South Indian Actress Filed 498A on U.S. Husband – Quashed Madras HC
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE C.T. SELVAM
Crl.O.P. No. 5887 of 2009
D.V. Chandrasekar .. Petitioner
1. State rep. by
Inspector of Police
W-22 All Women Police Station
Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.
PRAYER: This Petition is filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, praying to call for the records in C.C. No. 251 of 2008 on the file of XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet, Chennai and quash the same.
For Petitioner : Mr. Lakshmipriya Associates
For Respondents :Mr. J.C. Durairaj,
GA (Crl.side)for R1
Mr. M. Mohammed Shaji for R2 & R3
O R D E R
The petitioner who is the first accused in C.C. No.251 of 2008 on the file of the XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate, Chennai seeks to quash the proceedings as against him.
2. The marriage of the petitioner’s son and one Gayatri, daughter of the de-facto complainant took place on 08.12.2006. The marriage was not a happy one and several differences arose between the married couple. The de-facto complainant has preferred the complaint against the petitioner herein, his wife and son, the son having married the complainant’s daughter Gayatri. The complaint reads as follows :-
‘I am S.Raghuram, residing at 79, 3rd Street, Kamdar Nagar, Nungambakkam, Chennai 34,
1. My second daughter R.Gayathri, aged 23 years had an arranged marriage with Mr. Deepak Chandra Sekar, Son of B.V.Chandra Sekar on the 8th of December 2006. The marriage was celebrated with great pomp at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Centre Valliammal Hall, MRC Nagar, Santhome High Road, Madras-28. The marriage was attended by a number of well-known film personalities, politicians etc., as I am a reputed dance director in the film field.
2. At the time of marriage, I gave my daughter about 600 gms of gold jewels, diamonds and silver worth Rs.3,50,000/-. I presented my daughter with very valuable silk saris. Cash was also given. I presented saris, dhotis and other articles to the bridegroom’s parents and other relatives. The marriage was a glittering affair and I spent lavishly as I wanted my daughter to have a happy married life.
3. At the time of marriage, my son-in-law Deepak Chandrasekar was employed as Systems Analyst with SISCO systems in San Jose, California, U.S.A. My daughter was also studying in IOWA USA where my elder daughter was living immediately after marriage, my daughter was taken to her in-laws house at B9, Luz Apartments, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai- 600 004. She was staying with them till she was taken to the U.S by her husband a week after the marriage. All her jewels, silver, valuables, clothes etc. were also taken to her in-law’s house, as it is customary in our families.
4. My daughter informed me over the phone that she was having a happy married life with her husband in the U.S. She continued her studies in California after her return. She still has three semesters to finish her course.
5. In May 2007 Mrs. Savithri Chandrasekar the mother of Deepak Chandrasekar went to USA to visit her son and stayed in his house. As she has got a taste of the wealth of our family. She wanted to extract a huge sum from us and started harassing and intimidating my daughter. She wanted to get Rs.1,50,00,000/- to cover the expenses of her daughter and son-in-law who are going to migrate to the U.S.A. She demanded the money from my daughter and asked her to get it from me immediately. She prevailed on my son-in-law also and he also started abusing harassing and ill-treating her. My daughter tells me that the situation became so bad that she was injured when her husband beat her up. She had to take medical treatment for the injury.
6. When I heard about this I was very shocked. Though I was worried about her safety, I thought that it was a one time incident and advised her to be patient. But the harassment and the demand for money continued and ultimately she was thrown out of her matrimonial home on 11.06.2007.
7. My daughter left all her belonging including her jewellery and personal effects in her matrimonial home had to go to my elder daughter’s house in Cincinatti Ohio. When she tried to contact her husband over phone, he strictly instructed her to desist from either contacting him or from returning to his house. My daughter informed me over the phone that as she has categorically refused to ask me for huge dowry amounts, her mother-in-law and husband became very angry and that at the instigation of her mother in law, he started behaving like a psychopath. He turned very violent and tried chocking her with a pillow. He had also thrown her puppy violently, breaking its leg. My daughter had to give a police complaint against her husband.
8. When I found out these development, I immediately met his parents Mrs. Savithri & Mr.Chandrasekar on 17.06.2007 at their residence I realised that they were instrumental in causing this trouble. Both of them refused to advice or counsel their son., but on the contrary demanded Rs.1.5 crores to be paid to them immediately. They threatened me that only if I oblige them, they would instruct their son to take my daughter back. I tried to convince them that I have very valuable properties and that ultimately I will be giving these properties only to my two daughters and that they need not have any apprehension about this. I refused to concede to their demand and this infuriated them. They specifically informed me that their son would file for divorce and also see that my daughter would be intimidated by the police in U.S.A. My request to them to allow the young couple to have a peaceful married life was turned down. They informed me
categorically that unless their demand for money was met, there is no chance for reconciliation. They abused me and throw me out of the house.
9. My daughter was to leave for San Jose on the 28.06.2007. She was shocked to receive a Lawyer notice issued on behalf of her husband advising her he had filed a petition for divorce at U.S.A He also instructed her to refrain from contacting her husband as otherwise he would get a court order to restrain her from doing so.
10. This clearly shows that the threats issued by Mr. & Mrs. Chandrasekar that my daughter’s marriage would end if the dowry demand was not met has been implemented. It is pertinent to point out that Mrs.Chandrasekar has left to Oman after creating this trouble. Clearly Mrs. Savithri Chandrasekar and Chandrasekar are totally responsible for the physical and mental abuse suffered by my daughter for the break down of her marriage.
11. My daughter is on dependent visa and her husband is at present having only work permit (H1 Visa). My daughter has no money of her own and the intention of the Chandrasekar is to prevent her from seeking adequate legal aid to defend her self in the U.S.A court.
12. I therefore request you to register a complaint against Mrs.Savithri Chandrasekar and Mr.B.V.Chandrasekar under the relevant provision of Dowry Prohibition Act, Indian Penal Code & Domestic Violence Act and prosecute them under the Act.”
3. The complaint dated 02.07.2007 which was forwarded to the Commissioner of police has been registered in Cr. No. 8/07 on the file of the first respondent police on 25.08.2007 and for offences under sections 498(A) and 506(i)IPC and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. On receipt of the complaint the respondent police had filed charge sheet against the three accused for offences u/s.406 and 498A IPC. The lower court has taken cognizance for offences u/s. 498A, 406 and 506(i) IPC and issued summons to the accused.
4. Certain facts which require mention are as follows :-
Both, the daughter of the de-facto complainant viz. Gayatri and the third accused viz. Deepak Chandrasekar being in United States of America, had registered their marriage on 28.08.2006 before the Office of Recorder, Country of Alameda, Oakland, California as mentioned under the Licence of marriage issued by such office. The marriage subsequently was solemnised as per Hindu rites in India on 08.12.2006.
5. Marriage between the daughter of the de-facto complainant and the third accused has been dissolved on 22.01.2008 by The Superior Court of California, Country of Santa Clara, U.S.A. It is an admitted position that, at the time the Court in America was moved towards dissolution of the marriage, the third respondent/the de-facto complainant’s daughter was in America but as on the order of dissolution she was not there. Though at the instance of this Court several submissions were made on the question of the validity of the marriage conducted in India and the registration thereof under the Hindu Marriage Act, in the face of an earlier registration of marriage on 28.08.2006 at America and this Court also heard both counsel in some detail on the binding nature or otherwise of the decree of dissolution passed by the Court in America, the same only were of academic interest and need not detain us in disposal of the petition before us.
6. Upon the complaint of the respondent and on completion of investigation, charge sheet had been filed for offences u/s. 406 and 498A IPC. The lower court has, on consideration of the complaint, charge sheet and statement of witnesses filed therewith, taken cognizance for offences u/s.498A, 406 and 506 (i)IPC. The copy of the complaint has been extracted herein above towards making ready reference thereto. It is seen that the couple had left for America within a week of their marriage. The complaint also speaks of the second accused having gone over to stay with the couple in May 2007, where after the entire sordid happenings transpired. It is not in dispute that the petitioner was never in America. The complaint itself informs at paragraph seven that, the third respondent/complainant’s daughter left all her belongings, including her jewellery and personal effects in her matrimonial home and had to go to her sister’s house in a
different State owing to the ill-treatment suffered by her. Thus, it can be seen that there has been no entrustment of such articles in the hands of the petitioner, which would enable him to misappropriate the same. As such no offence of criminal breach of trust would stand made out against him.
7. As regards the offences u/s.498A IPC, it is seen that the entire allegations there regards are only that which took place in America, where, to repeat, this petitioner had not been. All the allegations which would attract section 498A IPC are alleged against the second and third accused in the case. The same would hold true also in respect of offences u/s. 506(i) IPC. In fact the only allegation we find in the complaint against the petitioner is that, mentioned in paragraph eight of the complaint, wherein it has been stated that “the petitioner and his wife on the contrary demanded Rs.1.5 crores to be paid to them immediately and on such payment they would advise his son to take his daughter back and that, when the complainant refused to concede to the demand they were infuriated and informed that their son would file for divorce and would see that his daughter would be intimidated by the police in U.S.A. and that unless
their demand for money was met there was no chance for reconciliation and he was abused and thrown out of the house. As against this, the 161(3) Cr.P.C statement stops with saying that it was the petitioner’s wife, the second accused, who made the demand. It is to be remembered that neither has charge sheet been filed nor cognizance taken for any offence of dowry demand.
8. In the facts and circumstances of the case, no commission of offence could be attributed to the petitioner. Ofcourse, it is submitted by the learned senior counsel appearing for the respondents that the petitioner was the only person appearing before the lower court, the second accused being away at Oman and the third accused in America and if the proceedings against this petitioner were to be quashed, the entire case would come to a stand still. That, by itself would not be reason for prolonging the agony of the petitioner.
9. In these circumstances, this court quashes the proceedings in C.C. No. 251 of 2008 on the file of XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet, Chennai as against the petitioner. This Criminal Original Petition is ordered accordingly.
1. The Inspector of Police
W-22 All Women Police Station
Mylapore, Chennai 600 004.
2. The XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate,
3. The Public Prosecutor
Madras High Court