Saturday, 14 May 2016

When prosecution U/S 498A of IPC is liable to quashed against sister in laws?

 Despite our conclusion recorded hereinabove, in
respect of the first contention advanced by the learned senior
counsel for the appellants, it is important to refer to his
second submission also. It was the pointed contention of the
learned counsel for the appellants, that appellant nos. 4, 5
and 6, namely, Bhavana Vershney, Renu Gupta and Tulika Jaiswal,
are all sisters-in-law of respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta. In
that view of the matter, they are the sisters of the husband of
respondent no.2 - Mukul Gupta. We were informed, that
appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6 are all married and living
independently. They are not residing with any of the appellant
nos. 1 to 3. Since they are married, and living independently
in different places, they had no concern with the relationship
of respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta with appellant nos. 1 to 3.
Further more, our attention was also invited to the fact, that
no clear allegations have been levelled by respondent no.2 -
Sonia Gupta against any of the appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6. Even
during the course of hearing, respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta,
who entered appearance in person, did not contest the aforesaid
factual position. Her only submission, during the course of
hearing was, that her three sisters-in-law had visited the
matrimonial house of respondent no.2, on the occasion of 'Grah
Parvesh', and the 'Naming Ceremony' of her daughter. We are of
the view, that the visit of the three sisters-in-law of
respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta, on the above two occasions were

for celebration, and cannot be treated as occasions where they
harassed respondent no.2. In any case, in the absence of any
material on the record of this case, relating to harassment on
the above two occasions, we are satisfied, that the proceeding
initiated against appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6, consequent upon
the registration of the first information report by respondent
no.2 - Sonia Gupta on 10.04.2002, was not justified. The same
deserves to be quashed. The same is accordingly hereby
quashed.
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 128 OF 2011
Ram Saran Varshney and others … Appellants
versus
State of Uttar Pradesh and another … Respondents
Dated;February 05, 2016.
Citation;(2016)3 SCC724

JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR, J.

1. The challenge raised in the instant appeal is, as
against the order dated 7.5.2008, namely, the charge sheet
wherein the appellants before this Court have been proceeded
against under Sections 498A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code,
as also, under Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. A
further challenge has also been raised, as against the order
dated 12.05.2008 (passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Lucknow), taking cognizance of the charge sheet, filed against
the appellants.
2. It is essential to narrate the facts leading up to
the controversy. In this behalf, it would be relevant to
mention, that Mukul Gupta - appellant no.3 was married to Sonia
Gupta - respondent no.2 on 11.06.1997. Ram Saran Varshney -
appellant no.1 and Saroj Varshney - appellant no.2 are the
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father-in-law and mother-in-law respectively of respondent
no.2. Appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6 are the sisters-in-law of
respondent no.2.
3. A girl child was born to appellant no.3 and
respondent no.2 from their wedlock on 9.12.2000. Even though
it is alleged, that appellant no.3 and respondent no.2 lived in
the matrimonial home at Pune till 30.10.2001, it is the case of
the appellants before this Court, that respondent no.2 left her
matrimonial home on 30.10.2001. It is also alleged, that on
15.03.2002, respondent no.2 forcibly attempted to enter the
house of Ram Saran Varshney and Saroj Varshney (i.e. her
parents-in-law) at Lucknow. Consequently, appellant nos. 1 and
2 initiated civil proceedings, to restrain respondent no.2 from
entering their house. By an order dated 15.03.2002, the
District Judge, Lucknow granted the necessary restraint order,
in favour of appellant nos. 1 and 2. In sum and substance,
respondent no.2 was restrained from forcibly entering into the
house allotted to appellant no.1, namely, C-79, Butlar Palace
Colony, PS Hazratganj, Lucknow, without the permission of the
Court.
4. It seems, that the relationship between the parties
were not amicable. It is therefore, that appellant no.3 -
Mukul Gupta filed a petition under Section 13 of the Hindu
Marriage Act, 1956, seeking divorce from respondent no.2 -
Sonia Gupta. During the course of hearing, it was the
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contention of the learned senior counsel for the appellants,
that as a retaliatory act to the divorce petition filed by
appellant no.3 - Mukul Gupta, respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta
registered a first information report bearing Case Crime No.
326 of 2002 at Police Station Shiv Kutti, Allahabad, under
Sections 498A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, read with
Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. It was alleged by
respondent no.2 in the above first information report, that the
appellants were harassing her. Investigation in the matter,
consequent upon the registration of the first information
report was handed over to Inspector - Krishan Pal Singh.
Apprehending arrest, based on the allegations levelled by
respondent no.2 against the appellants, they approached the
High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, by filing Writ Petition
(MB) No. 2600 of 2002. It is not a matter of dispute, that the
High Court stayed the arrest of the appellants.
5. Krishan Pal Singh, having investigated into the
matter, filed a closure report dated 27.4.2003. The instant
report shall hereinafter be referred to as the “First Closure
Report”. The text of the aforesaid closure report is
reproduced hereunder:
“It is stated that on 10.04.2002 on the
information of the complainant to PS Shivkutti,
Allahabad, after registering a case, Sh. K.P.
Singh, ASI, PS Hazratganj, started
investigation and investigated the matter by
CO, Hazratganj. Thereafter, I conducted the
investigation and after thorough investigation
and the statements of the witnesses and perusal
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of the record, no substance has been found in
the allegations. Moreover, the dispute occurred
due to the personal differences and egoism
between them. The accused has earlier filed a
case of dissolution of marriage and in a fit of
revenge the complainant filed an FIR. On
perusal of the evidences, no dowry case, as
alleged to have been made out. Therefore, the
final report is closed due to lack of evidences
by the investigation. Final Report be
accepted.”
6. Respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta, it seems, expressed
dissatisfaction with the investigation carried out by Krishan
Pal Singh. It is therefore, that she addressed a
representation to the Superintendent of Police, City (East),
Lucknow, requiring him to order further investigation, through
some other police station. In this context, it would be
relevant to notice, that the Superintendent of Police ordered
further investigation by the Station House Officer, Police
Station Hussainganj. Accordingly, Badan Singh conducted
further investigation. Having carried out the investigation,
Badan Singh also submitted a closure report dated 10.07.2003.
The instant report shall hereinafter be referred to as the
“Second Closure Report”. The text of the same is being
extracted hereunder:
“I perused the case diary maintained by Sr. SI
and former Ios and considered the same
carefully. I have also considered the
statements maintaining the case diary and
contents of the annexures. I also considered
the statements of complainant and her family
members. The complainant and her family members
have only stated orally regarding the demand of
dowry for demanding a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs and
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no evidence has been produced either by the
complainant or her family members. Beside it,
there is no independent and fair evidence has
been produced to substantiate that the money
has been demanded in dowry. The complainant
with her free will stayed with her husband in
Australia, America, Singapore and Pune for
years. It is a dispute of ego between the wife
and husband has the complainant belongs to a
well to do and prosperious family and also an
educated lady and therefore she does not
consider anything less than her husband. Beside
it, her husband Sh. Mukul Gupta is a son of an
IAS officer and working in high ranking as
Director. He filed a divorce case in the Family
Court, Lucknow, as he could not get proper
behaviour from her wife towards himself and
towards his family members. The complainant has
filed an FIR to press her husband to withdraw
the case and force her to live with him and
therefore she has lodged an FIR of demand of
dowry. The former IO, Sh. C.L. Sachan, SI has
considered each and every point and statement
of complainant and her family members and after
examining and carrying on the investigation
submitted the final report. After perusing the
report of former IO and statements of other
witnesses, I am entirely satisfied of the
investigation carried out by the former IO and
in my considered opinion nothing has been wrong
in the investigation carried out by the former
IO which requires further investigation
therefore, I am entirely satisfied with the
investigation carried out by the former IO and
therefore present final report is being filed
and therefore it may be accepted.”
7. Sonia Gupta - respondent no.2, filed a protest
petition before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, against
the filing of the First Closure Report dated 27.4.2003. The
aforesaid protest petition was filed on 17.07.2006. Having
taken into consideration the issues canvassed by respondent
5Page 6
no.2, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, ordered further
investigation vide order dated 06.09.2006.
8. Dissatisfied with the order dated 6.9.2006, Ram Saran
Varshney - appellant no.1, and Saroj Varshney - appellant no.2
filed Criminal Revision Petition No. 378 of 2006 before the
Sessions Judge, Lucknow. By an order dated 7.11.2006, the
revisional Court stayed the order passed by the Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Lucknow, dated 6.9.2006 (whereby she had ordered
further investigation in the matter).
9. Despite the fact, that the order passed by the Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, dated 6.9.2006 had been stayed by
the revisional Court, further investigation continued to be
carried on, by yet another investigating officer, namely, N.K.
Bajpai. After completing investigation, he also submitted a
closure report dated 27.02.2007. The instant report shall
hereinafter be referred to as the “Third Closure Report”. It
is not necessary to extract the whole of the report.
Accordingly, a relevant part thereof is being reproduced
hereunder:
“...Accused no. 3 Mukul Gupta is posted in
London. He was contacted on 8.2.2007 on return
to Lucknow. His father Sh. R.S. Varshney and
mother Smt. Saroj Varshney are now residing at
their residence situated at Sitapur Road, Sri
Nathji Vihar Colony. They were also contacted
and they told that the complainant letter dated
14.2.2002 written by Sh. D.D. Varshney to
Distt. Magistrate is a forged one as such
complainant letter have never been received in
the District Magistrate's office. In this
connection has produced a proof on 8.8.2002 and
6Page 7
a copy of that has been submitted. Mukul has
also told that he had got prepared a bank draft
for Rs. 2,50,000/- in the name of Sonia and as
a maintenance allowance during the divorce
proceedings, Rs. 5000/- per month has been
given w.e.f. April 2003. He hasd also given a
certified copy of the statement of Sonia which
has been recorded by Sonia in Case No. 365/02
under Section 125 Cr.PC before the Court,
Allahabad. In which Sonia has accepted that
Mukul has got preparted a FD and the
maintenance allowance @ Rs. 5000/- per month is
being received by her. He has also confessed
that there were strained relationship between
her and Mukul and in between she used to
apologise from Mukul. She has also confessed
that on 9.2.2002 she had sent an e-mail to
Mukul in which she has mentioned orally that
his family has demanded dowry and in case of
non receipt of Rs. 10 lakhs, she will be
harassed and tortured. Regarding the demand of
dowry, no evidence or independent witness has
been produced by the complainant or her family
members. Besides it, none has mentioned about
the demand of Rs. 10 lakhs as dowry. The
Australia, America, Singapore and Pune. The
dispute has taken place due to egoism of both
husband and wife being belonged to a well to do
and prosperous family because the complainant
was borne in a well to do and prosperous family
and got higher education of Allahabad
University and she is not less than, in any
way, her husband. Sh. Mukul Gupta is also son
of an IAS officer and is also posted abroad on
a higher post. He has also filed a divorce
case before the Family Court due to not getting
good behaviour from her wife towards him and
his parents. The wife has also filed a dowry
case against the husband and his family members
with a view to withdraw the divorce case and
compel to live her husband with her. After
analyzing the investigations conducted by the
previous IO Sh. C.S. Sachan, SI and Sh. Badan
Singh, Sr. SI, PS Hussainganj on each and every
points of the allegations leveled by the
complainant and her family members, the IO has
finished the final report. I also agree with
the previous investigations conducted by the
previous IOs. No point has been left unattended
which require further probe, as per my
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knowledge. Therefore, I agree with the previous
investigation. Final report may be accepted.”
10. It would also be relevant to mention, that the
revision petition filed by the parents-in-law of respondent
no.2, assailing the order of further investigation, came to be
dismissed on 1.3.2008. The said order, it seems, attained
finality, as the pleadings do not indicate any further action
on the part of the appellants in the matter.
11. Learned senior counsel for the appellants, has
expressly invited our attention to the fact, that after the
submission of the Third Closure Report, no direction was given
by any Court for conducting any re-investigation/further
investigation in the case. It was submitted during the course
of hearing, that no further investigation was ordered to be
conducted at the hands of any senior police officer also. Yet,
at the back of the appellants, further investigation into the
first information report lodged by respondent no.2, as far back
as on 10.4.2002, was carried out, even after the submission of
the Third Closure Report. It was sought to be pointed out,
that the aforesaid investigation came to light, when Sonia
Gupta - respondent no.2 moved an application before the Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, seeking the status of
investigation, pursuant to the directions issued by her on
6.9.2006, directing further investigation into the matter.
While taking cognizance of the said application, the Chief
8Page 9
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, by an order dated 27.03.2008,
directed the officer in-charge to file an action taken report.
It was at that juncture, that further investigation into the
matter, was taken up by yet another investigating officer,
namely, Uma Shankar Tripathi.
12. Having completed the investigation, the fourth
Investigating Officer-Uma Shankar Tripathi filed a charge sheet
dated 7.5.2008. The contents of the above charge sheet are
reproduced below:
“Above mentioned prosecution dated 10-04-2002
has been registered on the statement of
complainant Smt. Sonia Gupta, whose
investigation was first carried out by Sh.
Pankaj Gautam C.O. PS. Hazrathganj, S.I. KP
Singh, S.I. CL Sachan, and S.I. SK Bajpai. All
the investigating Officers after investigation
submitted final report through F.R. 207.
However, the Hon'ble Court passed an order on
the petition of the complainant for
investigation under Section 178 CrPC. In
pursuance of the Court Order investigation was
started.
On the basis of the statement of the
complainant, witness statements, charge sheet
No. 203/08 is being filed against the accused
persons in column no. 3 under sections
498-A/506 IPC and ¾ Dowry Protection Act, after
cancelling the previously filed final reports.
Kindly consider the evidence and take action as
per law.
It is noteworthy that by the accused persons
have been granted a Stay on Arrest by the
Hon'ble High Court. The investigation is being
concluded. Charge sheet is filed against all
the accused.”
9Page 10
Consequent upon the filing of the aforesaid charge sheet before
the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, cognizance was taken on
12.5.2008, and the appellants were summoned to face trial. The
above order is being reproduced hereunder:
“Today, the PS Hazratganj in Crime Case No.
326/02 after investigation, chargesheet has
been issued against the accused(s) Ramsaran
Varsheney, Smt. Saroj Varshney, Mukul Gupta,
Smt. Bhawna Varshney, Smt. Renu Gupta, Smt.
Tunika Jaiswal under Sections 498-A/506 IPC and
3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act. Case diary was
perused. Sufficient grounds are for challans.
Accused are challaned. Case is registered. To
appear on 14.5.2008 as 14.5.2008 has already
been fixed. To appear on the fixed date.”
13. The appellants filed another revision petition
challenging the order dated 12.5.2008, taking cognizance,
before the Sessions Court, Lucknow. The Sessions Judge
dismissed the revision petition filed by the appellants on
1.7.2008.
14. The appellants then approached the High Court of
Judicature at Allahabad, by filing Criminal Miscellaneous Case
No. 2463 of 2008 under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, seeking quashing of the charge sheet dated 7.5.2008,
the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate dated
12.5.2008, and the order passed by the Sessions Judge dated
1.7.2008. The impugned order came to be passed by the High
Court on 1.12.2008, when the challenge raised by the appellants
before the High Court, was rejected.
10Page 11
15. The first contention advanced at the hands of the
learned senior counsel for the appellants was, that the charge
sheet dated 7.5.2008, and the order taking cognizance dated
12.5.2008 were cryptic in nature. It was the vehement
contention of the learned senior counsel for the appellants,
that the Fourth Investigating Officer - Uma Shankar Tripathi,
as also, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, had not taken
into consideration the earlier closure reports, and as such,
the charge sheet dated 7.5.2008, as also, the order dated
12.5.2008 taking cognizance, were not sustainable in law.
Insofar as the instant aspect of the matter is concerned,
learned senior counsel placed reliance on a decision of this
Court rendered in the case of Vinay Tyagi vs. Irshad Ali alias
Deepak and others (2013) 5 SCC 762. Our attention was
expressly invited to the following observations recorded in the
above judgment:
“41. Having discussed the scope of power of
the Magistrate under Section 173 of the Code,
now we have to examine the kinds of reports
that are contemplated under the provisions of
the Code and/or as per the judgments of this
Court. The first and the foremost document that
reaches the jurisdiction of the Magistrate is
the first information report. Then, upon
completion of the investigation, the police is
required to file a report in terms of Section
173(2) of the Code. It will be appropriate to
term this report as a primary report, as it is
the very foundation of the case of the
prosecution before the court. It is the record
of the case and the documents annexed thereto,
which are considered by the court and then the
court of the Magistrate is expected to exercise
any of the three options aforenoticed. Out of
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the stated options with the court, the
jurisdiction it would exercise has to be in
strict consonance with the settled principles
of law. The power of the Magistrate to direct
“further investigation” is a significant power
which has to be exercised sparingly, in
exceptional cases and to achieve the ends of
justice. To provide fair, proper and
unquestionable investigation is the obligation
of the investigating agency and the court in
its supervisory capacity is required to ensure
the same. Further investigation conducted under
the orders of the court, including that of the
Magistrate or by the police of its own accord
and, for valid reasons, would lead to the
filing of a supplementary report. Such
supplementary report shall be dealt with as
part of the primary report. This is clear from
the fact that the provisions of Sections 173(3)
to 173(6) would be applicable to such reports
in terms of Section 173(8) of the Code.
42. Both these reports have to be read
conjointly and it is the cumulative effect of
the reports and the documents annexed thereto
to which the court would be expected to apply
its mind to determine whether there exist
grounds to presume that the accused has
committed the offence. If the answer is in the
negative, on the basis of these reports, the
court shall discharge an accused in compliance
with the provisions of Section 227 of the Code.
49. Now, we may examine another significant
aspect which is how the provisions of Section
173(8) have been understood and applied by the
courts and investigating agencies. It is true
that though there is no specific requirement in
the provisions of Section 173(8) of the Code to
conduct “further investigation” or file
supplementary report with the leave of the
court, the investigating agencies have not only
understood but also adopted it as a legal
practice to seek permission of the courts to
conduct “further investigation” and file
“supplementary report” with the leave of the
court. The courts, in some of the decisions,
have also taken a similar view. The requirement
of seeking prior leave of the court to conduct
“further investigation” and/or to file a
12Page 13
“supplementary report” will have to be read
into, and is a necessary implication of the
provisions of Section 173(8) of the Code. The
doctrine of contemporanea expositio will fully
come to the aid of such interpretation as the
matters which are understood and implemented
for a long time, and such practice that is
supported by law should be accepted as part of
the interpretative process.
53. The court of competent jurisdiction is
duty-bound to consider all reports, entire
records and documents submitted therewith by
the investigating agency as its report in terms
of Section 173(2) of the Code. This rule is
subject to only the following exceptions:
(a) Where a specific order has been
passed by the learned Magistrate at the
request of the prosecution limited to
exclude any document or statement or any
part thereof;
(b) Where an order is passed by the
higher courts in exercise of its
extraordinary or inherent jurisdiction
directing that any of the reports i.e.
primary report, supplementary report or
the report submitted on “fresh
investigation” or “reinvestigation” or
any part of it be excluded, struck off
the court record and be treated as non
est.”

(emphasis is ours)
16. There is no serious ambiguity in the submission
advanced by the learned senior counsel representing the
appellants. On a perusal of charge sheet dated 7.5.2008, and
the order taking cognizance dated 12.5.2008, it is apparent,
that the Second and the Third Closure Reports were apparently
not taken into consideration. In the above factual position ,
there would be no difficulty for us to accept the contention
13Page 14
advanced at the hands of the learned senior counsel for the
appellants. The submission made by the learned senior counsel
for the appellants, has however been strenuously contested on
behalf of the learned counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh,
as also, on behalf of respondent no.2, who has entered
appearance in person.
17. Insofar as the Second Closure Report is concerned, it
was the submission of the learned counsel for the
respondent-State, that the same must be deemed to have been
expressly taken into consideration, when consequent upon the
filing of the First Closure Report dated 27.4.2003, the Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow ordered further investigation on
6.9.2006. To support the instant submission, learned counsel
for the respondent submitted, that the solitary contention
advanced on behalf of the appellants, in the challenge to the
order dated 6.9.2006 is noted in paragraph 6 in the order
passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Special Court, Lucknow
dated 1.3.2008. Paragraph 6, aforementioned, is reproduced
below:
“6. The only basis taken in the Revision is
that the further investigation done by the
investigating officer S.S.I., Shri Badan Singh
Police Station Hussainganj, was not considered
by the Chief Judicial Magistrate who passed the
disputed order. In this context, it is
worthwhile mentioning that the Final Report on
the orders of further investigation was
returned on its own level by the Police
Superintendent (East), Lucknow, on which from
29.06.2003 S.S.I., Badan Singh started the
investigation and noted the supplementary Case
14Page 15
Diary. On 10.07.2003 the Final Report which was
forwarded by the previous investigating
officer, that only was accepted by S.S.I. Badan
Singh after inspecting the case diary and
studied the mentioned statements and documents
and then according to Section 173(8) Cr.P.C.
forwarded the result of further investigation.
S.S.I. Shri Badan Singh during further
investigation did not mention any statement of
the witnesses himself, but relying on the
statements mentioned of the previous
investigating officer submitted his result.”
(emphasis is ours)
While dealing with the above solitary contention on behalf of
the learned counsel for the appellants, the Sessions Court,
while rejecting the appellants' claim, recorded as under:
“10. During the Revision, along with
affidavit 18-B in Hon'ble High Court,
Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow the certified
photocopy of the writ petition No.6588/MB/2006
instituted by the accused/revisionists was made
available, by which it was applied that during
investigation by the police station Hazratganj
the police will not arrest the accuseds and
also it has been requested to dismiss the First
Information Report registered by the
complainant. Also relying on the judgment
passed by the Hon'ble High Court in Writ
Petition No.2600/2002 dated 15.05.2002, the
order was affixed with the writ petition
according to which during the investigation of
Crime No. 326/2002 under sections 498A, 506
I.P.C. and 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, police
station Hazratganj, was arrest stayed of the
revisionists/accused. District Court, Lucknow
Court by its order dated 15.03.2002 passed an
injunction against the respondent/complainant.
This order was also made available in form of
18-B/37 and 39. Order passed by the Hon'ble
High Court, Allahabad dated 18.10.2006
(18-B/51) was made available by which during
the investigation the arrest of the
revisionists were stayed by the Hon'ble High
Court, Allahabad therefore the
accused/revisionists are not adversely affected
15Page 16
by the disputed order dated 06.09.2006
directing for further investigation. Since at
the time of passing the aforesaid order the
further investigation conducted by the S.S.I.,
Shri Badan Singh was before the Chief Judicial
Magistrate and also no other ground has been
taken in the Revision, hence there is no ground
to interfere in the disputed order. The
Revision is liable to be dismissed.”
(emphasis is ours)
18. A perusal of the submission made at the behest of the
appellants, and the order passed by the Sessions Judge,
according to the respondents, leave no room for any doubt, that
the Sessions Judge, while rejecting the solitary contention
advanced at the hands of the appellants, arrived at the
conclusion, that the Second Closure Report dated 10.07.2003,
had duly been taken into consideration by the Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Lucknow. The aforesaid finding recorded by the
Sessions Judge in the order dated 1.3.2008, was not assailed by
the appellants, and therefore attained finality.
19. Without repeating the contention advanced at the
hands of the learned counsel for the respondent, we are
satisfied, that the submission advanced is wholly justified and
deserves to be accepted. In the above view of the matter, we
hereby hold, that while passing the order dated 6.9.2006, the
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, had duly taken into
consideration the second Closure Report dated 10.07.2003.
20. Insofar as the submissions advanced at the hands of
the learned senior counsel for the appellants is concerned, the
16Page 17
only remaining contention is, that the concerned authorities
had not taken into consideration the Third Closure Report dated
27.02.2007, either at the time of investigation, whereafter
the Fourth Investigating Report was submitted on 23.4.2008, or
at the time of submission of the charge sheet on 7.5.2008, and
even at the time of taking cognizance at the hands of the Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow on 12.5.2008.
21. When confronted with the second submission, as has
been noticed in the foregoing paragraph, learned counsel for
the respondent pointed out, that the Third Closure Report was
based on the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow
dated 6.9.2006, whereby further investigation was ordered. It
was submitted on behalf of the respondent, that in the revision
petition filed by the appellants themselves (before the
Sessions Judge, Lucknow), further investigation ordered by the
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow, was stayed on 7.11.2006.
In view of the above restraint order, passed by the Sessions
Judge, Lucknow, no further investigation could have been
carried out, after the order dated 6.9.2006 had been passed.
It is also the pointed contention of the learned counsel for
the respondent, that the Third Closure Report was submitted on
27.02.2007, whereas the interim order passed on 7.11.2006 came
to be vacated only on 1.3.2008, when the criminal revision
petition filed by the appellants was dismissed, by the Sessions
Judge. In sum and substance, it was the contention of the
17Page 18
learned counsel for the respondent, that the entire
investigation leading to the passing of the Third Closure
Report dated 27.2.2007, was a nullity in law.
22. We have no doubt whatsoever, when the Third Closure
Report is based on the direction issued by the Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Lucknow, ordering further investigation. The
aforesaid order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Lucknow, came to be stayed by the Sessions Judge, Lucknow on
7.11.2006, and the said order continued till 1.3.2008(when the
criminal revision petition filed by the appellants came to be
dismissed). In the meantime, during the subsistence of the
restraint order (staying investigation), the investigation was
completed and the third investigating officer – N.K. Bajpai
submitted the Third Closure Report dated 27.2.2007. Since the
above investigation leading to the closure report dated
27.2.2007 was clearly in violation of an express judicial order
to the contrary, in our considered view, the same is a nullity
in law, and cannot be accepted. In view of the conclusion
recorded hereinabove, we are satisfied, that the contention
advanced at the hands of the learned senior counsel for the
appellants, that the Second and Third Closure Reports were not
taken into consideration, cannot be accepted as a justifiable
plea in law, insofar as the present controversy is concerned.
The same is accordingly rejected.

23. Despite our conclusion recorded hereinabove, in
respect of the first contention advanced by the learned senior
counsel for the appellants, it is important to refer to his
second submission also. It was the pointed contention of the
learned counsel for the appellants, that appellant nos. 4, 5
and 6, namely, Bhavana Vershney, Renu Gupta and Tulika Jaiswal,
are all sisters-in-law of respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta. In
that view of the matter, they are the sisters of the husband of
respondent no.2 - Mukul Gupta. We were informed, that
appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6 are all married and living
independently. They are not residing with any of the appellant
nos. 1 to 3. Since they are married, and living independently
in different places, they had no concern with the relationship
of respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta with appellant nos. 1 to 3.
Further more, our attention was also invited to the fact, that
no clear allegations have been levelled by respondent no.2 -
Sonia Gupta against any of the appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6. Even
during the course of hearing, respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta,
who entered appearance in person, did not contest the aforesaid
factual position. Her only submission, during the course of
hearing was, that her three sisters-in-law had visited the
matrimonial house of respondent no.2, on the occasion of 'Grah
Parvesh', and the 'Naming Ceremony' of her daughter. We are of
the view, that the visit of the three sisters-in-law of
respondent no.2 - Sonia Gupta, on the above two occasions were

for celebration, and cannot be treated as occasions where they
harassed respondent no.2. In any case, in the absence of any
material on the record of this case, relating to harassment on
the above two occasions, we are satisfied, that the proceeding
initiated against appellant nos. 4, 5 and 6, consequent upon
the registration of the first information report by respondent
no.2 - Sonia Gupta on 10.04.2002, was not justified. The same
deserves to be quashed. The same is accordingly hereby
quashed.
24. Since, we have not interfered with the impugned
summoning order dated 12.05.2008(as against appellant nos. 1 to
3), we would consider it just and appropriate to request the
trial Court, to take up and dispose of the proceedings emerging
out of Crime Case No. 326 of 2002, registered at Police Station
Shiv Kutti, Allahabad, under Sections 498A and 506 of the
Indian Penal Code, read with Sections 3/4 of the Dowry
Prohibition Act, against appellant nos. 1 to 3 only, as
expeditiously as possible.
25. The instant appeal is disposed of in the above terms.
.………………..……………….…....…J.
(Jagdish Singh Khehar)
………………...…………………….…J.
(N.V. Ramana)
New Delhi;
February 05, 2016.

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