bombay high court

Bombay High Court: In a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the chargesheet filed against the petitioner for offences punishable under Sections 324, 427, 504 and 506 read with 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Division Bench of Prakash D. Naik and N. R. Borkar, JJ. quashed and set aside the criminal proceedings in the impugned case against the wife pointing out the gaps in the prosecution evidence.

Factual Matrix

The instant First Information Report (‘FIR’) was registered on 25-04-2022 at the instance of petitioner’s husband, alleging that the petitioner abused her husband, assaulted him by using broom and also bit his hand. It was alleged that the husband slapped the petitioner and went to the police station to lodge a complaint against his wife.

The petitioner had produced her husband’s Death Certificate which indicated that he had expired on 30-04-2022, which was taken on record on 5-10-2023.

It was alleged on behalf of the petitioner that the offences alleged in the FIR or chargesheet were not made out, ingredients for an offence under Section 324 of IPC were lacking, medical opinion indicated that the purported injuries could be self-inclination, and that the person had expired. Also, the prosecution relied upon the statement of a witness which did not corroborate the complainant’s version but came up with a contrary version that the husband used to assault the petitioner.

Court’s Analysis

After perusing the chargesheet, the Court noted that the matter relates to a strained relationship between a husband and wife. Also, the contents of the FIR did not make out any offences against the petitioner as pointed out by the Court. The Court agreed with the contention on behalf of the petitioner that the requisite ingredients to constitute the offence under Section 324 of the IPC were completely absent. It further agreed that there was possibility of injuries being caused by self-inflicted, and the witness’ statement did not support the complainant husband’s version, and that the chargesheet did not make out the offences against the petitioner.

Therefore, the Court was of the view that “continuation of criminal proceedings against the petitioner would be tantamount to abuse of process of law.” Therefore, the Court quashed and set aside the impugned chargesheet.

[Manisha G. Shah v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 2637, decided on 29-11-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate Sagar A. Shahani

For Respondents: Additional Public Prosecutor M.M. Deshmukh

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