IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
BENCH AT AURANGABAD.
CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO.363 OF 2007
1.Mr.Shamrao S/o Tukaram Chaudhari.
Aged 61 years, Occ.Nil,
R/o Shani Mandir Ward, Bhusawal,
Tq.Bhusawal, Dist. Jalgaon.
2. Sau.Shakutala W/o Mr.Shamrao
Chaudhari, Age 51 years,
Occ.Household, R/o Shani Mandir
Ward, Bhusawal, Tq. Bhusawal,Dist.Jalgaon.
3. Mrs.Anita W/o Dhananjay Misal,
Aged 33 years, Occ.Household,
R/o Ganesh Nagar, Plot No.29,
4. Mr.Kailas S/o Mr.Shamrao T.
Chaudhari, Aged 30 years,
Occ.Service, R/o Shani Mandir
Ward, Bhusawal, Tq.Bhusawal,
At present residing in Dublin State Ireland. … Applicants.
1. The State of Maharashtra
through Police Inspector,
Bazarpeth Police Station,
2. Mrs.Rashmi W/o Kailas
Chaudhari, Age 26 years,
Flat No.102, Hansraj Building,
Plot No.25, Sector 42, Nerul,
Navi Mumbai-400 706. … Respondents.
Mr.S.S.Patil, advocate for the applicants.
Mr.D.R.Adhav, A.P.P. for the State.
Mr.B.S.Kudale, advocate for Respondent No.2.
CORAM : V.R.KINGAONKAR,J. Date : 13.03.2008
2. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith by consent of the parties.
3. This is an application filed U/s 482 of the Cr.P.C.
4. The applicants seek quashing of F.I.R.dated 14.11.2005, whereupon Crime No.134/2005 is registered at Bazarpeth Police Station, Bhusawal,against them for offence U/ss 498-A, 504, 406 read with Section 34 of the I.P.C.
5. The applicants are in-laws, married sister-in-law and husband of complainant/Respondent No.2 Mrs.Rashmi. The Respondent No.2 filed F.I.R.at Nerul Police on 13.11.2005 which was transferred to Bazarpeth Police Station, Bhusawal. She asserted that after the marriage, which was performed on 28.11.2003, for some period she resided in the marital and maternal houses and thereafter resided with her husband. Somewhere in March 2004, she went to Dublin (Ireland), where applicant No.4 was employed. Allegedly, after some period, the applicant No.4 started troubling and used to beat her. She was employed as a dental nurse. Her monthly salary was deposited in a joint account.
Somewhere in March 2005, applicants Nos.l and 2 visited their house at Dublin. She asserted that they also troubled and harassed her. They taunted her saying that she was unable to conceive and could be infertile. They used to abuse her. After a couple of months, her inlaws returned to the native place. She alleged that the husband has misappropriated her amount of Rs.6,00,000/- (Rupees six lacs) which was in the joint account and which had been withdrawn by him. She alleged further that the applicants used to insult her saying that ornaments and dowry was not paid at the time of marriage. On 24.6.2005, she and her parents visited house of the applicant at Bhusawal. Again they told her that they did not behave properly, she was not required by them and abused her. That is the gist of her F.I.R.
6. The Police registered offences U/s 498-A,406 and 504 of the I.P.C. on the basis of such F.I.R. On the basis of material gathered during the course of investigation, the applicants were charge-sheeted for the offences as stated earlier.
7. The applicants would submit that no offence is committed by them. They would further submit that the allegations in the F.I.R. do not constitute any offence. It is contended that the joint account was closed by consent of the Respondent No.2 and under her signature. It is denied that the applicant No.4 misappropriated the amount of her salary which was deposited in the joint account. It is further asserted that crime could not be registered and tried by the Court at Bhusawal, when the allegations would show that the entire ill-treatment was at the residential house in Dublin (Ireland). Therefore, the applicant seek quashing of the charge-sheet on the ground that they would be unnecessarily harassed, particularly, when no case is made out by the Respondent No.2.
8. Heard learned counsel for the parties.
9. A bare perusal of the F.I.R. purports to show that the so-called ill-treatment or harassment commenced only after Respondent No.2 went to reside
with the husband at Dublin (Ireland). Not a single incident of alleged harassment occurred while she was residing with the applicants in the matrimonial home at Bhusawal. It appears that on 24.6.2005 some incident is said to have occurred only because the Respondent No.2 was well aware that there was no ill-treatment while she was residing at Bhusawal.
Even assuming that on 24.6.2005 some incident occurred as alleged by the Respondent No.2, yet, the vague allegations shown in the F.I.R. do not constitute matrimonial cruelty within the meaning of Section 498-A of the I.P.C.
10. For the purpose of constituting offence U/s 498-A of the I.P.C., it is well settled, either there must be continuous harassment or ill-treatment with intention to drive the married woman to cause injury to her person or to commit suicide or harassment must be with a view to coerce her or her relatives to meet out unlawful demand. There is no whisper in the F.I.R. as regards unlawful demands made by the applicants except vague reference that gold ornaments and money were not provided at the time of marriage as per the taunts uttered by the inlaws when she was in the matrimonial home at Dublin (Ireland). There is no allegation that unlawful
demand was being made and nonfulfillment was the reason for alleged harassment or cruelty. The allegations in the F.I.R. are sweeping, general in nature and quite vague. So, it is difficult to say that such allegations would constitute offence within the meaning of Section 498-A of the I.P.C., either under Explanation (a) or (b) appended thereto. The cruelty must be of such nature as would be within the ambit of Explanation (a) or (b) of Section 498-A of the I.P.C.
11. The accusation about retaintion of Rs.6,00,000/- (Rupees six lacs), i.e. amount which was in the joint account of the spouses, is not supported by any documentary evidence. There is no iota of evidence to support the charge of misappropriation and the criminal intimidation.
12. It is argued by learned counsel that even if it is matrimonial cruelty, cognizance cannot be taken without sanction of the Central Government in view of Section 188 of the Cr.P.C. The extra territorial jurisdiction cannot be exercised in relation to offences committed outside India, unless there is previous sanction of the Central Government.
Of-course, the question of sanction can be agitated before the trial Court. It is not a precondition to file charge-sheet. It is precondition only for the purpose of commencement of the trial as such. The trial may not commence unless the sanction is obtained. However, when it is manifest that the allegations themselves do not constitute any offence then it would be futile to allow further proceedings to go on. For, ultimately the end product will be only discharge or acquittal of the applicants after wasting of judicial time of the trial Court as well as the time and money of the parties. In this view of the matter, the application will have to be allowed.
13. In the result, the application is allowed.The impugned F.I.R. and the charge-sheet filed thereupon are hereby quashed. No costs.
(Pvt.Secy. to Hon’ble Judge)