Unchecked false implication on the relatives of husband would result in misuse of process of law: Telangana High Court

In the case of Rajeshwari And Another vs The State Of A.P. Another(CRL.P.Nos.6400 and 7242 of 2013) decided through the learned bench led by Justice A.Santhosh Reddy, the court held that the false implication of relatives of the husband in matrimonial disputes based on general and omnibus allegations, if left unchecked would result in misuse of the process of law.

Facts of the case: A proceeding was being helped against mother-in-law i.e. A2, brother-in-law i.e. A3 (husband’s brother), and sister-in-law i.e. A4 (wife of husband’s brother) where the woman alleged that she was harassed for dowry and so the family was charged under sec 498 A of IPC and sec 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. Further, there was an additional allegation under sec 354 of IPC against the A3 for molesting the complainant. The complainant explained how the A3 tried to sympathize with her, later forcing her to sit on his lap and then touching her inappropriately, and as she struggled he and his wife A4, beat the complainant mercilessly. As the charges were raised against the family the three accused approached the High court seeking to quash the entire criminal proceedings.

Judgment: the court observed that following the FIR and charge sheet of the case, the court noted that the main allegations were made by the complainant against her husband A1 for the offense under sec 498-A IPC and Sec 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. According to the court the other accused 1.e. A2, A3, A4 were shown to be involved in a crime by a way of general and omnibus allegations and there was no specific and distinct allegation against them. The court further elaborated that A3 accused of molestation was only alleged to act in a matter of sympathizing and later holding hands of the complainant.

The court was of the opinion that on the face of it the allegation made against the A3 did not make out or satisfy the essential ingredients of offence under Section 354 IPC.“She resisted the alleged incident that occurred prior to 28.02.2007. If at all there is truth in the allegations of the second respondent, so far as -3 is concerned, she being a software Engineer would not have kept quite without taking any recourse from 12.06.2007 on which date the second respondent was alleged to have molested by the petitioner/A-3,”

Following this, the court agreed that due to omnibus allegations and lack of any specific instances of their involvement in the alleged offenses, the Court said that criminal proceedings against the accused A2, A3, A4 deserved to be quashed. Therefore, under sec 482 CrPC the court considered it to be a fit case to invoke the inherent powers of the Court and quash further proceedings against the petitioners A2, A3, A4.

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