Court:Punjab-Haryana High Court
Bench: JUSTICE J.B. Garg
KAVITA SHARMA AND ANOTHER Vs. MEGH RAJ AND ANOTHER Decided on 15 September 1993
Wife did not Come Forward for Joint Petition- Whether Wife has Committed an Offence of Cheating?
Kavita Sharma and her brother Arun Kumar, have moved this petition u/Sec. 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and callenged the summoning order and the complaint under Sec. 420 read with Sec. 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, instituted by Megh Raj, the husband of Kavita Sharma.
2. Megh Raj, the husband, has filed a complaint under Sec. 420 read with Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against his wife Kavita Sharma and her brother Arun Kumar alleging that on 29.4.90, a compromise was arrived at between the parties and a Bank Draft of Rs. 35,000/- was handed over to Kavita Sharma and a joint petition of divorce was to be moved by both the spouses and a compromise was also executed in writing on 2-5.1990 in this regard as a consequence of which the wife withdrew her petition u/Sec, 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the husband withdrew the petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act and also a criminal revision in respect of an offence under Sec. 500/120-B of the Indian Penal Code,
3. In this complaint the main allegation of Megh Raj the husband, is that though a Bank Draft of Rs. 35,000/- dated 30.4.1990, has been received by the wife but still she has not fulfilled the remaining part of her agreement inasmuch as she has not come forward with a joint petition for divorce.
4. An agreement deed dated 2.5.1999 is Annexure R. 1. A perusal of its Clause (E) shows that this Bank Draft of Rs. 35,000/- was delivered in lieu of claims relating to articles of dowry and maintenance against the husband or other members of his family. The question for decision here is whether a wife, who has received a sum of Rs. 35,000/- by means of a Bank Draft in respect of articles of dowry and maintenance, is bound to come forward and move a joint petition for divorce and also whether her denial to do so would come in the ambit of Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code ?
5. Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act comes into operation only if a petition for dissolution of marriage is presented by both the parties. It is essential that it must be made by both the parties voluntarily. It appears that a complaint for an offence u/Sec. 498-A etc. of the Indian Penal Code was also pending against the husband and permission for its compounding was declined by the High Court on 16.11.1990. The conclusion is that merely because the wife has not come forward to move a petition under Sec. 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, in the circumstances of the case, it cannot be held that she and her brother were liable to be prosecuted for an offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. The impugned summoning order and the complaint are hereby quashed. The Trial Court at Chandigarh be informed.