Bombay High Court: In an application filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code I.e., CrPC, to quash the First Information Report filed for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 406, 506 read with Section 34 of Penal Code, 1860 i.e., IPC and Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, a Division Bench of Anuja Prabhudessai and R M Joshi, JJ., quashed the FIR to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court, to protect the right of the applicant and thus to secure the ends of justice.

The applicant is the married sister of the husband of respondent 2-wife. The marriage between respondent 2 and the brother of the applicant was solemnized on 19-04-2019. Respondent 2 left the matrimonial home on 07-06-2019. She lodged First Information Report on 12-11-2019 against her husband, his parents and the applicant herein alleging that they had subjected her to physical and mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of IPC

Placing reliance on State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335 , the Court noted that the First Information Report prima facie reveals that there is a rift in marital ties between respondent 2 and her husband, the brother of the applicant herein. The applicant has been dragged into the matrimonial dispute with allegations.

The Court further noted that the accusations, even if taken at face value and accepted in their entirety, do not constitute any offence justifying investigation against the application. Reckless imputations can also result in serious repercussions on career progression and future pursuits and most importantly stigmatizes reputation, brings disrepute, and lowers the image of a person amongst friends, family, and colleagues.

The Court recorded that an individual's right to reputation and dignity is an integrated part of Articles 21 and 19(2). Therefore, it is imperative for the Court to exercise power under Section 482 CrPC, in fit cases, to safeguard and protect the rights of every person subjected to such litigation and prevent misuse of the criminal process for personal vendetta.

Thus, the Court remarked that it is a classic example wherein the family members of the husband have been implicated in proceedings under Section 498A IPC as an instrument to settle a personal score with the husband and quashed the FIR.

[Vrushali Jayesh Kore v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 85, decided on 07-01-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. A. R. Devkate, Advocate for the applicant.

Mr. P. G. Borade, APP for the State.

Mr. T. K. Sant, Advocate for respondent 2.

*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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