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'Personal Liberty' : Supreme Court Allows Brother-in-Law Accused In Section 498A IPC Case To Travel Abroad

Srishti Ojha
15 Jan 2022 8:56 AM GMT
Personal Liberty : Supreme Court Allows Brother-in-Law Accused In Section 498A IPC Case To Travel Abroad
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The Supreme Court of India has observed that the fundamental right of personal liberty to travel abroad cannot be denied to a person only because he is arrayed as an accused in a 498A complaint filed by his brother's wife against his brother and family, especially when the allegations as against him do not disclose criminal offence.In this case, an FIR was filed by the complainant against...

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The Supreme Court of India has observed that the fundamental right of personal liberty to travel abroad cannot be denied to a person only because he is arrayed as an accused in a 498A complaint filed by his brother's wife against his brother and family, especially when the allegations as against him do not disclose criminal offence.

In this case, an FIR was filed by the complainant against her husband and in-laws under Sections 323, 34, 406, 420, 498A and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Complainant's brother in law (who was employed in Texas in the United States of America) was arrayed as one of the accused. The Apex Court was considering an appeal against the order passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana which dismissed an application filed by him for permission to travel back to the United States of America.

The court, examining the complaint, noted that there is nothing specific against the Appellant except the vague allegation that the Appellant and his mother, that is the complainant's mother-in-law kept her jewellery.

Allowing the appeal, the court deleted the condition imposed by the CJM of 'not to leave the country without prior permission of Court'.

The court added that failure to control an adult brother, living independently, or giving advice to the complainant to adjust to avoid vindictive retaliation from his brother (complainant's husband) cannot constitute cruelty on his part within the meaning of Section 498A of the IPC.

The Bench observed that the allegations in the complaint against the Appellant prima facie do not disclose, against the Appellant, any offence under Section 498A of the IPC, which contemplates cruelty, that is willful conduct of such a nature, as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to the life, limb or health (whether physical or mental) of the woman.

The Bench observed that the husband of the complainant wife who had been working in the U.S.A. might leave the country cannot be ground to deny the Appellant's prayer to go back to the U.S.A. to resume his duties in a Company in which he has been working for about 9/10 years.

According to the Bench, the High Court has also not considered the allegations against the Appellant, and there is not even any prima facie finding with regard to liability, if any, of the Appellant to the complainant, and no specific allegations against the Appellant.

Case name: Deepak Sharma vs State of Haryana

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 52

Case no.| Date: CrA 83 of 2022 | 12 Jan 2022

Coram: Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari

Counsel: Adv Manu Mridul for appellant, AOR Dr. Monika Gusain for respondent

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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