In an unprecedented order liable to send across a stern message to the police and prosecution against false implication of people in matrimonial disputes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that they were liable to furnish an explanation for their actions.
Making it clear that the court could travel beyond just the quashing of FIRs in such matters and take the police and the prosecution to task, Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan has asked the Faridkot Senior Superintendent of Police, the Deputy District Attorney (Legal) and the investigating officer to file separate affidavits as to how offence was made out against the husband’s cousin in the dispute.
“It is made clear that if the affidavits are not filed by the next date of hearing, they will be burdened with a cost of Rs 1 lakh each to be paid to the petitioner,” Justice Sangwan asserted, adding coercive action would not be taken against the petitioner.
The matter was brought to Justice Sangwan’s notice after the petitioner-woman filed a petition for quashing an FIR dated October 15, 2020, registered at the Faridkot City police station, for subjecting a married woman to cruelty, criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation under Sections 406, 498A and 506 of the IPC. Her counsel submitted that the petitioner, daughter of the husband’s maternal aunt, had no role to play. The only reason given for the FIR registration was that the accused persons did not come when a notice was given to them by the investigating officer. So, the registration of an FIR against the accused, including petitioner, was recommended.
The counsel added even the opinion given by Faridkot Deputy District Attorney (Legal) Amit Goklani did not reflect application of judicial mind. As such, the petitioner was falsely implicated in the present FIR. The counsel added the lengthy complaint/FIR, apparently drafted by a lawyer, did not contain allegation of interference in the matrimonial affair of the complainant. The only allegation was that some gift was given to the petitioner at the time of marriage. But it could not be termed as “istridhan” in view of a Supreme Court judgment. The case will now come up in May second week.