The Karnataka High Court in its order dated September 19, 2022 quashed a case u/s 498A IPC (dowry harassment) remarking that the charge sheet was filed on the basis of omnibus and general allegations without any substance.
Parties got married in October 2009 in accordance with islamic customs and traditions. Thereafter, the couple resided at the marital home along with husband’s family.
In June 2011, a son was born to the couple, and in December 2011, the couple left with their child for USA. In 2016, the family returned to India and during their stay, wife accused her husband and his family of harassing her for dowry.
In February 2017, wife returned to USA along with the son, however, in May 2018, she was forcibly sent back to India.
When she wanted to re-enter her in-laws’ home, she was not allowed entry this time. Subsequently, the wife filed cases under Section 498-A read with Section 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 against her husband and his family.
Learned Magistrate after taking cognizance of the aforesaid offences issued summons. Taking exception of the same, this petition is filed.
Karnataka High Court Quashes FIR Against In-Laws In False 498A｜Women Naming All Relatives Without Evidence
Submissions by Petitioner-Husband
Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that except omnibus and general allegations there is no specific allegation as against the accused for having demanded dowry or for having assaulted respondent No.2. He further submits that marriage of accused No.1 and respondent No.2 was dissolved on 29.01.2018 by the IOWA Court in USA and also permanent alimony of $50,000 was paid to respondent No.2. Hence, he submits that the charge sheet filed against the petitioners-accused in the absence of any essential ingredients so as to constitute the commission of aforesaid offences alleged against the petitioners-accused is without substance.
Arguments by Respondent-Wife
Learned counsel appearing for the wife submits that the order granting divorce by the Court of USA is obtained fraudulently without issuing notice to her and the same has no binding. The charge sheet material clearly discloses commission of the offences alleged against the accused and the same does not warrant any interference.
Karnataka High Court
At the outset, the bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar addressed the divorce decree obtained from USA. The bench noted,
It is undisputed that respondent No.2 resided with accused No.1 along with child in USA. The allegation is that respondent No.2 was sent back to India forcibly on 16.02.2018 without any reasonable cause.
It is also undisputed that the marriage of respondent No.2 with accused No.1 was dissolved by the IOWA Court at USA and permanent alimony has been deposited in the bank account of respondent No.2 which clearly implies that marriage of accused No.1 with respondent No.2 was dissolved and the contention of learned counsel for respondent No.2 that the order of divorce was obtained fraudulently without issuing notice to respondent No.2 cannot be considered in this petition.
Hence, the marriage of respondent No.2 having been dissolved with accused No.1, the charge sheet filed against accused is without any substance. In the absence of any essential ingredients so as to constitute the commission of offences alleged against the petitioners-accused, the charge sheet filed is not sustainable.
READ JUDGEMENT | Mere Demand For Separate House By Wife Not ‘Cruelty’: Karnataka HC Sets Aside Divorce Decree Despite Couple Being Separated Since 15YRS
With regards to allegations of dowry harassment made by the wife against her husband and in-laws, the high court remarked,
Even otherwise, except omnibus and general allegations there are no specific allegations as to how and in what manner each of the accused subjected respondent No.2 to cruelty or assaulted her. Hence, the charge sheet filed on the basis of omnibus and general allegations is also without any substance.
The dispute between the parties arises out of martial discord, however, given a criminal texture so as to pressurize the petitioners/accused to arrive at settlement.
READ ORDER | Karnataka High Court Directs Trial Court To First Decide On Perjury Application Filed By Husband Against Wife
Allowing the petition by the husband, the Karnataka High Court said,
The allegation against accused Nos. 2 to 4 subjecting respondent No.2 to cruelty was during her alleged stay in India in 2017. Respondent No.2 returned to India on 10.02.2018 and the FIR was lodged on 30.05.2018 without offering any explanation.
Hence, it is implied that the FIR was lodged against accused Nos.2 to 4 with an ulterior motive to wreak vengeance and with revengeful intent.
Concluding the matter, the High Court said,
The probability of the conviction of the petitioners-accused being remote and bleak, it would be abuse of process of law, if the criminal proceeding is allowed to be continued against the petitioners-accused.
READ ORDER | Karnataka HC Dissolves Marriage As Wife Filed False Dowry Harassment Case After Divorce Granted By USA Court— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) October 18, 2022
▪️Husband paid US$ 50,000 Alimony granted by US Court
▪️Wife forcibly sent back to 🇮🇳
▪️Returns, files false dowry harassment casehttps://t.co/07WyhoGEn3
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