If wife lies to court about her Job court can deny Maintainance to her: Delhi HC

Recently in a new judgement The Delhi High Court has held that the wife is not entitled to any maintenance if she fails to disclose truthfully her job and salary. On the one hand wife is highly qualified although that is not the criteria to deny her maintenance but on the other hand, she has not disclosed her job profile and working profile to the court hence maintenance was denied to her.

We on the facts as narrated above, agree with the conclusions of the
learned Principal Judge, Family Courts that the appellant not only is a
highly qualified lady, but has been working even at the time of her
marriage and thereafter. The documents and the admissions made by the
appellant clearly lead to an irresistible conclusion that she is employed in
the office of the M.P. It is no doubt that merely because a person is
qualified she must be compelled to work, but here is a case where in
addition to be qualified, the appellant has been working. There is no
doubt a difference between “capacity” and “actual earning”, but here it is
not a case where appellant had only the capacity but the document on
record clearly point out that she has also been working.

It is common for the wife’s side to hide her true income and it is now the duty of the husband’s side to expose the wife’s side if she is hiding her income. In such cases if you feel that the wife is working then in that case the husband on his own or should take the services of the legal investigator in such scenario.

The role of the husband or the legal investigator should be to find at least the company and designation of the wife’s side. It is okay if the husband is unable to find the exact account or salary credit details for this another technique of Section 91 CrPC comes into play.

Once the husband is able to find out about the wife’s side income-related details then an appropriate application of 91 CrPC is to be moved in court or under 151 CPC if it is 24 HMA. In that scenario, the husband side can get salary details directly from the order of the court.

Normally if such things are confronted in court which happened in the present case the court then asks the wife’s side for the disclosure and if the same is disclosed then the matter ends. Otherwise, the court has the power to summon the documents and things needed for the disclosure of the true income of the wife side.

The fact of the matter is that if the husband’s side does some hard work to find out about the income of the wife’s side then he will be saved from the maintenance in the long term. Many of my clients complain that many legal investigators do charge a lot of money but you see arrears of high maintenance, prolonged litigation as well as continuous maintenance will cost more in the long term.

My own experience

In one of my recent cases at Saket court, the wife’s side hid that she was working and earning 24000/- the husband’s side found out the company name, and the same was disclosed to the court by way of 91 application. the wife side brought her salary slip disclosing her salary. I argued that since the wife’s side has not disclosed her income honestly she is not entitled to any kind of maintenance and hence the maintenance was only awarded to the child and the wife’s maintenance was denied.

In another case also we found out bank details of the wife and we moved 91 CrPC application for this the same allowed wife to disclose her bank account details and it was found that she had heavy entries that were income from her job and later we found out about her job also. The court fixed maintenance to the wife at Rs. 0.

In another case, the wife’s maintenance was fixed to Rs. 0 as she was found to be earning more than the husband.


The large scheme of things are that if the wife is qualified and is earning she is not entitled to any relief from the court and hence maintainance can be denied in such cases

Quashing of false promise to marry rape case.

A false promise to marry is when someone makes a commitment to marry another person but does not truly intend to keep that pledge. It is a dishonest and immoral act. The person who relies on the promise may suffer severe emotional, psychological, and occasionally legal repercussions as a result.

It is generally regarded as immoral and can result in mental suffering, shattered trust, and harmed relationships to promise marriage with no intention of keeping that vow. Depending on the relevant jurisdiction and circumstances, there may even be grounds for legal action in some instances, when it comes to making serious commitments like marriage, it’s crucial to be open and honest with one another.

The distinction between mere breach of promise and giving a false promise to marry lies in the intention and the actions involved:

Breach of promise to Marry:

When one partner in a pre-existing engagement or commitment to marry chooses not to proceed with the marriage, this is a breach of the pledge to marry. In simple words, we can say that a breach of promise to marry occurs when one party in a pre-existing engagement or agreement to marry decides not to go through with the marriage. It involves a genuine intention to marry at the outset but a subsequent change of heart or refusal to fulfill the promise.

Giving a False Promise to Marry:

Giving a fake pledge to marry includes fooling someone on purpose by making them think that you truly intend to wed them when in fact you do not. It is a dishonest act in which the individual making the commitment never intended to be married but instead utilized the promise to control or take advantage of the other party.

In simple words we can say that giving a false promise to marry involves intentionally deceiving someone by leading them to believe that you genuinely intend to marry them when you have no such intention. It is a deceptive act where the person making the promise never had the intention to marry but used the promise to manipulate or exploit the other party. This is a form of fraud, as it involves deliberate dishonesty about one’s intentions.

In the Sonu @ Subhash Kumar vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh the Court has observed:

The legal position that results from the aforementioned cases is that a woman must actively and thoughtfully consider the planned conduct before she may “consent” to it under Section 375. Two propositions must be shown in order to determine if the “consent” was tainted by a “misconception of fact” resulting from a commitment to wed. The promise of marriage must have been made in bad faith, with no intention of keeping it, and must have been a false promise.

The false promise itself must be of immediate relevance, or bear a direct nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act.” 11 Bearing in mind the tests which have been enunciated in the above decision, we are of the view that even assuming that all the allegations in the FIR are correct for the purposes of considering the application for quashing under Section 482 of CrPC, no offence has been established. There is no allegation to the effect that the promise to marry given to the second respondent was false at the inception.

On the contrary, it would appear from the contents of the FIR that there was a subsequent refusal on the part of the appellant to marry the second respondent which gave rise to the registration of the FIR. On these facts, we are of the view that the High Court was in error in declining to entertain the petition under Section 482 of CrPC on the basis that it was only the evidence at trial which would lead to a determination as to whether an offence was established.

 For the above reasons, we allow the appeal and set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court dated 26 September 2019. In view of the reasons which have been adduced earlier, the charge sheet dated 25 April 2018, which has been filed in pursuance of the investigation which took place, shall stand quashed. The order of the trial Court dated 3 October 2018 taking cognizance shall accordingly stand quashed and set aside.

In Deepak_Gulati_vs_State_Of_Haryana_on_20_May_2013 (1).the Court has observed :

The prosecutrix had left her home voluntarily, of her own free will to get married to the appellant. She was 19 years of age at the relevant time and was, hence, capable of understanding the complications and issues surrounding her marriage to the appellant. According to the version of events provided by her, the prosecutrix had called the appellant on a number given to her by him, to ask him why he had not met her at the place that had been pre- decided by them. She also waited for him for a long time, and when he finally arrived she went with him to the Karna lake where they indulged in sexual intercourse. She did not raise any objection at this stage and made no complaints to anyone. Thereafter, she also went to Kurukshetra with the appellant, where she lived with his relatives. Here to, the prosecutrix voluntarily became intimate with the appellant. She then, for some reason, went to live in the hostel at Kurukshetra University illegally, and once again came into contact with the appellant at the Birla Mandir. Thereafter, she even proceeded with the appellant to the old bus-stand in Kurukshetra, to leave for Ambala so that the two of them could get married in court at Ambala. However, here they were apprehended by the police.

If the prosecutrix was in fact going to Ambala to marry the appellant, as stands fully established from the evidence on record, we fail to understand on what basis the allegation of “false promise of marriage” has been raised by the prosecutrix. We also fail to comprehend the circumstances in which a charge of deceit/rape can be leveled against the appellant, in light of the afore-mentioned fact situation.

 In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that the appellant, who has already served more than 3 years sentence, is entitled to the benefit of doubt. Therefore, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. His conviction and sentences awarded by the courts below are set aside. The appellant is on bail. His bail bonds stand discharged.

Does sexual intercourse on the pretext of a false promise of marriage amounts to rape?

Under some conditions, having sexual intercourse on the pretext of a false promise of marriage may be regarded as rape in India. The Indian Penal Code (IPC), which defines rape, lays out the legal framework for this under Section 375.

Rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with a woman against her will in Section 375 of the IPC. It also enumerates a number of instances in which sexual activity is regarded as non-consensual, as when it is obtained dishonestly.

Giving a false promise to marry, lack of consent and intention these are certain requirements that are to be met, in order to consider having sexual intercourse in due of false pretenses of marriage as Rape.

The accused must have used a false promise of marriage to coerce the victim into having sexual intercourse. The victim must not have consented to sexual intercourse if they were aware of the true facts. In other words, if the victim believed the promise of marriage to be genuine and consented based on that belief, and it later turns out that the promise was false from the beginning, it can be considered a lack of consent. In order to deceive the victim and receive sexual favors, a false marriage promise had to have been made.

            Remedies or Defenses Available

  • When an accused person is facing allegations of sexual assault, it is crucial to assess their culpability in light of the applicable laws while also taking the facts of the case into consideration. Even while premarital sex and live-in relationships are becoming more common in Indian society, there are still some circumstances where the accused may raise a defense.
  • When the victim consented to sexual activity despite understanding that marriage was unlikely, this is one example of a defense. In the case of Uday v. State of Karnataka, the accused was not found guilty of rape because the victim gave her consent while knowing that marriage was unlikely and had a deep love for the accused.

Relevant Judgments:

  1.  In the case of  Uday_vs_State_Of_Karnataka_on_19_February_2003

 A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court noticed the provisions of Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code and concluded :-

“The failure to keep the promise at a future uncertain date due to reasons not very clear on the evidence does not always amount to a misconception of fact at the inception of the act itself. In order to come within the meaning of misconception of fact, the fact must have an immediate relevance. The matter would have been different if the consent was obtained by creating a belief that they were already married. In such a case the consent could be said to result from a misconception of fact. But here the fact alleged is a promise to marry we do not know when. If a full grown girl consents to the act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage and continues to indulge in such activity until she becomes pregnant it is an act of promiscuity on her part and not an act induced by misconception of fact. S. 90 IPC cannot be called in aid in such a case to pardon the act of the girl and fasten criminal liability on the other, unless the Court can be assured that from the very inception the accused never really intended to marry her.”

In view of our findings aforesaid, we do not consider it necessary to consider the question as to whether in a case of rape the misconception of fact must be confined to the circumstances falling under Section 375 Fourthly and Fifthly, or whether consent given under misconception of fact contemplated by Section 90 has a wider application so as to include circumstances not enumerated in Section 375 IPC.

In the result, this appeal must succeed, and is accordingly allowed. The impugned judgment and order convicting and sentencing the appellant for the offence punishable under Section 376 IPC is set aside, and the appellant stands acquitted of the charge. Since the appellant was granted exemption from surrendering when the special leave was granted, no further order for his release is necessary.

“19. We have carefully heard both the parties at length and have also given our conscious thought to the material on record and relevant provisions of The Indian Penal Code (in short “the IPC“). In the instant case, the prosecutrix was an adult and mature lady of around 40 years at the time of incident. It is admitted by the prosecutrix in her testimony before the trial court that she was in relationship with the appellant for the last two years prior to the incident and the appellant used to stay overnight at her residence. After a perusal of copy of FIR and evidence on record the case set up by the prosecutrix seems to be highly unrealistic and unbelievable.

20. The evidence as a whole including FIR, testimony of prosecutrix and MLC report prepared by medical practitioner clearly indicate that the story of prosecutrix regarding sexual intercourse on false pretext of marrying her is concocted and not believable. In fact, the said act of the Appellant seems to be consensual in nature. The trial court has rightly held thus:

If the story set up by the prosecutrix herself in the court is to be believed, it does come to the fore that the two were in a relationship and she well knew that the accused was duping her throughout. Per the prosecutrix, she had not succumbed to the proposal of the accused. Having allowed access to the accused to her residential quarter, so much so, even having allowed him to stay overnight, she knew the likely outcome of her reaction. Seeing the age of the prosecutrix which is around 40 years, it can be easily inferred that she knew what could be the consequences of allowing a male friend into her bed room at night.

The entire circumstances discussed above and which have come to the fore from the testimony of none else but the prosecutrix, it cannot be said that the sexual intercourse was without her consent. The act seems to be consensual in nature.

25. It is also not the case that the consent had been given by the prosecutrix believing the accused’s promise to marry her. For, her testimony itself shows that the entire story of marriage has unfolded after there is nothing on record to show that the accused had been pestering the prosecutrix for any alliance. The prosecutrix has said a line in her examination-in-chief, but her cross- examination shows that no doubt the two were in relationship, but the question of marriage apparently had not been deliberated upon by any of the two.

After the sexual contact, come talk about marriage had cropped up between the two.

Thus, it also cannot be said that the consent for sexual intercourse had been given by the prosecutrix under some misconception of marriage.”

For quashing of false promise to marry rape case court differentiate between two whether there is fake promise or breach of promise


WhatsApp Evidence in Court

Introduction : In today’s digital era, WhatsApp chats have become a prevalent form of communication, even in legal matters. However, presenting WhatsApp chats as evidence in court can be challenging due to the potential for manipulation and denial. To overcome these obstacles, it is essential to comprehend the rules governing digital evidence. This blog post aims to explore the issue and provide a solution based on relevant legal judgments.

I. The Predicament of Admitting WhatsApp Chats WhatsApp chats, often presented as screenshots, can be subject to tampering, undermining their credibility as evidence. Moreover, the opposing party may deny the existence of any communication, creating further complications. In such cases, understanding the rules surrounding digital evidence becomes crucial.

II. Admissibility of Digital Evidence and Safeguards Digital evidence, including WhatsApp chats, is generally admissible in court proceedings but is treated as secondary evidence. Specific safeguards exist to establish the authenticity of such evidence. However, certain situations necessitate adherence to additional guidelines, as highlighted in the Supreme Court judgment.

III. Arjun Panditrao Khotkar vs. Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal and Ors.: In this landmark Supreme Court judgment dated 14th July 2020, the admissibility of electronic records, including WhatsApp chats, was clarified. The judgment emphasizes that if the original device on which the information was stored is owned and operated by the witness, it can be produced as evidence without the need for a certificate under Section 65B(4) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

IV. The Role of Section 65B(4) and Certification However, in cases where the device is part of a computer system or network that cannot be physically brought to the court, Section 65B(4) comes into play. This section requires the person presenting the evidence to comply with the certificate requirements outlined in the law. The 65B certificate confirms that the information in the electronic record was recorded in the presence of the person providing the certificate and that they have full control over the device.

V. Ensuring the Admissibility of WhatsApp ChatsTo ensure the admissibility of WhatsApp chats in court, individuals must follow the guidelines set forth in the Arjun Panditrao Khotkar case. Providing a 65B certificate along with the electronic record helps establish the authenticity of the WhatsApp chats. This certification process makes the evidence reliable and credible in the eyes of the court.

VI. Best Practices for Presenting WhatsApp Chats Apart from obtaining the necessary certification, there are additional best practices to enhance the credibility of WhatsApp chats as evidence. These include capturing original timestamps, ensuring the integrity of screenshots, and maintaining a chain of custody for the electronic records.

Conclusion Presenting WhatsApp chats as evidence in a court of law can be a daunting task due to the risk of manipulation and denial. However, by understanding the rules of digital evidence and referring to the Arjun Panditrao Khotkar judgment, individuals can ensure the admissibility of WhatsApp chats as valid evidence. Obtaining a 65B certificate and following best practices for preserving electronic records will strengthen the credibility of WhatsApp chats, enhancing their value in legal proceedings. As technology continues to evolve, a well-informed approach to presenting digital evidence is essential for a fair and just legal system.

Strategy for zero Maintenance to wife..

A lot of you are worried about the maintenance cases and How much the court will award maintenance to wife and how much you have to pay the maintenance amount. Truth is no one wants to pay maintenance to wife who had left on her own. Now alleging domestic violence. But we have the law right..

But in some cases like this one the maintenance awarded was zero and wife interim application under section 23 of DV act was dismissed

In my recent case, The court awarded Zero maintainance.

How you can implement this strategy in your case.

For Zero maintenance a wife should not have child at first otherwise this strategy can help to reduce maintenance not Zero maintenance.

Now the most difficult path comes in that is that you should able to provide wife various bank account/income statements..

At least basic information like account detail and statement of account should be provided..

Once the same is provided to you do not collect that documents directly from bank.

Apply using 91 Application and get these documents on record…

This is the best way to get all documents…on record…

In this Judgement of our client..Interim order was passed for dismissal of the interim application…

Court found out wife is capable of earning and had transactions of 11 lakh in her account in a 3 year long period. In her income affidavit she has mentioned that she is unemployed and no source of income.She has shown her expenses to be around Rs. 35k per month but then she has failed to disclose from where she is getting those expenses met.

There is no child and she is not suffering from any disability of her own. The husband liabilities and salary was also considered in this case and court found out that the wife is capable of working and yet she is not working and further she has not disclosed the source of income and hence dismissed the application of wife and zero maintainance was awarded

Get the Judgement Copy Here

Latest Guidelines By Delhi High Court on How to Settle Matrimonial Disputes

There was a lot of problems which were faced by the litigants when they face matrimonial cases…One of the most common problem is wife side backs out when they take money from husband side and the husband side remains stuck even after the payment.

The criminal cases goes on and still there is no end.

In my personal experience also I faced such problems after settlement the parties come to me for further process.Although a different counsel is engaged when the settlement takes place and there are so many problems faced by the parties when finally the cases comes for final disposal in courts…

The most common problem is if one party backs out after taking money of settlement.

Then husband side runs piller to post to quash the matters but no relief now there is a new Delhi High Court Judgement which talks about how to address the problem and guideline has been issued by the Hon’ble Courts.

The recent Judgement of Chatterpal and Ors talks about the various guideline for mediation as listed below.

In the present case a settlement was arrived between the husband and wife case was quashed as summons were not issued against the relatives of the husband they did not applied for quashing and on one fine day the magistrate court issued summons against the relative of the husband.

The relatives of the Husband approached Hon’ble High Court for quashing.

the complainant conveniently changed her mind and appeared before this Court only to inform that she had not entered into agreement with them but only with her husband and therefore, FIR cannot be quashed, even after receiving the entire amount of settlement including the amount for
quashing of FIR.

In other words, they thought that they were fortunate that the FIR had been quashed, but
unfortunately, the entire amount was paid to the complainant for quashing of the FIR without their names being included in the quashing petition. And even now, their misfortune, as far as the present litigation
is concerned, has not come to an end as the complainant now refuses to give her statement for quashing of the FIR.

The complainant after issuance of Court notice appeared before the Court and submitted that she has settled the case only with her husband, though she admits that she has received the entire settlement amount, including Rs.65,000/- received for quashing of FIR on 31.07.2015 as per
settlement agreement. She states that matter may again be sent for mediation qua the present accused(s) and she will settle the matter again with them, as the money in this case was given by her husband and she had, thus, settled it with him only.

Court held

If the Settlement Agreement is scrutinized from a close angle, it
will be revealed that though it has been signed by the husband only, it is
clear from the contents of the agreement that the settlement was being
arrived at on behalf of all the respondents i.e. co-accused persons in
present FIR since they were his close family members.

This approach of the complainant, in the considered opinion of
this Court, is neither correct nor acceptable as she has already received
the entire amount as per the settlement agreement towards settlement of
all her claims and matrimonial disputes as well as for quashing of
present FIR. In case this Court returns a finding that the settlement was
arrived solely between the wife/complainant and the husband, it would
undermine the fundamental objective of the process of mediation in this
case. Suffice it to say, the very purpose of mediation in this case has
already been defeated as legal proceedings have been prolonged and
dragged on for 10 long years despite a successful mediation between the

In the given set of facts and circumstances, this Court deems it fit
to advert to the observations of the Hon’ble Apex Court in case of Ruchi
Agarwal v. Amit Kumar Agrawal (2005) 3 SCC 299, wherein the Apex
Court while quashing the criminal proceedings against the accused
husband on the basis of compromise even though the complainant had
refused to give her consent

In the given set of facts and circumstances, this Court deems it fit
to advert to the observations of the Hon’ble Apex Court in case of Ruchi
Agarwal v. Amit Kumar Agrawal (2005) 3 SCC 299, wherein the Apex
Court while quashing the criminal proceedings against the accused
husband on the basis of compromise even though the complainant had
refused to give her consent,

  1. Rather than merely writing in the Settlement Agreement that a petition for quashing would be filed “by the respondents for quashing of FIR”, had the mediator specifically mentioned that the FIR as well as all proceedings emanating therefrom were to be quashed qua all the accused persons, along with their names, in that case, even if the learned Magistrate was to decide on issuance of summons to the accused persons, the said Agreement drafted by the Mediator would have come to the rescue of the present petitioners.
  2. Specify Names of Parties: The agreement must specifically contain names of all the parties to the agreement. (ii) Avoid Ambiguous Terms: The terms such as ‘respondent’, respondents’, ‘petitioner’ or ‘petitioners’, in absence of their names in the agreement must be avoided in an agreement as it leads to ambiguities and further litigation.
  3. (iii) Include All Details: The terms and conditions of the agreement reached between the parties, howsoever small and minute they may be, must be incorporated in the agreement.
  4. (iv) Timeline For Compliance: The timeline of the fulfilment of terms and conditions as well as their execution must be clearly mentioned. There should be no tentative dates as far as possible.
  5. (v) Default Clause: A default clause should be incorporated inthe agreement and the consequences thereof should be explained and enlisted in the agreement itself.
  6. (vi) Mode of Payment: In case any payment is to be made as per settlement, the agreement should specify the method of payment agreed upon between the parties which should also

Interim Maintenance Denied to wife Capable of working…Delhi Court

In a recent judgement of Delhi court..The magistrate court rejected interim maintainance application to wife who is capable of working.

Interim maintenance in matrimonial cases was originally designed to assist women who were financially dependent on their husbands and had no means of earning a livelihood, such as those who were uneducated or not working. However, today, many highly educated and employed women are also using this provision as a norm, raising questions about equality in society.

A recent case in Delhi saw a local court reject a wife’s request for interim maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) on March 2, 2023. The court stated that the woman was highly qualified and capable, and therefore dismissed her application.

The wife in this case filed a domestic violence case against her husband and in-laws, seeking interim maintenance of Rs 50,000 per month. However, the marriage was short-lived. In September 2020, the local court granted the woman interim maintenance of Rs 8,000 per month. The husband challenged this decision in the Delhi High Court, but the petition was dismissed. The High Court noted that the husband was wealthier than his wife and had a better lifestyle.

The husband argued that marriage was short lived and husband is also unemployed at the moment. His wife is MBA graduate and chose not to work deliberately.

respondent no.1 has stated in his income affidavit that he is MBBS D-Ortho and is residing in a rented accommodation and paying monthly rent of Rs. 16,000/. He is temporarily working at Ganga Ram Hospital as Senior Resident and earning Rs.92,000/- per month. He has no dependents. Further, he is making payment of Rs. 8000/- per Month

The Delhi Court also noted that the wife’s right to receive maintenance from her husband was not absolute. The wife needed to demonstrate her inability to sustain and manage even the basic necessities of life. Simply relying on the husband’s income and lifestyle was not enough to demand maintenance. The court further stated that the complainant must prove that she is not earning, or that her income is insufficient to maintain the same standard of living that she enjoyed in the matrimonial home.

It w a s held in Sunita Kachwaha (Supra) by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that:

“Inability to maintain herself is the pre-condition for grant of maintenance to the wife. The wife must positively aver and prove that she is unable to maintain herself, in addition t o the fact that her husband has sufficient m e a n s to maintain her and that he has neglected to maintain her. . Where the wife states that she has great hardships in maintaining herself and the daughters, while her husband’s economic condition is quite good, the wife would be entitled to maintenance”

Thus, the intention of the legislation is never to encourage

wilful unemployment and unnecessary dependence on the husband. The power of granting maintenance is also not intended to be exercised for equalising the income of the parties as held by Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Ritu Bhargav v. Sharad Bhargava, 2018 LAWPACK (Del) 79351.

“The perusal of the entire facts and circumstances of the present case and also the evidence on record, it is observed that the appellant’s monthly income is Rs. 44,740/- while the respondent is drawing an annual income of Rs.1,75,351/- ie. amounting approximately to Rs. 14,280/- per month. i is also seen as per the bank accounts and the Statement of Expenditure (s) as filed by the appellant that the appellant has sufficient means to maintain herself The observations adduced herein before lead to the only conclusion that there is no infirmity in the impugned order whereby the Family Court has struck a clear balance between the ability of the appellant/ wife to maintain herself and the extent of liability on her shoulders and has dismissed the subject application for maintenance. Section 24 of the HMA is not meant for equivalising the income of wife and with that of husband but to grant relief onlyin favor of a spouse who has no independent source of income for his other support”


False case in itself is mental cruelty and ground for divorce….

In India, the practice of demanding dowry and filing false dowry cases against a spouse is a serious offense that can have severe consequences for both parties involved. False dowry cases are often filed to extort money or to harass the spouse and their family members, causing significant harm and mental distress. In response, the Indian government has enacted laws to protect women from dowry-related abuse and to provide a legal basis for seeking divorce based on false dowry cases.

Under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, it is a criminal offense to subject a woman to cruelty, which includes physical or mental harassment for dowry. In addition, the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 criminalizes the demand for dowry and provides for penalties for those found guilty of such offenses. Spouses who are subjected to false dowry cases can use these laws as a basis for seeking a divorce.

In the case of K. Srinivas v. K. Sunita (2014), the court held that the filing of false dowry cases against a spouse is a form of cruelty that can be a ground for divorce. The court stated that false dowry cases are a serious offense that can cause significant harm and distress to the targeted spouse and their family members. The court also noted that filing false dowry cases can lead to an erosion of trust and respect in the marital relationship, which can have long-term consequences.

G. Suhasini vs. G. Vinod Kumar Reddy (21.09.2022 – TLHC)

The main grievance of the petitioner is that the respondent has subjected him to cruelty and his case is that the respondent is of suspicious nature and that whenever he receives any phone call, she created big violence and used to quarrel with him. It appears that due to burns injuries, she may be suffering from inferiority complex, and used to quarrel, and also suspect the petitioner. The further grievance of the petitioner is that she demanded for separation from his parents and she also threatened to lodge false complaints and that she used to make simple issues into complicated and that every day she used to quarrel with him and that ultimately left the matrimonial home on 3.12.2010 and though he made efforts before well-wishers and community elders for reunion, but it resulted in vain. That the respondent used to harass him by sending antisocial elements to his house and office and threatened him with dire consequences. On the other hand, the case of the respondent is of total denial.

G. Suhasini vs. G. Vinod Kumar Reddy (21.09.2022 – TLHC)

25. The main grievance of the petitioner is that the respondent filed false criminal case and domestic violence case against him.

26. It is to be seen that the respondent left the matrimonial house of the petitioner on 3.12.2010, and she filed Crl. No. 161 of 2011 on 7.8.2011 under Section 498-A against the petitioner and his family members, and subsequently she also filed D.V.C. No. 51 of 2016 during the year 2016 i.e., after a period of about six years. Prima facie the ingredients under Section 498-A of IPC and domestic violence are absent in the averments made by the respondent in the counter affidavit.

G. Suhasini vs. G. Vinod Kumar Reddy (21.09.2022 – TLHC)

It is to be seen that if really, the respondent is intending to join the petitioner and lead a peaceful life, definitely she would not have indulged in initiating criminal case and domestic violence case against the petitioner and his family members. The petitioner is a bank employee, and filing of cases would affect his job prospects. Hence, this would definitely cause great mental agony, and would also amount to subjecting the petitioner to ‘mental cruelty’.

28. The Apex Court in RAJ TALREJA v. V. KAVITA TALREJA MANU/SC/0493/2017 : (2017)14 SCC 194, held that “This Court in Para 16 of K. Srinivas Rao v. D.A. Deepa has held as follows: 16. Thus, to the instances illustrative of mental cruelty noted in Samar Ghosh v. Jaya ghosh, MANU/SC/1386/2007 : 2007(4) SCC 511, we could add a few more. Making unfounded indecent defamatory allegations against the spouse or his or her relatives in the pleadings, filing of complaints or issuing notices or news items which may have adverse impact on the business prospect or the job of the spouse and filing repeated false complaints and cases in the court against the spouse would, in the facts of the case, amount to causing mental cruelty to the other spouse.”

29. A Division Bench of this court in P. PADMA v. P. CHENNAIAH MANU/TL/0516/2021 : 2022(1) ALD 103 (TS)(DB), held that false, scandalous, malicious and baseless charges made against husband by wife, prima facie amounts to ‘cruelty’, and on the basis of the same, husband is entitled to decree of divorce.

30. As noted above, since 3.12.2010 the respondent is living in her parental house and she also filed criminal case and domestic violence case against the petitioner and his parents. She also implicated the friend of the petitioner in the criminal case. Further the efforts made by this court to settle the issue between the parties did not yield any result, and the husband is not willing to take the wife back, and the wife is not willing for divorce, and since more than a decade both are living separately. In fact the respondent did not even attend the Mediation Centre and hence the mediation remained unsuccessful.

31. In the decision reported in NAVEEN KOHILI vs. NEELU KOHILI MANU/SC/1387/2006 : AIR 2006 SC 1675 (supra), somewhat similar situation came up for consideration

before the Apex Court. The facts therein disclose that the respondent who is the wife of the appellant, has initiated criminal and civil proceedings and the both are living separately for the past ten years and the marital bond between them was beyond repair, and still the wife is not inclined for divorce. In these facts and circumstances, the Apex Court held that the matrimonial bond between the parties is beyond repair and not to grant a decree of divorce would be disastrous for the parties. Accordingly the order and decree of the trial court in denying the decree of divorce was set aside and the appeal filed by the appellant – husband for a decree of divorce was allowed. The relevant portion of the order is as under:

“Even at this stage, the respondent does not want divorce by mutual consent. From the analysis and evaluation of the entire evidence, it is clear that the respondent has resolved to live in agony only to make life a miserable hell for the appellant as well. This type of adamant and callous attitude, in the context of the facts of this case, leaves no manner of doubt in our mind that the respondent is bent upon treating the appellant with mental cruelty. It is abundantly clear that the marriage between the parties had broken down irretrievably and there is no chance of their coming together, or living together again.

The High Court ought to have appreciated that there is no acceptable way in which the parties can be compelled to resume life with the consort, nothing is gained by trying to keep the parties tied forever to a marriage that in fact has ceased to exist.

Undoubtedly, it is the obligation of the Court and all concerned that the marriage status should, as far as possible, as long as possible and whenever possible, be maintained, but when the marriage is totally dead, in that event, nothing is gained by trying to keep the parties tied forever to a marriage which in fact has ceased to exist. In the instant case, there has been total disappearance of emotional substratum in the marriage. The course which has been adopted by the High Court would encourage continuous bickering, perpetual bitterness and may lead to immorality.

In view of the fact that the parties have been living separately for more than 10 years and a very large number of aforementioned criminal and civil proceedings have been initiated by the respondent against the appellant and some proceedings have been initiated by the appellant against the respondent, the matrimonial bond between the parties is beyond repair. A marriage between the parties is only in name. The marriage has been wrecked beyond the hope of salvage, public interest and interest of all concerned lies in the recognition of the fact and to declare defunct de jure what is already defunct de facto. To keep the sham is obviously conducive to immorality and potentially more prejudicial to the public interest than a dissolution of the marriage bond.

The High Court ought to have visualized that preservation of such a marriage is totally unworkable which has ceased to be effective and would be greater source of misery for the parties.

The High Court ought to have considered that a human problem can be properly resolved by adopting a human approach. In the instant case, not to grant a decree of divorce would be disastrous for the parties. Otherwise, there may be a ray of hope for the parties that after a passage of time (after obtaining a

decree of divorce) the parties may psychologically and emotionally settle down and start a new chapter in life.

In our considered view, looking to the peculiar facts of the case, the High Court was not justified in setting aside the order of the Trial Court. In our opinion, wisdom lies in accepting the pragmatic reality of life and take a decision which would ultimately be conducive in the interest of both the parties.

Consequently, we set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and direct that the marriage between the parties should be dissolved according to the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

32. Further, the Apex Court in the decision reported in SAMAR GHOSH v. JAYA GHOSH MANU/SC/1386/2007 : 2007(4) ALD 11 (SC) (supra), held as under:

“100. (xiv) Where there has been a long period of continuous separation, it may fairly be concluded that the matrimonial bond is beyond repair. The marriage becomes a fiction though supported by a legal tie. By refusing to sever that tie, the law in such cases, does not serve the sanctity of marriage; on the contrary it shows scant regard to the feelings and emotions of the parties. In such like situations, it may lead to mental cruelty.”

33.Having regard to the law laid down by the Apex Court, and the facts and circumstances of the case, this court is of the considered view that the wife by indulging in criminal and civil litigation has made the matrimonial bond beyond repair and subjected the petitioner to ‘mental cruelty’ and on this ground the petitioner is entitled to seek for divorce. The issue framed is answered accordingly.

34. For the foregoing reasons, the impugned order and decree of the trial court is set aside and the O.P. No. 218 of 2012 filed by the petitioner/appellant is allowed and the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent held on 22.08.2010 is dissolved and a decree of divorce is granted to the petitioner.

35. The appeal is accordingly allowed.

Result court granted divorce

Joginder Singh vs. Rajwinder Kaur (29.10.2022 – PHHC)

………But when a person undergoes a trial in which he is acquitted of the allegation of offence under Section 498A of IPC, levelled by the wife against the husband, it cannot be accepted that no cruelty has meted on the husband. As per pleadings before us, after parties having been married on 14.8.2005, they lived together only 18 months and thereafter they are separately living for more

than a decade now.

15. In view of forgoing discussion, we conclude that appellant has made a ground for grant of decree of dissolution of marriage on the ground as mentioned in Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.”

14. In yet another case of Kahkashan Kausar @ Sonam v. State of Bihar (SC): Law Finder Doc Id # 1941423,’ the Hon’ble Supreme Court held as follows:

“Further, it is submitted that the FIR in question has been made with a revengeful intent, merely to harass the Appellant in-laws herein, and should be dealt with accordingly. Reliance is placed on Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar & Anr. v. Union of India, Ministry of Law And Justice & Ors., MANU/SC/0987/2018 : (2018) 10 SCC 443, wherein it was observed:-

“4. Regarding the constitutionality of Section 498A IPC, in Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India and others, it was held by the Supreme Court:-

“Provision of S. 498A of Penal Code is not unconstitutional and ultra vires. Mere possibility of abuse of a provision of law does not per se invalidate a legislation. Hence plea that S. 498A has no legal or constitutional foundation is not tenable. The object of the provisions is prevention of the dowry menace. But many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bona fide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the Courts have to take care of the situation within the existing frame-work.””

15. Even this Court in the case of Sushma Taya v Arvind MANU/PH/3556/2014 : 2015 (2) RCR 888 (P&H) held that filing of false criminal complaint by a spouse invariably and inevitably amounts to matrimonial cruelty and entitles the other to claim divorce.

1 6 . Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of A. Jayachandra v Aneel Kaur MANU/SC/1023/2004 : 2005 (2) SCC 22 has held that allegation of cruelty is of such nature that resumption of marriage is not possible.

17. In Raj Talreja v. Kavita Talreja’, MANU/SC/0493/2017 : (2017) 14 SCC 194, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held as follows:

“Cruelty can never be defined with exactitude. What is cruelty will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. In the present case, from the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the wife made reckless, defamatory and false accusations against her husband, his family members and colleagues, which

would definitely have the effect of lowering his reputation in the eyes of his peers. Mere filing of complaints is not cruelty, if there are justifiable reasons to file the complaints. Merely because no action is taken on the complaint or after trial the accused is acquitted may not be a ground to treat such accusations of the wife as cruelty within the meaning of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 (for short ‘the Act’). However, if it is found that the allegations are patently false, then there can be no manner of doubt that the said conduct of a spouse levelling false accusations against the other spouse would be an act of cruelty. In the present case, all the allegations were found to be false.”

18. Even otherwise a perusal of the LCR as well as the present appeal, reveals that there are great differences between both parties and they are determined to live separately and to not reconcile the issues between them. As stated above, mediation attempts between the parties have failed. It is not in dispute that the parties have been living separately since October 2013. In our view, this conduct of the parties evidences that there are irreconcilable differences between them, rendering the marriage, as of today, a mere legal fiction. Though irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not available as a ground under the statute, yet, the reality of it has been recognised by the Supreme Court in a catena of decisions.

19. In these circumstances the following observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of ‘K. Srinivas Rao vs. D.A. Deepa’ MANU/SC/0180/2013 : (2013) 5 SCC 226, cover the current controversy:

“25. It is also to be noted that the appellant-husband and the respondent-wife are staying apart from 27/4/1999. Thus, they are living separately for more than ten years. This separation has created an unbridgeable distance between the two. As held in Samar Ghosh, if we refuse to sever the tie, it may lead to mental cruelty.

26. We are also satisfied that this marriage has irretrievably broken down. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is not a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. But where marriage is beyond repair on account of bitterness created by the acts of the husband or the wife or of both, the courts have always taken irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a very weighty circumstance amongst others necessitating severance of marital tie. A marriage which is dead for all purposes cannot be revived by the court’s verdict, if the parties are not willing. This is because marriage involves human sentiments and emotions and if they are dried-up there is hardly any chance of their springing back to life on account of artificial reunion created by the court’s decree. …

28. In the ultimate analysis, we hold that the respondent-wife has caused by her conduct mental cruelty to the appellant-husband and the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Dissolution of marriage will relieve both sides of pain and anguish. In this Court has respondent-wife expressed that she wants to go back to the appellant-husband, but, that is not possible now. The appellant husband is not willing to take her back. Even if we refuse decree of divorce to the appellant-husband, there are hardly any chances of the respondent-wife leading a happy life with the appellant-husband because a lot of bitterness is created by the conduct of the respondent wife.”

20. Reference at this stage can be made to the case of ‘Naveen Kohli v. Neelu Kohli’, MANU/SC/1387/2006 : (2006) 4 SCC 558 which was also a case of cruelty (mental and

physical) where the Hon’ble Supreme Court again considered the concept of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. In that case too the parties had been living separately since ten years and the wife was not ready to grant divorce to her husband. However, notwithstanding this factual position, Hon’ble Supreme Court was pleased to grant divorce in said matter and has further noticed as follows:

“32. In ‘Sandhya Rani v. Kalyanram Narayanan’, (1994) Supp. 2 SCC 588, this Court reiterated and took the view that since the parties are living separately for the last more than three years, we have no doubt in our mind that the marriage between the parties has irretrievably broken down. There is no chance whatsoever of their coming together. Therefore, the Court granted the decree of divorce.

33. In the case of ‘Chandrakala Menon v. Vipin Menon’, MANU/SC/0459/1993 : (1993)2 SCC 6, the parties had been living separately for so many years. This Court came to the conclusion that there is no scope of settlement between them because, according to the observation of this Court, the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no chance of their coming together. This Court granted decree of divorce.

34. In the case of Kanchan Devi v. Promod Kumar Mittal, MANU/SC/1515/1996 : 1996 (2) RCR (Criminal) 614 : (1996)8 SCC 90, the parties were living separately for more than 10 years and the Court came to the conclusion that the marriage between the parties had to be irretrievably broken down and there was no possibility of reconciliation and therefore the Court directed that the marriage between the parties stands dissolved by a decree of divorce.”

21. Thus, in the conspectus of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the present case, and in consonance with the aforesaid pronouncements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, with a view to do complete justice, and put an end to the agony of the parties, this Court deems it appropriate to allow the present appeal.

The court further observed that false dowry cases can cause significant emotional and financial harm to the targeted spouse, who may be forced to spend significant amounts of time and money defending themselves against these false allegations. Therefore, the court held that filing false dowry cases can be considered cruelty, which is a valid ground for seeking a divorce.

In conclusion, filing false dowry cases against a spouse is a serious offense that can have severe consequences for both parties involved. In India, false dowry cases can be a basis for seeking a divorce on the grounds of cruelty. The court has recognized the harm caused by false dowry cases and has held that such behavior can lead to an erosion of trust and respect in the marital relationship. Spouses who are subjected to false dowry cases can use the laws against dowry-related abuse as a basis for seeking a divorce.

False 498a case is ground for Divorce….

It is a trend these days that wife alleges allegation in 498a alleging dowry and cruelty..

False 498A accusations can have a significant impact on men, both psychologically and socially. Section 498A is a part of the Indian Penal Code that deals with cruelty by a husband or his family members towards a married woman. Unfortunately, this law is sometimes misused by women to falsely accuse their husband and his family of harassment and cruelty.

Here are some of the ways that false 498A accusations can affect men:

  1. Mental stress and trauma: False accusations can cause immense mental stress and trauma, leading to depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
  2. Loss of reputation: The social stigma associated with such accusations can cause irreparable damage to a man’s reputation, leading to social isolation and loss of respect in the community.
  3. Legal battles: False 498A accusations can lead to lengthy legal battles, which can drain a man’s financial resources and take years to resolve. In some cases, the accused may be arrested and incarcerated without any evidence, which can be a traumatic experience.
  4. Loss of job and income: Accusations of harassment can lead to the loss of a man’s job, which can further compound his financial difficulties.
  5. Estranged family relationships: False accusations can also strain relationships between the man and his family, leading to broken family ties and social ostracization.

It is important to note that false accusations are a serious matter and can cause significant harm to innocent individuals. The misuse of laws like Section 498A can also undermine the credibility of the legal system and create a sense of mistrust and injustice. It is essential to address the issue of false accusations and ensure that the legal system is fair and just for all.

The respondent-wife has also filed certified copy of the order sheets and petition for divorce, which was earlier filed by the appellant and the said case was registered as CS No. 106-A/1994. The respondent-wife (NAW-1) deposed that the divorce petition filed earlier was dismissed and thereafter she was residing with the appellant for about 2 years at Saraipali and thereafter in the year 2000, she left the appellant and came to Mahasamund. She further admits that after returning to Mahasamund, she lodged an FIR against the appellant and his father for dowry & harassment at Police Station Mahasamund. She further states that she is not aware as to the judgment passed in the said case. The appellant has filed (Ex.-P/1), copy of the judgment dated 19.5.2005 wherein the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Saraipali, in Criminal Case No. 151/2001, giving benefit of doubt has acquitted the appellant and his father of the charge under Section 498-A of the IPC.

Koman Lal Sahu vs. Sushila Sahu (01.08.2022 – CGHC) : MANU/CG/1338/2022

From the aforesaid evidence, it is explicit that mutual respect and understanding between the parties has completely gone and they are residing separate for more than 20 years, both of them have made allegations and counter allegations against each other and even the wife has made police case, which was resulted into acquittal, so, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, filing of such accusation under Section 498-A of the IPC by the wife against her husband and father-in-law, wherein both have acquitted, also amounts to cruelty. For this, we are fortified in our view by the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Rani Narasimha Sastry Vs. Rani Suneela Rani {MANU/SC/1837/2019 : (2020) 18 SCC 247}. In the said matter, it was observed that it is true that it is open for anyone to file complaint or lodge prosecution for redressal of his or her grievances and lodge a first information report for an offence also and mere lodging of complaint or FIR cannot ipso facto be treated as cruelty. But, when a person undergoes a trial in which he is acquitted of the allegation of offence under Section 498-A IPC, levelled by the wife against the husband, it cannot be accepted that no cruelty has been meted out on the husband.

Koman Lal Sahu vs. Sushila Sahu (01.08.2022 – CGHC) : MANU/CG/1338/2022


Here, are the 6 latest judgments of courts in which FIR registered under 498A got quashed due to presence of vague allegations and false charges against the husband and his family members.

In case of Kamlesh Kalra and Ors. vs. Shilpika Kalra and Ors. (24.04.2020 – SC) court are of the opinion that the allegations of the complainant wife with regard to non-return of the Stridhan articles and the charges Under Section 406 against the husband and his relatives are not sustainable in law. It clearly appears that the filing of the criminal complaint is a pressure tactic, having been employed by the complainant wife against her husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, which is clearly an abuse of the process of Court, and is liable to be quashed in toto.

In case of Kahkashan Kausar and Ors. vs. State of Bihar and Ors. (08.02.2022 – SC)  wife has  instituted a criminal complaint against her husband and his relatives alleging demand for dowry and harassment. Court took cognizance for the offense under Section 498A, 323 Indian Penal Code against the husband and issued summons. This dispute was eventually resolved and subsequently, a another written complaint for registration of FIR against her husband and the Appellants herein alleging Accused of pressurizing the Respondent wife to purchase a car as dowry, and threatened to forcibly terminate her pregnancy if the demands were not met. Aggrieved, the Husband and relatives sought quashing of FIR which was dismissed vide impugned judgment by the High Court. Hence, the present appeal in Supreme Court of India.

Held, while allowing the Appeal SC stated that-

Court has at numerous instances expressed concern over the misuse of Section 498A Indian Penal Code and the increased tendency of implicating relatives of the husband in matrimonial disputes, without analysing the long term ramifications of a trial on the complainant as well as the Accused. Court by way of its judgments has been warned from proceeding against the relatives and in-laws of the husband when no prima facie case is made out against them.

Upon a perusal of the contents of the FIR, it is revealed that general allegations are leveled against the relatives.

Therefore, upon consideration of the relevant circumstances and in the absence of any specific role attributed to the Accused Appellants, it would be unjust if the Appellants are forced to go through the tribulations of a trial, i.e., general and omnibus allegations cannot manifest in a situation where the relatives of the complainant’s husband are forced to undergo trial. A criminal trial leading to an eventual acquittal also inflicts severe scars upon the Accused, and such an exercise must therefore be discouraged.

In view of the above facts and discussions, the impugned order is set aside and FIR quashed in this matter.

In case of Ravinder Kumar and Ors. vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and Ors. (03.01.2020 – HPHC) Present petition seeks quashing of FIR registered against petitioner for offences under Sections 498A, 354, 406 and 34 of IPC. The question is whether FIR impugned herein need to be quashed or not? Held, inherent power with High Court to quash criminal proceedings and FIR – Quashing allowed even in cases which are not compoundable. Power to quash to be exercised with great caution and sparingly. If allegations made are absurd, quashing justified. Where criminal proceeding manifestly attended with mala fide it must be set aside. In present case, no iota of averments or allegations to attract offences as alleged. Continuation of proceedings would tantamount to abuse of process of law. FIR qua present petitioner quashed and set aside.

In case of Nitin Garg vs. State of U.P. and Ors. (06.01.2022 – ALLHC),  petiiton is filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. for quashing of FIR filed under Sections 498A, 323 and 506 of IPC and Quashing of charge-sheet and stay of the criminal proceedings. Marriage of the victim solemnised with the applicant on 3.12.2003. Her allegation that accused persons attempted to commit rape upon her. Her husband tried to strangulate her on two occasions. Parties settled their matrimonial dispute before the Supreme Court Mediation Centre on 16.11.2018. Parties have mutually settled of their own free will and a decree under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act has been passed by the Principal Family Court. In view of the settlement and keeping the position of law in this regard cognizance order dated 7.11.2017 has been taken and FIR is quashedand petition for quashing is allowed by the court.

In case of Gaurav Vij and Ors. vs. State of NCT of Delhi and Ors. (07.09.2021 – DELHC) present petition is filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), for quashing of charges under Sections 498A, 306, 201 and 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The question is whether present petition needs interference. Delhi High Court held that, allegation levelled in suicide note are vague. Petitioners at no time instigated, provoked deceased to commit suicide. Suicide note not capable of being viewed as material for offence. Section 107 IPC not satisfied therefore, no case made in section 306 IPC. Hence, FIR quashed in this matter and Petition is allowed.

In case of Jaimeet Singh Kalra and Ors. vs. State and Ors. (02.06.2022 – DELHC), Criminal – petition is filed for Quashing of FIR under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). Alleged offences punishable under sections 498A/406/376/34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Parties living separately due to matrimonial differences and there Disputes settled by way of settlement. Whether in exercise of inherent powers subject FIR also pertaining for non-compoundable offences could be quashed? Court held that, extraordinary power to be exercised sparingly and with great care and caution. Power of compounding and quashing of criminal proceedings in exercise of inherent powers not equal or inter-changeable in law. Parties settled their disputes vide settlement and agreed to dissolve their marriage by mutual consent and also endingtheir pending litigation. Lodging of FIR was outcome of matrimonial discord. In given facts and circumstances, there is remote and bleak possibility of conviction. Petition accordingly allowed and subject FIR quashed.

Does the wife have residential rights despite absence of DV?

There are certain questions which need to be answered in law and regularly court clarify or interpret laws that are already provided in statutes so that problems that are happening in society should be resolved successfully. 

Recently, one judgment was passed by the Supreme Court of India that clears interpretation of residential rights provided to women under Domestic Violence Act, 2005. There are many womens who live away from her matrimonial house and many women who does not live with their in laws during the time of filing DV Complaint and here, one major question that comes in mind of women that is – “Should I will be able to get residential right or not?”

Therefore, I have researched and found one of the best judgements where the court has clarified the meaning of shared household and residential rights of women. In para 30 of the judgements in case of ‘Prabha Tyagi Vs. Kamlesh Devi (2022)’ court says that- 

“Further, though, the expression ‘shared household’ is defined in the context of a household where the person aggrieved lives or has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with Respondent, in the context of Sub-section (1) of Section 17, the said expression cannot be restricted only to a household where a person aggrieved resides or at any stage, resided in a domestic relationship. In other words, a woman in a domestic relationship who is not aggrieved, in the sense that who has not been subjected to an act of domestic violence by the Respondent, has a right to reside in a shared household. Thus, a mother, daughter, sister, wife, mother-in-law and daughter in-law or such other categories of women in a domestic relationship have the right to reside in a shared household de hors a right, title or beneficial interest in the same. Therefore, the right of residence of the aforesaid categories of women and such other categories of women in a domestic relationship is guaranteed Under Sub-section (1) of Section 17 and she cannot be evicted, excluded or thrown out from such a household even in the absence of there being any form of domestic violence. By contrast, Subsection (2) of Section 17 deals with a narrower right in as much as an aggrieved person who is inevitably a woman and who is subjected to domestic violence shall not be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the Respondent except in accordance with the procedure established by law. Thus, the expression ‘right to reside in a shared household’ has to be given an expansive interpretation, in respect of the aforesaid categories of women including a mother-in-law of a daughter-in-law and other categories of women referred to above who have the right to reside in a shared household.”

Now, in para 33 court has given an example so that you can understand whether a wife who is living away has residential right in shared household or not-

“In support of this interpretation, another example may be noted. A woman on getting married, along with her husband may proceed overseas on account of professional or job commitments. Such a woman may not have had an opportunity of residing in the shared household after her marriage. If, for any reason, such a woman becomes an aggrieved person and is forced to return from overseas then she has the right to reside in the shared household of her husband irrespective of whether her husband (Respondent) or the aggrieved person (wife) has any right, title or beneficial interest in the shared household. In such circumstances, parents-in-law of the woman who has returned from overseas and who is an aggrieved person cannot exclude her from the shared household or any part of it except in accordance with the procedure established by law. Another situation is a case where, immediately after marriage, the wife actually resided in the shared household while her husband proceeded overseas. When such a woman is subjected to domestic violence, she cannot be evicted from the shared household except in accordance with the procedure established by law. “

Here, is the brief summary of the whole judgment for better understanding- 

Facts: The aggrieved person (Appellant) filed a complaint alleging domestic violence against her in-laws she suffered after the demise of her husband. As alleged she was denied her stridhan and also her rights in her deceased husbands’ estate. The application filed by aggrieved person was partly allowed and Respondents were directed to pay monetary compensation for insulting and maligning the aggrieved person, besides making available articles of Stridhana. In the appeal preferred by Respondent No. 1, (mother-in-law of the aggrieved person), judgment of the Trial Court was set aside. Thereafter High Court in the impugned judgment held that the aggrieved person had only filed an application alleging domestic violence and since the same was not accompanied by a report, the conditions of Section 12(1) of the D.V. Act were not satisfied. Further, the aggrieved person was residing separately from the Respondents from the day of her marriage and there was no domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and the Respondents, therefore, no relief could be granted under the provisions of the D.V. Act. Hence the present appeal by an aggrieved person. 

Held, while allowing the Appeal:

Section 12 of the D.V. Act states that an aggrieved person or a Protection Officer or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person may present an application to the Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under the D.V. Act. [22] While the object and purpose of the D.V. Act is to protect a woman from domestic violence, the salutary object of Sub-section (1) of Section 17 is to confer a right on every woman in a domestic relationship to have the right to reside in a shared household. [27] The D.V. Act is a piece of Civil Code which is applicable to every woman in India irrespective of her religious affiliation and/or social background for a more effective protection of her rights guaranteed under the Constitution and in order to protect women victims of domestic violence occurring in a domestic relationship. Therefore, the expression ‘joint family’ cannot mean as understood in Hindu Law. Thus, the expression ‘family members living together as a joint family’, means the members living jointly as a family. In such an interpretation, even a girl child/children who is/are cared for as foster children also have a right to live in a shared household and are conferred with the right Under Sub-section (1) of Section 17 of the D.V. Act. When such a girl child or woman becomes an aggrieved person, the protection of Sub-section (2) of Section 17 comes into play.[36] It is not mandatory for the aggrieved person to have actually lived or resided with those persons against whom the allegations have been levelled at the time of seeking relief. If a woman has the right to reside in a shared household, she can accordingly enforce her right under Section 17(1) of the D.V. Act. If a woman becomes an aggrieved person or victim of domestic violence, she can seek relief under the provisions of the D.V. Act including her right to live or reside in the shared household under Section 17 read with Section 19 of the D.V. Act.[40] Hence, the Appellant herein had the right to live in a shared household i.e., her matrimonial home and being a victim of domestic violence could enforce her right to live or reside in the shared household under the provisions of the D.V. Act and to seek any other appropriate relief provided under the D.V. Act. This is irrespective of whether she actually lived in the shared household.[41] Even though as on the date of filing of the application before the Magistrate Under Section 12 of the D.V. Act the Appellant was not actually living in the shared household; she nevertheless lived in a domestic relationship with her husband and further had the right to reside in a shared household as a daughter-in-law. The Appellant-aggrieved person had to leave the shared household on account of harassment and mental torture given to her by Respondent – mother-in-law and her family. She had to leave the same and fend for herself. Thus, as an aggrieved person, the Appellant could not have been excluded from the shared household as there was no valid reason to do so. As the Appellant had a right to reside in the shared household as she was in a domestic relationship with her husband till he died in the accident and had lived together with him therefore she also had a right to reside in the shared household despite the death of her husband in a road accident. The aggrieved person continued to have a subsisting domestic relationship owing to her marriage and she being the daughter-in-law had the right to reside in the shared household.[44] An aggrieved person on her own or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person may present an application to the Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under the D.V. Act but the proviso states that when a Domestic Incident Reported is received by the Magistrate from the Protection Officer or the service provider, in such a case, the same shall be taken into consideration. Therefore, when an aggrieved person files an application by herself or with the assistance of an advocate and not with the assistance of the Protection Officer or a service provider, in such a case, the role of the Protection Officer or a service provider is not envisaged. Although, the expression ‘shall’ is used in the proviso, it is restricted to only those cases where a Protection Officer files any Domestic Incident Report or, as the case may be, the service provider files such a report. When a Domestic Incident Report is filed by a Protection Officer or a service provider, in such a case the Magistrate has to take into consideration the said report received by him. But if such a report has not been filed on behalf of the aggrieved person then he is not bound to consider any such report. Therefore, the expression ‘shall’ has to be read in the context of a Domestic Incident Report received by a Magistrate from the Protection Officer or the service provider as the case may be in which case, it is mandatory for the Magistrate to consider the report. But, if no such report is received by the Magistrate then the Magistrate is naturally not to consider any such Domestic Incident Report before passing any order on the application. [47] High Court was not right in holding that the application filed by the Appellant herein was not accompanied by aw21 Domestic Incident Report and therefore under the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 12 of the D.V. Act, the Magistrate had no authority to issue orders and directions in favour of the Appellant.[48] The three questions raised in this appeal are answered as under: (i) Section 12 does not make it mandatory for a Magistrate to consider a Domestic Incident Report filed by a Protection Officer or service provider before passing any order under the D.V. Act. It is clarified that even in the absence of a Domestic Incident Report, a Magistrate is empowered to pass both ex parte or interim as well as a final order under the provisions of the D.V. Act.; (ii) It is not mandatory for the aggrieved person, when she is related by consanguinity, marriage or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family, to actually reside with those persons against whom the allegations have been levelled at the time of commission of domestic violence. If a woman has the right to reside in the shared household Under Section 17 of the D.V. Act and such a woman becomes an aggrieved person or victim of domestic violence, she can seek reliefs under the provisions of D.V. Act including enforcement of her right to live in a shared household; (iii) There should be a subsisting domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and the person against whom the relief is claimed vis-Ã-vis allegation of domestic violence. However, it is not necessary that at the time of filing of an application by an aggrieved person, the domestic relationship should be subsisting. [52]