The Gujarat High Court in Natubahi Somabhai Rohit & others vs. State of Gujarat held that allegations in the complaint must be specific and should contain necessary ingredients to make out the offence u/s 498A of IPC.
Justice N.V. Anjaria was considering a criminal miscellaneous Application u/s 482 of Cr.P.C. for quashing the First Information Report in relation to S. 498A, 323, 504, 506(2) of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and S. 3 & 7 of Dowry Prohibition Act. The FIR was registered against all the ten family members i.e. husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law & four brothers-in-law.
The marriage of the complainant was solemnised on May 21, 2010. After that she started living with her in-laws in the matrimonial home. Thereafter, the members of her matrimonial home started complaining and misbehaving over small issues and her sister-in-laws used to taunt her that she was less educated. Hence, the alleged FIR.
The Court observed the following:
The court held that “the allegations are vague and non-specific with regard to both contents and persons. Moreover, general statements of harassment and taunts without specific particulars do not meet the test of adequacy in law.”
The Court also held that besides testing specific allegations, the allegations should also have necessary ingredients to make out offence under S. 498A of IPC. The Court after examining the FIR found the lack of degree of seriousness in the allegations levied in the FIR.
The Court further observed that “The tendency to rope in all the family members in the FIR speaks for themselves and in such circumstances, the requirements of alleging specific role for each of the members becomes necessary, for which the indispensable aspects that all should stay together. The Supreme Court has viewed with suspicion the conduct of disgruntled complainant in bringing into picture the entire family and the family members to level allegations under section 498A against all of them.”
The Court followed the ratio In G. V. Rao vs. L.H.V. Prasad [(2203) SCC 693), wherein the Supreme Court held “that a complaint relating to matrimonial dispute where all the members are roped into irrespective of role, becomes liable to be quashed.”
Therefore, after considering the facts in totality, nature of non-specific allegations, degree of seriousness of allegations, age of Applicant no. 5 & 6 and the facts that the applicants are living separately the allegations become too bland to be sustained in law.
Hence, the “FIR and the allegations therein turned out to be abuse of process of law and could be said to be only for wrecking vengeance”.
Read the judgment here.