Bhushan Kumar Meen Vs.
State of Punjab and Ors.
J U D G M E N T
appellant, who had all along been appearing in person, was represented by counsel,
Mr. Vijay K. Aggarwal, at the time of final hearing of the appeal, which is directed
against the judgment and order dated 27.8.2008 passed by the Punjab and Haryana
High Court in Crl.M. No.13709 of 2007, dismissing the appellant's application under
Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the FIR No.9 dated 10.1.2007 of P.S. Patiala,
filed by his wife, the respondent No.2 herein.
appellant's marriage was solemnized with the respondent No.2 on 27.11.2004 as per
Sikh rites. After their marriage, the couple went to Gujarat where the appellant
was employed with Patronet L.N.G. Limited in District Bharuch, Gujarat, and
lived together as husband and wife, though no child was born out of the said wedlock.
Subsequently, differences arose between the appellant and the respondent No.2 which
resulted in a complaint being made by the respondent No.2 on 12.5.2006 to the
Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, requesting that a criminal case be
registered against the appellant under Sections 406 and 498-A IPC.
The said complaint
was forwarded to the Women's Cell in Patiala, which made a detailed inquiry into
the allegations made by the respondent No.2 against the appellant. After such inquiry,
the Women's Cell came to the conclusion that even in spite of the periodical differences
between the appellant and the respondent No.2, they continued to maintain their
relationship as husband and wife. From the report it appears that even after
she left Gujarat, at the instance of her husband she returned to Gujarat in January
2006, and, thereafter, they visited Mount Abu, Bombay, Shirdi, Udaipur, Jaipur,
Delhi and Gandhinagar, and both of them even went to Ambala to attend the retirement
function of her mother-in-law, but after reaching Ambala she left for Patiala instead
of going with the appellant to the Zirakpur.
The Women's Cell also
found that the respondent No.2 had great love for her parents and as a result she
wanted to stay with them more often. Even on the question of dowry, it was found
that the entire complaint had been exaggerated and that the respondent No.2 was
determined to teach her husband and his family members a lesson by levelling serious
allegations against them. The ultimate conclusion arrived at by the Women's Cell
was that nothing had come out from the inquiry to prove the demand of dowry and
issuance of threat, and that the dispute was of a civil nature which did not
call for any action by the local police at the said stage.
a further inquiry was held by the Superintendent of Police, Patiala, who despite
taking into consideration the report filed by the Women's Cell Patiala, came to
the conclusion that the respondent No.2 had been harassed by the appellant and
her father-in-law and mother-in-law for not meeting the demand of dowry and suggested
action to be taken under Sections 406, 498-A IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act, 1961. However, on receipt of the said report, the Senior Superintendent
of Police, Patiala, met the appellant and the respondent No.2 and was of the
view that the matter did not appear to be a case of demand of dowry and the allegations
needed to be checked again for evidence, though the ingredients of Section
498-A could be true. The Superintendent of Police, Patiala, was directed to re-verify
and substantiate the evidence.
further inquiry, the Superintendent of Police, once again came to the
conclusion that the appellant had harassed the respondent No.2 which merited the
registration of a case against the appellant under Section 498-A IPC. Upon the case
being registered, the appellant filed Criminal Misc. No.13709 of 2007 under Section
482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the FIR. The matter was heard by the learned Single Judge,
who, by his order dated 27.8.2008, dismissed the application filed by the appellant
for quashing of the FIR and held that in view of the specific allegations contained
therein, no ground for quashing the same had been made out and the appellant
would be at liberty to set up the plea in defence at the appropriate stage of the
by the said order of the learned Single Judge, the appellant filed the Special Leave
Petition out of which the present appeal arises.
for the appellant, Mr. Vijay K. Aggarwal, learned Advocate, submitted that at every
stage the appellant had made sincere attempts to make the marriage with the respondent
No.2 work, but at every stage such efforts of the appellant had been resisted.
It was submitted that the appellant had agreed to live with the respondent No.2
in a house which was separate from the house in which his parents lived, since it
was one of the complaints of the respondent No.2 that he was paying more attention
to his parents than to her. According to the learned counsel appearing for the appellants,
all the attempts made by the appellant to make the marriage work proved to be
futile on account of the attitude of the respondent No.2, and even the
complaint made against him was a fallout thereof, although, there was no truth
whatsoever in any of the allegations made in the FIR.
behalf of the respondent No.2 an attempt was made to show that the appellant is
a person who was only interested in harassing the respondent No.2 for bringing dowry.
However, the said allegations do not bear scrutiny in view of the report filed
by the Women's Cell, Patiala that the appellant and the respondent No.2 had visited
various places all over the country together, which, according to the learned counsel
for the appellant, clearly proves that the appellant and the respondent No.2
continued to maintain a normal relationship of husband and wife despite their
moments of disagreement. Coupled with the above, is the observation of the Senior
Superintendent of Police, Patiala, that after meeting the couple he was of the view
that the matter did not relate to a dowry offence and that the dispute appeared
to be of a civil nature.
complaint made by the respondent No.2 does not, in our view, make out a case
under Section 498-A IPC and appears to have been filed by the respondent No.2 based
on misunderstandings between the parties prompting the respondent No.2 to attack
the appellant for something which is likely to have occurred during their stormy
our view, the learned Single Judge of the High Court did not appreciate the
nature of the on and off relationship between the appellant and the respondent No.2,
which caused him to dismiss the appellant's application under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
on the ground that there were serious allegations in the FIR which have been
registered against the appellant regarding his alleged cruelty and maltreatment
of the respondent No.2 and even misappropriation by him.
are unable to agree with the reasoning of the learned Single Judge, since from
the entire records available it is clear that the complaint made by the respondent
No.2 did not make out a prima facie case to go to trial under Section 498-A
such circumstances, we are inclined to accept Mr. Aggarwal's submissions that no
offence under Section 498-A IPC had been made out against the appellant and the
complaint was, therefore, liable to be rejected and the FIR was also liable to
appeal is accordingly allowed. The impugned order of the High Court is set aside
and the FIR lodged by the respondent No.2 against the appellant, and all the
proceedings taken on the basis thereof, are quashed.
(SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)
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