Wednesday, 14 October 2015

How to ascertain jurisdiction of court in case of offence under S 498A and 406 of IPC?

“12. The crucial question is
whether any part of the cause of
action arose within the
jurisdiction of the court
concerned. In terms of Section 177
of the Code, it is the place where
the offence was committed. In
essence it is the cause of action
for initiation of the proceedings
against the accused.”
It is true that Section 177 of the Code
refers to the local jurisdiction where
the offence is committed. Though the
expression “cause of action” is not a
stranger to criminal cases, in view of
Sections 178 and 179 of the Code and in
the light of the specific averment in
the complaint of the appellant herein,
we are of the view that the said
decision is not applicable to the case
on hand.
10. Mr. Sanyal also relied on a
decision of this Court in Bhura Ram
and Others vs. State of Rajasthan and
Another, (2008) 11 SCC 103 wherein
following the decision in Y. Abraham
Ajith and Others (supra), this Court
held that “cause of action”; having
arisen within the jurisdiction of the
court where the offence was committed,
could not be tried by the court where
no part of offence was committed. For
the same reasons, as mentioned in the
earlier paragraph, while there is no
dispute as to the proposition in view
of the fact that in the case on hand,
the offence was a continuing one and
the episode at Gaya was only a
consequence at the continuing offence
of harassment and ill-treatment meted
out to the complainant, clause (c) of
Section 178 is attracted. In view of
the above reason, both the decisions
are not applicable to the facts of
this case and we are unable to accept
the stand taken by Mr. Sanyal.
11. We have already adverted to the
details made by the appellant in the
complaint. In view of the specific
assertion by the appellant-wife about
the ill-treatment and cruelty at the
hands of the husband and his relatives
at Ranchi and of the fact that because
of their action, she was taken to her
parental home at Gaya by her husband
with a threat of dire consequences for
not fulfilling their demand of dowry,
we hold that in view of Sections 178
and 179 of the Code, the offence in
this case was a continuing one having
been committed in more local areas and
one of the local areas being Gaya, the
learned Magistrate at Gaya has
jurisdiction to proceed with the
criminal case instituted therein. In
other words, the offence was a
continuing one and the episode at Gaya
was only a consequence of continuing
offence of harassment of illtreatment
meted out to the complainant, clause
(c) of Section 178 is attracted.
Further, from the allegations in the
complaint, it appears to us that it is
a continuing offence of ill- treatment
and humiliation meted out to the
appellant in the hands of all the
accused persons and in such continuing
offence, on some occasion all had
taken part and on other occasion one
of the accused, namely, husband had
taken part, therefore, undoubtedly
clause (c) of Section 178 of the Code
is clearly attracted.”
In the light of the above principle
of law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme
Court, this Court has critically examined the
allegations levelled by the respondent No.2
in the complaint and the statement of
respondent No.2 recorded by the police under
section 161 Cr.P.C., copies of which are
supplied by the learned counsel for the
complainant, and found that the respondent
No.2 has alleged in the complaint that just
before few days of marriage of his daughter
i.e. on 18.04.2001, he was in receipt of a
registered letter from the petitioners,
wherein they have demanded clothes to the
tune of Rs.1,50,000/- as dowry in the
marriage. The respondent No.2 has further
alleged that his daughter has telephoned him
and informed about the torture she is facing
due to non-fulfillment of dowry demand made
by the petitioners and he along with his wife
went to Beawar, where the petitioners had
demanded Rs.1,00,000/- cash and one new
Maruti Car. It has further been alleged in
the complaint that even after the respondent
No.2 brought his daughter with him to his
village, the petitioners continuously
demanded Rs.1,00,000/- and one Maruti Car,
and ultimately on 11.01.2004, they informed
that if their demand is not met immediately,
the petitioner No.1 will remarry. The
respondent No.2 has also alleged that the
'Streedhan' of his daughter was handed over
to her in-laws at the time of 'Bidai' at Bali
and the petitioners have refused to return
the 'Streedhan' of his daughter. It is also
noticed that in his statement recorded under
section 161 Cr.P.C., the respondent No.2 has
alleged that before marriage, the petitioners
had asked him that before leaving his house
after marriage, he should give a sum of
Rs.1,00,000/- and a new Maruti Car in dowry.
From the above, it is clear that
the marriage of the petitioner No.1 and the
daughter of respondent No.2 was solemnized at
village Srisela. It is also not in dispute
that village Srisela is falling in the
jurisdiction of the Court at Bali. As per the
allegations levelled in the complaint, the
petitioners have demanded dowry from the
respondent No.2 on telephone or by other
means at Srisela also. It is also alleged in
the complaint that the Streedhan of the
daughter of the respondent No.2 was entrusted
to the petitioners at village Srisela and
that Streedhan was taken by the petitioners
at Beawar, where the in-laws of daughter of
respondent No.2 are residing. When the
respondent No.2 has demanded the said
'Streedhan' back, the petitioners have
refused to give it back.
Therefore, as per the details made
by the respondent No.2 in the complaint, the
offence in this case was a continuing one
having been committed in more local areas and
one of the local areas being Bali, the
learned Magistrate at Bali has jurisdiction
to proceed with the criminal case instituted
therein.
The offence was a continuing one
and the episode at Bali such as demand of
dowry after marriage was only a consequence
of continuing offence and as per complaint,
the entrustment of 'Streedhan' was also at
Bali, therefore, clause (c) of section 178
Cr.P.C. is attracted.
In such circumstances, this Court
does not find any illegality in the orders
passed by the court below.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
AT JODHPUR
ORDER
S.B.CR. MISC. PETITION NO.1581/2010
Kuldeep Singh & Ors.
Vs.
State of Rajasthan & Anr.
Date of Order : 21st February, 2014
PRESENT
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE VIJAY BISHNOI



The only issue for consideration in
this criminal misc. petition is whether
criminal proceedings initiated by the
respondent No.2 at Bali against the
petitioners are maintainable or not for lack
of jurisdiction?
Brief facts of the case are that
the daughter of respondent No.2 got married
with petitioner No.1 on 27.04.2001 at village
Srisela, Tehsil Bali, District Pali as per
Hindu rights and ceremonies. According to
the respondent No.2, at the time of
engagement of his daughter on 22.06.1998, he
had gifted Rs.1,00,000/- in cash, gold chain,
gold ring, wristwatch and clothes.
Thereafter, at the time of marriage of
brother of the petitioner No.1, he had gifted
clothes of Rs.20,000/-. It is alleged in the
complaint that when the respondent No.2 had
asked for fixing the date of marriage of his
daughter with the petitioner No.1, the
petitioners raised a demand of clothes
amounting to Rs.1,50,000/- in dowry and that
was fulfilled by him and at the time of
marriage on 27.04.2001. It is further alleged
that his relatives had gifted various things
to his daughter and after marriage, his
daughter went to the house of the petitioners
at Beawar. After about a week, the
petitioner No.1 asked the daughter of the
respondent No.2 to bring Rs.1,00,000/- and
one Maruti Car from her parents. The
petitioner No.1 also threatened that if the
said demand is not fulfilled, he would
remarry and leave the daughter of respondent
No.2 to her parental home. It is also
alleged that father-in-law, mother-in-law and
other accused-persons always used to say that
the respondent No.2 has given very less dowry
and also not given Rs.1,00,000/- and a car
and with these demands, they tortured her and
at once, the petitioner No.1 has even
assaulted his daughter. It is further alleged
that five days after marriage when accused
No.9 returned to her village Srisela, the
other accused-persons continuously demanded
Rs.1,00,000/- and a Maruti Car through
accused No.9 and pressurised the other
relatives to fulfill the demand of dowry. It
is further alleged in the complaint that when
the daughter of respondent No.2 was unable to
sustain the physical and mental torture, she
informed the respondent No.2 to bring her
back and then he along with his wife went to
Beawar and requested the in-laws of his
daughter not to torture her, then at that
time also, the petitioners had demanded
Rs.1,00,000/- and one new Maruti Car. The
respondent No.2 was asked by the petitioners
that when he would be in a position to
fulfill the demand of dowry, he may inform
them and thereafter, they would bring his
daughter. It is also alleged in the complain
that near relatives of the respondent No.2
went to Beawar and also requested the
petitioners to bring her back to Beawar but
the petitioners had stated that until and
unless the demand of dowry is fulfilled, they
would not bring the daughter of the
complainant back. It is alleged that the
petitioners have refused to return the
'Streedhan' of his daughter. The respondent
No.2 has further alleged that on 11.01.2004,
the petitioners had informed the respondent
No.2 on telephone that if their demand of
dowry is not fulfilled, the petitioner No.1
will remarry.
With these allegations, the
respondent No.2 filed a complaint before the
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bali,
who in turn, forwarded the said complaint to
the police and the police has registered an
FIR in respect of the complaint and
thereafter filed a charge-sheet against the
petitioners before the trial court and the
trial court took the cognizance against the
petitioners for the offences under sections
498A and 406 IPC.
The petitioners moved an
application under section 177 Cr.P.C. with a
prayer that the trial court at Bali has no
jurisdiction to try the case because as per
the allegations levelled in the complaint,
the alleged offences were committed at
Beawar. The application under section 177
Cr.P.C. preferred by the petitioners had been
rejected by the trial court vide order dated
12.08.2009 and being aggrieved with the same,
the petitioners preferred a revision petition
before the Court of Additional Sessions
Judge, Bali, District Pali (for short 'the
revisional court' hereinafter), however, the
same has also been dismissed by the
revisional court vide impugned order dated
02.06.2010 and being aggrieved with this, the
petitioners have preferred this criminal
misc. petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioners
has argued that as per the allegations
levelled in the complaint filed by the
respondent No.2, the alleged offences were
committed by the petitioners at Beawar,
District Ajmer and, therefore, the trial
court at Bali, District Pali has no
jurisdiction to conduct the trial of the
case. It is also contended by the learned
counsel for the petitioners that though the
trial court has observed that the demand of
dowry was made at Beawar and the cruelty was
also committed at Beawar but has dismissed
the application of the petitioners solely on
the ground that since the cognizance have
already been taken by the court at Bali,
therefore, plea of jurisdiction cannot be
raised at this stage. It is further
contended by the learned counsel for the
petitioners that the plea of jurisdiction can
be raised at any stage and the trial court
was erred in not granting relief to the
petitioners. It is also contended by the
learned counsel for the petitioners that the
revisional court has also not taken into
consideration this aspect of the matter and
passed the order in a mechanical manner.
In support of the above arguments,
the learned counsel for the petitioners has
placed reliance on decisions of the Hon'ble
Supreme Court in Y.Abraham Ajith & Ors. vs.
Inspector of Police, Chennai & Anr., (2004) 8
SCC 100; T.P.Moideen Koya vs. Govt. of Kerala
& Ors., (2004) 8 SCC 106; Manish Ratan &
Ors., State of M.P. & Anr., (2007) 1 SCC 262;
and Bhura Ram & Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan &
Anr., 2008 Cr.L.R. (SC) 342; The learned
counsel for the petitioners has also placed
reliance on the decisions of this Court in
Kishan Lal & Anr. vs. State of Rajasthan,
2005(2) Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 1439; Suman (Kum.) &
Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr., 2006(2)
Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 1348; State of Rajasthan vs.
Neema Ram, 2006(2) Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 1351;
Pankaj Saxena & Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan,
2008(1) Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 64; and Narain Singh
vs. State of Rajasthan & Shyamlal Jat, 2008
(1) Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 67.
Per contra, learned Public
Prosecutor as well as the learned counsel for
the respondents have supported the impugned
orders passed by the courts below and argued
that there is no illegality in the said
orders as the alleged offence was continuing
one and the court at Bali is also having
jurisdiction to conduct the trial of the case
against the petitioners.
Mr Suresh Kumbhat, learned counsel
for the respondent No.2 has invited the
attention of this Court towards para Nos. 6
and 9 of the complaint as well as the
statement of respondent No.2 recorded by the
police under section 161 CrPC and argued that
from the above, it is clear that the
petitioners demanded dowry at Bali from the
respondent No.2 at the time of Bidai of his
daughter on the next day of the marriage and
thereafter also on several occasions, they
demanded dowry from the respondent No.2 by
calling him on telephone at the place falling
in the jurisdiction of the Court at Bali.
In support of his arguments, the
learned counsel for the respondent No.2 has
placed reliance on the decision of Hon'ble
Supreme Court in Sunita Kumhari Kashyap vs.
State of Bihar & Anr. 2011 Cr.L.R. (SC) 400.
He also placed reliance on the decisions of
this Court in Kanhaiya lal and Ors. vs. State
of Rajasthan and Anr., RLW 2008(3) Raj 2555;
Piyush Ramsinghani vs. State of Rajasthan &
Anr., 2008(27) Criminal CC 144; Varinder
Singh and Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan and
Ors., RLW 2011 (3) Raj. 1895; and Smt. Madhu
Gupta vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr., 2013(2)
RCC (Raj.) 813.
Heard learned counsel for the
parties and perused the impugned order.
Hon'ble Supreme Court in Sunita
Kumari Kashyap vs. State of Bihar & Anr.
(supra), after taking into consideration the
provisions of sections 177 and 179 Cr.P.C.
and after taking into consideration its
earlier pronouncements on the same subject
has held as under:
“6. Chapter XIII of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short
“Code”) deals with jurisdiction of the
criminal courts in inquiries and
trials. Sections 177-179 are relevant
which are as follows:
“177. Ordinary place of inquiry and
trial -. Every offence shall ordinarily
be inquired into and tried by a Court
within whose local jurisdiction it was
committed.
178. Place of inquiry or trial. (a)
When it is uncertain in which of
several local areas an offence was
committed, or (b) where an offence is
committed partly in one local area and
partly in another, or
(c) where an offence is a continuing
one, and continues to be committed in
more local areas than one, or
(d) where it consists of several acts
done in different local areas,
it may be inquired into or tried by a
Court having jurisdiction over any of
such local areas.
179. Offence triable where act is done
or consequence ensues. When an act is
an offence by reason of anything which
has been done and of a consequence
which has ensued, the offence may be
inquired into or tried by a Court
within whose local jurisdiction such
thing has been done or such consequence
has ensued.”
From the above provisions, it is clear
that the normal rule is that the
offence shall ordinarily be inquired
into and tried by a court within whose
local jurisdiction it was committed.
However, when it is uncertain in which
of several local areas an offence was
committed or where an offence is
committed partly in one local area and
partly in another or where an offence
is a continuing one, and continues to
be committed in more than one local
area and takes place in different local
areas as per Section 178, the Court
having jurisdiction over any of such
local areas is competent to inquire
into and try the offence. Section 179
makes it clear that if anything
happened as a consequence of the
offence, the same may be inquired into
or tried by a Court within whose local
jurisdiction such thing has been done
or such consequence has ensued.
7..........
8..........
9. Mr. S.B. Sanyal, learned senior
counsel appearing for the respondents
fairly stated that there is no dispute
about the jurisdiction of the Court at
Gaya insofar as against the husband,
however, in respect of other relatives
of the husband in the absence of any
act at Gaya, the said Court has no
jurisdiction and if at all, the wife
has to pursue her remedy only at
Ranchi. In support of his contention,
he relied on a decision of this Court
in Y. Abraham Ajith and others Vs.
Inspector of Police, Chennai and
another, (2004) 8 SCC 100 in
particular, paragraph 12 of the said
decision which reads as under:
“12. The crucial question is
whether any part of the cause of
action arose within the
jurisdiction of the court
concerned. In terms of Section 177
of the Code, it is the place where
the offence was committed. In
essence it is the cause of action
for initiation of the proceedings
against the accused.”
It is true that Section 177 of the Code
refers to the local jurisdiction where
the offence is committed. Though the
expression “cause of action” is not a
stranger to criminal cases, in view of
Sections 178 and 179 of the Code and in
the light of the specific averment in
the complaint of the appellant herein,
we are of the view that the said
decision is not applicable to the case
on hand.
10. Mr. Sanyal also relied on a
decision of this Court in Bhura Ram
and Others vs. State of Rajasthan and
Another, (2008) 11 SCC 103 wherein
following the decision in Y. Abraham
Ajith and Others (supra), this Court
held that “cause of action”; having
arisen within the jurisdiction of the
court where the offence was committed,
could not be tried by the court where
no part of offence was committed. For
the same reasons, as mentioned in the
earlier paragraph, while there is no
dispute as to the proposition in view
of the fact that in the case on hand,
the offence was a continuing one and
the episode at Gaya was only a
consequence at the continuing offence
of harassment and ill-treatment meted
out to the complainant, clause (c) of
Section 178 is attracted. In view of
the above reason, both the decisions
are not applicable to the facts of
this case and we are unable to accept
the stand taken by Mr. Sanyal.
11. We have already adverted to the
details made by the appellant in the
complaint. In view of the specific
assertion by the appellant-wife about
the ill-treatment and cruelty at the
hands of the husband and his relatives
at Ranchi and of the fact that because
of their action, she was taken to her
parental home at Gaya by her husband
with a threat of dire consequences for
not fulfilling their demand of dowry,
we hold that in view of Sections 178
and 179 of the Code, the offence in
this case was a continuing one having
been committed in more local areas and
one of the local areas being Gaya, the
learned Magistrate at Gaya has
jurisdiction to proceed with the
criminal case instituted therein. In
other words, the offence was a
continuing one and the episode at Gaya
was only a consequence of continuing
offence of harassment of illtreatment
meted out to the complainant, clause
(c) of Section 178 is attracted.
Further, from the allegations in the
complaint, it appears to us that it is
a continuing offence of ill- treatment
and humiliation meted out to the
appellant in the hands of all the
accused persons and in such continuing
offence, on some occasion all had
taken part and on other occasion one
of the accused, namely, husband had
taken part, therefore, undoubtedly
clause (c) of Section 178 of the Code
is clearly attracted.”
In the light of the above principle
of law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme
Court, this Court has critically examined the
allegations levelled by the respondent No.2
in the complaint and the statement of
respondent No.2 recorded by the police under
section 161 Cr.P.C., copies of which are
supplied by the learned counsel for the
complainant, and found that the respondent
No.2 has alleged in the complaint that just
before few days of marriage of his daughter
i.e. on 18.04.2001, he was in receipt of a
registered letter from the petitioners,
wherein they have demanded clothes to the
tune of Rs.1,50,000/- as dowry in the
marriage. The respondent No.2 has further
alleged that his daughter has telephoned him
and informed about the torture she is facing
due to non-fulfillment of dowry demand made
by the petitioners and he along with his wife
went to Beawar, where the petitioners had
demanded Rs.1,00,000/- cash and one new
Maruti Car. It has further been alleged in
the complaint that even after the respondent
No.2 brought his daughter with him to his
village, the petitioners continuously
demanded Rs.1,00,000/- and one Maruti Car,
and ultimately on 11.01.2004, they informed
that if their demand is not met immediately,
the petitioner No.1 will remarry. The
respondent No.2 has also alleged that the
'Streedhan' of his daughter was handed over
to her in-laws at the time of 'Bidai' at Bali
and the petitioners have refused to return
the 'Streedhan' of his daughter. It is also
noticed that in his statement recorded under
section 161 Cr.P.C., the respondent No.2 has
alleged that before marriage, the petitioners
had asked him that before leaving his house
after marriage, he should give a sum of
Rs.1,00,000/- and a new Maruti Car in dowry.
From the above, it is clear that
the marriage of the petitioner No.1 and the
daughter of respondent No.2 was solemnized at
village Srisela. It is also not in dispute
that village Srisela is falling in the
jurisdiction of the Court at Bali. As per the
allegations levelled in the complaint, the
petitioners have demanded dowry from the
respondent No.2 on telephone or by other
means at Srisela also. It is also alleged in
the complaint that the Streedhan of the
daughter of the respondent No.2 was entrusted
to the petitioners at village Srisela and
that Streedhan was taken by the petitioners
at Beawar, where the in-laws of daughter of
respondent No.2 are residing. When the
respondent No.2 has demanded the said
'Streedhan' back, the petitioners have
refused to give it back.
Therefore, as per the details made
by the respondent No.2 in the complaint, the
offence in this case was a continuing one
having been committed in more local areas and
one of the local areas being Bali, the
learned Magistrate at Bali has jurisdiction
to proceed with the criminal case instituted
therein.
The offence was a continuing one
and the episode at Bali such as demand of
dowry after marriage was only a consequence
of continuing offence and as per complaint,
the entrustment of 'Streedhan' was also at
Bali, therefore, clause (c) of section 178
Cr.P.C. is attracted.
In such circumstances, this Court
does not find any illegality in the orders
passed by the court below. Hence, there is no
force in this criminal misc. petition and the
same is hereby dismissed. Stay petition also
stands dismissed.
[VIJAY BISHNOI],J.

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