Discharge in 498a is quite rare and normally at the level of magistrate court it is not granted . However in exceptional circumstances it can be granted.
Now one of the exceptional case circumstances is discussed in the case of Madhu Pamnani vs . Hanish Pamnani And Anr. on 31 May, 2014
In this case wife has as usual leveled dowry harassment against various family members of the Husband.
But what was unique in this case was wife had implicated Brother in laws of the husband.
Now these facts were peculiar with respect to two brother in law
A. Brother in Law lived seperately from the husband and wife since 2003.
B. Vague allegation of entrustment of dowry articles in case of brother in law
C. No medical evidence of beating.
Court relied on the Supreme Court Principle
iii)Dilawar Balu Kurane Vs. State of Maharashtra(2002) 2 SCC
(a) The court while considering the question of framing the charge under the Criminal procedure Code has undoubted power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie case against the accused has been made out. The test to determine prima facie case would depend upon the facts of each case.
(b) Where the materials placed before the court discloses grave suspicion against the accused which has not been properly explained, the Court will be fully justified in framing a charge and proceeding with the trial.
(c) The court can not act merely as a post office or a mouthpiece of the prosecution but has to consider the broad probabilities of the case, the total effect of the evidence and the documents produced before the Court, any basic infirmities etc. However, at this stage, there can not be a roving enquiry into the pros and cons of the matter and weigh the evidence as if court was conducting a trial.
(d) The Court is required to be evaluate the material and documents on record with a view to find out if the facts emerging therefrom taken at their face value discloses the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offence.
(e) If two views are possible and one of them gives rise to suspicion only, as distinguished from grave suspicion, the trial
The court also held that whatever harassment brother in laws given to the wife do not come under the ambit of 498a.
Discharge can be opportunity to get family members out of the soup of false 498a
Adv. Nitish Banka