The Bombay High Court recently quashed a case of cruelty filed by a judicial officer against her husband and his family members under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). .A division bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain observed that the first information report (FIR) seemed to have been lodged only as a counterblast to the matrimonial dispute between the husband and wife.“This is a perfect case where this Court should exercise its jurisdiction to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court to secure the ends of justice,” the Court observed in its February 9 order while quashing the FIR..The judicial officer in Maharashtra met her husband through a matrimonial site and they got married in February 2018. The wife’s complaint stated that after marriage, the husband refused to have a conjugal relationship with her and there were various matrimonial disputes between them.It further added that while the divorce petition filed by the husband was pending, the husband and his brother entered her judicial chambers on June 7, 2023 and threatened her to sign the petition for divorce by mutual consent. The same act was also allegedly committed by her in-laws later the same day.This effectively obstructed her from discharging her duties as a judge that day, the complaint claimed. .Based on the incident of June 7, the wife filed a complaint with the police on July 9, 2023 against the husband and in-laws and an FIR was registered under Sections 186, 353 (criminal force to deter public servant), 498A (cruelty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The period of offence in the FIR was from October 1, 2018 to June 7, 2023.Aggrieved by the FIR, the husband and the in-laws moved the High Court seeking quashing of the same..The Court did not find any evidence that the husband and the in-laws had not allowed the wife to sit in the morning session to discharge her duties as a judge. The Court noted that even during the afternoon session, the relatives did not enter the court hall but were waiting in the chamber and the judicial officer voluntarily rose from the court and came to the chamber.“There does not appear to be any obstruction to the wife in discharge of her public function but on the contrary, she discharged her official duties on that day and, therefore, the provisions are not attracted. The act of retiring to the chamber is a voluntary act of the informant on being told by her peon,” the Court noted..The Court also did not find any force being used by the husband to deter or create fear in the wife’s mind from discharging her duty as judicial officer.The High Court further found that differences and bickering between the complainant and the in-laws' family including the husband would not amount to an offence under Section 498A of the IPC.With these observations, the Court quashed the FIR against the husband and the in-laws..Advocates SR Nargolkar, Arjun Kadam and Neeta Patil appeared for the husband and the in-laws.Advocates Sagar Kasar, Amol Wagh and Chaitali Bhogle appeared for the wife.