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U.I.L.S, P.U

06/12, SEC-A
U.I.L.S, P.U

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I would like to express my special thanks of gratitude to my teacher Dr. Sangita Bhalla
who gave me the golden as well as ample opportunity to do this wonderful project on the
topic Continuing offence and Supreme Court cases for application of bars

of limitation in cases of cruelty against married women which also helped me

in doing a lot of research and I came to know about so many new things. I am really thankful
to her.
Secondly I would also like to thank my parents and friends who helped me a lot in finalising
this project within the limited time frame.

Ajitpal Singh


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A). Udai Shankar Awasthi vs. State of U.P and Anr, 5
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B). Bhagirath Kanoria v. State of M.P, 6

C). Inspector v. Andhra Co-op. Spinning mills Ltd., 6
D). Balram Singh v. Sukhwant Kaur, 6
E). Vimal Chadha v. Vikas Choudhary, 6
F).Gorak Nath Ram And Ors. vs Smt. Nibha, 7
G). Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar and Ors. 12
H).Deepti @ Arati Rai vs Akhil Rai & Ors, 12, 13
I). Smt. Vanka Radhamanohari vs Vanke Venkata Reddy And
Ors, 14


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The term continuing offence has not been defined in CrP.C. The honble
supreme court in the case of Udai Shankar Awasthi vs. State of U.P and Anr,
criminal appeal no.6 of 2013, decided on may 9th 2013 held that: section 472 of Cr.P.C. provides that in case of a continuing offence, a fresh
period of limitation begins to run at every moment of time period during which
the offence continues. The expression, continuing offence has not been
defined in Cr.P.C. because it is one of those expressions which does not have a
fixed connotation, and therefore, the formula of universal application cannot be
The court further observed that:...the law on the issue can be summarised to the effect that, in the case of a
continuing offence, the ingredients of the offence continue, i.e, endure even
after the period of consummation, whereas in an instantaneous offence, the
offence takes place once and for all i.e when the same actually takes place. In
such cases, there is no continuing offence, even though the damage resulting
from the inquiry may itself continue.

So, continuing offence is basically the offence whose ingredients continue. In

other words the offence whose ingredients endure even after the period of
consummation can be called as a continuing offence. And further in case of a
continuing offence a fresh period of limitation shall begin.


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Section 472(Cr.P.C) Continuing offence:- In the case of a continuing offence, a

fresh period of limitation shall begin to run at every moment of time during
which the offence continues.
This section provides that in case of a continuing offence, a fresh period of
limitation shall begin to arise at every moment so long as the offence
continues. In Bhagirath Kanoria v. State of M.P, 1990 S.C. 1688, the
Supreme court held that non-payment of the employers contribution to the
provident fund before due date, is a continuing offence and, therefore, the
period of limitation prescribed by section 468 cannot have any application. The
offence will be governed by section 472, CrP.C . In P.F. Inspector v. Andhra
Co-op. Spinning mills Ltd., 1994 Cr. L.J. 1132(AP), the respondent company
have failed to remit the employers share of provident fund. It was held that
non-payment of contribution of the employers share was a continuing offence
and, therefore, section 468 was not applicable but provisions of section 472
would apply.
It was held in Balram Singh v. Sukhwant Kaur 1992 Cr. L.J 732(P&H) the
entrustment of stridhan and the refusal to return it despite repeated requests
and persuasions amounts to the offence of criminal breach of trust and is a
continuing offence until the return of property to the wife. The extension of
period of limitation is a discretionary power of the court.
In Vimal Chadha v. Vikas Choudhary,2008 3 Cr. L.J 3190 S.C, the father of
kidnapped boy had been getting calls for ransom even after killing of boy. It
was held that in view of continuing offence age of juvenile will have to be
determined with the reference to the date on which the offence is committed
and continues. The relevant date for determination of age of juvenile is the date
on which the incident happened. But the determination of age having regard to
the date when missing report was filed is improper.


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(A). Gorak Nath Ram And Ors. vs Smt. Nibha on 5 March 1997 (1) BLJR 827








respectively, of


complainant/opposite party have moved this Court in the instant application for quashing the order dated
14.8.96 by and under which the learned court below having found prima facie case against the petitioners,
directed framing of charge under Sections 406/498 A of the Indian Penal Code.
2. Before appreciating the contentions raised on behalf of the parties factual backgrounds may be stated
briefly: On 26.5.94 the opposite party filed a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi
alleging, inter alia, that she was married with petitioner No. 1 on 26.11.92 and negotiation for the
marriage was done at the instance of one Chandrika Prasad in the month of June, 1992. After fulfilling the
demands of the accused persons chheka ceremony was performed on 16.7.92 at Ranchi and a specific date
was fixed for marriage. Preparation for marriage began and the parents made arrangement for the stay of
the Barat party in hotel Apsara at Ranchi. However, a fortnight prior to the marriage her father received a
printed invitation card which completely disturbed the parents, friends and well wishers of the
complainant. In the meantime, said Chandrika Prasad came to her parents with a printed invitation card
which was sent to him by Raj Kumar, brother of petitioner No. 1. It revealed from the said card that
marriage of petitioner. No. 1 was fixed with another lady named Poonam, daughter of one R. Prasad of
Allahabad. On going through the said card the complainant's parents became nurvous and to verify the
real state of affairs immediately rushed to the residence of the petitioners on the same day. They were
pacified by the petitioners but were told to give them Fridge, V.C.P. coloured T.V. and a Maruti car before
the date of marriage. The petitioners were requested by the parents of the complainant to give up that
excessive demand and to perform the marriage on the agreed demands made earlier. The petitioners were
requested to consider the future of the girl and reputation of the family. After a great deal of persuation the
petitioners agreed to perform marriage on the condition that the demands made must be fulfilled by the
parents of the complainant within three months of the marriage.
Similar invitation card, it is alleged, were distributed only to some persons at Ranchi with sinister design
to blackmail the complainant's parents so that demands made earlier could be increased. In the evening of
26.11.92 Barat party reached Ranchi and stayed at Apsara hotel and at about 7.30 P.M. the party came for
Divarpuja at the door of the complainant's house. Dinner party was hosted to entertain the Barat party and
after that it went back to the hotel for performance of other rites. Though nuthrat for the marriage was
fixed at 12 in the night but neither the groom nor his relatives nor friends appeared till 11 P.M. which
caused great anxiety in the minds of the parents of the complainant. Chandrika Prasad and Ors. were sent
to the hotel to know about the reason for delay. Chandrika Prasad and Ors. having found that the Barat
party was lazing off in the hotel premies. They went to the father-in-law, petitioner No. 2 and accused No.
4 to know about the delay. On inquiry accused No. 4 asked them to bring the entire ornaments in the hotel
and to hand over the same to them. They also demanded the entire price of Maruti car at once threatening
that the groom would not go for marriage if the said demands are not fulfilled. Chandrika Prasad and Ors.
found with surprise that petitioner No. 1, the groom was also supporting his relatives in the said demand.
The matter was conveyed by Chandrika Prasad to the parents of the complainant and on hearing the same
the mother of the complainant fell down unconscious. Her father was at a loss having found no way out to
over come this critical juncture. Again Chandrika Prasad along with relations and friends of the father of
the complainant went to the hotel and handed over the entire ornaments to accused No. 2 and 4 in the

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hotel in presence of accused No. 1 and had to commit under pressure. Thereafter, the marriage was
performed much after the Muharat time.
The complainant after marriage went to her in-laws' house on 27.11.92 and stayed there for four days.
Since her arrival in in-laws' house she was made to digest the sarcastic remarks passed by her husband
against her parents for not giving them dowry in commensurate with his status. Hurling of dirty abuses at
then was a regular affair from petitioner No. 1. The complainant being shocked used to protest it/but in
the beginning she was subjected to assault physically by her husband. Constant threat of divorce was also
given to her by saying that petitioner No. 1 had many women to spend night and atleast one of such ladies
was deeply in live with him and she was ready to please him in more ways than one. These utterances of
her husband were not taken seriously by the complainant at first, taking it to be a pressure on her parent to
meet the unreasonable demands of dowry. However, with the passage of time the husband hardened his
attitude and intensified his torture on her and virtually menacled her in his house preventing her to go out
of the house. She was served with scanty food and brutality went to a high extent. It is alleged that all
these tortures were with the sole intention to get the demands fulfilled earlier made by the husband with
other in-laws. With a hope that her in-laws will one day or other mend their behaviour towards her, the
complainant continued to suffer silently. Brutalities and insults were meted out to her by her in-laws. As a
result of continuous torture and assault and for lack of proper food and care the complainant became very
weak and felt helpless. She was certain that her parents were not in a position to meet such high demands
of the accused persons inasmuch her parents had three other daughters to give in marriage and one son to
give education. Ultimately on 17.1.93 as a result of brutal assault on her back by the husband, she became
breathless and her husband threw her away all her garments etc. from the almirah. The husband,
moreover, wrote a letter to her mother informing her about the tough attitude lately taken by him towards
his wife. The complainant caught hold of the said letter as the husband forgot to post it and by
inadvertence left it one the table. Finding no way the complainant had to send for her father in the last
week of May and requested him to purchase a Fridge, VCP and a coloured TV as her husband was
insisting upon those article regularly. Father of the complainant had to arrange for money through his
friends and relations to save the life of his daughter and paid the husband Rs. 35000/- out of which her
husband purchased a fridge, V.C.P. and a coloured T.V.. Even after receiving the said amount pressure for
other demands continued with regular feature. On 18.7.93 a personal diary of her husband was found with
a note of her husband which was to the effect that he had some association with one Usha Marsaria. As
soon as she produced the said diary before her husband in the evening, for a moment, he was taken aback
but, thereafter, admitted before her about the relationship with the above lady and few others. Her
husband could not deny that the said noting which was in his own hand, bore his signature. Extra marital
relations with other women was admitted by her husband before her. On the next day she was
mercilessely assaulted by her husband and being restless with pain she immediately sent message to her
mother. Her mother came rushing and took her to Dr. Mrs. S. Chakravorty who prescribed her medicine
and advised her to get admitted in a Nursing Home for rest and care. The complainant was admitted in
Prasad Nursing Home on 19.7.93 in presence of her husband and immediately after her admission in the
Nursing Home he disappeared from there and telephonically asked his mother-in-law to take her to her
house. Her parents requested the husband of the complainant to take back his wife but without any result
and since then her husband has not only refused to take her back but has also refused to maintain her.

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Realising the stern attitude of petitioner No. 1 ultimately the ornaments and other stridhan to the
complainant. But, it is alleged that the said request was also not give any importance. Ultimately her
parents went to accused No. 2 to 4 at Ranchi and narrated the entire episode. The accused persons did not
give any importance to their predicaments and, on the other hand, informed them that marriage of accused
No. 1 had already been settled with a girl of a rich family who had agreed to meet their demands of dowry
including a Maruti car. When the parents of the complainant requested for return of the stridhan, they
were refused by saying that those ornaments will be presented to the new bride.
With these allegations the complainant has stated in her complainant petition that realising the miseries
and anxities of her parents and other family members she feels like committing suicide but restrained
herself from doing so realising the status of her parents and the family n the society and the future of her
brothers and sisters. On refusal by the police to take any action the complainant had to file the instant
complaint petition before the court below with a prayer to punish the accused persons in accordance with
3. After investigation charge sheet was filed and cognizance was taken and after perusal of the evidence
on record and hearing the parties, the learned court below, being prima facie satisfied, directed to frame
charge against the petitioners under the a foresaid section of the Penal Code. In this connection it is
pertinent to mention that the court below has not framed any charge against accused No. 4, namely, Raj
Kumar Ram, Dewar of the complainant as, according to it, no sufficient materials were there to frame
charge against him.
4. Mr. Kameshwar Prasad, learned Sr. counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners, has vehementally
urged that the court below has committed an error of law in framing charge against the petitioners
inasmuch as the complaint petition does not make out any case either under Section 498 A or 406 of the
Penal Code. Continuing his argument learned Counsel asserts that no case under Section 498 A could be
made out from the allegations because the complainant was having no sign of assault, rather, she was
suffering from dihydration which cannot be said to have any connection with the asslault, as alleged.
Referring to Ext. 4 he submitted that the lady herself was arrogant and of dominating character who
wanted to rule over her husband which was not liked by her in-laws . Secondly, according to Mr. Prasad,
there is inordinate delay in filing the compliant because, as per the allegations, she was admitted in the
Nursing Home on 19.7.93 but the complaint was filed on 26.5.94. Relying on the decisions , he asserts
that delay of eight months in filing the complaint is sufficient to throw out the complaint. Thirdly, learned
Counsel has argued, that two independent material witnesses i.e. Dr. Chakravorty and Rajak should have
been examined and those two persons having not been examined, the whole prosecution case becomes
doubtful. Assailing the impugned order Mr. Prasad submits that there being no proof of entrustment of the
ornaments to the petitioners, provisions of Section 406 of the Penal Code cannot be attracted. He has
referred to the evidence of the witnesses in support of his contention that the statement recorded by the
court does not suggest that the petitioners are guilty of any offence under Section 498 A or 406 of the
Penal Code. Referring to individual acts alleged against the petitioners, it is submitted that as far as the
husband is concerned, the complaint could have been filed immediately on the date of discharge of the
complainant from Prasad Nursing Home. As far as petitioner No. 2 and 3, the father in-law and mother inlaw of the complainant are concerned, it is submitted that the entire allegations, even if taken in their face
value, points a finger against the husband and not against the parents in-laws of the complainant.

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According to him, except in para 29 of the complaint petition, there is no whisper against the parents inlaws of the complainant. In this connection he has submitted that if on the materials on lecord no case was
made out against accused No. 4, namely, Raj Kumar Ram, charge could not have been framed practically
on the same materials against the parents in-laws as well.
5. Mr. N.N. Sinha, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the opposite party/ complainant strongly
countering the arguments of Mr. Prasad has submitted that if the allegations in the complaint petition
coupled with the evidence recorded by the court do not constitute offence under Sections 498A or 406 of
the Penal Code, there cannot be any other allegation which can justify framing of charge under the
aforesaid sections Referring to various paragraphs of the complaint petition Mr. Sinha submits that not
only the ornaments were handed over to the petitioners but the complaint's parents were forced to entrust
those ornaments on the threat of breaking of the marriage. In this connection he has also relied on the
evidence of the complainant herself which, according to him, justifies framing of charge under Section
406 of the Penal Code. Referring to the offence under Section 498A of the Penal Code, Mr. Sinha submits
that cumulative effect of the torture should be taken into account which is both mental as well as physical.
In this connection he has referred to the anxiety expressed by the complaint in her petition of complaint
where she has expressed her desire to commit suicide for the torture and insults meted out to her which
resulted in disturbing the whole atmosphere of the family. Explaining the reasonings for delay in filing the
complaint Mr. Sinha has subimtted that the court must take note of the harassment and mental agony of a
married lady while lodging complaint against nonelse but her husband and in-laws. The complainant
might have recovered from the pai which she sustained physically while being treated at the Nursing
Home but even after leaving the Nursing Home she was shattered mentally. She went to the police station
with a hope that the police administration will come forward to assist her at this juncture but when she
realised that no help could be received from the police, she had to knock the door of justice.

Five witnesses were examined on behalf of the prosecution before framing of charge. Chandrika Prasad, a
family friend and whose name is very much in the complaint petition as witness No. 4, has been exemined
as witness No. 1 before the court. About receipt of the card intimating settlement of marriage of the
petitioner with another lady, this witness has stated that after receiving the card from Hira Pd., father of
the complainant regarding marriage of the complainant with petitioner No. 1, he received another card
from Gorakh Ram (father of petitioner No. 1) in which settlement of marriage of petitioner No. 1 with
another lady was mentioned. This card is Ext. 3 to the complaint petition. The demand of T.V., V.C.P. and
a Maruti car just before the performance of the marriage ceremony has been corroborated by this witness.
He has also stated that ultimately on the demand made by the accused persons, he along with others
returned from the hotel and narrated the entire episode to the father of the complainant. Thereafter, all the
ornaments were removed from the person of the complainant and were handed over to the accused
persons. Only then the Earat party come and the marriage was performed beyond the Muhrat hour. The
allegation of torture and illtreatement, as alleged by the complainant, has been supported by this witness.
Similarly, mother and father of the complainant have fully substantiated the allegations. Hira Prasad, fath
of the complainant, has further deposed that on 18th July, 1993 when his daughter was assaulted by
petitioner No. 1, her condition became serious and immediately she was taken to Dr. Mrs. S. Chakravorty
and on her advice the complainant was admitted in Prasad Nursing Home. The complainant was treated in

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the Nursing Home upto 21.7.93 and when one Devendra Rajak went to call petitioner No. 1, he flately
refused by saying that the victim should be taken to her house. The petitioner No. 1, thereafter, never
inquired about the complainant and, as such, this witness took her to his own house from the Nursing
Home. Sometimes, thereafter, when he went Chandrika and Prabhat to the house of petitioner No. 1, they
were informed that petitioner No. 1 wants to marry another lady in another place. On hearing this, the
father requested him to return all the articles but the same was flately refused. This witness being the
father of the complainant, has given a detailed accounts of the ornaments and other articles given to
petitioner No, 1 for the said marriage.
9. The most important witness is the complainant herself, who has supported her allegations on all points.
A vivid picture has been given by her as to how demand of dowry was made during negotiation and after
the settlement of marriage. She has also stated about the intention of the accused persons in extorting
more dowry by sending a card which is Ext. 3. The demand of Maruti car, T.V., V.C.P. and fridge, after the
marriage was settled, has also been stated by her. The most crucial fact stated by her is that here entire
ornaments were removed from her person and were handed over to the accused persons in order to make
them agreeable to perform marriage within time About torture and ill-treatment meted out to her she has
categorically stated about the same in her deposition. She has also deposed about the request of her father
to return the ornaments etc. and refusal by the accused persons. She is specific about the behaviours of her
parents in-laws just after 4-5 days of the marriage. All these were the result of nonfulfilment of excessive
demand of dowry by the accused persons.
10. From the above gists it appears that the main allegation to establish a case against the petitioners is
that since the date of settlement of marriage till non-return of the ornaments the complainant and her
witnesses are unequivoval in their depositions. It is well settled that at the stage of framing of charge
probative value of the statement cannot be gone into, which would come to be decided at the conclusion
of the trial. I do not propose to express any opinion on the allegations and the depositions of the witnesses
as this would be a matter to be decided at the trial when the defence version of the case shall be brought
on record.
11. I have already noted above that at the time of framing of charge the court is to think that the accused
might have committed the offence and not that they have committed the offence. Secondly, whether the
allegations made in the complaint petition justify framing of charge under Section 406 of he Penal Code,
is to be decided in the trial and the High Court will not be ustified in exercising its inherent power under
Section 482 Cr.PC by quashing he complaint holding that no charge could be framed under Section 406 of
the Penal Code on the basis of such allegations.
12. The last but not the least the argument of Mr. Prasad that the complaint petition should have been
dismissed solely on the ground of delay in filing of the same, is only to be noted and rejected. From the
facts and circumstances discussed above, it is amply clear that after recovery from shock the victim girl
gathered courage to inform the police about the offence committed by the accused persons but being
frustreted in lodging the FIR, she had to move the court for justice. Moreover, one should not overlook
the social status of a married lady who after being thrown out from her in-laws house, seldom approaches
either the police or the court to ventilate her grievances. In such cases the reputation of her family is
involved and the complainant was to think about the future of her unmarried sisters. In such situation if

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the complaint was lodged, finding no other way to restore the matrimonial life, after some lapse of time, it
cannot be said that the whole complaint should be thrown as belated.
13. In the case of Vanka Radha Manohari v. V.V. Reddy and Ors. reported in 1993 A.I.R. SCW 3595, their
lordships of the Supreme Court have held that in matrimonial cases where allegation of torture, cruelty is
alleged by the wife, the court has to apply its mind to the question as to whether it is in the interest of
justice to condone the delay and quashing of the proceeding by the High Court on the ground of expiry of
limitation, has been depricated by their lordships.
14. In the case of Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar and Ors. their lordships under similar circumstances,
observed as follows:
Taking all the allegations made above, by no stretch of imagination can it be sai that the allegations do not
prima facie amount to an offence of criminal breach of trust against the respondent. Thus, there can be no
room for doubt that all the facts stated in the complaint constitute an offence under Section 406 IPC and
the appellant cannot be denied the right to prove her case at the trial by preempting it at the very behest by
the order passed by the High Court.
15. In this connection it is pertinent to consider the submission of Mr. Prasad that the counsel of the
complainant before the court below conceded that the prosecution does not want to prosecute the accused
persons for the charge under the Prohibition of Dowry Act. In my opinion, learned Counsel was not been
advised to make that concession before the court below inasmuch as after perusal of the allegations and
the deposition of the witnesses in support of those allegations before the trial court, it was the trial court
only to decide as to under what Act and under what sections charge should be framed. In this connection I
may refer to a decision of the Apex court in the case of Dipti alias Arti Rai v. Akhil Rai and
Ors. reported in A.I.R. 1995 (V) SCC 751 where the Government Advocate appearing on behalf of the
State before the High Court submitted that there was no material for framing of charge against the
accused persons under Section 498A IPC. The Madhya Pradesh High Court on these grounds allowed the
application filed by the accused persons and quashed the charge framed under Section 498A IPC against
the parents in-laws of the complainant. This stand of the Government Advocate was depreciated by the
Supreme Court by saying that concession was made without going through the records. The Supreme
Court also set aside the order of the High Court by which order framing charge under Section 498A of the
Penal Code was quashed by the High Court.
16. Having given my anxious consideration to the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view
that the learned court below was fully justified in framing of charge against the accused
persons/petitioners and I find no any illegality in the impugned order.
17. In the result, I find no merit in this application which is, accordingly, dismissed. The trial court is
directed to proceed with the trial as expeditously as possible. The office is directed to communicate this
order forthwith to the court below.

(B). Deepti @ Arati Rai vs Akhil Rai & Ors on 14 September, 1995
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Equivalent citations: 1995 SCC (5) 751, JT 1995 (7) 175

The appellant made a complaint to the officer Incharge of Women Police Station, Bilaspur alleging
demand of dowry, harassment and cruelty by respondents no. 1, 2 and 3 being the husband, father-in-law
and mother-in-law respectively. The police after making investigation, filed a charge sheet against the said
respondents in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Bilaspur, indicating commission of an
offence under section 498(A) IPC. The learned Magistrate after supplying copies of the charge sheet and
other documents and hearing the learned Advocate for the accused framed a charge under section 498(A).
The order framing the charge was challenged by the accused by filing Criminal Revision No.260 of 1993
in the Court of Addl. Sessions Judge, Bilaspur. The learned Addl. Judge was of the view that there was
sufficient material to frame a charge against all the accused and therefore, dismissed the Revision
Application. Thereafter the accused approached the High Court under section 482 Cr. P.C. with a prayer
to quash the said charge and the proceedings instituted upon the basis of the aforesaid charge sheet. The
High Court referred to its earlier order dt. 29.10.93 whereby respondent No.1's application for quashing
the charge was rejected. It then proceeded to consider the application of respondents no.2 and 3 for
quashing the charge. In its order the High Court has observed that:
"On perusal of the record, it transpires that no specific overt act is attributed to the applicants 2 and 3,
who are in-laws of the informant. The allegation that she was subjected to physical and mental torture are
attributed to her husband who is not an applicant in this case."
It then referred to the concession made by the Deputy Government Advocate that "there is no material for
framing of charge against the present applicants under section 498(A) IPC." On these grounds it allowed
the application and quashed the charge framed under section 498(A) against applicants nos.2 and 3.
Feeling aggrieved by the judgment and order passed by the High Court, the wife has approached this
It was contended by the learned counsel for the appellant-wife that the finding recorded by the High Court
that there is no allegation of beating, harassment and demand against respondents 2 and 3 is because of
misreading the complaint and the other material on record. In view of this contention, we have gone
through the complaint filed by the appellant and also the statements of Suresh Chandra Verma, father of
the appellant, Devesh, elder brother of the appellant and Ramesh, cousin of the appellant. In her
complaint the appellant has clearly stated that three or four months after the marriage her husband, her
father-in- law and mother-in-law started harassing her as VCR was not given to her in dowry. She has
further stated that her father-in-law and mother-in-law used to demand Rs.6500/- in cash. She has also
stated that she was beaten by her husband on 27.7.90, 4.10.90, 12.1.91, 28.1.91, 31.1.91, 12.2.91 and
8.3.92 and that her mother-in-law and father-in-law used to join her husband in beating her and abusing
her relatives. She has also stated that her mother-in-law, father-in-law and husband had not given food to
her on 24/25th April, 1992. Devesh, in his statement, has stated that respondent no.1 used to beat his sister
after taking liquor and her mother-in-law and father-in-law used to harass her. Ramesh has also stated in
his statement that he was informed by the appellant that she was harassed by her husband and parents- inlaw. He has further stated that she was asked to bring money for VCR by her husband and by the parentsin-law. From what we have pointed out, it becomes apparent that there was sufficient material for the
learned Magistrate for framing a charge under section 498(A) even against respondents no.2 and 3. It

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further appears to us that the learned Government Advocate who appeared on behalf of the State before
the High Court made the concession without going through the record. We are constrained to observe that
the learned Government Advocate should have conducted the case in a more responsible manner
considering the nature of the case. The High Court also should have taken care to verify the record before
accepting the concession made by the learned Government Advocate. It should have also applied its mind
to the aspect that second revision application, after dismissal of the first one by Sessions Court is not
maintainable and that inherent power under section 482 of the Code cannot be utilised for exercising
powers which are expressly barred by the Code. As we find that the order passed by the High Court is not
legal and just it will have to be set aside. We accordingly allow this appeal, set aside the impunged
judgment and order passed by the High Court and direct the Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, Bilaspur to
proceed further with Criminal Case No.69 of 1993.

(C). Smt. Vanka Radhamanohari vs Vanke Venkata Reddy And Ors on 20 April,
From the Judgment and order dated 27.4.1992 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Crl. Petition
No. 6 of 1992.
1.Badri Nath Bahu for Anip Sachthey for the Appellant. T.V.S.R. Krishna Sastry, Vishnu
Mathur(NP) and G. Prahhakar, for the Respondents, The Judgment of the court was delivered by
N.P. SINGH. J. leave granted.
2.The validity of an order passed by the High Court, in exercise of the power under Section 492
of the Code of criminal procedure hereinafter referred to as "the Code"). quashing the criminal
proceeding which had been initiated against the accused-respondents has been questioned in this
3. The appellant filed a petition of complaint against her husband, accused respondent No. 1
(hereinafter referred to as "the respondent") alleging that she was married to the said respondent
and an amount of Rs. 5,000/- along with gold ring and wrist watch, was given to him on the eve
of the marriage. Later at the instance of her mother-in-law, who was also in made an accused.
she was being maltreated and even abused by the accused persons including her husband. She
further alleged that her husband often used to beat her and had been insisting that she should get
another sum of Rs. 10,000/- from her parents for his business. Ultimately the respondent married
again and got a second wife. The other accused persons have actively associated themselves with
the second marriage. It was stated that earlier she had lodged a First Information Report. but
when no action was taken by the police, the complaint aforesaid was being filed in the year
19(X). 7Me learned Magistrate took cognizance of 'the offences under Sections 498A and 404 of
the Penal Code against the accused persons.
4. The High Court on an application filed on behalf of the accused respondents under Section
482 of the code, quashed the said criminal proceeding saying that after expiry of the period of
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three years, no Cognizance for an offence under Section 498 A of the Penal code could have
been taken. The high Court has pointed out that according to the statement made by the
complainant, she had left the matrimonial house in the year 1985 and, as such, she must have
been subjected to cruelty during the period prior to 1985. As such, in view of Section 468 of the
Code, no cognizance for an offence under Section 498 A could have been taken in the year 1990.
The high court has also pointed out that there was discrepancy in respect of the date of Second
marriage of respondent, inasmuch as in the petition of complaint 4.5.1900 has been mentioned
as the date of the second marriage whereas in the statement recorded on solemn affirmation the
appellant has stated that he had married in the year 1986. According to the learned Judge, as
section 498A prescribes the punishment up to three years imprisonment only, the petition of
complaint should have been filed within three years from the year 1985 in view of section 468 of
the code. Nothing- has been said in the order of the High Court, so far the offence under section
494 is concerned, for which the period of imprisonment prescribed is up to seven years. There
cannot he any dispute that in view of the allegation regarding the second marriage by the
respondent during the contiance of the first marriage, prima facia an offence under Section 494
of the Penal Code was disclosed in the complaint and there was question of Section 468 of the
Code being applicable to an offence under Section 494 of the Penal Code.
5.Earlier there was no period of limitation for launching a prosecution against the accused. But
delay in initiating the action for prosecution was always considered to be a relevant factor while
judging the truth of the prosecution story. But. then a court could not throw out a complaint or a
police report soley on the ground of delay. The Code introduced a separate chapter prescribing
limitations for taking cognizance of certain offences. It was felt that as time passes the testimony
witnesses becomes weaker and weaker because of lapse of memory and the deterrent effect of
punishment is impaired. if prosecution was not launched and punishment was not inflicted
before the offence had been wiped off from the memory of persons concerned. With the
aforesaid object in view Section 468 of the code prescribed six months, one year and three years
limitation respectively for offences punishable with fine, punishable with imprisonment for a
term not exceeding one year and punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
but not exceeding three years. The framers of the Code were quite conscious of the fact that in
respect of criminal offences, provisions regarding limitation cannot be prescribed at par with the
provisions in respect of civil disputes. So far cause of action accruing in connection with civil
dispute is concerned, under Section 3 of the limitation Act, it has been specifically said that
Subject to the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 every suit instituted. appeal preferred and
an application made after the prescribed period shall be dismissed, although limitation has not
been Set Lip as a defence. Section 5 of that Act enables any Court to entertain any appeal or
application after the prescribed period. if the appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he
had "sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period".
So far Section 473 of the code is concerned. the scope of that Section is different. Section 473 of
the code provides:-"Extension of period of limitation in certain Cases. Notwithstanding anything
contained in the foregoing provision of this Chapter, any court may take cognizance of an
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offence after the expiry of the period of limitation, if it is satisfied on the facts and in the
circumstances of the case that tile delay has been properly explained or that it is necessary so to
do in the interests of justice."
In view of Section 473 a court can take cognizance of an offence not only when it is satisfied on
the facts and in the circumstances of the case that the delay has been properly explained, hut
even in absence of proper explanation it the Court is satisfied that it is necessary so to do in the
interests of justice. The said Section 473 has a non obstante clause which means that said
Section has an overriding effect on Section 468. if the court is satisfied on the facts and in the
circumstances of a particular case. that either the delay has been properly explained or that it is
necessary to do so in the interests of justice.
6.At times it has come to our notice that many Courts are treating the provisions of Section 468
and Section 473 of the Code as provisions parallel to the periods of limitation provided in the
limitation Act and the requirement of satisfying the court that there was sufficient cause for
condonation of delay under Section 5 of that Act. There is a basic difference between Section 5
of the limitation Act and Section 473 of the Code. For exercise of power under Section 5 of the
Limitation Act, the onus is on the appellant or the applicant to satisfy the court that there was
sufficient cause for condonation of the delay, whereas Section 473 enjoins a duty on the court to
examine not only whether such delay has been explained but as to whether it is the requirement
of the justice to condone or ignore such delay. As such, whenever the bar of Section 468 is
applicable, the court has to apply its mind on the question, whether it is necessary to condone
such delay in the interest of justice. while examining the question as to whether it is necessary to
condone the delay in the interest of justice, the court has to take note of the nature of offence, the
class to which the victim belongs, including the background of the victim. If the power under
Section 473 of the code is to be exercised in the interests of justice, then while considering the
grievance by a .lady, of torture, cruelty and in human treatment, by the husband and the relatives
of the husband, the interest of justice requires a deeper examination of such grievances, instead
of applying the rule of limitation and saying that with lapse of time the cause of action itself has
come to an end. The general rule of limitation is based on the Latin maxim: vigilantibus, et non
dormientibus, jura subveniunt (the vigilant, and not the sleepy, are assisted by the laws). That
maxim cannot be applied in connection with offences relating to cruelty against women.
7. It is true that the object of introducing Section 468 was to put a bar of limitation on
prosecutions and to prevent the parties from filing cases after a long time, as it was thought
proper that after a long lapse of time, launching of prosecution may be vexatious, because by
that time even the evidence may disappear. This aspect has been mentioned in the statement and
object, for introducing a period of limitation, as well as by this court in the case of State of
punjab v. Sarwan Singh, AIR 1981 SC 1054. But, that consideration cannot be extended to
matrimonial offences, where the allegations are of cruelty, torture and assault by the husband or
other members of the family to the complainant. It is a matter of common experience that victim
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is subjected to such cruelty repeatedly and it is more or less like a continuing offence. It is only
as a last resort that a wife openly comes before a Court to unfold and relate the day to day torture
and cruelty faced by her, inside the house, which many of such victims do not like to be made
public. As such Courts while considering the question of limitation for an offence under Section
498 A i.e. subjecting a woman to cruelty by her husband or the relative of her husband, should
judge that question, in the light of Section 473 of the Code, which requires the court, not only to
examine as to whether the delay has been properly explained, but as to whether "it is necessary
to do so in the interest of Justice".
8.In the case of Bhagirath Kanoria v. State of M. P. AIR 1984 SC 1688, this court even after
having held that non- payment of the employer's contribution to the Provident Fund before the
due date, was a continuing offence, and as such the period of limitation prescribed by Section
468 was not applicable, still referred to Section 473 of the Code. In respect of Section 473 it was
"That section is in the nature of an overriding provision according to which notwithstanding
anything contained in the provisions of chapter XXXVI of the Code, any Court may take
cognizance of an offence after the expiry of the period of limitation if, inter alia, it is satisfied
that it is necessary to do so in the interest of justice. The hair-splitting argument as to whether
the offence alleged against the appellants is of a continuing or non-continuing nature, could have
been averted by holding that, considering the object and purpose of the Act, the learned
Magistrate ought to take cognizance of the offence after the expiry of the period of limitation, if
any such period is applicable, because the interest of justice so requires. We believe that in cases
of this nature, Courts which are confronted with provisions which lay down a rule of limitation
governing prosecutions, will give due weight and consideration to the provisions contained in
S.473 of the Code."
9.Coming to the facts of the present case, the- appellant is admittedly the wife of the respondent.
She filed the petition of complaint in the year 1990, alleging that she was married to the
respondent, who subjected her to cruelty, details whereof were mentioned in the complaint
aforesaid. She further stated that on 4.5.1990 he has married again, deserting the appellant. In
view of the allegation regarding second marriage, an offence under Section 494 of the Penal
Code was also disclosed which is punishable by imprisonment for a tern which may extend to
seven years. The High Court taking into consideration Section 468, has come to the conclusion
that the complaint in respect of the offence under Section 498 A which prescribes imprisonment
for a term up to three years, was barred by time. Nothing has been said by the High Court in
respect of the offence under Section 494 of the Penal Code, to which Section 468 of the Code is
not applicable, the punishment being for a term extending up to seven years. Even in respect of
allegation regarding an offence under Section 498A of the Penal Code, it appears that the
attention of the High Court was not drawn to Section 473 of the Code. In view of the allegation
that the complainant was being subjected to cruelty by the respondent, the High Court should
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have held that it was in the interest of justice to take cognizance even of the offence under
Section 498 A ignoring the bar of Section 468.





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