Dowry harassment – Section 498A IPC – Names of sisters-brothers-other relatives of husband are included in FIR – Territorial Jurisdiction is disputed

1. What does the law say – when unnecessarily the relatives of the complainants husband are roped in the F.I.R. and in the case instituted invoking section 498A I.P.C.?

Para 24. If the FIR as it stands does not disclose specific allegation against accused more so against the co-accused specially in a matter arising out of matrimonial bickering, it would be clear abuse of the legal and judicial process to mechanically send the named accused in the FIR to undergo the trial unless of course the FIR discloses specific allegations which would persuade the court to take cognizance of the offence alleged against the relatives of the main accused who are prima facie not found to have indulged in physical and mental torture of the complainant-wife. It is the well settled principle laid down in cases too numerous to mention, that if the FIR did not disclose the commission of an offence, the court would be justified in quashing the proceedings preventing the abuse of the process of law.

2. Proceedings filed in High Court under section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of the order of the magistrate mainly on two grounds one on territorial jurisdiction and another being no specific allegation against the appellants in the FIR for the commission of an offence which point ought to have been considered?

Para 18. In so far as the plea of territorial jurisdiction is concerned, it is no doubt true that the High Court was correct to the extent that the question of territorial jurisdiction could be decided by the trial court itself. But this ground was just one of the grounds to quash the proceedings initiated against the appellants under Section 482 Cr.P.C. wherein it was also alleged that no prima facie case was made out against the appellants for initiating the proceedings under the Dowry Prohibition Act and other provisions of the IPC. The High Court has failed to exercise its jurisdiction in so far as the consideration of the case of the appellants are concerned, who are only brother and sister of the complainant’s husband and are not alleged even by the complainant to have demanded dowry from her. The High Court, therefore, ought to have considered that even if the trial court at Allahabad had the jurisdiction to hold the trial, the question still remained as to whether the trial against the brother and sister of the husband was fit to be continued and whether that would amount to abuse of the process of the court.

Points of law discussed in : Geeta Mehrotra And Anr Vs State of UP And Anr.

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