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Sonali Mehta @ Sonali Devi and ors. Vs. State of Jharkhand and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtJharkhand High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCr. W.P. No. 56 of 2003
Judge
Reported in2005CriLJ1559; [2004(2)JCR577(Jhr)]
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 203 and 482; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 418 and 506
AppellantSonali Mehta @ Sonali Devi and ors.
RespondentState of Jharkhand and anr.
Appellant Advocate Vandana Singh and; Shailesh, Advs.
Respondent Advocate APP,; B.V. Verma, Adv. for O.P. No. 2
Excerpt:
.....p. ipc and 3 and 4 of the dowry prohibition act against her in-laws and other family members (annexure-5). on 26.2.2002 a joint compromise petition was filed on behalf of both the parties as good feeling has been restored with the mediation of the well wishers and c. 4, bokaro passed order directing the learned court below to hold further inquiry, in absence of the petitioner, is bad in the eye of law as in the absence of the petitioners, no order can be passed in revision to the prejudice of the petitioners......as complainant) filed a complaint case on 23.3.2002 against the petitioners stating therein that sonali mehta (petitioner no. 1) was married to the elder brother of complainant on 6.5.2001 and husband of sonali mehta died on 1.11.2001; after death of elder brother of complainant, accused persons wanted that complainant should marry sonali mehta. on 24.2.2002 at about 12 noon complainant who is working as computer engineer at sector iv in s.t.g. city centre, bokaro had gone to his work place where petitioners, namely, mohan mahto @ mohan prasad, pramod kumar @ pramod prasad, binod kumar @ binod prasad, makeshwar prasad and mohan prasad rawat @ mohan rawat kidnapped complainant from sector-iv and he was forced to sit in a car on the point of revolver. it is further alleged that on.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Hari Shankar Prasad, J.

1. This application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been filed for quashing the order dated 6.1.2003 passed in C.P. Case No. 105 of 2002 whereby the learned Judicial Magistrate, Bokaro took cognizance in the case.

2. Facts giving rise to the filing of this application are that O.P. No. 2 (hereinafter to be referred as complainant) filed a complaint case on 23.3.2002 against the petitioners stating therein that Sonali Mehta (petitioner No. 1) was married to the elder brother of complainant on 6.5.2001 and husband of Sonali Mehta died on 1.11.2001; after death of elder brother of complainant, accused persons wanted that complainant should marry Sonali Mehta. On 24.2.2002 at about 12 noon complainant who is working as Computer Engineer at Sector IV in S.T.G. City Centre, Bokaro had gone to his work place where petitioners, namely, Mohan Mahto @ Mohan Prasad, Pramod Kumar @ Pramod Prasad, Binod Kumar @ Binod Prasad, Makeshwar Prasad and Mohan Prasad Rawat @ Mohan Rawat kidnapped complainant from Sector-IV and he was forced to sit in a car on the point of revolver. It is further alleged that on 25.5.2002 the complainant was wrongfully and secretly kept in confinement in a lonely place and father of the complainant also reached Barh on 25.5.2002 and he met the petitioners and enquired about his son but he was also kept, in a lonely place secretly and wrongfully, On 26.2.2002 signature of the complainant was obtained without showing contents of the papers and complainant was forced to marry Sonali Mehta. Complainant thereafter fled away from the custody of the petitioners. On 17.3.2002 the petitioners as accused of this complaint case came to his house and forcibly pressed the complainant to keep Sonali Mehta with him and when he protested, he was assaulted and demand of Rs. 50,000/- was made from him. Sonali Mehta was also a part of the incident and she took away the attache containing jewellery, clothes amounting to Rs. 25,000/-from house of the complainant. The learned Judicial Magistrate, Bokaro held enquiry under Section 202, Cr PC and after perusing the entire evidence on record, vide order dated 15.6.2002 did not find any sufficient material to hold a prima facie case as against the petitioners but only found material against Mohan Prasad Rawat @ Mohan Rawat (petitioner No. 6) under Sections 418 and 506, IPC. The complainant thereafter preferred a Criminal Revision being 72 of 2002 before the Court of Sessions Judge, Bokaro and the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. 4, Bokaro by his order dated 11.10.2002 set aside the order dated 15.6.2002 and directed the learned Court below to hold further inquiry in the matter and pass an appropriate order in accordance with law. Thereafter, in pursuance of the direction of the Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Tract Court No. 4, Bokaro, learned Judicial Magistrate, Bokaro held further inquiry into the C.P. Case No. 105 of 2002 and came to the conclusion that a prima facie case is made out against the petitioners and took cognizance of the offence as alleged.

3. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners pointed out that petitioner No. 1 Sonali Mehta after the death of her husband was driven out from her sasural, but due to mediation of well wishers she was again brought to her in-laws house on 31.1.2002 and she stayed there till 12.2.2002 and when she filed an affidavit for issuance of death certificate of her husband Anil Kumar (Annexure-4), she was assaulted by her sasural people the same day and she was pushed out of the house at 8.00 p.m. It was further pointed out that she somehow or the other reached Barh on 18.2.2002 and filed a complaint case being complaint case No. 54 of 2002 before the Court of ACJM, Bokaro under Sections 498A/323/504/342A. IPC and 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against her in-laws and other family members (Annexure-5). On 26.2.2002 a joint compromise petition was filed on behalf of both the parties as good feeling has been restored with the mediation of the well wishers and C.P. Case No. 54 of 2002 was withdrawn (Annexure-6 and 6/1). The same day she was married with complainant of the case before the notary, Barh according to Hindu customs and traditions (Annexure-7 and 7/1). It was further pointed out that complainant brought his wife Sonali Mehta on 27.2.2002 to Bokaro but Sonali Mehta stayed in her sasural amidst torture and cruelty to for demand of dowry by his sasural people. Since she was tortured, she wrote a bairang letter on 25.3.2002 at the address of her father (Annexure-8). It was further pointed out that on receipt of the letter of his daughter, father of Sonali Mehta reached Bokaro on 28.2.2002 and during the stay of Sonali Mehta in the house of the complainant, the instant complaint case was filed and after reaching Barh from Bokaro, Sonali Mehta again filed a complaint case before the ACJM, Barh being Complaint Case No. 114(c)/2002 against her husband and his family members under Sections 498A/323/504/379/406/342, IPC and 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act in which FIR being FIR No. 98 of 2002 was registered on 3.4.2002 (Annexure-9 and 9/1). It was also submitted that Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. 4, Bokaro passed order directing the learned Court below to hold further inquiry, in absence of the petitioner, is bad in the eye of law as in the absence of the petitioners, no order can be passed in revision to the prejudice of the petitioners.

4. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the O.P. No. 2 complainant submitted that reasoned order has been passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate and thereby he has found a prima facie case against the petitioners in the case. It was further pointed out that since accused persons have got no locus standi at the stage of the inquiry under Section 202, Cr PC or in complaint case and when an order under Section 203, Cr PC dismissing the complaint is passed and a criminal revision is preferred against that order, since inquiry under Section 202, Cr PC is held in absence of the accused persons, similarly revision in a case of dismissal under Section 203, Cr PC is also heard in absence of the petitioner-accused persons. In this connection, reliance was placed upon 1986 PLJR 20 wherein it has been held that revision petition for further inquiry can be disposed of by the Court ex parte without issuing notice to accused persons in a case of dismissal of complaint petition under Section 203, Cr PC. Since accused has no locus standi to appear at the inquiry stages under Section 202, Cr PC. Reliance was further placed upon AIR 1929 Patna 230 wherein also it has been held that accused not produced before the Magistrate who dismissed the complaint against him, he has no right to appear before a Sessions Judge when he orders further inquiry.

5. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners placed reliance upon 1997(2) Crimes 493 wherein it has been held that while exercising revisional jurisdiction under Sections 399 and 401, IPC, no order to the prejudice of the accused or any other persons can be made unless the said accused or accused persons have been given an opportunity of being heard and private complaint dismissed by the Magistrate on appraisal of evidence under Section 203, Cr PC and a revision preferred against that order of refusal before the Sessions Court and the Sessions Court set aside the order of Magistrate and directed to summon accused under Section 323/452, IPC, the said order passed in absence of the accused persons is illegal and invalid and is liable to be set aside. In -the instant case as it has been stated that complaint case filed before the learned Court below was dismissed under Section 203, Cr PC and thereafter revision was preferred against the order being revision No. 72 of 2002 and the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. 4, Bokaro without issuing notice to the other side, heard the matter ex parte and directed the learned Court below to hold further inquiry and on that direction, learned Court below held further inquiry and found a prima facie case against the petitioners who are accused in that complaint case.

6. After hearing submission of the parties, I am of the view that in a criminal revision filed against the order of dismissal under Section 203, Cr PC, notice be given to the petitioners and after hearing both the sides, order for holding further inquiry should be passed. It is settled principle of law that at the inquiry stage-right from under Sections 202 to 203, Cr PC accused persons have got no locus standi to be heard or appear in the case and, therefore, whatever order is passed, that is as per provision of law, though ex parte, it cannot be said to be an ex parte because accused persons have got no right of appearance in that situation. Notice to accused of the case to appear in revision for further enquiry is not required because enquiry under Section 202, Cr PC is held in absence of the accused, as the accused has got no locus standi to appear in the enquiry under Section 203, Cr PC and a revision against that order is filed for further enquiry, then also accused has got no right to appear and, therefore, learned revisional Court in not issuing notice to the accused and deciding the matter in the absence of accused, did not commit any irregularity arid, therefore, this point is not acceptable. Other points which have been taken, such as filing complaint case at Barh by petitioner No. 1 Sonali Mehta @ Sonali Devi and withdrawal of the same by filing a joint compromise petitioner and other plea, such as again filing of the FIR at Barh for her torture and all these things are such matters, which can be taken in defence at the trial stage. However, petitioners are given liberty to raise all the points which they have taken here, before the learned Court below at the appropriate stage and learned Court, without being prejudice by the order of refusal, will pass a reasoned orders on the points so raised by the petitioners, whenever such stage comes to them and they file such petition.

With the aforesaid observation, this application is disposed of.


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