Refusing to quash an FIR filed for offences punishable under Sections 498 A, 323, 504, 506, of the Indian Penal Code, the Bombay High Court has dismissed a plea filed by in-laws of 35-year-old Nimisha Patel who alleged mental and physical torture at their hands.
The Aurangabad bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice KK Sonawane was hearing an application filed by Kailashben Patel, Rahul Patel, Mahendrabhai Patel and Vijay Patel seeking quashing of FIR filed by Nimisha against them as well quashing of the subsequent charge sheet that was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Jalna district.
According to Nimisha, she got married to Neeraj in 2002. They have two children together, a boy and a girl. It was Nimisha’s allegation that Kailashben, who is Niraj’s stepmother, abused her when she came to Jalna at the time of the birth of Nimisha’s daughter.
Kailashben even went on to say that since she (Nimisha) had given birth to a girl child, they would not be entitled to any share in the family property, it was alleged.
Nimisha cited other instances in the FIR to substantiate allegations of cruelty and torture.
Once, Niraj’s half-brother Rahul forged Nimisha’s signature on a school leaving certificate in order to get her daughter out of school.
Counsel for applicants Jay Kalsara submitted that Nimisha’s allegations his clients were mala fide and intended to harass them “to fulfil her illegal demand of share in the property of applicants”.
He also submitted that since no offence alleged by Nimisha had been committed in Jalna district, the CJM there had no jurisdiction in the case. Thus, FIR ought to be quashed and set aside for lack of jurisdiction.
Kalsar alleged that the intent to file FIR in Jalna was to inconvenience his clients who lived 600 km away in Gujarat.
Referring to Kailashben’s threat to Nimisha and her parents after the birth of Nimisha’s daughter as well as the son in Jalna, the court noted that the Supreme Court in the case of Sunita Kumari Kashyap vs State of Bihar and Another, had said: “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.”
The court, therefore, noted that the “circumstances on record prima facie indicate that the first informant (Nimisha) was subjected to ill-treatment and harassment on the part of applicants”.
Hence, dismissing the application for quashing, the court said the CJM of Jalna district had jurisdiction to deal with the FIR against Nimisha’s in-laws.
Read the Order here.