Telangana HC Criticises Cops for Adding NRIs as Accused in Dowry Case

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court faulted the police for arraying some non-resident Indian (NRI) family members as accused in a case of dowry harassment case and cruelty against women (PIC Section 498A), on general allegations two years after filing the final chargesheet.

The court pulled up the police for filing supplementary charges on their own, after the Judicial Magistrate had taken cognisance of the final chargesheet and in the absence of any directions from the court. Moreover, there was no prima facie case against the family members in the first chargesheet.

Justice E.V. Venugopal was dealing with two petitions filed by a Karnataka native, wife, daughters and sons-in-law, all NRIs in the USA and Jeddah.

The marriage of the Karnataka native’s son was solemnised with a Hyderabad resident and the NRI family stayed in India for 13 days before leaving for home abroad. Later, an FIR was filed against the son by his wife with the SR Nagar police. The police filed the final chargesheet and the Magistrate Court took cognisance of it. Two years later, the police filed a supplementary chargesheet by arraying the NRI family members as accused, on charges of dowry harassment.

Justice Venugopal found that the supplementary chargesheet was filed with omnibus allegations and that there was no new evidence in the subsequent report. The judge cited the Supreme Court which had made it clear that it would be impermissible for a Judicial Magistrate to take cognisance of a supplementary chargesheet if it doesn’t contain any fresh oral or documentary evidence.

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