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SC Penalizes Father-in-Law with Rs. 5 Lakhs for Filing False Section 498A IPC Case to Harass Husband

SC Penalizes Father-in-Law with Rs. 5 Lakhs for Filing False Section 498A IPC Case to Harass Husband

The Supreme Court levied a fine of Rs. 5 lakhs on the father of a wife who had filed a false Section 498A IPC case against her husband at multiple locations. This action was taken as it was found to be a deliberate attempt to harass the husband by subjecting him to trials in various places.

"We condemn the misuse of state machinery for ulterior motives and causing harassment to the husband. Therefore, we are inclined to impose a cost on respondent No.2 (wife's father) to compensate the appellant (husband)," stated the Bench, consisting of Justices Vikram Nath and Prashant Kumar Mishra.

Out of the Rs. 5 lakhs cost imposed, the Court directed that Rs. 2.5 lakhs would be awarded to the appellant (husband), while the remaining amount would be transferred to the account of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.

The appellant/husband, a Chartered Accountant, and respondent no.3/wife, who was a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Udaipur at the time of their marriage, entered into matrimony. Two separate complaints were lodged against the appellant by the wife's father/respondent No. 2 at different locations, namely Hisar and Udaipur, both alleging similar accusations primarily under Section 498A IPC, claiming cruelty towards the wife. Notably, the complaint in Udaipur was filed merely five days subsequent to the complaint filed in Hisar, which is the native place of the appellant.

Despite the Hisar Court's acquittal of the accused, the appellant sought relief from the Supreme Court against the High Court's decision to not quash the FIR registered in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Before the Supreme Court, the appellant argued that the High Court made an error in declining to quash the case registered on identical allegations. This decision was made despite the acknowledgment that the Rajasthan Police were unaware of the prior case registered in Hisar, where the accused was acquitted.

Agreeing with the appellant's argument, the Supreme Court noted that the High Court had made another mistake by asserting that the Rajasthan Police were uninformed about the previous proceedings initiated in Hisar.

The Court observed that the wife and her father had abused their official positions by sequentially filing complaints against the appellant, thereby subjecting him to trials first in Hisar and then again in Udaipur.

Based on the aforementioned observations, the court granted the husband's appeal and dismissed the pending FIR at Udaipur, imposing a cost of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rs. Five Lacs Only). This amount shall be deposited with the Registrar of the Court within four weeks. Upon deposit, 50% of the cost will be transferred to the account of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, with the remaining 50% awarded to the appellant.

Counsels For Petitioner(s) Mr. Rishi Malhotra, AOR Mr. Jaydip Pati, Adv. Mr. Utkarsh Singh, Adv. Counsels For Respondent(s) Dr. Manish Singhvi, Sr. Adv. Ms. Shubhangi Agarwal, Adv. Mr. Apurv Singhvi, Adv. Mr. Anuj Gupta, Adv. Mr. Shailesh Joshi, Adv. Mr. D. K. Devesh, AOR Mr. Uday Gupta, Sr. Adv. Ms. Shivani Lal, Adv. Mr. Gaurav Dave, Adv. Mr. M. K. Tripathi, Adv. Ms. Sanam Singh, Adv. Mr. Harish Dasan, Adv. Mr. Rajiv Ranjan, Adv. Mr. Rajeev Kumar Gupta, Adv. Ms. Yogamaya M. G., Adv. Mr. Hiren Dasan, AOR


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