One of the submissions, which has been made by the learned counsel for the appellant also needs to be considered. Learned counsel for the appellant had submitted that complaint has not been filed by a competent person. It is submitted that complaint is not made by Vanshika, but has been filed only by father of Vanshika, hence it is not maintainable. The above submission has been refuted by Shri Santosh Krishnan. He submits that it is not necessary that a complaint under Section 498A should be filed only by the victim of offence. He submits that complaint filed by father of the victim, respondent No.2 was also fully maintainable. Section 498A provides as follows:-
“498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.— Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life,
limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.”
- Section 498A provides for an offence when husband or the relative of the husband, subject her to cruelty. There is nothing in Section 498A, which may indicate that when a woman is subjected to cruelty, a complaint has to be filed necessarily by the women so subjected. A perusal of Section 498A, as extracted above, indicates that the provision does not contemplate that complaint for offence under Section 498A should be filed only by women, who is subjected to cruelty by husband or his relative. We, thus, are of the view that complaint filed by respondent No.2, the father of Vanshika cannot be said to be not maintainable on this ground. We, thus, reject the submission of the counsel
for the appellant that complaint filed by respondent No.2 was not maintainable.
- In view of the foregoing discussions, insofar as the offence under Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act is concerned, we are of the view that present is a case, which is covered by Category 7 as enumerated by State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal (supra) and the High Court erred in refusing to exercise under Section 482 Cr.P.C——————————————————————————————————————-
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.594 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8103/2018)
RASHMI CHOPRA …APPELLANT(S)
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR….RESPONDENT(S)