Other than victim can also file complaint under sec.498 A read with sec.3 and 4 of DPAct = 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.

1
REPORTABLE
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)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.598 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8050/2018)
ANITA GANDHI …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.599 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8052/2018)
NAYAN CHOPRA THROUGH POA HOLDER
RAJESH CHOPRA …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
2
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.597 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8042/2018)
AMIT CHOPRA …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.596 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8041/2018)
KULDEEP GANDHI …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
AND
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.595 of 2019
(arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.8039/2018)
RAJESH CHOPRA …APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ANR. …RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
ASHOK BHUSHAN,J.
These appeals have been filed challenging the
judgment of Allahabad High Court dated 08.08.2018 by
3
which the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. filed
by the appellants praying for quashing the complaint
and proceedings in Complaint Case No. 4967 of 2015 have
been dismissed.

  1. All the appeals having been filed against the same
    judgment, facts of the case are being taken from
    Criminal Appeal No. 594 of 2019 – Rashmi Chopra & Ors.
    Vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr., in which criminal
    appeal, reply affidavit and rejoinder affidavit have
    been filed. The background facts of the case necessary
    to be noted for deciding these appeals are:-
    2.1 Nayan Chopra, son of Rashmi Chopra and Rajesh
    Chopra got married with Vanshika Bobal,
    daughter of respondent No.2, Indrajeet Singh
    on 15.04.2012. All the appellants are family
    members of Nayan Chopra. Rashmi Chopra is
    mother, Rajesh Chopra is father, Amit Chopra
    is Brother and Anita Gandhi is Mother’s
    Sister of Nayan Chopra, whereas Kuldeep
    Gandhi is husband of Anita Gandhi. Nayan
    4
    Chopra with his mother, father and brother
    are resident of 203, Jainti Apartment, Police
    Station – Begumpet, Hyderabad (Andhra
    Pradesh). Anita Gandhi and Kuldeep Gandhi
    are resident of Greater Kailash – I, New
    Delhi.
    2.2 After the marriage of Nayan Chopra and
    Vanshika, which was performed at Noida,
    District Gautam Buddha Nagar on 15.04.2012,
    Vanshika went alongwith her husband at
    Hyderabad, the matrimonial home of Vanshika.
    On 28.04.2012, Vanshika and Nayan Chopra left
    for the U.S.A. On or about November, 2013,
    Vanshika and Nayan Chopra separated. On
    23.10.2014, an application was filed by Nayan
    Chopra in the Circuit Court for the County
    of Kalamazoo Family Division, Michigan, USA,
    seeking divorce.
    2.3 On 10.11.2014, a complaint was sent by
    respondent No.2 through registered post to
    the Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddha
    5
    Nagar, Noida making allegations against
    Rajesh Chopra and two other unknown persons.
    An application under Section 156(3) was filed
    by respondent No.2. The application of the
    respondent No.2 was sent by the Magistrate
    to Mediation Centre running under the
    District Legal Services Authority for
    counselling. After failure of counselling
    and mediation, an application under Section
    156(3) Cr.P.C. was filed by respondent No.2
    dated 10.05.2015 making allegations against
    all the appellants under Section 498A and
    Sections 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.
    2.4 In the complaint, allegations have been made
    on the basis of incident dated 08.11.2014
    against Rajesh Chopra and his associates. It
    was alleged that Rajesh Chopra call the
    respondent No.2 near the Gurudwara at Sector
    18, Noida to talk about the problem of Nayan
    Chopra and Vanshika and when respondent No.2
    went for talks, he met Rajesh Chopra with two
    unknown persons. Respondent No.2 further
    6
    alleges that on his request to accept his
    daughter, Rajesh Chopra repeated his demand
    of one crore rupees and used filthy words
    against Vanshika, which was objected by
    respondent No.2, on which Rajesh Chopra and
    his associates became annoyed and they abused
    and beat the respondent No.2 and snatched his
    gold chain from his neck and Rs.60,000/- from
    his pocket. The allegations within the
    meaning of Sections 323, 324, 504, 506, 392
    of I.P.C. were made on the basis of the
    aforesaid incident. In the application, it
    was also stated that Nayan Chopra has filed
    a petition for dissolution of marriage in
    America.
    2.5 On the basis of the application of divorce
    by Nayan Chopra, the Circuit 9th Court for
    the County of Kalamazoo Family Division,
    Michigan gave a judgment of divorce on
    24.02.2016. The order of judgment of divorce
    was passed after hearing both Nayan Chopra
    and Vanshika Bobal, who were represented
    7
    through attorneys. The judgment of divorce
    made provisions for alimony, pension
    benefits and retirement benefits, life
    insurance, property settlement and provision
    in lieu of dower, mutual release of claims
    and other provisions.
    2.6 The application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C.
    filed by respondent No.2 was treated as a
    complaint and registered as Complaint No.
    4967 of 2015, on which the learned Judicial
    Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar issued a
    summoning order on 17.01.2017 summoning the
    appellants under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506
    of I.P.C. and Section 3/4 of Dowry
    Prohibition Act.
    2.7 The appellants filed an application under
    Section 482 Cr.P.C. in the High Court praying
    for quashing the complaint and proceedings
    and order dated 17.01.2017 in Complaint Case
    No. 4967 of 2015. In the application under
    Section 482 Cr.P.C., High Court passed an
    8
    order referring the matter to mediation
    centre of Allahabad High Court. The
    mediation having failed between the parties,
    application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was
    heard. The prayer of the appellants to quash
    the complaint and proceedings have been
    refused. The application was disposed of
    after directing that the applicants may
    surrender in the court below and make an
    application for bail within a period of two
    months. Aggrieved against the judgment of
    the High Court, these appeals have been
    filed.
  2. All appeals arise out of the same order passed in
    their application under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
  3. We have heard Shri Shikhil Suri, learned counsel
    for the appellants and Shri Santosh Krishnan, learned
    AOR appearing for the respondent No.2. We have also
    heard learned counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh.
    9
  4. Learned counsel for the appellants submits that
    High Court failed to exercise jurisdiction under
    Section 482 Cr.P.C. in quashing the entire complaint
    proceedings, which proceedings are nothing but abuse
    of the process of the court. It is submitted that
    Nayan Chopra and Vanshika Bobal had already been
    granted divorce by Family Court of Michigan, which fact
    was not brought into notice of the Magistrate by
    respondent No.2 before summoning order was passed. It
    is submitted that a reading of the complaint does not
    prima facie discloses any offence under Section 498A
    and 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act against the
    appellants. The appellants, Anita Gandhi and Kuldeep
    Gandhi separately resides and they have never met
    Vanshika, the girl after marriage. The allegations in
    the complaint are vague, sweeping and general. The
    complaint is not even filed by Vanshika, the girl nor
    she got her statement recorded in support of the
    complaint. In so far as incident alleged on 08.11.2014
    at Sector 18, Noida no such incident took place and
    allegations are false and concocted to somehow rope in
    Rajesh Chopra, the father of the boy Nayan Chopra. The
    10
    complaint has not been filed by competent person, hence
    ought not to have been entertained.
  5. Shri Santosh Krishnan, learned counsel appearing
    for respondent No.2 submits that there is no error in
    summoning of the appellants by the Magistrate by order
    dated 17.01.2017. It is well settled that Magistrate
    is not required to record elaborate reasons for
    summoning of an accused. The complaint discloses
    several allegations pertaining to offence under Section
    498A and other offences mentioned therein. Two courts
    having taken one particular view of the matter, this
    Court may not exercise its jurisdiction in interfering
    with the orders. It is further submitted that Section
    498A does not indicate that complaint on behalf of the
    women has to be filed by the women herself. The
    complain was fully competent and no error has been
    committed by Magistrate in taking cognizance of the
    complaint.
  6. Learned counsel for the parties have placed
    reliance on various judgments of this Court in support
    11
    of their submissions, which shall be referred to while
    considering the submissions in detail.
  7. We have considered the submissions of the learned
    counsel for the parties and have perused the records.
  8. The copy of the complaint under Section 156(3)
    Cr.P.C., which has been treated as private complaint
    by Magistrate has been brought on the record as
    Annexure P-2. The allegations in the complaint are
    that marriage was solemnised on 15.04.2012 in which
    marriage, gifts of Rs.50 lakhs were given to Nayan
    Chopra and his family members. It is alleged that
    after the marriage, all family members were not
    satisfied by the gifts and they started harassing the
    daughter of respondent No.2 by demanding further dowry
    of one crore rupees. They further pressurised to
    solemnise the marriage of Vanshika as per Punjabi rites
    and ceremonies, on which pressure, marriage was
    solemnised on 06.11.2012 in Gurudwara at Sector 37,
    Noida as per Punjabi rites and ceremonies. Further
    allegations are that family members of Nayan Chopra
    kept on threatening Vanshika to desert her and on
    12
    01.12.2013 Nayan Chopra threw Vanshika out of house and
    since then Vanshika is residing with respondent No.2.
    Another set of allegations are with regard to incident
    dated 08.11.2014 alleged to have been taken place at
    6.00 PM near the Gurudwara, Sector-18, Noida. It is
    alleged that Rajesh Chopra, father of Nayan Chopra
    called the respondent No.2 to talk about their problem
    on which date Rajesh Chopra again repeated his demand
    of one crore rupees and used filthy words against
    Vanshika to which respondent No.2 objected, on which
    Rajesh Chopra and his associates became annoyed and
    they abused and beat the respondent No.2 and snatched
    his gold chain from his neck and Rs.60,000/- from his
    pocket. The above two sets of allegations have given
    rise to summoning order. The summoning order passed
    by the Magistrate on 17.01.2017 is as follows:-
    “ORDER
    The accused persons Nayan Chopra, Rajesh
    Chopra, Rashi Chopra, Amit Chopra, Kuldeep
    Gandhi & Anita Gandhi are summoned for the
    offence under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506
    of IPC and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act. The
    complainant is directed to take steps as per
    Rules within one week. Case is fixed for
    08.03.2017 for appearance.
    Sd/- illegible
    13
    17.01.2017
    (Vikas)
    Civil Judge (Jr. Division)
    J.M. Gautam Budh Nagar.”
  9. One of the submissions, which has been pressed by
    learned counsel for the respondent No.2 is that
    Magistrate has to be satisfied that there are grounds
    for proceeding and there is no requirement of giving
    any elaborate reasons for summoning the accused.
  10. Learned counsel for the respondent has placed
    reliance on Dy. Chief Controller of Imports & Exports
    Vs. Roshanlal Agarwal & Ors., (2003) 4 SCC 139, this
    Court in paragraph No. 9 of the judgment laid down
    following:-
    “9. In determining the question whether any
    process is to be issued or not, what the
    Magistrate has to be satisfied is whether
    there is sufficient ground for proceeding and
    not whether there is sufficient ground for
    conviction. Whether the evidence is adequate
    for supporting the conviction, can be
    determined only at the trial and not at the
    stage of inquiry. At the stage of issuing the
    process to the accused, the Magistrate is not
    required to record reasons. This question was
    considered recently in U.P. Pollution Control
    Board v. Mohan Meakins Ltd., (2000) 3 SCC 745
    and after noticing the law laid down in Kanti
    Bhadra Shah v. State of W.B., (20000 1 SCC
    14
    722, it was held as follows: (SCC p. 749,
    para 6)
    The legislature has stressed the need
    to record reasons in certain
    situations such as dismissal of a
    complaint without issuing process.
    There is no such legal requirement
    imposed on a Magistrate for passing
    detailed order while issuing summons.
    The process issued to accused cannot
    be quashed merely on the ground that
    the Magistrate had not passed a
    speaking order.”
  11. Same proposition was reiterated by this Court in
    Nupur Talwar Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation &
    Anr., (2012) 11 SCC 465. There can be no dispute to
    the above proposition as laid down by this Court that
    while taking cognizance of an offence, a Magistrate is
    not required to pass a detailed order, however, in a
    case when Magistrate issues process against a person,
    who is not even charged with the offence for which he
    is summoned, whether in such cases also the summoning
    order cannot be assailed?
  12. In the present case, there are two sets of
    allegations, which are contained in the complaint,
    which has also been repeated in the statements recorded
    15
    by respondent No.2 and his two witnesses – PW1 – Raj
    Kumar, brother of respondent No.2 and PW2 – Deepa, wife
    of respondent No.2. One set of allegations of offence
    under Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act and
    second set of allegations are allegations made for
    offences under Sections 323, 504 and 506 of I.P.C.
  13. We may first take up the allegations for offences
    under Sections 323, 504 and 506 of I.P.C. The
    allegations under Sections 323, 504 and 506 has been
    made citing the incident dated 08.11.2014. It is
    useful to extract the entire allegations pertaining to
    incident dated 08.11.2014 from the complaint, which are
    to the following effect:-
    “…………………..On 08.11.2014 at about 6 p.m. Nayan
    Chopra’s father Rajesh Chopra called the
    Applicant near the Gurudwara at Sector 18,
    Noida to talk about their problem. When the
    Applicant reached there for talk then he met
    there Rajesh Chopra alongwith two unknown
    persons. When the Applicant requested Rajesh
    Chopra to accept his daughter the Rajesh
    Chopra again repeated his demand of one core
    Rupees and said that if he has arranged for
    one crore Rupees then he can send his
    daughter at their home, otherwise keep
    Vanshika at his house and Rajesh Chopra used
    filthy words against Vanshika, then the
    Applicant objected for the same, on which
    16
    Rajesh Chopra and his associates became
    annoyed and they abused and beat the
    Applicant and snatched his gold chain from
    his neck and Rs.60,000/- from his pocket.
    The wife of the Applicant and a number of
    other people gathered at the spot and saved
    the Applicant from them. While leaving these
    persons threatened the Applicant that after
    arranging for one crore Rupees he can send
    his daughter at their house, otherwise keep
    her at his house and if he dare to inform the
    police then they will kill the Applicant and
    his daughter Vanshika…….”
  14. In the statement made by the complainant in support
    of his submission, complainant repeated the same
    allegations regarding incident dated 08.11.2014 as made
    in the complaint, as noted above. PW-2, Deepa, wife
    of respondent No.2 has also about the incident dated
    08.11.2014 repeated the allegations as narrated in the
    complaint. A perusal of the allegations in the
    complaint makes it clear that the complaint with regard
    to offences under Sections 323, 504 and 506 has been
    made only against Rajesh Chopra and two unknown
    persons. Neither in the complaint nor statements made
    by complainant or his witnesses, there is any
    allegation with regard to above offences against any
    other appellants before us. There being no allegations
    17
    for offences under Sections 323, 504 and 506 in the
    complaint or statement before the Magistrate, there was
    no question of summoning the other appellants for
    offences under Sections 323, 504 and 506 of I.P.C. When
    the complaint does not allege any offence against other
    appellants, we fail to see that how the cognizance of
    the complaint can be taken against other appellants
    with regard to offences under Sections 323, 504 and
  15. In above view of the matter, the complaint as
    well as summoning order are liable to be quashed
    against all the appellants except Rajesh Chopra due to
    the above reasons in above regard.
  16. Now, we come to the allegations in the complaint
    under Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act. Learned
    counsel for the respondent in support of his submission
    that power of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
    has to be exercised in exceptional circumstances, has
    relied on judgment of this Court in Rakhi Mishra Vs.
    State of Bihar and Others, (2017) 16 SCC 772. This
    Court in the above case has relied on an earlier
    judgment of this Court in Sonu Gupta Vs. Deepak Gupta,
    18
    (2015) 3 SCC 424, in which judgment, in paragraph No.8
    following proposition was laid down, which has been
    referred to and relied on:-
    “8. … At the stage of cognizance and
    summoning the Magistrate is required to apply
    his judicial mind only with a view to take
    cognizance of the offence … to find out
    whether a prima facie case has been made out
    for summoning the accused persons. At this
    stage, the learned Magistrate is not required
    to consider the defence version or materials
    or arguments nor is he required to evaluate
    the merits of the materials or evidence of
    the complainant, because the Magistrate must
    not undertake the exercise to find out at
    this stage whether the materials would lead
    to conviction or not.”
  17. This Court in Rakhi Mishra’s case has also laid
    down that High Court in exceptional circumstances can
    exercise power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. when a prima
    facie case is not made out against the accused.
    Paragraph No.5 of the judgment is as follows:-
    “5. The order passed by the trial court
    taking cognizance against R-2 and R-4 to R-9
    is in conformity with the law laid down in
    the above judgment. It is settled law that
    the power under Section 482 CrPC is exercised
    by the High Court only in exceptional
    circumstances only when a prima facie case
    is not made out against the accused. The test
    applied by this Court for interference at the
    initial stage of a prosecution is whether the
    19
    uncontroverted allegations prima facie
    establish a case.”
  18. Learned counsel for the appellant has also relied
    on various judgments of this Court in support of his
    submissions. In K. Subba Rao and Others Vs. State of
    Telangana, (2018) 14 SCC 452, this Court laid down
    following in paragraph Nos. 5 and 6:-
    “5. A perusal of the charge-sheet and the
    supplementary charge-sheet discloses the
    fact that the appellants are not the
    immediate family members of the third
    respondent/husband. They are the maternal
    uncles of the third respondent. Except the
    bald statement that they supported the third
    respondent who was harassing the second
    respondent for dowry and that they conspired
    with the third respondent for taking away his
    child to the U.S.A., nothing else indicating
    their involvement in the crime was mentioned.
    The appellants approached the High Court when
    the investigation was pending. The chargesheet and the supplementary charge-sheet were
    filed after disposal of the case by the High
    Court.
  19. Criminal proceedings are not normally
    interdicted by us at the interlocutory stage
    unless there is an abuse of the process of a
    court. This Court, at the same time, does not
    hesitate to interfere to secure the ends of
    justice. See State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal,
    1992 Suppl. (1) SCC 335. The courts should
    be careful in proceeding against the distant
    relatives in crimes pertaining to matrimonial
    disputes and dowry deaths. The relatives of
    the husband should not be roped in on the
    20
    basis of omnibus allegations unless specific
    instances of their involvement in the crime
    are made out. See Kans Raj v. State of Punjab,
    (2000) 5 SCC 207 and Kailash Chandra Agrawal
    v. State of U.P., (2014) 16 SCC 551”
  20. This Court in Vineet Kumar and Others Vs. State of
    Uttar Pradesh and Another, (2017) 13 SCC 369 had
    occasion to examine the parameters of exercise of power
    under Section 482 Cr.P.C. in respect of quashing of
    criminal proceeding. One of us (Justice Ashok Bhushan)
    speaking for the Bench after examining the scope and
    ambit of Section 482 Cr.P.C. laid down following in
    Paragraph Nos. 22 to 25:-
    “22. Before we enter into the facts of the
    present case it is necessary to consider the
    ambit and scope of jurisdiction under Section
    482 CrPC vested in the High Court. Section
    482 CrPC saves the inherent power of the High
    Court to make such orders as may be necessary
    to give effect to any order under this Code,
    or to prevent abuse of the process of any
    court or otherwise to secure the ends of
    justice.
  21. This Court time and again has examined
    the scope of jurisdiction of the High Court
    under Section 482 CrPC and laid down several
    principles which govern the exercise of
    jurisdiction of the High Court under Section
    482 CrPC. A three-Judge Bench of this Court
    in State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy, (1977)
    2 SCC 699, held that the High Court is
    entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes
    21
    to the conclusion that allowing the
    proceeding to continue would be an abuse of
    the process of the court or that the ends of
    justice require that the proceeding ought to
    be quashed. In para 7 of the judgment, the
    following has been stated: (SCC p. 703)
    “7. … In the exercise of this
    wholesome power, the High Court is
    entitled to quash a proceeding if it
    comes to the conclusion that allowing
    the proceeding to continue would be an
    abuse of the process of the court or
    that the ends of justice require that
    the proceeding ought to be quashed.
    The saving of the High Court’s
    inherent powers, both in civil and
    criminal matters, is designed to
    achieve a salutary public purpose
    which is that a court proceeding ought
    not to be permitted to degenerate into
    a weapon of harassment or persecution.
    In a criminal case, the veiled object
    behind a lame prosecution, the very
    nature of the material on which the
    structure of the prosecution rests and
    the like would justify the High Court
    in quashing the proceeding in the
    interest of justice. The ends of
    justice are higher than the ends of
    mere law though justice has got to be
    administered according to laws made by
    the legislature. The compelling
    necessity for making these
    observations is that without a proper
    realisation of the object and purpose
    of the provision which seeks to save
    the inherent powers of the High Court
    to do justice, between the State and
    its subjects, it would be impossible
    to appreciate the width and contours
    of that salient jurisdiction.”
    22
  22. The judgment of this Court in State of
    Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335,
    has elaborately considered the scope and
    ambit of Section 482 CrPC. Although in the
    above case this Court was considering the
    power of the High Court to quash the entire
    criminal proceeding including the FIR, the
    case arose out of an FIR registered under
    Sections 161, 165 IPC and Section 5(2) of the
    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947. This
    Court elaborately considered the scope of
    Section 482 CrPC/Article 226 of the
    Constitution in the context of quashing the
    proceedings in criminal investigation. After
    noticing various earlier pronouncements of
    this Court, this Court enumerated certain
    categories of cases by way of illustration
    where power under Section 482 CrPC can be
    exercised to prevent abuse of the process of
    the Court or secure the ends of justice.
  23. Para 102 which enumerates 7 categories
    of cases where power can be exercised under
    Section 482 CrPC is extracted as follows:
    (Bhajan Lal case, SCC pp. 378-79)
    “102. In the backdrop of the
    interpretation of the various relevant
    provisions of the Code under Chapter
    XIV and of the principles of law
    enunciated by this Court in a series
    of decisions relating to the exercise
    of the extraordinary power under
    Article 226 or the inherent powers
    under Section 482 of the Code which we
    have extracted and reproduced above,
    we give the following categories of
    cases by way of illustration wherein
    such power could be exercised either
    to prevent abuse of the process of any
    court or otherwise to secure the ends
    of justice, though it may not be
    possible to lay down any precise,
    23
    clearly defined and sufficiently
    channelised and inflexible guidelines
    or rigid formulae and to give an
    exhaustive list of myriad kinds of
    cases wherein such power should be
    exercised.
    (1) Where the allegations made in
    the first information report or
    the complaint, even if they are
    taken at their face value and
    accepted in their entirety do not
    prima facie constitute any offence
    or make out a case against the
    accused.
    (2) Where the allegations in the
    first information report and other
    materials, if any, accompanying
    the FIR do not disclose a
    cognizable offence, justifying an
    investigation by police officers
    under Section 156(1) of the Code
    except under an order of a
    Magistrate within the purview of
    Section 155(2) of the Code.
    (3) Where the uncontroverted
    allegations made in the FIR or
    complaint and the evidence
    collected in support of the same
    do not disclose the commission of
    any offence and make out a case
    against the accused.
    (4) Where the allegations in the
    FIR do not constitute a cognizable
    offence but constitute only a noncognizable offence, no
    investigation is permitted by a
    police officer without an order of
    a Magistrate as contemplated under
    Section 155(2) of the Code.
    24
    (5) Where the allegations made in
    the FIR or complaint are so absurd
    and inherently improbable on the
    basis of which no prudent person
    can ever reach a just conclusion
    that there is sufficient ground
    for proceeding against the
    accused.
    (6) Where there is an express legal
    bar engrafted in any of the
    provisions of the Code or the Act
    concerned (under which a criminal
    proceeding is instituted) to the
    institution and continuance of the
    proceedings and/or where there is
    a specific provision in the Code
    or the Act concerned, providing
    efficacious redress for the
    grievance of the aggrieved party.
    (7) Where a criminal proceeding is
    manifestly attended with mala fide
    and/or where the proceeding is
    maliciously instituted with an
    ulterior motive for wreaking
    vengeance on the accused and with
    a view to spite him due to private
    and personal grudge.”
  24. After referring to several other cases, this Court
    concluded and made following observations in Paragraph
    No. 41:-
    “41. Inherent power given to the High Court
    under Section 482 CrPC is with the purpose
    and object of advancement of justice. In case
    solemn process of Court is sought to be
    abused by a person with some oblique motive,
    the Court has to thwart the attempt at the
    25
    very threshold. The Court cannot permit a
    prosecution to go on if the case falls in one
    of the categories as illustratively
    enumerated by this Court in State of Haryana
    v. Bhajan Lal. Judicial process is a solemn
    proceeding which cannot be allowed to be
    converted into an instrument of operation or
    harassment. When there are materials to
    indicate that a criminal proceeding is
    manifestly attended with mala fide and
    proceeding is maliciously instituted with an
    ulterior motive, the High Court will not
    hesitate in exercise of its jurisdiction
    under Section 482 CrPC to quash the
    proceeding under Category 7 as enumerated in
    State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, which is to
    the following effect: (SCC p. 379, para 102)
    “102. (7) Where a criminal proceeding
    is manifestly attended with mala fide
    and/or where the proceeding is
    maliciously instituted with an
    ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance
    on the accused and with a view to spite
    him due to private and personal
    grudge.”
    Above Category 7 is clearly attracted in the
    facts of the present case. Although, the High
    Court has noted the judgment of State of
    Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, but did not advert to
    the relevant facts of the present case,
    materials on which final report was submitted
    by the IO. We, thus, are fully satisfied that
    the present is a fit case where the High Court
    ought to have exercised its jurisdiction
    under Section 482 CrPC and quashed the
    criminal proceedings.”
  25. The criminal prosecution can be allowed to proceed
    only when a prima facie offence is disclosed. This
    26
    Court has observed that judicial process is a solemn
    proceeding which cannot be allowed to be converted into
    an instrument of oppression or harassment. If High
    Court finds that proceedings deserve to be quashed in
    parameters as laid down by this Court in State of
    Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, High
    court shall not hesitate in exercise of jurisdiction
    under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings.
  26. Now, we revert back to the allegations made in the
    complaint under Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P.
    Act. Few facts have to be noticed before we look into
    the allegations made in the complaint in the above
    regard. The complaint has been filed by the respondent
    No.2 before the C.J.M., Gautam Budh Nagar on
    10.05.2015, before which date, the petition for divorce
    has already been filed by Nayan Chopra on 23.10.2014
    before the Circuit Court for the County of Kalamazoo
    Family Division, Michigan. It is on the record that
    at the time of filing of the complaint Vanishka Bobal
    was living at Canada whereas Nayan Chopra was living
    at U.S.A. Both were separately living. It was pleaded
    27
    in the application for divorce that husband and wife
    had separated on or around November, 2013. It is on
    the record that on the day criminal complaint was filed
    on 10.05.2015 in the Court of C.J.M. Gautam Budh Nagar
    by respondent No.2, neither Vanishka was in India nor
    she was in India at the time when statements were
    recorded in complaint of complainant as well as his two
    witnesses. The complaint is not by Vanishka but it has
    been filed by father of Vanishka, respondent No.2. In
    the divorce application filed in the State of Michigan,
    Vanishka Bobal was represented by her attorney. The
    divorce was granted with orders relating to alimony,
    pension benefits and retirement benefits, life
    insurance, property settlement and provision in lieu
    of dower, mutual release of claims and other aspects
    on 24.02.2016.
  27. There is nothing on the record to indicate that
    orders of divorce between the parties was brought into
    the notice of the Magistrate when he issued process
    against the appellants. We, however, are in agreement
    with the submission of Shri Santosh Krishan that decree
    28
    of divorce between Nayan Chopra and Vanshika shall not
    wipe out any criminal offence, which has been committed
    within the meaning of I.P.C. or D.P. Act and the
    criminal offence committed in jurisdictional court has
    to be examined despite the divorce decree having been
    granted.
  28. Coming back to the allegations in the complaint
    pertaining to Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act.
    A perusal of the complaint indicates that the
    allegations against the appellants for offence under
    Section 498A and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act are general
    and sweeping. No specific incident dates or details
    of any incident has been mentioned in the complaint.
    The complaint having been filed after proceeding for
    divorce was initiated by Nayan Chopra in State of
    Michigan, where Vanshika participated and divorce was
    ultimately granted. A few months after filing of the
    divorce petition, the complaint has been filed in the
    Court of C.J.M., Gautam Budh Nagar with the allegations
    as noticed above. The sequence of the events and facts
    and circumstances of the case leads us to conclude that
    the complaint under Section 498A and Section 3/4 of
    29
    D.P. Act have been filed as counter blast to divorce
    petition proceeding in State of Michigan by Nayan
    Chopra.
  29. There being no specific allegation regarding any
    one of the applicants except common general allegation
    against everyone i.e. “they started harassing the
    daughter of the applicant demanding additional dowry
    of one crore” and the fact that all relatives of the
    husband, namely, father, mother, brother, mother’s
    sister and husband of mother’s sister have been roped
    in clearly indicate that application under Section
    156(3) Cr.P.C. was filed with a view to harass the
    applicants. Further, prior to filing of the application
    under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. there was no complaint at
    any point of time by the girl or her father making
    allegation of demand of any dowry by any one of the
    applicants. When both Nayan Chopra and Vanshika started
    living separately since November, 2013, had there been
    any dowry demand or harassment the girl would have
    given complaint to Police or any other authority.
    Further, in the divorce proceedings at Michigan,
    30
    U.S.A., parties have agreed for dividing their
    properties including gifts given at marriage but no
    complaint was made in those proceedings regarding
    harassment by her husband or his family members. The
    judgment of the divorce contains following clauses
    regarding “Property Settlement and Provision in Lieu
    of Dower”:
    “PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AND
    PROVISION IN LIEU OF DOWER
  30. Each party affirms that he or she fully
    and accurately disclosed all the assets owned
    by him or her in which he or she has any
    interest. By affixing their signatures on
    this Judgment, Plaintiff and Defendant affirm
    that each has disclosed all assets each owns
    or has any interest in, whether held by him
    or her individually, by both of them jointly
    or with any other person or entity, or by
    another person or entity for the benefit of
    a party. The property division set forth in
    this Judgment of Divorce is intended to be a
    distribution and allocation of all the
    property of the parties and also is intended
    to declare the parties’ property interests
    as of entry of this Judgment of Divorce. If
    either party has failed, either intentionally
    or unintentionally, to disclose any of his
    or her assets, the issue of property division
    may be reopened on the motion of either party
    to determine and resolve the distribution of
    any previously undisclosed assets.
  31. It appears to the court that the
    parties have divided between them to their
    mutual satisfaction all articles of personal
    property, household furniture and
    31
    appliances, cash, savings and checking
    accounts and vehicles except as provided
    below. The personal property as so divided
    shall be the sole and absolute property of
    the party in whose possession or under whose
    control each of the articles of personal
    property are now found and each shall defend
    and hold the other harmless from liability
    thereon.
    a.The parties agree to return all jewelry
    to the other party that they currently
    have in their possession, which was
    acquired as a result of their marriage.
    Plaintiff testified that he only had
    one item of jewelry and provided the
    only jewelry he had in his possession
    to Defendant-a single gold ring.
    Plaintiff testified she does not have
    any jewelry in her possession.
    b.The parties agree that their respective
    parents will return to the other
    party’s parents, all jewelry given as
    gifts to their parents and are in their
    parent’s possession, which was acquired
    by them as a result of the parties’
    marriage. The parents agree to exchange
    at a mutually agreed upon location and
    at a mutually agreed upon time.
  32. Except as otherwise provided herein,
    each party shall be liable for the debts
    incurred by him or her after separation
    (11/1/2013) and shall defend and hold the
    other harmless from all liability thereon.
  33. Except as provide herein, each party
    shall be liable for the debts in his or her
    name and for the debts associated with
    property awarded to him/her pursuant to the
    Judgment of Divorce and shall defend and hold
    32
    the other harmless from all liability
    therein.
  34. Except as otherwise provided herein,
    each party shall retain all monies in their
    respective names, including but not limited
    to checking accounts, savings accounts,
    certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, IRAs
    or 401Ks.
  35. There are no joint debts of the parties
    except as provided herein.
  36. Plaintiff, NAYAN CHOPRA, shall receive
    the 2013 Honda CRV free and clear from any
    claim of the Defendant, VANSHIKA BOBAL, and
    the Plaintiff assumes and agrees to pay the
    liability thereon and to defend and hold the
    Defendant harmless thereon. Defendant shall
    transfer title of such vehicles to the
    Plaintiff if transferring is needed.
  37. Plaintiff, NAYAN CHOPRA, shall receive
    the 2005 Toyota Camry free and clear from any
    claim of the Defendant, VANSHIKA BOBAL, and
    the Plaintiff assumes and agrees to pay the
    liability thereon and to defend and hold the
    Defendant harmless thereon.
  38. The provisions for each party herein
    made for the parties shall be in lieu of the
    dower or spousal right in the lands of the
    other and each shall hereafter hold their
    remaining lands free, clear and discharged
    from any such dower, spousal right and claim
    and said provision shall be in full
    satisfaction of all claims either may have
    in any property which the other owns, or may
    hereafter own, in which either has or may
    hereafter have an interest.
  39. The parties warrant that neither has
    incurred any debt in the other party’s name,
    or on which the other party may be liable,
    33
    which is not expressly disposed of in this
    Judgment.
  40. This Judgment of Divorce shall
    constitute a termination of all rights of a
    surviving spouse including, but not limited
    to, homestead allowance, election, exempt
    property, settlement and family allowance by
    each party in the property of the other, and
    a termination of all benefits which would
    otherwise pass to one party from the other
    by testate and intestate, succession or by
    virtue of any provision of any will executed
    prior to the entry of this Judgment of
    Divorce.”
  41. The above judgment in divorce proceedings
    indicates that Nayan Chopra and Vanshika have settled
    all issues between them including division of
    properties at the time when divorce proceedings were
    in progress at Michigan and both the parties were not
    in India, the complaint under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C.
    had been filed making allegation under Section 498A of
    IPC and the Dowry Prohibition Act only to harass and
    put pressure on the applicants.
  42. One observation also needs to be made with regard
    to order passed by the High Court. High Court in its
    impugned judgment has not referred to allegations made
    in the complaint except noticing the summoning order
    34
    has been passed and noticing the principles of law.
    This Court had occasion to consider a similar order
    passed by the High Court rejecting the application
    under Section 482 Cr.P.C. in Jagdish Prasad and Others
    Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another, (2019) 2 SCC
  43. In the said case also under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
    proceedings, the challenge was made to summoning order
    as well as entire proceedings of complaint case where
    allegations under Sections 498A and 323 IPC as well as
    Section 3/4 of D.P. Act were made. In paragraph No.3,
    the facts giving rise to filing the application under
    Section 482 Cr.P.C. before the High Court has been
    noted. This Court made following observations in
    paragraph Nos.6 to 9:-
    “6. Having heard the learned counsel for the
    parties and on perusal of the record of the
    case we are inclined to set aside the
    impugned order and remand the case to the
    High Court for deciding the appellants’
    application, out of which this appeal arises,
    afresh on merits in accordance with law.
  44. On perusal of the impugned order, we find
    that the Single Judge has quoted the
    principles of law laid down by this Court in
    several decisions relating to powers of the
    High Court on the issue of interference in
    cases filed under Section 482 of the Code
    from para 2 to the concluding para but has
    35
    not referred to the facts of the case to
    appreciate the controversy of the case. We
    are, therefore, unable to know the factual
    matrix of the case after reading the impugned
    judgment except the legal principles laid
    down by this Court in several decisions.
  45. In our view, the Single Judge ought to
    have first set out the brief facts of the
    case with a view to understand the factual
    matrix and then examined the challenge made
    to the proceedings in the light of the
    principles of law laid down by this Court
    with a view to record the findings on the
    grounds urged by the appellants as to whether
    any interference therein is called for or
    not. We find that the aforementioned exercise
    was not done by the High Court while passing
    the impugned order.
  46. We, therefore, find ourselves unable to
    concur with such disposal of the application
    by the High Court and feel inclined to set
    aside the impugned order and remand the case
    to the High Court (Single Judge) with a
    request to decide the application afresh on
    merits in accordance with law keeping in view
    the aforementioned observations. Having
    formed an opinion to remand the case in the
    light of our reasoning mentioned above, we
    do not consider it proper to go into the
    merits of the case.”
  47. What was said by this Court in paragraph No. 7 and
    8 of the above judgment is squarely applicable in the
    facts of the present case and the order of the High
    Court deserves to be set aside on this ground alone.
    36
  48. 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,
    37
    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.”
  49. 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
    38
    for the appellant that complaint filed by respondent
    No.2 was not maintainable.
  50. 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. We, however, observe that in so far as
    allegations against Rajesh Chopra pertaining to
    Sections 323, 504 and 506 of IPC is concerned, there
    were specific allegations, which were also supported
    by the complainant and his two witnesses in the
    evidence, at this stage, this Court cannot pronounce
    as to whether any incident as alleged by the
    complainant happened on 08.11.2014 or alleged as
    offence by respondent No.2 or offence as alleged was
    committed by Rajesh Chopra or not. We, thus, are of
    the view that insofar as complaint pertaining to
    offence under Sections 323, 504 and 506 I.P.C. against
    Rajesh Chopra is concerned, said complaint shall be
    39
    proceeded with and the order dated 17.01.2017 is upheld
    to the above extent only, i.e., summoning of Rajesh
    Chopra under Sections 323, 504 and 506.
  51. In result,
    (i) Criminal Appeal Nos.594, 598, 599, 597 and
    596 of 2019 (arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos.
    8103, 8050, 8052, 8042 and 8041 of 2018) are
    allowed. The complaint as well as summoning
    order dated 17.01.2017 is set aside insofar
    as the appellants in the above-mentioned
    criminal appeals are concerned.
    (ii) Criminal Appeal No.595 of 2019 (arising out
    of SLP (Crl.) No. 8039 of 2018 – Rajesh
    Chopra Vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.)
    is partly allowed. The complaint as well as
    summoning order is set aside insofar as
    offence under Section 498A and Section 3/4
    of D.P. Act is concerned, however, complaint
    shall proceed insofar as offence under
    40
    Sections 323, 504 and 506 of I.P.C. and
    summoning order to that extent only is
    upheld.

………………….J.
( ASHOK BHUSHAN )
………………….J.
( K.M. JOSEPH )
New Delhi,
April 30, 2019.