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Reliance on Section 156 CrPC Is Not Admitted: Delhi High Court

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A petition was filed by Mrs Kusum Lata under Section 227 of the Indian Constitution with Section 482 Cr.P.C in the High Court of Delhi. 


Kusum Lata herein was the petitioner is the mother-in-law of Mrs Sikha (respondent No.2 ). Petitioner is R/O RZ 38-39/184 Gali No.2 Durga Park, New Delhi which consists of a two-floor house. 

On 29.10.2019 son of the petitioner and respondent 2 married and started living at the above-mentioned address. Since 2018, respondent 2 started a fight and caused problems for the petitioner and her husband. The reason for the fight was the transfer of rights of the entire petitioner’s movable, immovable, and business property to the husband of respondent No. 2. On 17.6.2018 petitioner and her husband published the disentitlement of their son from all their properties in “Indian Express” and “Jansatta”. On 18.6.2018 the husband of the petitioner filed a complaint against respondent No.2 that they forcibly entered the petitioner’s house and they were subject to abuse, manhandle defamation, mental torture, harassment, etc. however, no action was taken. On 27.6.2018 the respondent 2’s husband took a rented accommodation and decided to shift there with respondent 2 and their children. However, respondent 2 refused to leave the property and call respondent nos.3&4 who threatened the petitioner and her husband. On 28.6.2018, respondent 2 called the police for filing a complaint. After receiving the complaint, the police called the petitioner and her husband, respondent 2 and her husband, and respondent 3 and 4 to Police Station, Sagarpur. The police did not take any action and asked respondents 3 and 4 to take respondent 2 to her parent’s house. The husband of respondent 2 also shifted to rented accommodation. Thus the petitioner now had sole possession of the house. 

On 29.7.2018 respondent 2 came with a large group of people including respondents 3 to 12 to forcibly take possession of the property. But this was of no use as neighbours helped and protected them. These incidents were recorded on CCTV. On 07.08.2018 the petitioner’s husband made a complaint to the SHO, Sagarpur Police Station against respondent No.2 but no action was taken. On 12.08.2018 all the respondents with other 10-15 people forcefully and illegally came into the house. Respondent 2 broke the main gate and CCTV camera but before she broke the CCTV camera the incidents got recorded. After that, all the respondents broke many articles, stole Rs.60, 000 and took some jewellery. Respondent 2 took possession of the ground floor in this manner. Knowing this, the petitioner made a call to PCR but no one answered. On 15.8.2018, the petitioner’s husband again made a complaint on SHO Sagarpur PC. On 16.08.2018 and 15.09.2018, he made a complaint To DCP Vasant Vihar. On 03.09.2018 he made complaints to the Commissioner of Police claiming that no response was given for the earlier complaints. He also got to know that the officials of Police Station Sagarpur are linked to the above-said persons. Therefore, they never bothered to come and rescue them.

Moreover, his son was booked in a false case of Kalandra in Police Station Sagarpur and got bail on 13.8.2018. As no action was taken by any police officials. The petitioner filed a complaint under Section 200 Cr.P.C and Section 156(3) Cr.P.C before Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House Court, New Delhi filing a case against the respondents. During the proceedings SI Ashok Kumar, Police Station Sagarpur submitted an Action Taken Report dated 03.01.2019 before the Patiala House Court. Due to that the application of the petitioner was dismissed vide order date 03.01.2019. 

Petitioner filed a revision petition CR No. 159/19 under Section 397 Cr.P.C titled Kusum Lata v. Sikha and Ors at the District and Sessions Judge, Patiala House Court. ATR filed by SI Ashok Kumar, photographs and videos of the incident dated 29.07.2018 and 12.08.2018 submitted before the Court. The ATR revealed that no phone calls were received on 12.08.2018. The petitioner’s husband filed RTI seeking a copy of records of Delhi PCR containing entries from Mob No. 9873318182. After seeing all this ASJ dismissed the revision petition dated 28.2.2020 and upheld the impugned order dated 03.01.2019 passed by the learned Metropolitan Magistrate. 

Petitioner’s Contention

Learned counsel for the petitioner claimed that the learned ASJ has not taken into view that respondent 2 voluntarily vacated the house thus nothing entitles her to forcibly enter the property. Moreover, the photos of 12.8.2018 night including the breaking of house and the wrongful confinement of petitioner and her husband lead to the cognizable offence as held by SC in Lalita Kumari v. Government of U.P. and Ors. (2014) 2 SSC 1. He further argued that this matter was not the matrimonial dispute as Respondent 2 husband was already disentitled from all his rights in properties of petitioner and her husband as per newspaper publication. The learned counsel relied on SR Batra and Anr. V. Smt. Taruna Batra (2007) 3 SSC 169 wherein it was held that the wife is only entitled to claim the right to residence in a shared household. The property in the present case was neither a joint family property nor it was taken by her husband. Therefore, respondent 2 was merely living in a rented accommodation owned by the petitioner. 

The counsel further requested the Court to order an investigation regarding the 9-10 unknown people who entered the petitioner’s house on the night of 12.8.2019. 

He finally said that the ASJ had wrongfully relied upon ATR and mistook the facts of the case and addressed it as a matrimonial case. Moreover, ASJ and Metropolitan Magistrate had neglected the gravity of the offence committed by the respondent i.e., robbing the goods. 

Respondent’s Contention

The Assistant Public Prosecutor for the state relied on the ACT submitted by Ashok Kumar and argued that the PCR call vide DD number 31A was made on 12.08.2018 at 03:46 p.m. And ASI Jagbir reached the petitioner’s residence and on investigating with the caller he got to know that respondent No. 2 had quarrels with her in-laws.

On 13.08.2018, at 12:30 a.m. ASI Ram Nivas found a person abusing in a loud manner in front of the petitioner’s house identified as the husband of respondent 2. Then action was brought against him under Section 107/151 Cr.P.C by ASI. 

The APP argued that the petitioner required no assistance as all the facts and circumstances were within the knowledge of the complainant. He also said that this was the reason why the Metropolitan Magistrate dismissed the prayer of the petitioner under Section 156 Cr.P.C. 

Additionally, he relied upon Gulab Chand Upadhyaya v. State of U.P. and Ors. (2002) SCC All 1221,  where the Allahabad High Court held that when the complainant is having all the details about the accused and witnesses then there is no requirement of investigation. Moreover, APP for State had relied upon the case of Skipper Beverages Pvt. Ltd. V. State (200) SSC Del 448, where the Court exemplified the power of Section 156 is to be exercised by a magistrate judiciously.

Court’s Observation

The Hon’ble Justice supported the learned Metropolitan Magistrate dismissing the petition filed under section 156(3) Cr.P.C as the petitioner was very well aware of all the facts. Thus, no custodial interrogation was required. The ASJ held that there was no interference by dismissing the application u/s 156(3) Cr.P.C.

The learned Justice held that there was no illegality in the orders passed by the Trial Court or Appellate Court. The reason was that a cognizable offence complaint can be filed only in front of the respective magistrate. The magistrate can only take the complaint in two courses either take cognizance under section 190 or may forward the complaint to the police under section 156 (3) Cr.P.C. But in the present case, the material facts were well within the knowledge of the petitioner including the identity of the accused person. Therefore, there lies no reason for provoking section 156. 

Court’s Judgment 

The Court held that there remains no merit in this petition and the same to be dismissed with no orders as to costs.

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