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IPC 498a Quashed-No Territorial Jurisdiction

Jharkhand High Court

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI

Cr.M.P.No.621 of 2007

Md. Naushad Alam. Petitioner

-Versus-

1. The State of Jharkhand.

2. Shabina Begum. Opp. Parties

————-

CORAM: THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE D.K.SINHA

For the petitioner: Mr. Jitendra Nath & Sandhya Sahay, Advocates.

For the State: A.P.P.

For the O.P.No.2: Mr. Arvind Kumar Choudhary, Advocate. ————-

C.A.V. on 25.03.2011 : Pronounced on 25.04.2011 ————-

D.K.Sinha,J. The petitioner has invoked the inherent jurisdiction of this Court under Section 482 Code of Criminal Procedure for the quashment of the order dated 22.03.2007 passed by the S.D.J.M., Madhupur at Deoghar in P.C.R. No. 399 of 2006 by which cognizance of the offence was taken against him under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The prosecution story in short was that the complainant-O.P.No.2 claimed to be the wife of petitioner-Naushad Alam, pursuant to a “Nikah” which was performed on 23.04.2002 and after consummation of their marriage two children were born to them, one of them was son and another was daughter. For the last three years, the Complainant O.P.No.2 alleged that the petitioner husband demanded Hero Honda motorcycle to be brought from her parental home and in this connection he subjected her to mental and physical cruelty. The matter was informed to her father, who came to the house of the petitioner who tried to pacify the matter and requested him to keep and maintain his daughter peacefully and then he returned back. The accused then became more violent after the return of the father on the complainant as a result of which she fell ill and no treatment was extended. Her father came and provided medical aid. It was alleged that on 17.06.2006 all the accused persons retained all her jewelleries and the husband petitioner Md. Naushad Alam took her to Madhupur with her two children and left all of them at the Madhupur Railway Station uncared with the caution that she would be killed if she would return without fulfilling his demand. All pursuasion made by her father failed for “Rukshadi” of his daughter to her matrimonial home and then he wrote letters to the Secretary, President and other Members of Anjuman Committee, Sitala narrating the miseries of his daughter but of no avail. However, it was alleged that on the given date and time of occurrence the accused persons came to the parental home of the complainant at Panhaiyatola and threatened in clear words that the complainant would be accepted only on fulfillment of their demand and returned back. It was further alleged that the petitioner husband extended threat that the complainant and his father would be implicated in false cases by registering it in different States.

2 Lastly on 25.09.2006 the complainant went to the Police Station to lodge a case which was not accepted and only then the complaint case for the alleged offence under Sections 323/379/498A/406 of the Indian Penal Code against three named accused persons but the cognizance of the offence was taken only against the petitioner husband Md. Naushad Alam for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

3. Learned Counsel Mr. Jitendra Nath assailed the impugned order by which cognizance of the offence was taken under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code against the husband-petitioner on the sole ground that no part of the alleged occurrence took place within the territorial jurisdiction of S.D.J.M., Madhupur at Deoghar and therefore, the cognizance of the offence was barred by territorial jurisdiction under Section 177 Code of Criminal Procedure as the S.D.J.M., Madhupur at Deoghar was not within his competence to do so. As a matter of fact, the occurrence did not take place in the manner presented by the complainant rather the petitioner-husband consistently visited her parental home to take her back to his home and on 25.06.2006 he was not allowed even to meet his wife and was asked to come along with 5 other persons for her “Rukshadi”, the learned Counsel added. The petitioner-husband was apprehensive that he might be implicated in any false case, he, as such, filed an Informatory Petition in the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Giridih vide Misc. Application No.1897 of 2006 on 05.09.2006 stating all the relevant facts and informed the C.J.M., Giridih that there was chance of his false implication in any criminal case at the instance of his wife Sabina Begam and her father and requested to keep the informatory in the record for future use.

4. Learned Counsel further submitted that the petitioners sent a legal notice (Annexure-2) to his father-in-law Md. Fariuddin asking him to send his wife Sabina Begam and children failing to which it was cautioned that legal action would be taken. The petitioner-husband then filed a Title (Matrimonial) Suit No. 163 of 2006 before the Principal Judge, Family Court, Giridih under Section 281 of the Mohammadan law for restitution of conjugal rights which was admitted and notice was issued to the complainant-wife. The other allegations for the offence under Sections 379/323 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code were disbelieved by the learned S.D.J.M., Madhupur at Deoghar and the cognizance of the offence was taken only under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code against the husband and other two accused were exonerated, in that manner, the major part of the allegations was disbelieved by the S.D.J.M.

5. On the point of territorial jurisdiction of the Court under Section 177 Cr.P.C. the learned Counsel submitted that the complainant-O.P.No.2 admitted in her statements recorded on solemn affirmation that her husband was living mostly at Patna by doing preparations for competitive examination and during their stay together for 5 years after the marriage, no complaint was made or  cruelty was ever extended but it was raised only when she was taken away by her father on his instigation. It would be evident from the Complaint Petition that the entire occurrence took place at her Matrimonial Home at village Sitala P.S. Gande within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court of Giridih but the complaint was filed before the S.D.J.M., Madupur at Deoghar, who had no jurisdiction to take cognizance.

6. Finally, the learned Counsel submitted that it would be relevant that in her statements recorded on solemn affirmation on 26.09.2006 she admitted that the entire allegation of torture or demand of dowry in kind of motorcycle took place at her Matrimonial Home and further admitted that her husband/petitioner took her to Madhupur in the month of June, 2006 but without any overtact. No part of cruelty in terms of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was extended to the complainant by the husband-petitioner so as to bring the case within the territorial jurisdiction of Madhupur Court within the district of Deoghar.

7. Learned Counsel Mr. Arvind Kumar Choudhary appearing for the O.P.No.2 submitted that the complainant in her Complaint Petition as contained in paragraph no.9 clearly stated that all the accused persons including the petitioner came to her father’s house at Panhaiyakola, Madhupur and warned in clear words that they would accept the complainant only when their demand would be fulfilled and then they left the place and therefore, the part of the occurrence took place at Panhaiyakola within the jurisdiction of Madhupur Court.

8. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, argument advanced on behalf of the parties, I find that the facts contained in paragraph no.9 of the complaint case whereby it was shown that the part of the occurrence took place at Panhaikola when the accused persons went there and warned the complainant and father, as referred to hereinbefore could not be substantiated in the statements of the complainant on her solemn affirmation, recorded by the S.D.J.M. The complicity of the other accused persons for the alleged offence was disbelieved by the Court after enquiry and the cognizance of the offence as such under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was taken only against the husband petitioner. I find that the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the complainant-O.P.No.2 failed to show that any part of the alleged occurrence for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was committed by the petitioner within the territorial jurisdiction of Madhupur Court and therefore, the impugned order by which cognizance was taken by the S.D.J.M., Madhupur was barred by jurisdiction as the Court was not within his competence to take cognizance of the offence which took place outside within the district of Giridih where the matrimonial home of the complainant was situated.

9. In Bhura Ram and Ors. Vrs. State of Rajasthan & Anr, reported in 2008 (3) JLJR S.C. 287, the Apex Court held,

“The facts stated in the complaint disclose that the complainant left the place where she was residing with her husband and in-laws and came to the city of Sri Ganganagar, State of Rajasthan and that all the alleged acts as per the complaint had taken place in the State of Punjab. The Court at Rajasthan does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. On the basis of the factual scenario disclosed by the complainant in the complaint, the inevitable conclusion is that no part of cause of action arose in Rajasthan and, therefore, the Magistrate concerned has no jurisdiction to deal with the matter. As a consequence thereof, the proceedings before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar are quashed. The complaint be returned to the complainant and if she so wishes she may file the same in the appropriate court to be dealt with in accordance with law.”

10. In the facts and circumstances, relying upon the proposition of law referred to here-in-before I find it to be a fit case for invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the Court for quashment of the order impugned by which cognizance of the offence was taken by the S.D.J.M., Madhupur at Deoghar as the same is barred by territorial jurisdiction. Accordingly, the cognizance of the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code against the petitioner is quashed. The complaint is directed to be returned to the Complainant O.P.No.2 with the liberty to file a fresh complaint if she so liked before the appropriate Court to be dealt with in accordance with law.

11. With this observation, this petition is allowed.

[D.K.Sinha,J.]

P.K.S./A.F.R.

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