Courts at place where wife resides after leaving matrimonial home can entertain 498A IPC complaints

Ruhi Vs Anees Ahmed

Supreme Court

06/01/2020

Cri. Appeal 7 of 2020

About/from the judgment:

Even the Courts at the place where the wife resides after leaving the matrimonial home will have jurisdiction to entertain her complaint under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code, the Supreme Court has reiterated.

The court noted that in Rupali Devi versus State of Uttar Pradesh (2019 (5) SCC 384), a judgment which was delivered last year, it was held that it is not necessary that a complaint should be filed only at the place of the matrimonial home. 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, it was held in the said judgment.

 

In this case, FIR lodged by wife was registered by the Police Station in Delhi under Sections 498A, 406 and 34 IPC and under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. In a petition filed by husband, the High Court noted that the place of occurrence as per the FIR was Meerut and the wife did not reside with husband at Delhi.Therefore, it directed the transfer of the FIR to Police Station in Meerut, U.P. Thereafter, the Meerut Police filed charge-sheet in the Court at that place.

 

Before the Apex Court, the appellant wife relied on the judgment in Rupali Devi. Reproducing the observations made in Rupali Devi, the bench said: "The point that arises in this case is no more res integra as it is covered by the judgment of this Court in Rupali Devi (supra)."

 

It also ordered that the charge sheet that has been filed at Meerut should be transmitted to a competent court in the Karkardooma Courts, Delhi.

 

In Rupali Devi, the Court 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."

Read the Judgment

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