calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: A single-judge bench comprising of Shampa Dutt (Paul),* J., exercised its inherent power under Section 482 of the CrPC and quashes the proceedings against the petitioners, citing the lack of specific allegations. The Court also emphasized the need to discourage false implications in matrimonial disputes.

Factual Matrix

In the instant matter, the petitioners filed a revision petition seeking the quashing of proceedings registered at Purulia (M/Mofussil) Police Station under Sections 498-A/325/34/506 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against them.

The marriage between the complainant- opposite party 2 and husband took place in Purulia on 06-03-2018. The petitioner 1 and 2, parents of the husband, occasionally visited the Rajarhat flat due to their son’s disturbed married life and the behavior of complainant towards them.

The petitioners contended that the complainant subjected the husband to physical cruelty, serious injuries, threats, verbal abuse, emotional exploitation, and criminal intimidation. She also physically assaulted petitioner 1 and 2 on 03-06-2019, leading to a complaint (GD no. 95) being registered. These incidents were reported to the Narayanpur Police Station. It is alleged that the complainant is a psychiatric patient diagnosed with Cluster B personality disorder and other symptoms.

It was contended that the complainant in conspiracy with her parents, threatened the husband and petitioner 1 and 2 with false charges and domestic violence cases until the ownership of the residential property/flat at Rajarhat was transferred to her.

It was stated that on 15-02-2020, the complainant left the matrimonial home to visit her ailing grandmother in Purulia. She informed her husband of her safe arrival but later filed FIR on 17-02-2020, alleging offenses against the petitioners.

Top of Form

Moot Point

  1. Whether the FIR and subsequent proceedings against the petitioners under Sections 498-A/325/34/506 of the IPC should be quashed?

  2. Is there sufficient material to proceed to trial against the petitioners?

Court’s Assessment

While citing various precedents, the Court noted that there is a growing trend of implicating relatives of the husband in matrimonial disputes and expressed concerns about the misuse of Section 498A. The Court emphasized that courts should be cautious in dealing with complaints under Section 498A and scrutinize allegations with care.

The Court observed that, in the present case, the complainant’s allegations were general and lacked specificity. Furthermore, there were medical records suggesting psychiatric issues with the complainant, and WhatsApp messages showed a seemingly normal relationship between her and petitioner 2 even after the filing of the complaint. The Court also observed that domestic violence proceedings were initiated by the complainant, indicating a multifaceted dispute.

The Court concluded that the FIR and proceedings lacked sufficient merit to proceed to trial. The Court invoked its inherent power under Section 482 of the CrPC to quash the proceedings against the petitioners, citing the need to prevent abuse of the legal process and uphold the principles of justice.

“There are no materials on record to show that the ingredients required to constitute the offences alleged are present against any of the petitioners and permitting such a case to proceed towards trial will be an abuse of the process of law and as such the proceeding is liable to be quashed.”

Court’s Verdict

The Court quashed the proceedings against the petitioners under Sections 498-A/325/34/506 of the IPC, considering the lack of specificity in the allegations and the overall circumstances of the case.

[Kalyan Panda v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2639, order dated 05-09-2023]

*Judgment by Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Ms. Debisree Adhikary, Counsel for the Petitioners

Mr. P.K. Datta, Mr. Santanu Deb Roy, Counsel for the Respondent/State

Mr. Debabrata Ray, Ms. Sarbani Mukhopadhyay, Mr. Soumik Mondal, Counsel for the Opposite Party 2

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