Anti-dowry law makes it wife-biased, discriminatory,and poorly formulated. A complaint from your wife or her family member can land husband and his entire family in jail without any investigation.
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
- Winston Churchill
Friday, December 31, 2010
IPC 498a Quash after Mutual Consent Divorce settlement
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 26.06.2009 CORAM: THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE ARUNA JAGADEESAN CRL.O.P.No.25831 of 2006 R.Arun .. Petitioner Vs. 1.State by The Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station, Teynampet, Chennai- 600 018. 2.S.Radhika .. Respondents PRAYER: Criminal Original Petition filed under section 482 Cr.P.C praying to call for the records pertaining to the FIR in crime No.3 of 2005 on the file of the Inspector of Police, All Woman Police Station, Teynampet, Chennai and quash the same. For Petitioner : Mr.A. Arulmozhi For first Respondent : Mr.S.Senthil Murugan For second Respondent : M/s.S.Arunachalam ORDER This petition is filed to call for the records pertaining to the FIR in crime No.3 of 2005 on the file of the Inspector of Police, All Woman Police Station, Teynampet, Chennai and quash the same. 2. The petitioner is the husband of the second respondent and they were married on02.06.2004. Due to difference of opinion and temporamental incompatibility they were separated on 28.03.2005.The petitioner has moved the Family Court for divorce and the second respondent herein appeared before the court and filed her counter. In the mean while, the second respondent lodged a criminal complaint on 20.04.2008 against the petitioner, his father, mother, Maternal uncle , Sister Amudha and sister's husband for offences punishable under sections 498 A, 406 and 506(ii) I.P.C. R/w 4 and 6 of Dowry Prohibition Act . In the faimly court, settlement was arrived at, whereby the second respondent has received a sum of Rs.6,00,000/- (Rupees Six lakhs only) towards permanent alimony before the family court. She had agreed to withdraw the case initiated by her in crime no.3 of 2005 on the file of the first respondent. Mutual agreement for separation was filed before the family Court, which is as follows: "WHEREAS during the pendency of both cases, the parties entered into mediation and decided to move the petition for divorce by mutual consent under the conditions mentioned hereunder: The First Party Arun has agreed to pay Rupees 6,00,000/-(Six Lakhs only) towards one time settlement of permanent alimony and maintanance to the second party, Radhika. The said amount of Rs.6,00,000/- (Rupees Six Lakhs only) shall be given by way of demand draft at the time of enquiry in the mutual consent O.P. Demand Draft No.471597 dated 27.07.2006 drawn on Bank of Baroda, Alwarpet Branch, Chennai. The Second party Radhika shall receive the demand draft at the time of recording evidence before the family Court. The Second party Radhika has agreed to withdraw the police complaint and not to proceed with any other complaint against the first party or his family members. The parties further undertake to restrain from interfering with each other life in any manner. The parties shall abide by their undertaking without any deviation." 3.The receipt acknowledging the payment of Rs.6,00,000/- (Rupees Six Lakhs Only) to the second respondent is also enclosed in the type set dt.18.11.2008 along with this petition. The second respondent has also addressed a letter to the Inspector of Police, Teynampet Police Station expressing her willingness to withdraw the complaint on the ground that due to domestic feud, she had lodged the complaint. 4. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in B.S.Joshi V.State of Haryana, 2003(3) CTC 54:AIR 2003 SC 1386, has held that: "The decision of Supreme Court in Madhu Limaye V.State of Maharashtra, AIR 1978 SC 47: 1978 Cri.L.J.165 does not lay down any general proposition limiting power of quashing the criminal proceedings or F.I.R. Or Complaint as vested in Section 482 or extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, if for the purpose of securing the ends of justice,quashing of FIR becomes necessary, Section 320 would not be a bar to the exercise of power of quashing. It is, however, a different matter depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case whether to exercise or not such a power" 5. In the same decision , the Apex Court has held that in matrimonial matters, it is the duty of the Court to encourage genuine settlement of disputes. It is also observed by the Apex Court in the very same decision that: "14....the hyper-technical view would be counter productive and would act against interest of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is every likelihood that non-exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XX-Aof Indian penal Code." 6.The Honourable Supreme Court of India ultimately quashed the First Information Report registered on the basis of the Complaint given by the wife against her husband and his relatives for the alleged offence under Section 498-A,I.P.C. In view of the amicable settlement arrived at between the parties. 7. In yet another decision in a similar state of facts and situation in Mohd.Shamin V.Nahid Begum, 2005 AIR SCW 332, the Apex Court has held that the proceedings initiated against the husband for the alleged offence under Sections 406 and 498-A read with 34, I.P.C. Is liable to be quashed in view of the agreement of settlement arrived at between the parties. 8. In both the decisions cited supra, the Apex Court quashed the proceedings in spite of the fact that Section 498-A is not compoundable. 9. The facts of the above said two decisions of the Apex Court cited supra, squarely applicable to the facts of the case and in both the cases the accused were facing charge for the alleged offence under Sections 498-A, I.P.C. And the Apex Court has quashed the proceedings considering the amicable settlement between the parties." 10. In this case, in view of the settlement arrived at between the parties to the matrimonial dispute in the Family Courtto secure the ends of justice quashing of the F.I.R becomes necessary. Accordingly the FIR in Cr.No.31 of 2005 is quashed. arr To 1.The Inspector of Police, All Women Police Station, Teynampet, Chennai- 600 018. 2. The Public Prosecutor, High Court of Madras, Chennai