S. 498A IPC | Supreme Court Imposes Rs 5 Lakh Cost On Wife's Father For Filing False Cases At Different Places To Harass Husband

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

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

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Supreme Court on Friday (April 19) imposed a cost of Rs.5 Lakhs on a wife's father for lodging a false Section 498A IPC case at different places against the husband to harass him by facing trial at different places.

"We thus deprecate this practice of state machinery being misused for ulterior motives and for causing harassment to the other side (husband), we are thus inclined to impose cost on respondent No.2 (wife's father) in order to compensate the appellant (husband).", the Bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath Prashant Kumar Mishra said.

Out of the 5 lakhs cost, the Court directed that Rs 2.5 Lakhs will be given to the appellant(husband) and the rest woud be transmitted in the account of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.

A marriage was solemnized between the appellant/husband (Chartered Accountant) and respondent no.3/wife (who was Deputy Superintendent of Police, Udaipur at the time of marriage). There were two sets of complaints registered at different places i.e., Hisar and Udaipur by the wife's father/respondent No. 2 against the appellant on the same set of allegations primarily under Section 498A IPC that the appellant subjected her wife to cruelty. The complaint at Udaipur was lodged five days after the after the complaint was filed at Hisar (the native place of the appellant).

The Hisar Court had acquitted the accused, however, against the High Court's refusal to quash the FIR registered at Udaipur(Rajasthan), the appellant approached the Supreme Court.

Before the Supreme Court, the appellant contended that the High Court erred in refusing to quash the case registered on the same set of allegations by acknowledging that the Rajasthan Police didn't know about the previous case registered at Hisar where the accused was acquitted.

Finding force in the appellant's contention, the Supreme Court observed that the High Court again fell in error in observing that the Rajasthan Police was not aware of the earlier proceedings initiated at Hisar.

"It is also not in dispute that in the complaint lodged at Udaipur, the allegations were the same as in the complaint at Hisar and additionally it was stated in the complaint at Udaipur that the complainant had earlier lodged a complaint at Hisar. Thus, the investigating agency at Udaipur was well aware of the complaint on similar allegations being lodged at Hisar. The High Court and the Rajasthan Police were expected to at least read the complaint carefully.", the court observed.

The Court noted that the wife and her father had misused their official position by lodging complaints one after the other against the appellant to make him face a trial at Hisar and then again at Udaipur.

Given the aforesaid observations, the court allowed the husband's appeal and quashed the pending FIR at Udaipur with costs of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rs. Five Lacs Only) which shall be deposited with the Registrar of this Court within four weeks and upon deposit of the same, 50% may be transmitted in the account of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and the remaining 50% to the appellant.