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Mere fallacious propositions cannot be proposed against family members in matters of matrimonial dispute : Calcutta high court

Mere Fallacious propositions cannot be proposed against family members in matters of matrimonial dispute : Calcutta high court

 

Mere casual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimonial dispute without allegations of active involvement in the matter would not justify taking cognizance against them overlooking the fact borne out of experience that there is a tendency to involve the entire family members of the household in the domestic quarrel taking place in a matrimonial dispute specially if it happens soon after the wedding, is upheld by the High court of Calcutta, through the learned bench of  The Honourable Justice Sudip Ahluwalia in the case of Dr. Suvendu Mallick V Smt. Shilpa Mallick.

FACTS

In the FIR lodged by the complainant Smt.Shilpa Mallick, stated that she had entered into a registered marriage with the petitioner on  28th November 2013 in the presence of his son from his first marriage, who was also one of the petitioner. At the time of the marriage the son of doctor Malik, from his first wife namely Shubhankar Malik was 20 years old and was present during the ceremony.

Some days later into the marriage the complainant got to know that her husband was in contact with various women and for this reason only his first wife was forced to commit suicide in the year 2011. On account of her knowledge all the other petitioner’s, the petitioner’s  elder brother, his younger brother along with their respective wives and the petitioner’s son started to inflict mental and physical cruelty upon the complainant  in various ways. Several times the complainant  requested the husband to not ruin the family in this manner but he was not prepared to listen to anything. As stated by her in her complaint the petitioner and his family members were Inciting her to commit suicide. It was asserted that the petitioners have been instigating the complainant to commit suicide and she has become so desperate that she has specifically stated here in the FIR that she is unable to bear the torture being  inflicted upon her anymore, thus leading to the purpose of driving her out of the house.

It has been contended that the FIR  that has been lodged does not contain anything that mentioned the violence that was being used against the complainant nor any kind of allegation whatsoever she was subjected to any cruelty in pursuance of any monetary or other dowry related demands. It is also seen that the FIR as such does not indicate any incident of mental or physical torture of such nature or magnitude as would drive the complaint to commit suicide or to cause serious injury to her mental or physical health and therefore does not fulfil the requirements enumerated in the explanations (a) and (b)  section 498 – A of the IPC.

JUDGEMENT

It is an admitted position that the FIR as lodged does not describe anywhere as to how any physical torture or cruelty was inflicted upon the complainant as such to the extent of contention that the requirement of possibility of grave injury or danger to life or physical health of the complainant alongside. Neither any discord between the parties on account of coercing her to meet any unlawful demand for any property of valuable security can be ruled out. The FIR itself states that the discord between the parties was on account of the alleged immoral lifestyle of the complainant, and the husband and the support he was getting from the rest of his family members when the complainant requested him to mend his ways for a harmonious family life. It has been argued that such instigation even if admitted for the sake of argument in itself are not sufficient or likely to drive the complainant to commit suicide which is one of the requirements of the explanation to section 498 A. Thus casual reference of the names of the family members in a matrimonial dispute cannot be all and end of all the matter. What is required to be brought to the notice of the court is the particulars of the offence that is committed by each and every accused member of the family and the role that is played by each and every accused in committing of the offence. When we see the complaint the complaint is sadly vague. It does not show as to which accused has committed what offence and what is the exact role that is played by these appellants  in the commission of the offences.

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Judgement reviewed by – Rani BanerjeeClick here to view the judgement

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