21 Nov 2023 1:55 PM GMT
The Supreme Court recently held that the place where the wife lives and seeks shelter after leaving her husband’s home due to cruelty will have jurisdiction to entertain complaints under Section 498-A, depending on the factual situation.Referring to a 3-judge bench decision in Rupali Devi v. State of U.P., (2019) 5 SCC 384, the court observed “The Courts at the place where the wife...
The Supreme Court recently held that the place where the wife lives and seeks shelter after leaving her husband’s home due to cruelty will have jurisdiction to entertain complaints under Section 498-A, depending on the factual situation.
Referring to a 3-judge bench decision in Rupali Devi v. State of U.P., (2019) 5 SCC 384, the court observed “The Courts at the place where the wife takes shelter after leaving or being driven away from the matrimonial home on account of acts of cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives, would, depending on the factual situation, also have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging commission of offenses under Section 498-A of the IPC.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan was hearing an SLP against the judgment of Sessions Judge, Bangalore which had allowed the extraterritorial bail petition by the accused husband. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioner had approached the Apex Court in an SLP.
The issue that arose for the court’s consideration was “whether the ordinary place of inquiry and trial would include the place where the complainant-wife resides after being separated from her husband?”
The Court deliberated on the interpretation of the ordinary place of investigation and trial, as outlined in Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
The Court noted that the traditional stance, as laid out in earlier judgments like State of Bihar v. Deokaran Nenshi (1972) 2 SCC 890 and Sujata Mukherjee v. Prashant Kumar Mukherjee (1997) 5 SCC 30, emphasized that jurisdiction depends on the occurrence of the offense within the local jurisdiction in matrimonial cases.
However, Rupali’s case in 2019 brought a fresh perspective. The ruling clarified that adverse effects on the mental health of the wife, even when residing in her parental home due to acts committed in the matrimonial home, amounted to cruelty under Section 498A.
The focus has shifted to the impact on the victim, acknowledging the broader implications of cruelty on mental well-being.
Applying this principle in the present case, the court concluded that the complainant-wife, having allegedly faced death threats and harassment, returned to her parental home in Chirawa, Rajasthan. Therefore, Chirawa could be considered the ordinary place of trial. The Sessions Judge in Bangalore had granted extra-territorial anticipatory bail to the accused husband without notifying the investigating officer and public prosecutor in Chirawa Police Station, Rajasthan where the FIR was lodged. Therefore, the court set aside the order of the Sessions Judge and directed the accused “ to approach the jurisdictional Court in Chirawa, Rajasthan for anticipatory bail.”
Also from the judgment -
High Courts, Session Courts Can Grant Interim/Transit Anticipatory Bail Even When FIR Is Registered In Another State: Supreme Court
Conditions For Transit Anticipatory Bail In FIRs Registered In Other States : Supreme Court Explains
Police Must Secure Transit Remand For Arrests Outside State To Safeguard Rights Under Article 22 : Supreme Court
Case title: Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996
Click here to read the judgment