Police officers need to be sensitised against implicating the whole family in cases registered by estranged wives, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said while quashing an FIR filed by a woman against her sister-in-law in Jind city for alleged mental cruelty.
“The police officials need to be sensitized and they have to understand that it causes unsurmountable harassment, agony and pain when a party has been wrongly framed,” Justice Anita Chaudhary has said in the judgement of the case.
The woman in the case had alleged that her sister-in-law did not allow her to give the landline number to her acquaintances, outsiders could not enter the house, she was not allowed to watch the television and keep fast on Thursdays. The sister-in-law used to dominate her and also force her to cook eggs on Tuesday, the woman said in her complaint before the police while describing it as mental cruelty.
She along with her husband had been living at her sister-in-law’s official accommodation in Delhi. When she registered a case of cruelty against her husband, the sister-in-law was also named in the FIR under IPC 498A and 406 – along with other members of the family.
“The allegations levelled against the petitioner even if taken to be true on their face value do fall under the definition of cruelty. This case is a glaring example of the unwarranted tendency to implicate maximum members of the family of the husband in the hands of estranged wife,” the single bench said in the decision.
The Court further said that the incidents mentioned in the FIR are petty in nature and that police action is not justified in filing the charge sheet against the complainant’s sister-in-law. “They have been insensitive. It is case of over implication of the petitioner,” the judgement reads. “The officials were lacking in their duties and did not care to find out the truth”.
Ruling that the criminal proceedings against the sister-in-law in the case would amount to misuse of the process of the court, the FIR against her has been quashed by the High Court. The three other accused in the case include the complainant’s husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law against whom proceedings are still going on separately.