The Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that it is a common tendency that while registering the FIR under Sections 406/498A IPC, all the family members, especially the married sisters-in-law, are involved to put pressure on the family.
The Court has called an explanation from the Additional Sessions Judge for rejecting the bail application of sister-in-law.
In the instant case, the Petitioner filed for anticipatory bail for offences u/s 498A, 406 of the IPC and u/s 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The Court pulled up Additional Sessions Judge Fazilka and asked him to go through the FIR again and explain his action. The Court was of the view that the Petitioner might be falsely implicated in the case.
Counsel for the Petitioner stated that his client Monika is the sister-in-law of the complainant married to the Petitioner’s younger brother. The Counsel also stated that Monica doesn’t have to do anything with her brother’s married life.
The Counsel submitted that the complainant’s husband and in-laws entered into a partition where all the properties were divided amongst the complainant husband, Brother in law and father in law. According to the Petitioner, she did not have any interest in the property. Therefore, she did not ask for her share, which indicated no need for the Petitioner to harass the complainant for dowry.
Learned Counsel for the Petitioner also drew Court’s attention to the FIR contents where her name was included even though she never interfered in the complainant’s married life nor did she visit the complainant’s matrimonial house since 2011. Another submission on behalf of the Petitioner was that she was never summoned or questioned in the dowry case. Still, her application for pre-arrest bail was dismissed by the Court without application of mind.
Observation of the Court
Hon’ble Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan remarked that it is a common tendency that while registering the FIR under Sections 406/498A IPC, all the family members, especially the married sisters-in-law, are involved in putting pressure on the family, this fact was not appreciated by the Additional Sessions Judge; therefore, it calls for an explanation as to how the anticipatory bail application of the Petitioner was dismissed.
The Court directed the Additional Sessions Judge, Fazilka to carefully go through the entire FIR and partition deed and to explain the following points:-
- Whether the Petitioner got married five years before the complainant’s marriage, and in a place around 300 km away.
- Whether after the complainant’s marriage, a family partition took place and then terms of the partition.
- If in the partition to share was given to the Petitioner and demanded dowry after nine years.
- When the SSP directed the IO to conduct an inquiry, the Petitioner was neither summoned nor given any notice. Her name was included in the FIR, as it is a violation of guidelines laid down in Arnesh Kumar case.
- Whether there is any other allegation against the Petitioner of demanding dowry from the complainant or if she tried to influence/instigate the complainant’s husband.
The Court exercised its suo motu powers and issued show-cause notices to S.S.P., Fazilka, the Investigating Officer, Women Cell, City-1, Abohar as well as complainant and asked them to explain why the Court should not quash the FIR against the Petitioner and why the Court should not take action against them for falsely implicating the Petitioner in the case.
Title: Monika vs State of Punjab
Case No.: CRM-M-91-2021
Date of Order:06.01.2020
Coram:Hon’ble Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan