Monday 9 July 2012

In Criminal trial Territorial Jurisdiction is not fatal

"Sagai" and "marriage" took place in Delhi. Torture for demand of dowry made in Kanpur. In Criminal trial Territorial Jurisdiction is not fatal. Hence Delhi High Court has territorial Jurisdiction to deal with matter.
Delhi High Court
Sushil Kumar & Ors vs The State & Anr on 17 August, 2011
Dated :17th August, 2011
Citation: 2012 CR. L. J 129 (Delhi)
1. Vide instant petition petitioners have challenged
the impugned order dated 28.01.2006 passed by ld. MM,
Karkardooma Court, Delhi whereby the ld. Judge has
dismissed the application under Section 177 Cr.P.C.
2. Ld. counsel for petitioners submits, on the
complaint being filed by respondent No.2 Lata W/o Sushil
Kumar before CAW Cell, East Delhi on 08.04.1997 in which
she has alleged that marriage has taken place with the Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 1 of 9 petitioner No.1 at Kanpur and dowry articles also have
entrusted by her parents at Kanpur and that her in-laws have
tortured her for demand of dowry etc. at Kanpur.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioners further
submits that, as per the complaint of respondent No.2 the
cruelty as alleged by her has taken place at Kanpur and
marriage has also taken place at Kanpur. Thereafter, she
was brought back from Kanpur to Delhi by her parents, since
then, she has been residing at Delhi.

4. By this petition, the petitioner has raised the
issue that since, all the incidents took place at Kanpur
therefore, Delhi court has no jurisdiction to entertain the
alleged complaint filed by the respondent No.2.
5. The respondent No.2 has filed the reply to this
petition and submits that the instant petition is not
maintainable, in view of the provisions of Section 178 of
Cr.P.C. The relevant provisions of said Section are
reproduced hereinafter for ready reference.
"178. Place of inquiry or trial.
(a) ...................
(b) Where an offence is committed partly in one local area and party in another, or
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 2 of 9 (c) Where an offence is a continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local area has one, or
(d) Where it consists of several acts done in different local areas,
it may be inquired to or tried by a court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas."
6. Learned counsel for the respondent No.2 submits
that the respondent had filed the reply to the application
under Section 177, being filed by the petitioners before the
ld. trial court. In the reply, it was clearly stated that the
cruelty was also committed at Delhi, well within the
jurisdiction of ld. Trial court. Further, the petitioners and his
sister Rano were also residing at Delhi, where, the
complainant/respondent No.2 was subjected to cruelty.
7. Learned counsel for the respondent No.2 has also
raised the preliminary objection that the instant petition is
being filed at a belated stage. The ld. trial court has framed
the charges against the petitioner including, accused Rano
vide its order dated 26.08.2002.
8. Moreso, The prosecution witnesses has already
been examined and then after a gap of 4 years i.e. on
11.03.2005, the impugned application under Section 177 Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 3 of 9 Cr.P.C was filed, without disclosing as to how and in what
manner petitioner was prejudiced.
9. Ld.counsel for respondent No.2 further submits
that the instant petition is not maintainable because Section
462 Cr. P.C. prohibits the court, unless the condition as
mentioned in the said Section is not fulfilled. The said
Section is reproduced for ready reference;
"462. Proceedings in wrong place.
No finding, sentence or order of any Criminal Court shall be set aside merely on the ground that the inquiry, trial or other proceedings in the course of which it was arrived at or passed, took place in a wrong sessions division, district, sub- division or other local area, unless it appears that such error has in fact occasioned a failure of justice."
10. Learned counsel for the respondent No.2 submits
that the nuptial celebrations were started by „Shagun' held
at Delhi and dowry was entrusted to petitioner no.1 in the
marriage at Delhi. These facts have been concealed by the
petitioner, whereas, he has wrongly mentioned that "dowry
articles were entrusted by her parents at Kanpur". Thus, the
entrustment of dowry articles of petitioner No.1 took place at
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 4 of 9 Delhi and not at Kanpur and, therefore, complaint was filed
well within the jurisdiction of Delhi.
11. Learned counsel for the respondent No.2 has
pointed out that petitioner himself has relied upon wedding
card (translation of which is annexure P5). It reveals as
under :
Wednesday 5th October, 1994
Kirtan and engagement at 3.00 P.M.
at Residence 21/206-207, Kalyan Puri Delhi Reception of Barat 7:00 P.M.
Dinner 9:00 P.M."
12. The ceremony of marriage was initiated at Delhi
and completed at Kanpur. The dowry items were entrusted
at the above address which establishes cause of action
under Section 406 Indian Penal Code, 1860, well within the
jurisdiction of the learned trial court at Delhi.
13. The ld. counsel for the petitioner has relied upon
the judgment of this Court in 121 (2005) Delhi Law Times
668 titled as Malkiat Singh & Anr. Vs. State & Anr.
"7. So far as the offence u/s 406 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned, the entrustment as well as breach of trust both took place at Tanda or at
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 5 of 9 some place in Punjab. Admittedly the marriage did not take place in Delhi. Entrustment could have been made at the place of marriage or at the matrimonial home neither of which was in Delhi. On the allegations, the jurisdiction will lie with the police station having jurisdiction over the matrimonial home in Tanda or some other place where the respondent No.2 had lived along with her husband during the period in question which was admittedly not Delhi."
14. He has further relied upon another judgment of
Hon‟ble Supreme Court in a case of Satvinder Kaur v.
State (Govt. Of NCT of Delhi) & Anr. reported as VIII
(1999) SLT 392. The Hon‟ble Supreme Court found the
judgment of this Court erroneous because of the following
reasons :
"(1) The S.H.O. has statutory authority under Section 156 of the Criminal Procedure Code to investigate any cognizable case for which an F.I.R. is lodged.
(2) At the stage of investigation, there is no question of interference under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code on the ground that the Investigating Officer has no territorial jurisdiction.
(3) After investigation is over, if the Investigating Officer arrives at the conclusion that the cause of action for lodging the F.I.R. has not arisen within his territorial jurisdiction, then he is required to submit a report accordingly under Section 170 of Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 6 of 9 the Criminal Procedure Code and to forward the case to the Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence."
15. I heard both the counsel. I am acquainted with
the law settled by the Hon‟ble Supreme Court in Y.
Abraham Ajith & Ors. Vs. Inspector of Police, Chennai
& Anr. (2004) CCR 130 (SC) as held as under :
"6. Section 177 of the Code deals with the ordinary place of inquiry and trial, and reads as follows:
Every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed."
7. Sections 177 to 186 deal with venue and place of trial. Section 177 reiterates the well- established common law rule referred to in Halsbury's Laws of England (Vol. IX para 83) that the proper and ordinary venue for the trial of a crime is the area of jurisdiction in which, on the evidence, the facts occur and which alleged to constitute the crime. There are several exceptions to this general rule and some of them are, so far as the present case is concerned, indicated in Section 178 of the Code which read as follows:
(a) When it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed, or
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 7 of 9 (b) where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another, or
(c) where an offence is 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."
16. The main question in the instant petition is,
whether, any part of the cause of action arose within the
jurisdiction of the concerned court. In terms of Section 177
of the Cr. P. C., it is the place where offence was committed.
In essence, it is the cause of action for initiation of the
proceedings against the accused. There are three types of
jurisdiction :
(i) the pecuniary jurisdiction.
(ii) the territorial jurisdiction.
(iii) the subject matter jurisdiction.
17. In the present case the issue raised by the
petitioners is on the territorial jurisdiction. In criminal law
the territorial jurisdiction is not fatal, whereas, the subject
matter jurisdiction is always fatal, which is not in issue.
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 8 of 9
18. After hearing both the counsel for the parties,
and on perusal of the record before me, I note that the
ceremony of „Sagai' took place at Delhi and allegations
made against the petitioners are of Delhi. Additionally, this
case is hanging on in Delhi since 1997, when FIR
No.590/1997 was lodged against the petitioners. The case
has reached its advance stage before the trial court.
19. Therefore, I am of the opinion that there is no
merit in the petition, the same is dismissed.
20. Accordingly, Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 is dismissed.
21. No order as to costs.
August 17th, 2011
Crl.M.C.2469-72/2006 Page 9 of 9
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