‘Essential Ingredients To Attract Section 498A Of The Code Are Completely Absent In The Present Context.’: Calcutta HC

The single judge bench of Justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee of the Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri circuit bench in the case of In re: Piyali Mandal Majumder @ Madhumita Mandal v. State & Anr. (CRR 66 of 2023) (8/05/2023), has discharged a widow in an FIR under Sections 498A, 494 and 506 of IPC accusing her of marrying the husband of the complainant, on the ground that materials on record including complaint prima facie revealed that the allegations were leveled against the principal accused i.e. the husband of the complainant.

Facts of the Case:

The petitioner filed an application for discharge under Section 239 of CrPC before the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Court, Jalpaiguri which was dismissed by the Magistrate vide order dated February 17, 2023. The petitioner filed an application under Section 482 of CrPC before the High Court assailing the impugned order of the Magistrate.

Judgment Review:

The Court noted that Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code deals with a situation where a wife has her husband living, married for the second time. It said that as per FIR the petitioner admittedly was/is a widow and as such, Section 494 cannot have any application in the present context. It further observed that on perusal of the case diary as well as materials available in the record, there is nothing to show that the present petitioner is married to the husband of the complainant nor there is any specific allegation against her that she has inflicted any kind of mental or physical cruelty upon the complainant. The court said that the essential ingredients to attract Section 498A of the CrPC are completely absent against the present petitioner. Thus, the court held that continuance of further proceedings against the present petitioner will be a sheer abuse of the process of court as the chance of conviction of the present petitioner either under Section 498A or 494 or 506 of the IPC is bleak. Accordingly, the court discharged the petitioner in the present case.

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