Saturday, 11 January 2020

Supreme Court reiterates right of wife to institute prosecution U/S 498A of IPC at place where she resides after leaving her matrimonial house

We are unable to accept the submissions of the
learned Senior counsel for Respondent No.1. The
point that arises in this case is no more res
integra as it is covered by the judgment of this
Court in Rupali Devi (supra). It was held by this
Court as follows:
“14. …Even if the acts of physical
cruelty committed in the matrimonial
house may have ceased and such acts do
not occur at the parental home, there can
be no doubt that the mental trauma and
the psychological distress caused by the
acts of the husband including verbal
exchanges, if any, that had compelled the

wife to leave the matrimonial home and
take shelter with her parents would
continue to persist at the parental home.
Mental cruelty borne out of physical
cruelty or abusive and humiliating verbal
exchanges would continue in the parental
home even though there may not be any
overt act of physical cruelty at such
place.
15. …The provisions contained in Section
498-A of the Penal Code, undoubtedly,
encompass both mental as well as the
physical well-being of the wife. Even the
silence of the wife may have an
underlying element of an emotional
distress and mental agony. Her sufferings
at the parental home though may be
directly attributable to commission of
acts of cruelty by the husband at the
matrimonial home would, undoubtedly, be
the consequences of the acts committed at
the matrimonial home. Such consequences,
by itself, would amount to distinct
offences committed at the parental home
where she has taken shelter. The adverse
effects on the mental health in the
parental home though on account of the
acts committed in the matrimonial home
would, in our considered view, amount to

commission of cruelty within the meaning
of Section 498-A at the parental home.
The consequences of the cruelty committed
at the matrimonial home results in
repeated offences being committed at the
parental home. This is the kind of
offences contemplated under Section 179
CrPC which would squarely be applicable
to the present case as an answer to the
question raised.
16. We, therefore, hold that the courts
at the place where the wife takes shelter
after leaving or driven away from the
matrimonial home on account of acts of
cruelty committed by the husband or his
relatives, would, dependent on the
factual situation, also have jurisdiction
to entertain a complaint alleging
commission of offences under Section 498-
A of the Penal Code.”
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 7 OF 2020

RUHI  Vs ANEES AHMAD 

Dated:Dated: January 6, 2020

Leave granted.
The complaint preferred by the Appellant to the
Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad on
22.5.2014 had been transferred to the Police
Station, Welcome Colony, Delhi. FIR No.645/2014 was
registered by the Police Station Welcome Colony,
North East, Delhi under Sections 498A, 406 and 34
IPC and under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition
Act, 1961. The 1st Respondent approached the High
Court by filing an application for quashing FIR
No.645/2014. The High Court refused to quash the
FIR. However, the High Court was of the view that

the place of occurrence as per the FIR was Meerut
and the Appellant did not reside with Respondent
No.1 at Delhi. In that view, the High Court directed
the transfer of the FIR from Police Station, Welcome
Colony, Delhi to Police Station Lisadi Gate, Meerut,
U.P. which was the place of matrimonial home of the
Appellant and the Respondent No.1.
We are informed by Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, learned
senior counsel appearing for the State that the
charge-sheet has been filed on receipt of the
material pertaining to the investigation conducted
by the Delhi Police and the further investigation
carried on by the police at Meerut, U.P. Learned
counsel for the Appellant submits that the case is
at the stage of cognizance to be taken by the
Magistrate.
Learned counsel for the Appellant further
submits that the Appellant has been living at Kabir
Nagar, Delhi and in accordance with the judgment of
this Court reported in Rupali Devi versus State of
Uttar Pradesh (2019 (5) SCC 384), it is not
necessary that a complaint should be filed only at
the place of the matrimonial home. Even the Courts

at the place where the wife resides after leaving
the matrimonial home will have jurisdiction to
entertain a complaint under Section 498 A of the
Indian Penal Code.
Learned counsel appearing for the 1st Respondent
submits that the offences, if any, were committed
even at Meerut, U.P., which was the place of
matrimonial home of the Appellant and Respondent
No.1 or at Ghaziabad which was the place of parental
home of the Appellant.
We are unable to accept the submissions of the
learned Senior counsel for Respondent No.1. The
point that arises in this case is no more res
integra as it is covered by the judgment of this
Court in Rupali Devi (supra). It was held by this
Court as follows:
“14. …Even if the acts of physical
cruelty committed in the matrimonial
house may have ceased and such acts do
not occur at the parental home, there can
be no doubt that the mental trauma and
the psychological distress caused by the
acts of the husband including verbal
exchanges, if any, that had compelled the

wife to leave the matrimonial home and
take shelter with her parents would
continue to persist at the parental home.
Mental cruelty borne out of physical
cruelty or abusive and humiliating verbal
exchanges would continue in the parental
home even though there may not be any
overt act of physical cruelty at such
place.
15. …The provisions contained in Section
498-A of the Penal Code, undoubtedly,
encompass both mental as well as the
physical well-being of the wife. Even the
silence of the wife may have an
underlying element of an emotional
distress and mental agony. Her sufferings
at the parental home though may be
directly attributable to commission of
acts of cruelty by the husband at the
matrimonial home would, undoubtedly, be
the consequences of the acts committed at
the matrimonial home. Such consequences,
by itself, would amount to distinct
offences committed at the parental home
where she has taken shelter. The adverse
effects on the mental health in the
parental home though on account of the
acts committed in the matrimonial home
would, in our considered view, amount to

commission of cruelty within the meaning
of Section 498-A at the parental home.
The consequences of the cruelty committed
at the matrimonial home results in
repeated offences being committed at the
parental home. This is the kind of
offences contemplated under Section 179
CrPC which would squarely be applicable
to the present case as an answer to the
question raised.
16. We, therefore, hold that the courts
at the place where the wife takes shelter
after leaving or driven away from the
matrimonial home on account of acts of
cruelty committed by the husband or his
relatives, would, dependent on the
factual situation, also have jurisdiction
to entertain a complaint alleging
commission of offences under Section 498-
A of the Penal Code.”
Having considered the submissions made on
behalf of the parties, we are of the view that the
charge sheet that has been filed at Meerut should be
transmitted to a competent court in the Karkardooma
Courts, Delhi. The District & Sessions Judge, East
District, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi shall assign the

case to the concerned Court.
In view of the aforesaid, the appeal is
allowed. The charge sheet filed pursuant to FIR
No.645/2014, P.S. Lisadi Gate, Meerut, U.P. stands
transferred to Karkardooma Courts, Delhi. The
prosecution shall be conducted by the Delhi Police.
Pending application(s), if any, shall stand
disposed of.
...........................J.
( L. NAGESWARA RAO )
...........................J.
( HEMANT GUPTA )
New Delhi,
Dated: January 6, 2020

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