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Bombay HC clears stand on Territorial Jurisdiction in Domestic Violence cases

Team SoOLEGAL 15 Oct 2019 2:00pm

Bombay HC clears stand on Territorial Jurisdiction in Domestic Violence cases

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice SS Shinde of the Bombay High Court has recently observed that the Indian domestic courts have jurisdiction to try cases involving domestic violence allegedly committed against an Indian citizen in a foreign country.


The court was hearing an appeal filed by a US Government employee, challenging an order passed by a Sessions Court in Mumbai.


The Sessions along with trial court had instructed the aggrieved to pay interim maintenance to his wife who had complained of domestic violence inflicted upon her by the husband.


The marriage had taken place in the year 2008 in India and the parties had shifted to the United States in 2009. The marriage was consummated and a son was born out of wed-lock in 2013.


A year after, the husband filed for divorce and custody of the child against his wife in the California Superior Court. In 2015, the husband divorced the wife in India.


Consequently, in 2016, the respondent-wife then filed a case for permanent custody of their son before a Family Court at Mumbai. The wife further proceeded to file a complaint of domestic violence under section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against her husband.


The Magistrate then directed the husband to pay an amount of Rs. 30,000 to wife and Rs. 15,000 to the child as monthly maintenance, in 2017. The husband moved the Sessions Court challenging the said order but the Sessions Court upheld the maintenance order passed by the Family Court thereby causing the husband to move the Bombay High Court.


The husband raised the grounds of lack of territorial jurisdiction and cause of action arising out of India, delay in filing of the case and denying all the allegations of domestic violence altogether.


For issue of territorial jurisdictions, the Court observed that the Respondent wife was residing with her brother at Mumbai and the said aspect was duly considered by Courts below. The Court then relying upon the judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Rupali Devi’s (Rupali Devi vs State of Uttar Pradesh) case dismissed the present contention raised by the Petitioner Husband.


It was further observed by the Ld. Judge 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 depend on the factual situation, also, have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging the commission of offenses under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.


The Court also dismissed the averment of the present complaint being barred by law of limitation for inordinate delay by relying upon the observations that the act of domestic violence could be in the nature of a “continuing offense” passed by the Apex Court in the case of Krishna Bhattacharjee Vs Sarathi Choudhary.


Lastly, the Single Judge, while dismissing the writ petition, opined that the observations made in the present case are prima facie in nature and confined to the adjudication of the present writ petition only. All the contentions raised on merits are kept open to be agitated before the concerned court.


(Mohammad Zuber Farooqi vs State of Maharashtra & Anr.)




Tagged: Bombay High Court   Territorial Jurisdiction   Domestic Violence Cases   Writ Petition  
Did you find this write up useful? YES 4 NO 0
Adv Siddiqui S. A.   15 Nov 2021 8:47pm
Further write up required as can husband request the court for quashing the DV case in the name of jurisdiction, since the wife hardly live about 3 monhs and leaved the husband's house and filed the DV case after about one year at her parents place.
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