by marriage, blood or by adoption. She is a Mediator. A stranger to the family does not come within the sphere of Section 498-A of the IPC.
The court also noted,
Even otherwise, no specific role is attributed to applicant no.7. General and vague allegations are made against her. Therefore applicant no.7 cannot be made to face the trial. Therefore, no cognizable offence can be disclosed against these applicants.
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