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Karnataka HC Directs Police To Investigate Allegations Of Unnatural Sex Leveled Against IIT'ian Husband By Wife Also Pursuing Doctorate At IIT

Mustafa Plumber
30 May 2022 10:40 AM GMT
Karnataka HC Directs Police To Investigate Allegations Of Unnatural Sex Leveled Against IITian Husband By Wife Also Pursuing Doctorate At IIT
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The Karnataka High Court has directed the police to investigate alleged charges of performing unnatural sex, levelled against a husband by his estranged wife. A single judge bench allowed the petition filed by the wife seeking further investigation on her complaint after the police filed a chargesheet against the husband only under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and dropped...

The Karnataka High Court has directed the police to investigate alleged charges of performing unnatural sex, levelled against a husband by his estranged wife.

A single judge bench allowed the petition filed by the wife seeking further investigation on her complaint after the police filed a chargesheet against the husband only under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and dropped the charges under section 377, 34 of the IPC and Sections 66E and 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The bench said, "The Writ Petition is allowed and a mandamus is issued to the 1st respondent-Commissioner of Police, to direct conduct of further investigation into Crime No.89 of 2017 by an Investigating Officer, other than the one who had investigated Crime No.89 of 2017, who shall bear in mind the observations made in the course of this order."

The Court directed that further investigation into the matter shall be completed and a report thereof shall be placed before the Magistrate concerned within two months. Till such time, the trial shall remain stayed.

Case Details:

The petitioner-wife and respondent-husband met in the year 2013 while pursuing PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and they got married at Bangalore in June 2015.

It is the case of the petitioner that right from the beginning of marriage the behaviour of her husband was torturous for having anal sex/unnatural sex. It is contended that for the purpose of performance of such unnatural acts the husband used to abuse, assault and torture her. Becoming unbearable after about three months of marriage, she left the place of the husband to reside with her parents at Raipur.

After about 20 days, it is alleged that the petitioner went back to Mumbai to attend a lab at IIT, at which point in time, her husband again persuaded her to come back on an assurance that he would not behave in the manner in which he was behaving in the past. But there was no change in the behaviour of the husband and rather, it got aggravated due to which, the petitioner permanently left the husband to reside with her parents in January 2016.

Later, it is alleged that the husband began to threaten her of leaking all obscene pictures of her on social media and also forwarded certain obscene pictures of her to her her father and friends.

Thereafter, the petitioner registered a crime before the police at Raipur. Since all the incidents had happened at Bangalore, the Superintendent of Police, Raipur transferred the case to the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore to be investigated by the jurisdictional police, after which, the crime is registered at Bangalore for the offences afore-quoted.

The husband in 2019 filed a petition in High Court sought completion of investigation expeditiously which was allowed. Following which the police filed a charge sheet against the accused on 26 September 2019, only for the offence punishable under Section 498A of the IPC leaving out all other offences that were alleged against the husband at the time of registration of FIR.

Petitioner's submissions:

Advocate S.Guru Prasanna, for the wife contended that the chargesheet deliberately dilutes the complaint against the husband by deleting offences under Section 377 r/w Section 34 of the IPC and Sections 66E and 67 of the Act, notwithstanding the fact that the complaint made by the petitioner was in such graphic details. Moreover, the statement recorded by the Police at Raipur at the time when the complaint was registered was also in graphic details. Both these factors have been completely ignored by the Investigating Officer at the time of conduct of investigation.

He contended that for a fair trial to be conducted for the offences alleged against the husband, re-investigation or further investigation by a different officer should be ordered by the Court.

Prosecution arguments:

The prosecution submitted that the statement recorded by the Investigating Officer did not divulge any of the offences that were alleged against the husband in the complaint or in the statements made at Raipur. It is for that reason, all the other offences were given up and only offence under Section 498A of IPC are retained. The High Court Government Pleader would submitted that if the Court were to order for further investigation it would be so done.

Court Findings:

The bench referring to the detailed statement of the wife recorded before the police while lodging the FIR and the case being transferred to Bengaluru, said, "If the complaint registered at Raipur and the statements recorded by the Police at Raipur are juxtaposed with the findings of investigation/final report filed by the Police, it would unmistakably reveal gross variance. The graphic details in the complaint and the contents of the statements recorded by the Police are completely thrown to the winds by the Investigating Officer. The offence punishable under Section 377 of the IPC or under the Act is given a go-bye."

It added, "The variance is pellucid, as the complaint narrates the torture and abuse meted out against petitioner by her husband for the purpose of performing unnatural sex. The complaint further narrates again in graphic details as to how the husband has intimidated the petitioner, threatened her and also transmitted obscene/nude pictures of the petitioner to her father and to her friends. This is the statement both by the petitioner and her father. This is completely ignored by the Investigating Officer."

The bench also noted that the cell phone of the father of the petitioner was seized, the cell phone of the sender i.e. the husband was not seized as that ought to have been seized by the Police to investigate offences punishable under Sections 66E and 67 of the Act.

Referring to section 377 of IPC the bench said, "Section 377 of the IPC directs unnatural carnal intercourse against the order of nature to be punishable. If the provisions of law, the complaint and the statements recorded by the Police are read in tandem, it would unmistakably demonstrate registration of crime for the offence punishable under Section 377 of the IPC."

On going through the records the court opined, "The crime was no doubt registered for all the aforequoted offences, but the shady investigation conducted by the jurisdictional police has led to filing of a charge sheet only for an offence under Section 498A of the IPC. Therefore, this becomes a classic case where the investigation has been so shoddy that a further investigation into the matter is needed."

Departmental Inquiry ordered against the Investigating Officer

Noting the discrepancies in the probe the court said, "The head of the department, either the State or the Commissioner of Police should take stock of such shoddy investigations by investigating officers, who either lack competence or deliberately indulge in such investigations. It is high time the head of the Department sets its house in order, by appropriately dealing with such investigating officers on the departmental side."

It also directed that the further investigation as is opined hereinabove, therefore, shall be handed over to any other investigating officer, other than the one who has already investigated into the subject crime.

Husband plea for quashing chargesheet filed under section 498-A junked

The husband had filed a plea quashing the charge sheet filed against him for offence punishable under Section 498A of the Cr.P.C. on the ground that the allegations made do not constitute an offence for invoking the said provision, as none of the ingredients of Section 498A of the IPC is present in the complaint or in the charge sheet filed by the Police.

The court said, "In view of the elaborate reasons recorded hereinabove for directing further investigation, the proceedings against the husband, petitioner in the criminal petition No.1675/2021, cannot be quashed at this juncture. Even otherwise, on a perusal of the averments in the petition filed by the husband insofar as it concerns Section 498A Cr.P.C, there is no document that is so unimpeachable placed on record by the husband to demonstrate his innocence. The time for quashing the proceedings against the husband even for Section 498A has not arisen."

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 176

Appearance: Advocate PRATHIMA S.K for petitioner; HCGP Advocate K.P.YASHODHA, FOR R1; Advocate S.GURU PRASANNA, FOR R2

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