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Hemalatha @ Latha & Others v/s State by the Inspector of Police, Chennai & Others

    Crl.O.P. No. 16934, 16938, 16941 & 16943 of 2022 & Crl.MP. Nos. 10223, 10228, 10233 & 10235 of 2022

    Decided On, 09 September 2022

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE G.K. ILANTHIRAIYAN

    For the Appearing Parties: R. Latha, G. Natarajan, Rajeswari, V. Gunasekaran, In Persons, E. Raj Thilak, Additional Public Prosecutor, G. Suresh, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C, praying to call for the records for the charge sheet in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai and quash the same.

Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C, praying to call for the records for the charge sheet in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai and quash the same.

Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C, praying to call for the records for the charge sheet in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai and quash the same.

Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C, praying to call for the records for the charge sheet in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai and quash the same.)

Common Order

1. These criminal original petitions have been filed to quash the proceedings in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai, thereby taken cognizance for the offences under Sections 294(b) and 506(i) of IPC, in Crime No.60 of 2018, as against the petitioners.

2. The case of the prosecution is that on 27.12.2017 at about 11.00 a.m., the petitioners went to the house of the second respondent and scolded him with filthy language and also threatened with dire consequences after receipt of summons from the III Additional Family Court, Chennai in the proceedings initiated by the defacto complainant for divorce.

3. All the petitioners appeared in person before this Court and submitted that no such occurrence happened on 27.12.2017. The summons from the Family Court in the divorce petition filed by the second respondent in HMOP.No.4561 of 2017 was prepared by the Family Court and was signed only on 27.12.2017. The same was sent by RPAD to the first accused. The first accused received summons through registered post only after two days on 29.12.2017 due to wrong residential address provided in the summons. The petitioners also produced acknowledgment, which reveals that she received summons in HMOP.No.4561 of 2017 on 29.12.2017. Further, they submitted that the entire complaint is nothing but counter blast to the complaint lodged by the first petitioner.

4. Per contra, Mr.G.Suresh, the learned counsel for the second respondent / defacto complainant submitted that on receipt of summons only, all the petitioners came to the place of residence of the second respondent and scolded with filthy language and they also threatened with dire consequences. In fact, the first petitioner tore his saree and threatened that she will foist a complaint as against his father. Further, he submitted that they lived for only three months and she had given mental and physical torture. Therefore, the second respondent filed petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty in HMOP.No.4561 of 2017 on the file of the III Additional Family Court, Chennai. He further submitted that there are specific allegations to attract the offence under Sections 294(b) & 506(i) of IPC.

5. Heard, the petitioners appearing in person, Mr.E.Raj Thilak, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the first respondent, and Mr.G.Suresh, the learned counsel for the second respondent.

6. It is seen that the first petitioner is the wife of the second respondent herein. They got married and thereafter due to dowry demand, she was driven out from the matrimonial home. The learned counsel for the second respondent submitted that on the complaint lodged by the first petitioner, all the sreedhana articles which were presented during the marriage were returned to the first petitioner and the same was also duly acknowledged by her. In fact, she received a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- to file divorce petition on the ground of mutual consent. On receipt of the entire amount of Rs.5,00,000/- and sreedhana articles which were presented during the marriage, she refused to agree for mutual consent and the second respondent was constrained to file divorce petition on the point of cruelty.

7. It is also seen that due to misunderstanding, they got separated. There was negotiation between them. Both agreed for divorce on mutual consent. The second respondent had taken DD for a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- and filed petition for divorce on the ground of mutual consent under Section 13B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 in HMOP.No.4979 of 2018. However, she did not agree for mutual consent and returned the DD which was taken for a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- by the second respondent herein. Therefore, the divorce petition filed on the ground of mutual consent was dismissed. Thereafter, the second respondent filed divorce petition on the ground of cruelty in HMOP.No.4561 of 2017.

8. On perusal of the records revealed that in the said case, summons was issued to the first petitioner and the same was received by her on 29.12.2017. However, the case of the second respondent is that on receipt of summons from the Family Court for divorce initiated by the second respondent, all the petitioners came to their house on 27.12.2017 and scolded them with filthy language. They also threatened them with dire consequences. Whereas, summons was received by the first petitioner only on 29.12.2017. That apart, to attract the offence under Section 294(b) of IPC, there must be an uttering of words to affect the person who lodged the complaint. In this regard, it is relevant to extract the Section 294(b) of IPC, as follows :-

"294. Obscene acts and songs —Whoever, to the annoyance of others— (a) does any obscene act in any public place, or (b) sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both."

9. Admittedly, there is absolutely no words uttered by the petitioners as such to constitute the offence under Section 294(b) of IPC, there is no averments and allegations. Further the charges do not show that on hearing the obscene words, which were allegedly uttered by the petitioners, the witnesses felt annoyed. No one has spoken about the obscene words, they felt annoyed and in the absence of legal evidence to show that the words uttered by the petitioners annoyed others, it cannot be said that the ingredients of the offence under Section 294(b) of IPC is made out. It is relevant to rely upon the judgment reported in 1996(1) CTC 470 in the case of K.Jeyaramanuju Vs. Janakaraj & anr., wherein it is held as follows :-

"To prove the offence under Section 294 of IPC mere utterance of obscence words are not sufficient but there must be a further proof to establish that it was to the annoyance of others, which is lacking in the case." The above judgment is squarely applicable to the present case and therefore, the offence under Section 294(b) of IPC is not at all attracted as against the petitioners.

10. Insofar as the offence under Section 506(i) of I.P.C is concerned, to attract the offence, threat and intention to cause an alarm are main ingredients. The third ingredient is that the intention must be to cause any person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, subsequent to the main ingredients. Whereas in the case on hand, even according to the case of the prosecution, the alleged threats issued by the petitioners were only empty threats and they had no effect on the complainant.

11. In this regard, it is relevant to rely upon the judgment of this Court made in Crl.O.P.(MD)No.11030 of 2014 in the case of Abdul Agis Vs. State through the Inspector of Police, which reads as follows:-

“7.It is seen from the statements recorded under Section 161(3) of Cr.P.C. of the second respondent/ defacto complainant that it does not contain any obscene words, which were uttered by the petitioner herein and the entire allegations are very simple in nature. It is also seen from the statement of one Uthami, that the petitioner threatened the defacto complainant with dire consequences when he dashed the defacto complainant. The entire allegations are trivial in nature. Further, to attract the offence under Section 506(i) of I.P.C., there was a threatening only by words. As pointed by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, the threat should be a real one and not just a mere word when the petition uttering does not exactly mean what he says and also when the person to whom threat is launched does not feel threatened actually. Therefore, the offences under Sections 294(b) and 506(i) of I.P.C. are not made out as against the petitioner herein and also the entire criminal proceedings is clear an abuse of process of Court. Therefore, this Court is inclined to quash the entire proceedings.”

Therefore, the entire allegations made by the second respondent are nothing but only to wreak vengeance as against the petitioners and it is nothing but clear abuse of process of law.

12. In this regard, it is relevant to extract the judgement reported in (1992) SCC Crl. 426 in the case of Bajanlal v. State of Haryana, wherein the Hon

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'ble Supreme Court of India has listed out the following category of case in which the criminal proceedings can be quashed using the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C.: "102.......... ................... 7. Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with malafide and/or where the proceedings is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wrecking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge." 13. Therefore, the impugned proceedings is nothing but clear abuse of process of law and it cannot be sustained as against the petitioners. Accordingly, the entire proceedings in CC.No.2307 of 2019 on XV Metropolitan Magistrate Court, George, Town, Chennai, thereby taken cognizance for the offences under Sections 294(b) and 506(i) of IPC, in Crime No.60 of 2018, as against the petitioners is quashed and all the criminal original petitions are allowed. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
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