LAXMI CHAND PUNDIR Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Laxmi Chand Pundir
State of Uttarakhand and Anr.
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Alok Singh, J. -
(1.) PRESENT petition is filed challenging the charge -sheet dated 17.08.2010 as well as summoning order dated 30.08.2010 passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun whereby police after investigation, filed charge -sheet for the offences punishable under Section 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dehradun and Chief Judicial Magistrate was pleased to take cognizance thereon. As per the contents of the FIR, accused persons used to beat Sanyogita Pundir (respondent No. 2), for which she got herself medically examined. There is specific allegation in the FIR to the effect that accused persons not only used to beat her but also used to mentally torture her.
(2.) MR . Pawan Mishra, Advocate for the applicants, submits that in absence of specific allegation that for demand of dowry beating was given, the only offence, which can be said to have been made out, is offence punishable under Section 323 IPC and no offence punishable under Section 498A IPC is made out. Section 498A IPC reads as under:
498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty. -Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation. -For the purposes of this section, "cruelty" means -
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental of physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
To bring home the guilt punishable under Section 498A IPC, the prosecution must allege and prove physical or mental cruelty, as provided under explanation (a) of Section 498A IPC. Of course, as per explanation (b), harassment and cruel behaviour for demand of dowry also means 'cruelty'. However, as per explanation (a) of Section 498A IPC, any act, which causes mental or physical torture would also amount to cruelty, therefore, in my considered opinion, from perusal of FIR and material collected by the Investigating Officer, offence punishable under Section 498A IPC is clearly made out against the petitioners, therefore, this is not a case where this Court should come forward to quash the charge -sheet and summoning order. Consequently, I do riot find any merit in the petition. Petition fails and is dismissed.
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