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The Supreme Court has dismissed the legal actions taken against a woman and her  father, which were initiated based on an FIR filed by her husband following a  marital dispute. The accusations involved allegedly forging the husband’s  signature to obtain her minor son’s passport. 

A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta granted the plea filed  by Mariam Fasihuddin and her father, challenging the Karnataka High Court’s  decision, and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the husband. The court noted that  both the Trial Magistrate and the High Court overlooked the fact that the root  cause of the current dispute stems from a marital issue. 

The bench also expressed that not every deceptive act is necessarily illegal, just as  not every unlawful act involves deceit. They highlighted that certain actions may  be categorized as both unlawful and deceitful, and only such actions would come  under the scope of Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The bench further stated that, “This court, therefore, will exercise caution before  invoking such severe offences and penalties solely on the basis of conjectures and  surmises.” 


The parties entered into matrimony in 2007. Despite initial resistance, the husband  eventually agreed to accompany his wife to London. However, shortly after their  arrival, he confined her to her sister-in-law’s residence. Despite the challenging  situation, the wife managed to return to India. In 2009, during a visit, the husband  threatened the wife and took possession of the minor child’s passport for travel  arrangements. 

The court, after considering these details, raised questions about the timing of the  husband’s complaint. Notably, the passport had been issued in 2009, prompting the  court to inquire whether it was a mere coincidence that the husband chose to file 

his complaint only after an FIR had been lodged against him. While the law  mandates the husband to provide sufficient maintenance to his wife and minor  child, the court observed that the complaint, lodged by the husband on May 13,  2010, which accused forgery and fabrication, conspicuously omitted any  information about the measures taken for the welfare of his minor child, as stated  by the bench. 

The court cited Section 12(b) of the Passports Act, 1967, asserting that the  recognition of offenses of a similar nature can only be initiated by the Prescribed  Authority. The court highlighted that no complaint of such nature has been  revealed against the appellants. 

Additionally, the bench also stated that, “The appellants were unnecessarily  implicated and dragged into criminal proceedings, thereby causing undue  hardship to them.” 

While giving the Judgement, the bench stated that, “A paid report obtained from a  private laboratory seems to be a frail, unreliable, unsafe, untrustworthy and  imprudent form of evidence, unless supported by some other corroborative proof.  It is pain ful to mention that the husband has not produced any other substantive  proof, nor has the investigating agency obtained any such material for further  investigation. The basis on which the Trial Magistrate formed a prima facie  opinion is beyond our comprehension” 

The court also observed that the current matter has negatively affected the rights  and interests of the minor child. 

Case Title- Mariam Fasihuddin & Anr. v/s State by Adugodi Police Station & Anr. 

Anshra Zafar, a B.A.LLB (Hons) student at IILM University, Greater Noida, 4th  Semester. An intern under Legal Vidhiya.

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