The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court in its order dated January 07, 2023 quashed a cruelty case under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against a woman judicial officer who was dragged to court by her brother’s wife.
Calling out the false case filed by the complainant woman, the division bench of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and RM Joshi said that ‘bruised’ reputation of a person cannot be restored even after judicial reprieve.
READ ORDER | Married Woman Asked To Do Household Work For Family Is Not Cruelty U/s 498A IPC: Bombay High Court Aurangabad Bench
Mrs Vrushali Jayesh Kore (applicant), who happens to be a judicial officer, was booked under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 406, 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act in June 2019. Kore, who is married and living separately at a different residence with her husband, moved the High Court for quashing the ‘false’ case by brother’s wife against her.
The marriage between respondent No. 2 (wife) and the brother of the applicant was solemnised on April 19, 2019. Respondent No. 2 left the matrimonial home on June 7, 2019. She lodged First Information Report (FIR) on November 12, 2019 against her husband, his parents and applicant (Vrushali Kore) herein alleging that they had subjected her to physical and mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.
READ JUDGEMENT | Wife Cannot Be Granted Access To Shared Matrimonial Household If She Left Home Before Divorce: Bombay High Court Aurangabad Bench
Allegations by Brother’s Wife
The complainant had accused her sister-in-law of mental and physical cruelty. In the FIR, the allegations levelled by brother’s wife against the applicant read as below:
- On 18th May, 2019, she ordered Chicken Biryani for her brother but told respondent No. 2 to cook her own food
- When respondent No. 2 had visited the applicant, she was told to get ready in an unused washroom
- The applicant had told respondent No. 2 not to raise her voice against her parents
- The applicant had phoned the brother of respondent No. 2 and told him that they should keep respondent No. 2 at her parental house at Jalgaon and that respondent No. 2 should seek divorce
- The applicant told the brother of respondent No. 2 that the behaviour of respondent No. 2 was not acceptable to them and that she should mend her ways to continue to live in the matrimonial home
- The applicant, who is a Judicial Officer, ought to have intervened the dispute between the respondent No. 2 and her husband impartially rather than being biased, supporting her brother and blaming her
- The applicant posted a comment on her WhatsApp status congratulating her brother for finding a new girl in his life and advising him to forget the past and start a new life
It Is A Fashion To Rope In All Poor Relatives Of Husband Under Section 498-A IPC Even If They Never Lived Together: Bombay High Court Aurangabad Bench
Bombay High Court, Aurangabad Bench
Going through material evidences on record, the bench held that the FIR was a classic example of roping in family members of the husband under Section 498-A to settle personal scores with the husband. The bench said,
The unfounded proceedings, qua the applicant, need to be quashed to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court, to protect the right of the applicant and thus to secure the ends of justice.
Elaborating on right to reputation and dignity, the bench remarked,
The right to reputation and dignity of an individual is held to be an integrated part of Articles 21 and 19(2) of the Constitution.
Therefore, it is imperative for the Court in fit cases, to safeguard and protect the rights of every person subjected to such litigation and prevent misuse of criminal process for personal vendetta.
Quashing the said FIR and the subsequent proceedings, the bench concluded,
The First Information Report prima facie reveals that there is rift in marital ties between the respondent No. 2 and her husband, the brother of the applicant herein. The applicant has been dragged into the matrimonial dispute.
- Unless there are serious consequences against women who file false cases, dragging in families for years and decades, there will be no deterrence for such women to continue doing the same
- Mere words from the court with regards to reputation and dignity seem shallow and a mere acquittal in a blatantly false case holds no meaning to the acquitted
- The outcomes from the court are exactly the reason for a major concern if Marital Rape law goes through; Disgruntled wives will file false rape cases randomly against husbands, leaving them with a lifelong blot of a rapist. Such women will also receive alimony in the form of compromise, post which rape charges will be dropped with mutual understanding
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READ ORDER: Bombay HC Quashes False #498A Against Married Sister Of Husband; Calls It Classic Example Of Roping In Family Members To Settle Score— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) January 17, 2023
▪️Marriage: 7 Apr
▪️Wife leaves home: 7 Jun
▪️498A against husband, his parents, SIL: 12 Nov#MaritalRapehttps://t.co/2TF718djf4
Marital Rape PIL Petitioner Karuna Nundy Opposed Criminalization Of Triple Talaq Bill
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