If Wife Maintained Silence To Save Her Marital Life & Didn’t Lodge Report, It Should Not Be Considered Against Her: Madhya Pradesh HC


Chambers of Ishaan Garg

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

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Madhya Pradesh High Court enunciated that if the wife had maintained silence to save her marital life and did not lodge the report, then her silence for the noble cause should not be considered against her. The Court was dealing with a miscellaneous criminal case filed by the elder brothers-in-law of the complainant woman.

A Single Bench of Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia held, “If the wife had maintained silence in order to save her marital life and did not lodge the report, then her silence for the noble cause should not be considered against her by holding that the FIR was lodged by way of counter blast to the divorce petition. Once, the wife had realized that all the chances of reconciliation have vanished on account of filing of divorce petition and if she decided to take action in accordance with law, then she cannot be blamed for the same. On the contrary, it can be said that earlier she tried to save her marital life and only after realizing that everything is over and if she decided to make a complaint about the cruelty meted out to her, then she cannot be non-suited for her good gestures of maintaining silence.”

Factual Background - The complainant lodged an FIR in 2021 on the allegations that she got married in 2017 and at the time of her marriage, her parents gave sufficient dowry as per their financial status. However, after four months of marriage, her husband as well as applicants started scolding her on the question of bringing less dowry and they used to beat her on trivial issues and started demanding a Fortuner vehicle and 20 Tola of Gold and they were all the time scolding that only of the said things are brought, only then she would be allowed to stay in her matrimonial house, otherwise they would kill her. The financial condition of her parents was not such to fulfil the said demand and ultimately they could not provide the same.

The applicants allegedly after beating the complainant, ousted her from her matrimonial house, and thereafter, she informed her parents and accordingly they took her back. Since then, she was residing in her parental home. Challenging the FIR lodged by the complainant, it was submitted that she had given a knife blow in the abdominal region of her husband. It was further submitted that the FIR was lodged by way of counter blast to the petition filed by the complainant’s husband under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. It was also submitted that the complainant stayed in her matrimonial house for four and half long years and during this period, she never made any complaint to the police.

The High Court in the above regard said, “It is next contended by the counsel for the applicants that in fact the respondent No.2 had left her matrimonial house after taking all her goods in the presence of the Vice President, Nagar Palika Parishad, Shahdol, which is evident from the acknowledgment given by the respondent No.2.” The Court further observed that the applicants filed an application along with the deposition sheet of the Vice President, Nagar Palika Parishad, Shahdol and in his cross-examination, he admitted that it is nowhere mentioned that who had weighed the ornaments and he has also stated that generally the women goes to their parental home.

"Thus, it is clear that Kuldeep Nigam, Vice President, Nagar Palika Parishad, Shahdol had prepared the note without weighing the gold ornaments mentioned in the same. Furthermore, if the respondent No.2 has taken her Stridhan with her, then no one can make a complaint about that because only the wife is the owner of her Stridhan”, it added.

The Court noted that it cannot adjudicate whether the allegations made in the FIR are correct or not, at this stage. “It is well established principle of law that this Court can quash the FIR only when the un-controverted allegations do not make an offence. Since, there are specific allegations against the applicants that not only they started demanding Fortuner Car and 20 Tola of Gold after four months of her marriage but she was forcefully ousted from her matrimonial house and since then respondent No.2 is residing in her parental home coupled with the fact that compelling a married woman to live in her parental home on account of non-fulfillment of demand of dowry would also amount to mental cruelty”, it concluded. Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the applications. Cause Title- Neeraj Kumar Saraf & Anr. v. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr. (2024 MP HC)