Apex Court quashed the FIR against relatives, which was riddled with vague allegations.
From Para 12,
12. Before we delve into greater detail on the nature and content of allegations made, it becomes pertinent to mention that incorporation of section 498A of IPC was aimed at preventing cruelty committed upon a woman by her husband and her in-laws, by facilitating rapid state intervention. However, it is equally true, that in recent times, matrimoniallitigation in the country has also increased significantly and there is a greater disaffection and friction surrounding the institution of marriage,now, more than ever. This has resulted in an increased tendency to employ provisions such as 498A IPC as instruments to settle personalscores against the husband and his relatives.
From Para 18,
18. The above-mentioned decisions clearly demonstrate that this court has at numerous instances expressed concern over the misuse of section 498A IPC and the increased tendency of implicating relatives of thehusband in matrimonial disputes, without analysing the long term ramifications of a trial on the complainant as well as the accused. It is further manifest from the said judgments that false implication by way of general omnibus allegations made in the course of matrimonial dispute, ifleft unchecked would result in misuse of the process of law. Therefore, this court by way of its judgments has warned the courts from proceedingagainst the relatives and in-laws of the husband when no prima facie case is made out against them.
From Para 21 and 22,
Kahkashan Kausar @ Sonam Vs State of Bihar on 08 Feb 2022
21. Here it must be borne in mind that although the two FIRs may constitute two independent instances, based on separate transactions, the present complaint fails to establish specific allegations against the in-laws of the Respondent wife. Allowing prosecution in the absence of clear allegations against the in-laws Appellants would simply result in an abuse of the process of law.
22. 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. It has been highlighted by this court in varied instances, that a criminal trial leading to an eventual acquittal also inflicts severe scars upon the accused, and such an exercise must therefore be discouraged.
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