Jammu & Kashmir High Court: Criminal Proceedings Not to Settle Matrimonial Disputes

LI Network

Published on: December 31, 2023 at 13:15 IST

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court has declared that criminal proceedings must not be misused as a means to resolve matrimonial conflicts, thereby quashing a criminal case filed by a woman against her in-laws.

The Court emphasized that continuing such proceedings would amount to an abuse of legal processes.

In the case of Subhash Chander v. State of J&K, Justice Rajnesh Oswal presided over a matrimonial dispute and stated, “It is established that criminal proceedings cannot be utilized as a tool for harassment in settling matrimonial disputes. The allegations against the petitioners lack specific details and clarity, making the continuation of these proceedings an abuse of the legal system.”

The Court’s ruling was prompted by a plea filed by relatives of a man seeking the quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) registered against them in 2017.

The FIR accused them of offenses under Sections 498-A, 342, 504, and 506 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). The petitioners argued that the criminal proceedings were initiated solely to harass them.

The matrimonial union between the couple, who met through a matrimonial site, lacked familial attendance during the marriage ceremony. The wife allegedly exhibited indifference toward her husband and family members soon after the marriage and departed from their company without valid cause.

The situation escalated when the wife demanded her husband leave his parents and children from a previous marriage if he wished to continue the marriage, residing with her at her parental home. Allegations arose, including physical assault and wrongful confinement of the husband by the wife, leading to police involvement and a subsequent complaint by the petitioners against the wife.

The respondent-wife, in retaliation, lodged a complaint against the petitioners, alleging ill-treatment and abuse for insufficient dowry.

After careful consideration, the High Court acknowledged that the allegations made by the respondent-wife primarily pertained to her husband, and the petitioners had been unfairly implicated.

Consequently, the Court ordered the quashing of proceedings against the petitioners specified in the charge-sheet arising from the FIR, given that the husband had not filed the petition.

Related Post