A single judge of Calcutta High Court quash vengeful litigation, terming the same as ‘Legal Terrorism‘.
The basic allegation of offence punishable u/s 498A of IPC has some specific ingredients they are:-
1. Married woman was subjected to cruelty.
2. Such cruelty consisted in
a) in lawful conduct as was likely to drive such women to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to her life, limb or health whether mental or physical.
b) harm to such women with a view coercing her to me unlawful demand for property or valuable security or on account of failure of such woman or not of her relations to him the lawful demand.
c) the women was subjected to such cruelty by her husband or any relation of her husband.
The legislature has enacted the provision of Section 498A to strike out the dowry menace from the society. But it is observed in several cases that by misusing of said provision new legal terrorism is unleashed. Harassment and torture enumerated in the definition of security u/s 498A cannot be proved solely by the de-facto complainant. The criminal law is allowed, complainant to file a criminal complaint but the same has to be justified by adducing cogent evidences. The four corners of both the CDs recorded no such evidence by which prima facie offence against the present petitioners can be established. The direct allegation against the husband by the de-facto complainant is merely from the version of the de-facto complainant herself. It support no documentary or medical evidence. One neighbour has heard about the quarrel of Banashree her husband; the quarrel of two persons does not mean or prove who is in aggression or who is aggrieved.
Swapan Kumar Das Vs State of West Bengal on 21 Aug 2023
On perusing the observation of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Ch. Bhajanlal, I am of a view that the instant criminal proceedings initiated by the de-facto complainant against the husband and in-laws does not disclose prima facie offence against them as alleged. The proceeding are instituted only to fulfil personal grudge.
Considering the circumstances I think it necessary to invoke the inherent power of this court to quash the proceedings otherwise the continuation of the criminal proceedings would be tantamount to the abuse of process of court.