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SC reiterates stand on Territorial Jurisdiction in 498A cases

Team SoOLEGAL 23 Sep 2019 3:06pm

SC reiterates stand on Territorial Jurisdiction in 498A cases

In yet another crucial order passed by the Supreme Court involving the issue of territorial jurisdiction faced by the Courts below for entertaining cases under section 498A of IPC lodged by a wife against her husband or his relatives, the Supreme Court has cleared its stand once again on the said issue.

A two-judge bench comprising of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose on September 13, has ruled out that the Courts can take cognizance and proceed with the complaint of the wife filed under section 498A if such complaint has been filed by the wife from a place where she has taken shelter after being driven out of her matrimonial home.

The order has been passed in a matter namely “Priti Kumari Vs. State of Bihar” wherein the appellant wife had challenged the Judgment passed by the High Court. The HC in the said judgment had held that no cause of action had arisen where the wife was residing and hence the concerned trial court could not proceed with the complaint on lack of territorial jurisdiction.

The main dispute in the instant appeal was that whether the wife could have filed a complaint under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at a place where she was residing.

The court observed that “the present matter was squarely covered by the judgment of this court in “Rupali Devi Vs. State of U.P. and Ors (2019) 5 SCC 384” and hence the present appeal was allowed while the High Court judgment was set aside.

The judgment in the case of Rupali Devi vs State of UP was passed recently by a three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswar Rao and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul where the court dealt with the issue of territorial jurisdiction in the matter covered under section 498A of IPC and observed that:

"We, therefore, hold 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.”

Tagged: Supreme Court   498A   territorial jurisdiction  
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Adv Santosh Kumar Kanungo   24 Sep 2019 6:52pm
This is very helpful to legal fraternity.
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