HC quashes petition against NRI husband
In an out of the ordinary case, an NRI husband was booked by the Jalandhar police and declared proclaimed offender in a case registered by his estranged wife’s father. Knowing fully well that the accused were staying abroad, the complainant-father gave their Indian address at the time of the FIR’s registration.
Coming to the rescue of the accused and to prevent the “miscarriage of justice”, Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has not only quashed the FIR, but also the subsequent proceedings.
The FIR for subjecting a married woman to cruelty and other offices was registered on July 17, 2010, under Sections 498-A, 406 and 384 of the IPC at Jalandhar Police Station Division Number three.
In their petition filed through counsel RS Bajaj, petitioner Rajiv Mehta and his father had sought the quashing of the FIR. Directions were also sought for quashing consequential proceedings, including order dated March 11, 2011, whereby the petitioners were declared proclaimed offenders by a Jalandhar court.
Bajaj had contended that the marriage had taken place in October 2003. Before marriage, the husband was already staying abroad and sponsored his wife. She too went with him to Holland before shifting to England. Temperamental differences arose and the wife filed a petition for divorce against the husband in the Family Court at Willesden County Court in England. Simultaneously, the wife, through her father, got the impugned FIR registered.
Justice Malik added the impugned order declaring them proclaimed offender was found to be direct result of malafide intention of the complainant, who kept the court of competent jurisdiction and the police authorities in dark, intentionally concealing the truth about the material fact that the accused were not staying in India.
“Out of total six persons, two were found innocent by the police in its inquiry and two have been found innocent by this court, while quashing the present FIR qua them…”