Defense of Accused:
Before the trial Court the accused persons put the plea that charge under Section 498-A was thoroughly misconceived as both Sections 304-B and 498-A IPC pre-suppose valid marriage of the alleged victim-woman with the offender-husband. It was required to be shown that the victim-woman was the legally married wife of the accused. Since it was admitted that the appellant had married during the lifetime of the wife of respondent no.1, what happened to his first marriage remained a mystery. Prosecution has failed to establish that it stood dissolved legally. Prosecution having failed to bring any material record in that regard, Section 498-A had no application.
From Para 18,
It would be appropriate to construe the expression ‘husband’ to cover a person who enters into marital relationship and under the colour of such proclaimed or feigned status of husband subjects the woman concerned to cruelty or coerce her in any manner or for any of the purposes enumerated in the relevant provisions Sections 304B/498A, whatever be the legitimacy of the marriage itself for the limited purpose of Sections 498A and 304B IPC. Such an interpretation, known and recognized as purposive construction has to come into play in a case of this nature. The absence of a definition of ‘husband’ to specifically include such persons who contract marriages ostensibly and cohabitate with such woman, in the purported exercise of his role and status as ‘husband’ is no ground to exclude them from the purview of Section 304B or 498A IPC, viewed in the context of the very object and aim of the legislations introducing those provisions.
Reema Aggarwal Vs Anupam And Ors on 8 January, 2004
Whether the offences are made out is a matter of trial. The High Court was not justified in summarily rejecting the application for grant of leave. It has a duty to indicate reasons when it refuses to grant leave. Any casual or summary disposal would not be proper. (See State of Punjab v. Bhag Singh (2003 (8) Supreme 611). In the circumstances, we set aside the impugned order of the High Court and remit the matter back to the High Court for hearing the matter on merits as according to us points involved require adjudication by the High Court. The appeal is allowed to the extent indicated.
The acquittal of the accused happened at sessions court and a revision on this acquittal at High Court of Punjab and Haryana was dismissed. Read it here.
Citations : [2004 AIR SC 1418], [2004 ALD CRI 1 452], [2004 CALLT SC 3 16], [2004 DMC SC 1 201], [2004 JT SC 1 177], [2004 KLJ 1 825], [2004 KLT SC 2 822], [2004 PLJR 2 64], [2004 SCALE 1 264], [2004 SCC 3 199], [2004 CRIMES SC 1 276], [2004 SCC CRI 699], [2004 SCR 1 378], [2004 SUPREME 1 355], [2004 KHC 0 668], [2004 RCR CRI 1 776], [2004 ACC 48 442], [2004 AIR SC 344], [2004 SRJ 2 49], [2004 CCR 1 163], [2004 JCRIC 1 209], [2004 CRJ 2 432], [2004 SLT 1 466], [2004 AIR SCW 344], [2004 CRLJ SC 892]
Other Sources :