“Delhi HC Emphasizes Unique Dynamics of Domestic Violence Cases Involving Women in Authority”

Case title: Sanghmitra v. State

Case no.:  CRL.M.C. 1227/2009

Dated on: 1st April 2024

Quorum: Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma


The petitioner in this case has filed a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, challenging the judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi, dated 04.10.2008, in CR No. 87/2008. This judgment pertains to a case arising from FIR No. 1098/2002, registered at Police Station Malviya Nagar, Delhi, for an offense under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

The facts of the case indicate that the petitioner had filed a complaint under Section 498A of the IPC on 03.07.2002 against respondent nos. 2 to 8 with the CAW Cell. This complaint led to the registration of FIR No. 1098/2002. The petitioner alleged that she was married to respondent no. 2 according to Buddhist rites and ceremonies on 28.02.1998.

Allegations were made regarding demands for dowry, verbal abuse, and physical violence against her. The accused persons allegedly used to abuse the petitioner and used to ask her to give them more dowry. It was further alleged in the complaint that a specific demand of Rs. 1.5 lakhs, a car, and a separate house was raised by the husband of the petitioner and her in-laws.

The charge-sheet in the case was filed on 27.07.2004, and the accused persons were charged under Sections 498A/406/34 of the IPC. However, the learned Magistrate dropped the charges under Section 406 of IPC against the accused persons on the ground that the complaint did not mention a demand for the return of articles. The accused persons were charged under Section 498A read with Section 34 of IPC.

The accused persons filed a revision petition (CR No. 87/2008) against the order framing charges, which was allowed by the learned Sessions Court through the impugned judgment, discharging the accused persons for the offense under Sections 498A/34 of IPC. The petitioner/complainant has now challenged this judgment through the present petition.


The petitioner’s counsel argues that the Sessions Court erred in discharging respondent nos. 2 to 8 from the FIR. They contend that the complaint was within the limitation period, as it was filed within three years of the last alleged offense. The counsel asserts that the date of filing the complaint, not the date of cognizance, determines the limitation period. They emphasize that Section 498A IPC covers continuing offenses, including mental cruelty, even if the wife is not residing at her matrimonial home.

The petitioner stated in the complaint that dowry demands persisted after she left the matrimonial home, extending to mental torture via phone calls. The counsel criticizes the Sessions Court for prematurely assessing the case’s merits, alleging potential false implication solely due to the complainant being a police officer. They argue that the respondent no. 2, also a police officer, wouldn’t have been implicated without merit. The counsel maintains that specific allegations justify the inclusion of the accused relatives and seeks the reversal of the judgment.


The counsel for respondent no. 2 contends that the learned Magistrate lacked authority to review the order dated 27.07.2004 and could only condone delay at the time of taking cognizance. They argue that Section 468 of Cr.P.C. bars cognizance of a time-barred case unless delay is condoned under Section 473 at the time of cognizance. The complaints filed by the petitioner were after she had been residing separately, and lacked specific allegations, only containing general ones.

They assert that as a second appellate court, this court cannot delve into the case’s merits based on factual instances. They further argue that despite the petitioner’s knowledge of law and investigation procedures as a Delhi Police employee, she failed to produce supporting documents or witnesses. Thus, they pray for the dismissal of the petition for lack of merit.


  1. Section 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.): Pertains to the bar on taking cognizance of certain offenses after the lapse of the prescribed period.
  2. Section 473 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.): Relates to the power of the court to take cognizance of an offense after the lapse of the prescribed period if it is satisfied that the delay has been properly explained.
  3. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): Deals with the offense of cruelty by husband or relatives of the husband towards a woman.
  4. Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): Pertains to acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.


The issue at hand, after scrutinizing the entirety of the case’s factual context, revolves around whether the cognizance taken by the learned Magistrate on 27.07.2004 was time-barred under Section 468 of the Cr.P.C., and whether the learned Sessions Court appropriately discharged the accused individuals in its judgment dated 04.10.2008.


Cognizance by the Magistrate was Not Barred by Limitation under Section 468 of Cr.P.C.

Undisputed facts include the petitioner leaving her matrimonial home on 08.09.1999, filing a complaint with the CAW Cell on 03.07.2002, the police registering an FIR on 19.12.2002 under Sections 498A/406 of IPC, and the prosecution filing a charge-sheet on 27.07.2004, with cognizance taken on the same day.

Regarding the issue of cognizance, the Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Apex Court, in the case of Sarah Mathew v. Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases, clarified that for computing the limitation period under Section 468 of Cr.P.C., the date of filing the complaint or institution of prosecution is relevant, not the date of Magistrate’s cognizance. Furthermore, the Supreme Court held in Bharat Damodar Kale v. State of A.P. and Japani Sahoo v. Chandra Sekhar Mohanty that the date of filing the complaint determines the limitation period, not the date of cognizance.

Applying this principle, considering the date of the alleged offense and the date of filing the complaint, it is evident that the complaint was within the limitation period. The petitioner’s complaint included incidents beyond the date of leaving her matrimonial home, indicating ongoing cruelty, as emphasized in Rupali Devi v. State of U.P.

Therefore, it prima facie appears that there was no delay in filing the complaint under Section 498A/406 of IPC. However, it remains for the Trial Court to determine whether these incidents fall within the ambit of Section 498A of IPC.

The impugned judgment is subject to being overturned for two reasons:

Firstly, the bar under Section 468 of Cr.P.C. doesn’t apply here, as the complaint was filed within the limitation period. Therefore, the question posed by the Sessions Court regarding condoning delay in a supposedly time-barred case was misframed.

Secondly, the Sessions Court’s reasoning for refusing to condone the delay is flawed. It seems to suggest that a police officer, like the petitioner, cannot be a victim of domestic violence, which is a biased and unjustified perception. The court’s decision should be based on facts, not biases or stereotypes about gender or profession. Judicial decisions must be grounded in law, precedents, and evidence, not assumptions or prejudices about individuals’ professions or personal lives.

Judicial decisions must embrace gender neutrality and remain free from hidden biases. Biases, ingrained in societal norms, can subtly influence judgments, but judges must ensure impartiality. In this case, biases led to overlooking the complexities of domestic violence, particularly for empowered women. Judicial education is vital to address biases and ensure fairness in adjudication. The court emphasizes the importance of continuous training for judges to understand diverse perspectives and enhance public trust in the legal system. The impugned judgment is set aside, affirming the framing of charges under Sections 498A/34 of IPC. The petition is disposed of accordingly, with instructions to inform the trial court and upload the judgment on the website.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Chiraag K A

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“Supreme Court Validates Lower Court’s Acquittal in Karnataka State Case.”

Case Title – Parteek Bansal Vs State of Rajasthan and Ors.

Case Number – Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 2520/2017

Dated on – 6th March,2017

Quorum – Justice Vikram Nath


In The Case of Parteek Bansal Vs State of Rajasthan and Ors., the Appellant and the Respondent No. 3 initially met each other online in June 2014. The father of the Respondent No. 3, who is the Respondent No.2 in the present case, visited the appellant in Udaipur, the appellant who is a Chartered Accountant based in Hisar, was approached by the Respondent No.2 regarding a wedding proposal for his daughter, the Respondent No. 2 in the present case, who was at the time working as the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The engagement of the Respondent No. 3 and the appellant took place in Udaipur on 18th February,2015 followed by a wedding on the 21st of March,2015. However, on 10th October, 2015, the Respondent No. 2 filed a complaint against the appellant at the Hisar Police Station under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. A similar complaint was also filed by the Respondent No. 2 at the Udaipur Police Station on the 15th of October,2015, five days later of the complaint, leading to the registration of FIR NO. 156 on the 1st of November,2015. Initially, the first FIR registered in Hisar implicated several family members of the appellant, but after conducting further investigation, only the appellant was proceeded with the charge under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Thereafter, the trail commenced against the appellant in the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Hisar. Concurrently, the appellant filed a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 before the High Court of Rajasthan and sought to quash the second FIR registered in Udaipur. However, the High Court of Rajasthan dismissed the petition on the 6th of March, 2017 citing the precedence of the complaint in Udaipur and lack of awareness by the Rajasthan Police regarding the earlier complaint in Hisar. Being aggrieved by the decision of the High Court of Rajasthan, the appellant appealed the case before the Supreme Court of India, which further stayed for investigation in the Udaipur FIR until further orders. Adhering to the decision of the High Court of Rajasthan, the trial in Hisar concluded and the Trial Court acquitted the appellant on the 2nd of August, 2017. The judgment and the acquittal order revealed that the prosecution called upon several witnesses, including the Investigating Officer and other members of the police force. However, they were unable to bring forward the complainant and the victim to testify during the proceedings of the court, resulting in the conclusion of the evidence of the prosecution and proceedings with the statement recording of the appellant under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 before ultimately acquitting the appellant.


  1. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case pointed out two complaints, the acquittal judgments and the ostensible errors in the impugned orders and that these errors lead to the series of events, with the complaint at Udaipur was former than that at Hisar and secondly, the Rajasthan Police having no knowledge of the proceedings being conducted at Hisar.
  2. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the complainants were well-aware of the multiplicity of the complaints registered in Hisar as well as the Udaipur Police Station but they did not take any requisite step to withdraw their complaint stating that it was wrongly registered in Hisar or that it may be transferred to Udaipur for the purpose of investigation.
  3. The appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the impugned proceeding were nothing but an abuse of the process of law and that the only motive of the complainant was to harass the appellant and make him face the prolonged trial of the courts.


  1. The respondent, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the court at Hisar had no territorial jurisdiction to conduct the trial of the present case as the offense was committed in Udaipur. Therefore, the acquittal judgment delivered by the Hisar Court was void.
  2. The respondent, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the complaint should have been looked into and investigated by the Rajasthan Police. However, because of the interim order issued by the court, the investigation had been stalled. Therefore, the petition should be dismissed.


  1. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prescribes the punishment for Husband or Relative of Husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty
  2. Section 482 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prescribes the punishment for using a false property mark
  3. Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 prescribes the power to examine the accused.


  1. The main issue in the present case revolves around whether the filing of two FIRs for the same incident is valid?
  2. Whether the decision of the High Court to dismiss the petition was appropriate, considering the circumstance and timing of filing of the FIRs in both the jurisdictions?
  3. Whether the trial adhered to the principles of a fair and just trial and due process?
  4. Whether the acquittal was justified on the basis of the inability of the prosecution to present important witnesses?


The court in the case of Parteek Bansal Vs State of Rajasthan and Ors., observed that the Respondent No. 2 and 3 were misusing their official powers by lodging complaints one after another. The court, further, observed that the deportment of the Respondent No. 2 and 3 of not presenting themselves before the Trial Court in Hisar nor withdrawing their complaint, signifies their sole intention to harass the appellant.  The court observed that even before this court, the respondent no. 2 and 3 vigorously opposed the quashing of the FIR in Udaipur. It was alleged in the FIR filed in Hisar that the Respondent No. 2 and 3 demanded a sum of Rupees 50,00,000 and an Innova Car while visiting the appellant. Thus, the court was of the opinion that the argument that no offense was committed in Hisar but only in Udaipur was incorrect. The court stated that the misuse of the state machinery for ulterior intentions and harassment of any individual warrants castigation. Therefore, the court imposed costs on Respondent No. 2 to compensate the appellant. The court in the present case, allowed appeal and quashed the order of the High Court as well as the proceedings registered as FIR No. 156/2015 dated 1st November,2015 at the Women Police Station, Udaipur are also quashed. The court ordered the Respondent No. 2 to pay costs of Rupees 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lacs Only), which was ordered to be deposited mandatorily with the Registrar of the Court within four weeks. The court stated that upon deposit of the total amount specified, % shall be paid to the appellant and another % shall be transferred to the Supreme Court Legal Service Committee.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Sruti Sikha Maharana

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India’s stand upon the issue of Domestic violence against minor


Domestic violence or abuse against children is developing at a disturbing rate across the globe. This phenomenon poses risk against the child’s mind and conscience vulnerable to them being easily influenced by any situation that arises. These include problems associated with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, isolation, shame, fear, guilt, and low self-esteem. The crime of domestic violence or maltreatment against kids is normally carried out either by the parents or an individual from the family. So, there is need for the government to make laws to save children from violence and evil, by which every citizen will be bound by the duty to abide by those laws strictly to frame the future of the country.  

Domestic violence against minor in India  

The constitution of India safeguards several rights of the children regarding their education, freedom of speech, religious practices, dignity of life, etc. But no exclusive legislation has been enacted in the nation that safeguards the children of this country from domestic violence against them. 

Domestic violence against minor is of two types:  

  • Corporal Punishment- the parents or guardians of the child use physical forces to compel their child to act according to their will. Slapping, thrashing, and belting are few examples. This includes compelling a child to ingest food or forcing them into certain activity. 
  • Psychological violence- the parents or guardians of the child are involved in the usage of force which makes an impact on the mind or conscience of the child. This involves building a sense of fear or intimidation within the child not by the use of physical force but with verbal communication. Aggression, threats, guilt, manipulating the emotions of the child, withdrawal of love towards the child etc are few examples1.  


Whether current provisions are sufficient to protect minors from domestic violence ? 

Review of literature: Legal action on domestic violence against minor in India 

Indian law has provisions relating to violence against minor in various acts, but no particular law is explicitly enacted with the object of securing children against domestic violence.  

  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 

This act is intended to provide protection to children whose rights and privileges are infringed. It treats a minor child, who is subject to domestic violence by his or her parent or any other person, as a child in need of care and protection. 

The law defines a child exposed to domestic violence as one who resides with a person (whether a guardian of the child or not) and such person— 

(a) Has injured, exploited, abused or neglected the child or has violated any other law for the time being in force meant for the protection of child; or 

(b) Has threatened to kill, injure, exploit or abuse the child and there is a reasonable likelihood of the threat being carried out; or 

(c) has killed, abused, neglected or exploited some other child or children and there is a reasonable likelihood of the child in question being killed, abused, exploited or neglected by that person;”2 

If any parent has treated their child with physical violence for the purpose of disciplining or reforming, it is called corporal punishment and the act mentions “corporal punishment as the subjecting of a child by any person to physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming the child”. 

The JJ act also provides that the biological family or adoptive or foster parents, have primary responsibility to care, nurture and protection of the child.  

Section 75 of the act provides for the punishment for cruelty or domestic violence by parent. It states ‘Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a child, assaults, abandons, abuses, exposes or willfully neglects the child or causes or procures the child to be assaulted, abandoned, abused, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental or physical suffering, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine of one lakh rupees or with both.”3 Provided also that on account of the aforesaid cruelty, if the child is physically incapacitated or develops a mental illness or is rendered mentally unfit to perform regular tasks or has risk to life or limb, and also if such offence is committed by any person employed by or managing an organisation, which is entrusted with the care and protection of the child, such person shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment, not less than three years but which may be extended up to ten years and shall also be liable to fine of five lakhs rupees.  

In case it is found that such abandonment of the child by the biological parents is due to circumstances beyond their control, it shall be presumed that such abandonment is not willful4 and the penal provisions of this section will not apply in such cases. 

In case the offence is committed on a child who is disabled and so is certified by a medical practitioner, then such person will be liable to twice the penalty provided for such offence. Where the same offence is made punishable under any other act then, the guilty offender will be punished under the law which provides for punishment which is greater in degree. 

  • Protection of children From Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012: 

This act deals with sexual offences to which children are subjected to. If a child undergoes sexual assault or harassment by his/her parent then the offence will be punishable under this act with A minimum of 20 years of imprisonment that may be extended up to life imprisonment and fine5.  

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: 

This act along with providing punishment for the offence of domestic violence with women, also covers the domestic violence by parent upon a girl child. 

Domestic violence has been defined as any act, omission or commission or conduct of a person which includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; by way of harassing, harming, threatening, injuring or endangering the health, life, safety or well-being of the aggrieved person which maybe either mental or physical.  

A woman or a girl child may on application obtain a relief by way of protection order, an order for monetary relief, a custody order, a residence order, a compensation order or more than one such order under this Act. 

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860 

Section 373 of IPC states that whoever is involved in the activity of buying, hiring or has any sort of possession of any minor girl for the purpose of prostitution. Such person shall be liable for a fine and imprisonment which can extend upto a period of ten years. 

section 376AB states that any person, who is guilty of committing rape against a female under the age of twelve years of age, will be liable for a fine and life imprisonment. while the maximum punishment in such cases can result in death penalty for the culprit. 

Supreme court in the case of Parents Forum for Meaningful Education v Union of India, concluded that corporal punishment violated the Constitutional right to life. ‘It seems to us that imposition of corporal punishment on the child is not in consonance with his right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.’6 

The delhi high court on its own motion v. state held that the stress of disclosing and receiving potentially negative responses from caregivers may lead some children to recant in an attempt to alleviate the stress. ‘Where children are concerned, the disclosure normally would tend to be a process, rather than a single incident or episode. It would take multiple interviews for an investigator or an interviewer to even establish trust in the mind of the child.’7 


Whether current provisions are sufficient to protect minors from domestic violence ? 

Even though the present provisions have helped in securing the rights of minors against domestic violence to an extent, they are sufficient to condemn the evil. There is a necessity for stringent, stable and specific law to deal with the ill treatment of children.  

Article 21 of the constitution of India provides for right to life with dignity and liberty. But it does not specify anything regarding protection of rights of minors from domestic violence.   

Though the juvenile justice act provides punishment for cruelty against children, its main object and aim is protection of child or minor offenders in the juvenile justice board. The POCSO act punishes person only for sexual abuse against minor and the domestice violence against women act punishes offender for domestic violence against a girl child only. 

Hence there is a need for the enactment of an exclusive Act for the purpose of protecting minors from domestic abuse. The act must deal with all forms of domestic violence against children keeping in mind the larger impact or effect of such violence on their personality.   



The issue of Domestic violence and child abuse has suppressed many other issues prevailing in society. This issue becomes extremely disturbing in the country like India where the legislation has not enacted any Act to explicitly address the issue of domestic violence against children. Thus, the children of the country suffer from such maltreatment as there are no stringent laws which can protect them from the perpetrators of such ill activities. 


“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.” 

Written by- K R Bhuvanashri 



  • Domestic violence against child – a severe crime ; law answer online 
  • World health organization ; who.int   
  • Juvenile justice (care and protection of child) Act, 2015 
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860 
  • POSCO Act, 2012 
  • Protection women from domestic violence Act, 2005 
  • Violence against children in India ; vikaspedia.in 



The High Court of Bombay passed a judgement on 18 April 2023. In the case of AHSANULLAH @ JAVEED KHAN S/O CHAND KHAN Vs SHAHANA PARVIN @ BRIJIS W/O AHSANULLAH @ JAVEED KHAN IN CRIMINAL REVISION APPLICATION NO. 131 OF 2022 which was passed by a single bench comprising of HONOURABLE SHRI JUSTICE G. A. SANAP, the court dealt with a case of domestic violence and maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act). The judgment, dated 17th November 2021, was passed by the learned Sessions Judge of Akola, Maharashtra. The court dismissed the appeal filed by the husband (non-applicant) and allowed the appeal filed by the wife (applicant), thereby enhancing the amount of maintenance awarded to the wife..


The case involved a married couple from Akola, Maharashtra. The wife alleged that she was subjected to domestic violence by her husband and his relatives. The wife claimed that the husband’s relatives instigated him to ill-treat and torture her in order to force her to compromise a criminal case against them. The wife further alleged that she was physically and mentally tortured, leading her to seek shelter with her parents on multiple occasions. The husband denied the allegations and stated that the wife left him of her own accord and refused to resume cohabitation.


The matter was initially brought before the learned Magistrate, who held that the wife had been subjected to domestic violence and awarded her maintenance, compensation, and other reliefs under the DV Act. Both parties appealed this decision. The learned Sessions Judge dismissed the husband’s appeal and allowed the wife’s appeal, increasing the maintenance amount.

The husband’s arguments in the revision application before the higher court were three-fold. First, he contended that there was no domestic relationship between the parties at the time of filing the application under the DV Act. Second, he claimed that as a divorced Muslim woman, the wife was not entitled to maintenance under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. Third, he challenged the quantum of maintenance awarded by the Sessions Judge.

The wife, on the other hand, argued that she had proven the domestic violence she experienced and that she qualified as an aggrieved person under the DV Act. She also contended that even as a divorced Muslim woman, she was entitled to maintenance after the initial period if she did not remarry.


The court carefully examined the evidence and concurrent findings of the lower courts. It noted that both the Magistrate and the Sessions Judge had thoroughly considered the evidence and found in favour of the wife. In the exercise of revisional jurisdiction, the higher court would only interfere with the lower court’s decision if it was perverse, arbitrary, or unreasonable. However, after reviewing the record, the court found no grounds for such interference.

The court emphasized that the definitions of “aggrieved person” and “domestic relationship” under the DV Act did not require the parties to be residing together at the time of filing the application. Section 2(a) of the DV Act defines an “aggrieved person” as any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent. The court cited the Supreme Court case of Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P., (2013) 4 SCC 1, which supported this interpretation.

Moreover, the court held that even if the husband had given the wife a Talaq (divorce), she could still seek relief under Section 12 of the DV Act for past domestic violence. Section 12 of the DV Act provides for the right to obtain an order for protection, residence, monetary relief, or compensation. The court referred to the Supreme Court case of Shabana Bano v. Imran Khan, (2010) 1 SCC 666, which recognized the rights of Muslim women to seek maintenance beyond the initial period.

The court also addressed the issue of maintenance and observed that the amount awarded by the Sessions Judge was justified considering the wife’s financial needs and the husband’s income and obligations. The court referred to the Supreme Court case of Rajnesh v. Neha, (2020) 14 SCC 209, which highlighted the need to ensure reasonable and fair maintenance to victims of domestic violence.


In conclusion, the judgment highlights the importance of the DV Act in addressing domestic violence and protecting the rights of women. It clarifies that a woman can seek relief under the DV Act even if she is not residing with the respondent at the time of filing the application. Additionally, the judgment reaffirms the application of the DV Act to all women, irrespective of their religion or marital status.

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