The Supreme Court has come to the rescue of a non-resident Indian family harassed by their estranged daughter-in-law who falsely implicated her US-based husband and in-laws in a dowry harassment case.
A bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat allowed the family’s appeal against an order of the Madras High Court which had rejected their plea for quashing a criminal case under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. Husband or his family members can be imprisoned for three years for dowry harassment, under the provision.
Rejecting the allegations, the court said it was clear that the complaint was filed with malafide intent to harass the husband and his family.
The verdict assumes significance in view of the abuse of anti-dowry law and the practice of implicating all members of the husband’s family.
The verdict came on an appeal filed by Sundar Babu and his family against his former wife Sukanya.
Babu said he went to the US in July 1999 and within seven months Sukanya filed cases against him and his family, including parents and maternal grandmother. She obtained a divorce in July 2001 and remarried a year later, but the case continued.
Babu’s family moved the HC for quashing of the FIR but did not get any relief.
“Authority of the court exists for advancement of justice... It would be an abuse of the process of the court to allow any action, which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice,” the court said.
Citing an earlier ruling, it said a criminal case can be quashed, if it is manifestly attended with malafide or “where the proceedings are instituted with an ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge”.