How to get Stay on trial in 498aIPC or 85/86 BNS from High Court in quashing

Generally, we do not advise husbands to seek quashing of Section 498A IPC or Sections 85/86 BNS because typically the courts do not interfere in such matters. Instead, we recommend that our clients seek quashing for their relatives, such as their father, mother, brother, and sister, as the chances of success are much higher. However, in certain cases, we do advise husbands to seek quashing. Below are the grounds on which a husband can seek quashing and potentially receive relief from the Honorable High Courts. One such relief was recently obtained in July 2024, and the case study is shared in this article. First, let us discuss the grounds on which the husband can get a stay on trial.

Grounds for Quashing FIR under Section 498A IPC and Sections 85/86 BNS

1. Vague and General Allegations

When the allegations filed in the complaint are vague and lack specific details such as date, time, place, or specific instances of cruelty, the case can be considered for quashing. If the FIR consists of just one or two paragraphs that are entirely vague and lack substance, it is possible to seek quashing of the FIR for the husband as well. Courts have recognized that complaints with general and non-specific allegations do not constitute a valid basis for prosecution, thus providing grounds for quashing.

2. Lack of Essential Ingredients

Another ground for quashing arises when the essential ingredients of Section 498A are not met. For instance, allegations of adultery included in a 498A complaint do not fall within the ambit of Section 498A, which is primarily concerned with cruelty. Similarly, taunting, in itself, has been judicially pronounced to not fall under the definition of cruelty under Section 498A. Therefore, if the allegations do not meet the required legal criteria of cruelty as defined under Section 498A, the case is fit for quashing. Courts often scrutinize the allegations to ensure they align with the specific legal provisions they purport to invoke.

3. Malafide Intention

A recent case in the Honorable High Court at Calcutta, particularly in Jalpaiguri, highlighted another ground for quashing—malafide intention. In this case, the wife stayed with her husband in Bangalore for only a few days before leaving his company. The FIR lodged contained no specific allegations against the husband, and the investigation conducted was inadequate, with the investigating officer failing to visit the alleged place of the incident. Such circumstances indicate a malafide intention behind filing the complaint. Courts have quashed FIRs in cases where it is evident that the complaint was filed with ulterior motives rather than genuine grievances.

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Case Study: Jalpaiguri, Calcutta High Court

In July 2024, the Honorable High Court at Jalpaiguri passed a rare order staying the trial proceedings against a husband under such circumstances. The case involved a husband and wife who had been married for only a few days. After a brief period of cohabitation in Bangalore, the wife left to join her parental home in Kolkata. The FIR filed contained vague allegations of cruelty and a single claim that the husband had locked the wife. Given the short duration of their cohabitation and the lack of any medical reports or complaints filed by the wife during her stay at the matrimonial home, the court found the allegations insufficient to proceed with the trial. Consequently, the court decided to stay the entire trial proceedings for the husband.

This case underscores the challenges husbands face when seeking quashing of FIRs under Section 498A IPC or Sections 85/86 BNS. Despite the limited grounds available, it is possible to achieve relief if the allegations are vague, lack essential ingredients, or are filed with malafide intentions. However, it is generally not advisable for husbands to seek quashing due to the potential risk it poses to the cases of their relatives.

Advisability of Seeking Quashing for Husbands

While the grounds for quashing exist, it is crucial to recognize that the courts often exhibit reluctance in interfering with complaints under Section 498A IPC and Sections 85/86 BNS. Typically, the advice is to focus on seeking relief for relatives rather than the husband himself. The reason behind this strategy is the higher likelihood of success in quashing proceedings for relatives, coupled with the potential jeopardy a husband’s quashing attempt might pose to his relatives’ cases. Given the courts’ general approach towards such complaints, a husband’s direct involvement in quashing proceedings could inadvertently weaken the overall defense strategy for all accused parties.


Quashing FIRs under Section 498A IPC and Sections 85/86 BNS is a complex legal process with limited grounds for success. However, specific circumstances, such as vague and general allegations, failure to meet essential ingredients, and indications of malafide intentions, can provide valid grounds for seeking quashing. Recent case studies, such as the one from the High Court at Jalpaiguri, demonstrate that relief is attainable under certain conditions. Nonetheless, it remains prudent to focus on the quashing of FIRs for relatives rather than the husband to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.

In summary, while it is challenging and not always advisable for husbands to seek quashing, understanding the grounds and recent judicial trends can guide strategic legal decisions. Each case’s unique facts and circumstances will ultimately determine the most effective approach to achieving justice and relief from unfounded allegations.

Adv. Nitish Banka