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Court At The Place Where 'Wife' Takes Shelter After Leaving Matrimonial Home On Account Of Cruelty Can Entertain Complaints U/s 498A IPC, Reiterates SC [Read Order]

Ashok Kini
27 July 2019 3:25 PM GMT
Court At The Place Where Wife Takes Shelter After Leaving Matrimonial Home On Account Of Cruelty Can Entertain Complaints U/s 498A IPC, Reiterates SC [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has reiterated 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...

The Supreme Court has reiterated 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 bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha in Nitika vs. Yadwinder Singh, set aside a Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment that had quashed a First Information Report on the ground that police at Nalagarh had no jurisdiction to enquire into the contents of first information report as the allegations contained in FIR, admittedly took place at another place.

Relying on a recent three judge bench judgment of the Apex Court in Rupali Devi vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, the 'wife' assailed this order before the Apex Court. Referring to the said judgment, the bench observed:

"What this Court has laid down in paragraph 16 above clinches the issues. It was held by this Court that 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." 

Rupali Devi vs. State of Uttar Pradesh

In April, a three Judge bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul answered a reference which was pending consideration for about seven years. In its judgment, 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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