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[Matrimonial Dispute] Can't Quash FIR On The Ground That Probe Officer Didn't Conduct Preliminary Enquiry: Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
9 Feb 2022 7:30 AM GMT
[Matrimonial Dispute] Cant Quash FIR On The Ground That Probe Officer Didnt Conduct Preliminary Enquiry: Allahabad HC
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The Allahabad High Court has observed that Conducting or not conducting preliminary enquiry is the domain of Investigating Officer on which basis, F.I.R. cannot be quashed. The Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Ojha observed thus while hearing a 482 CrPC plea filed by the Husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law of the victim, Seema seeking to quash the entire criminal proceedings arising out...

The Allahabad High Court has observed that Conducting or not conducting preliminary enquiry is the domain of Investigating Officer on which basis, F.I.R. cannot be quashed. 

The Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Ojha observed thus while hearing a 482 CrPC plea filed by the Husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law of the victim, Seema seeking to quash the entire criminal proceedings arising out of the FIR that had been lodged against them under Sections 498A, 323, 506 I.P.C. and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act.

The case in brief

Essentially, Victim Seema had lodged an FIR against the applicants alleging that they had demanded dowry and had even beaten her. The matter is presently pending in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jhansi. Chargesheet in the matter has been filed and cognizance and summoning orders have also been passed.

Significantly, in her 161 Statement, the victim had specifically stated that in August 2020, her Father-in-law, Gauri Shankar, mother-in-law, Prem Kumari, and two sisters-in-law had beaten her and threatened to pour kerosene oil.

She had further averred that she anyhow escaped from there and came to her father's home and later on, she came to know that her husband, Ashish (Applicant number 1) had solemnized another marriage during the lockdown.

On the other hand, it was the contention of the applicants that there is a six days' delay in the lodgement of the F.I.R. Further, they argued that the case has been lodged with ulterior motive and mala-fide intention to harass the applicants and that there are only general allegations against the applicants.

Therefore, they sought quashing of the entire criminal proceedings.

Court's order

At the outset, the Court clarified that on the basis of non conducting of the preliminary inquiry, an F.I.R. relating to matrimonial dispute can't be quashed. Further, the Court, while stressing that appraisal of evidence is not permissible in proceedings under Section 482 CrPC, remarked thus:

"Whether the victim was beaten and harassed by the applicants; whether there was a demand of dowry or not; whether the husband, Ashish solemnized another marriage with another lady named Deeksha are questions of fact, which cannot be adjudicated upon in this proceeding." (emphasis supplied)

In view of the above, the Court was of the considered opinion that the instant Application lacked merit and was liable to be dismissed. Accordingly, the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was dismissed.

Case title - Ashish And 2 Others V. State Of U.P.And Another
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 38

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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