HC quashes chargesheet against first wife of former SSP Budgam

HC quashes chargesheet against first wife of former SSP Budgam
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Srinagar, Sept 2: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has quashed an FIR against the first wife of a former SSP Budgam, on charges of criminal trespass and assault to deter a public servant from discharging official duty.

“What comes to the fore from the analysis of the material on record is that respondent No.2, who is a high-ranking police official, appears to have used his official position to wreak vengeance upon the petitioner, with whom he has a long-standing marital discord, by involving her in a criminal case after having failed to get any favorable result in the civil litigation against his wife,” a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar said while quashing the charge sheet arising out of FIR (No. 198 of 2015) for offenses under Section 447-A and 353 RPC against her before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Budgam.

“Thus, this is a clear case where criminal proceedings have been initiated against the petitioner (woman) which are attended with mala fides and ulterior motives for wreaking vengeance upon (her) and with a view to spite her due to private and personal grudge.”

The FIR against the woman was lodged with Police Station Budgam on the allegation that she broke the security cordon and used “abusive language against the officials”, to enter the residence of the senior police officer on 26 July 2015.

Subsequently, the police filed chargesheet against her, charging her of preventing the security personnel deployed over there from performing their “official duties”.

The woman, who had entered into the wedlock with the SSP on 14 June 2001, challenged the chzargesheet on the ground that the police officer contracted second marriage without seeking her consent and without obtaining any permission from the competent authority. She had contended that she had orders from civil court to enter the house.

“As per the documents placed on record by the petitioner, her right to reside there is protected by order dated 24.07.2015 passed by the civil court, according to which respondent No.2 has been directed not to interfere in her enjoyment of the said premises,” the court observed, adding, “in the opinion of this Court, the entry of the petitioner into the house of her husband under the shield and cover of the order dated 24.07.2015 does not constitute an offence of criminal trespass.”

Regarding Section 353 of the RPC which was alleged to have been committed by a woman, the Court said that “it can never be the duty of a public official to prevent a person from exercising his/her right which is sanctioned by law.”

“There may be marital discord going on between the petitioner and respondent No.2 but the security personnel deployed at the residence of respondent No.2 are not duty bound to interfere in that marital discord and prevent the wife of respondent No.2 from entering into the house of the her husband,” the court said, adding, “Therefore, the act of security personnel in preventing the petitioner from entering the house of her husband does not come within the purview of their lawful duties.” The petitioner was represented before the court by advocate M Ashraf Wani.

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