Wife’s Complaint Against Husband, His Family Must Be Scrutinised: Delhi High Court

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Wife's Complaint Against Husband, His Family Must Be Scrutinised: Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court said though the court is not expected to conduct a mini-trial (File)

The Delhi High Court has said that the courts must scrutinise a wife’s complaint or FIR against her husband or his family to determine whether the allegations carry elements of truth or are merely an instance of “clever drafting”.

The high court said though the court is not expected to conduct a mini-trial, it also cannot be a mere spectator and refuse to exercise the power of quashing a criminal case where it finds that continuing with the proceedings would defeat the ends of the justice and amount to insurmountable harassment, agony, and pain to the accused.

This would be an abuse of the criminal process, it said.

Justice Navin Chawla said where the wife is set to implicate the entire family of the husband in a criminal case, it is to be expected that she would get a complaint properly drafted through her lawyer making specific allegations against each one of them.

The high court said it would defeat the ends of justice if only on the basis of such averment, the family members of the husband were to face the agony of trial.

“In my opinion, therefore, the court must scrutinise the complaint/FIR to determine whether the allegations are a case of clever drafting or have at least some element of truth in the same” Justice Chawla said.

The high court’s observations came while quashing an FIR lodged against a man’s maternal uncle and aunt by his estranged wife for the alleged offences of cruelty done to a married woman and criminal breach of trust under the IPC.

It was alleged in the FIR that since the beginning of the marriage, the woman’s husband and his relatives harassed her and beat her, the court noted that while the marriage was solemnised in 1997, the FIR was lodged in 2017, that is, after 23 years.

The husband’s maternal uncle and aunt sought quashing the FIR against them on the ground that they had always lived separately from their nephew and his wife and their names were dragged in the case only because they were his family members.

The high court, in its order, noted that allegations made against the husband’s family members were mostly general and vague.

It allowed the petition and quashed the FIR and consequential proceedings against the man’s relatives. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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