The following appeared in "Times of India", Mumbai Edition on June 01, 2009, page no. 07.
The following SC judgement, highlights the importance of the LIMITATION ACT, that the lawyers should be aware of before filing any case / amendments.
Keep Smiling ... HemantAgarwal
LIMITATION ACT: “NO” conviction in case of delay … SC
SC Quashes Charge Filed After 3 Years
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that a husband or a relative cannot be convicted of harassing a woman if the complaint is made a considerable amount of time after the alleged act.
A bench of Justices Mukundakam Sharma and B S Chauhan passed the ruling while setting aside the conviction and three-year sentence imposed on Manju Ram Kalita, a resident of Assam’s Kamrup district.
The SC while quashing the charge against Kalita under Section 498 (harassment of wife by husband or relatives), however, upheld his conviction for bigamy (IPC 494). The bench noted that in the present case, the complaint was lodged three years after the alleged harassmentand hence cannot be sustained.
Minati, Kalita’s wife, alleged he and his relatives subjected her to mental and physical torture between 1990 and 1993. But she lodged the complaint with the police under section 498A (harassment) only in 1997 and also under section 494 (bigamy) where she alleged that Kalita had married another woman Ranju Sharma.
The trial court convicted and sentenced the husband to two years’ rigorous imprisonment under section 498A and three years under section 494. Both the sentences were ordered to run concurrently. The Gauhati high court upheld the conviction, following which the husband appealed in the Supreme Court.