The Karnataka High Court has said that a magistrate where the aggrieved woman resides even temporarily has jurisdiction to entertain an application filed under the Domestic Violence Act, it need not only be tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed.
Justice Mohammad Nawaz while dismissing a petition filed by one K V Vijaykumara said "Section 27 (1)(a) of the Act, emphasize that the court of judicial magistrate of the first class or the Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, within the local limits of which the person aggrieved permanently or temporarily resides etc., shall be the competent court to grant protection order and other orders under the Act and to try offences under the Act."
The estranged husband had challenged order of the Magistrate court and Sessions court passed on March 9, 2018 and November 14, 2018, respectively. It was held that the learned Magistrate has jurisdiction to proceed with the matter filed by the woman under section 12 of the Act. These orders were challenged in the High Court.
The respondent S Geetha and petitioner, got married on 17.04.2005. In 2012, a case was registered by the wife in Savanur Police Station against the
petitioners alleging offence punishable under Sections 506, 34 and 498-A of IPC, wherein she has narrated about the commission of the alleged offences having taken place within the jurisdiction of Savanur Police Station. Later, she filed an application under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, before the Court of the Addl. CMM, Traffic Court-V, Bengaluru City, seeking reliefs under Section 18 to 22 of the said Act.
It is contended that the present case has been filed alleging domestic violence stated to have been caused to her while she was residing with the 1st petitioner at Mellagatti in Savanur Taluk and no part of the cause of action has arisen at Bengaluru. Merely because the respondent is residing in Bengaluru with the parents, wherein no domestic violence has taken place, the present application filed before the Court in Bengaluru is not maintainable.
Further it was argued that Section 28 of the 'Act 2005', all proceedings shall be governed by the provisions of Cr.PC. The Trial Court has failed to follow the procedure prescribed in Chapter XIII of Cr.PC. As per Section 177 of Cr.PC, every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed. The Trial Court has no jurisdiction to try the case since the offences alleged have taken place in Mellagatti Village in Savanur Taluk.
Wife opposed the petition saying:
The petitioners herein have raised the issue of jurisdiction to drag on the proceedings. Under Section 2(i) of the 'Act 2005', definition of 'Magistrate' includes the jurisdictional Magistrate where the aggrieved persons resides temporarily or otherwise. Hence, the application filed by the respondent under Section 12 of the Act is maintainable.
'The Protection of Women from the domestic violence Act, 2005' is a special Act providing more effective protection of the rights of women, who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The jurisdiction of the learned Magistrate to deal with the application filed by an aggrieved person is as provided under Section 27 of the Act. Such Court is the competent Court to grant a protection order etc., and to try offences under the said Act."
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