Reiterating its view on the jurisdiction of courts entertaining complaints under Section 498A IPC, the Supreme Court allowed a woman to proceed with her complaint filed in a Court at the place where she was residing.
In Priti Kumari vs. State of Bihar, the bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose, while allowing the appeal against the order of the High Court which held that no cause of action has arisen where she was residing, observed that the matter is squarely covered by the judgment in Rupali Devi v. State of U.P.
In Rupali Devi, it was held by a three judge bench 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 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
The High Court, in this case [which was decided before the judgment in Rupali Devi was delivered], had allowed the petition filed by her husband, noticing that all the alleged acts of cruelty had taken place in the matrimonial house of the complainant or at the place of posting of her husband, there would be no applicability of Sections 178 and 179 of the Cr.P.C. if no part of "cause of action" has accrued in that city.
In Rupali Devi, the bench had also observed:
"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 cause 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."
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