Patna HC Acquits Man Accused U/s. 498A IPC; Directs Two Judicial Officers To Pay Him ₹100 Each As Compensation


Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Patna High Court has directed two Judicial officers to compensate a man with Rs. 100 each for making him suffer an unjust trial under Section 498A (cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri, emphasized the need for compensation and said, "The petitioner should be compensated since he was made to suffer the agony and trauma of a criminal trial as well as detention in custody for taking cognizance against him by the learned Magistrate and putting him in trial in a case which is not maintainable against him."

The case revolved around allegations of harassment and cruelty against a man who was not related to the complainant woman's husband, as per the provisions of Section 498A of the IPC. The Petitioner challenged the Judgment and Order issued by the Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) at Samastipur, which upheld a Trial Court verdict convicting him under Sections 498A of the IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, resulting in a three-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,000.

While refraining from scrutinizing the merits of the case or the decisions of the Subordinate courts, the Bench underscored that the Petitioner was not a relative of the complainant woman's husband but merely an advisor to other accused individuals.

The Court asserted that the Petitioner deserved compensation for enduring the anguish and trauma of a criminal trial, including detention, initiated in a case that was not sustainable. "The petitioner is entitled to get compensation at the rate of Rs. 100/- each payable by the learned Judicial Magistrate, namely Sri Ramanand Ram SDJM Dalsingsarai-Samastipur and Hanuman Prasad Tiwari," the Court said in its Order dated April 18. 

Moreover, the Court emphasized the importance of meticulous scrutiny before taking cognizance and proceeding with judicial inquiry and trial, highlighting the duty of all courts to adhere to the law diligently.

"The amount of compensation is fixed as a token to remind the concerned Judicial Officers that before taking cognizance and also during judicial inquiry and trial, it is the bounden and obligatory duty of all the courts to go through the complaint carefully and then to take cognizance and proceed against the accused persons in accordance with law," the Single-Judge Bench said. 

The Court directed both the Judicial officers to deposit the fine amount in the Criminal Cash Section of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Samastipur within three weeks.

Furthermore, the Court noted that since the Petitioner cannot be booked for committing offence under Section 498A and Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, and said, "he is acquitted from the charge, set at liberty, and released from liability of bail bond."

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Revision Petition. 

Case Title: Sunil Pandit v. State of Bihar & Anr. (2024 Patna HC)