Sujoy Lahiri vs Sm. Nandini Lahiri & Anr on 19 May, 2017

IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
CRIMINAL REVISIONAL JURISDICTION
APPELLATE SIDE

Present: The Hon’ble Justice Shivakant Prasad

C.R.A.N NO.2405 of 2016
in
C.R.R 2979 of 2013
Sujoy Lahiri

Versus

Sm. Nandini Lahiri Anr.

For the Petitioner : Mr. Tapas Kumar Dey

For the Opposite Party No. 1 : Mr. Saidur Rahaman

Heard on : 12.05.2017

Order on : 19.05.2017

SHIVAKANT PRASAD, J.:- In this application under the scheme of

Articles 227 of the Constitution of India the petitioner has prayed for

recalling of the order dated 05.01.2016 passed by this Court and to

quash the FIR dated 01.03.2009 being Chandannagar Police Station

Case No.35 of 2009 under Sections 498A, 406/120B of Indian Penal

Code.

For quashing the proceeding and FIR aforesaid, the petitioner

had filed CRR No.2979 of 2013. It is revealed from the order dated
05.01.2016 that since none had appeared on call the matter was

taken up for disposal on the merit of the revisional application and

this Court was of the view on perusal of the impugned order of the

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandannagar that where there

is sufficient materials for framing of charge against accused persons,

there is no scope for discharging the accused persons from the case

and accordingly CRR 2979 of 2013 was dismissed on its merit.

The said order has been sought to be recalled by the petitioner

by filing present application on the contention that the said case was

listed before the Hon’ble Justice Asim Kumar Roy on 27.08.2013

when the petitioner was directed to serve a copy of the application

along with annexure upon the Opposite Parties and the matter was

adjourned till 6th September, 2013 and the same was complied with

thereafter the matter appeared in the list for hearing but the said

matter came up for hearing before this Court after 3 years when

learned Advocate on record could not keep track of events and

overlooked the same. It is contended that due to non-appearance of

the parties, this Court was pleased to pass the order dismissing the

application on its merit without giving verdict on the core issue in the

case relating to jurisdiction as the petitioner had filed application

regarding territorial jurisdiction before the Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Chandannagar which application was dismissed by the

impugned order dated 22.02.2013 on the finding that the court had

no inherent power to quash and/or discharge the accused persons
on the ground of territorial jurisdiction. So, the petitioner preferred

the criminal revision for application of its inherent jurisdiction for

quashment of the proceeding.

Learned counsel for the petitioner fortified his argument relying

on a decision of Chitta Ranjan Roy Ors. vs. The State of West

Bengal Anr. reported in (2012)3 C.Cr.LR (Cal) 375 which

according to the petitioner there is no scope to try and entertain the

FIR by Chandannagar Court instead of Alipore Court, as the cause of

action arose in Behala in the District of 24 Parganas (South). It is

further pointed out that the dismissal of the revisional application

vide order dated 05.01.2016 of this Court will empower the

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandannagar to try the case

without having any jurisdiction which will be a serious abuse of law.

In the cited decision, it was held that the alleged incident of

torture took place at Buxar where the complainant wife resided with

her husband. Hence, jurisdiction to entertain the criminal proceeding

by Asansol Court was barred and accordingly the criminal proceeding

was quashed.

I am not fully in agreement with the observation made in the

above cited decision on the factual scenario. The allegation raised in

the complaint in the instant case is that since after the marriage the

complaint wife/opposite party herein had observed unnatural

behavior of her husband who inflicted torture by hurling abusive
language and physical assault on her. On 22.2.2009 at about 8:30

PM at night the petitioner/husband under influence of liquor beat his

wife/the opposite party and her mother-in-law also joined with the

petitioner whereas the father-in-law of the opposite party somehow

escaped her from being severely beaten who took her to her parental

home at Chandannagar where she fell ill and was treated in

Chandannagar Sadar Hospital on 27.2.2009. So, the offence under

Section 498A IPC in my opinion is a continuing offence because she

continues to suffer mental cruelty with physical suffering due to

assault on her.

In this context it would be apt to refer to a landmark judgment

of the Hon’ble Apex Court on territorial jurisdiction of court in case of

an offence under Section 498A of IPC. It has been held that when

offence is a continuing one having been committed, any one of such

courts has jurisdiction to proceed with the trial. Reference may be

made to a case of Sunita Kumari Kashyap vs State Of Bihar And

Anr. reported in AIR 2011 SC 1674 : 2011 Cri.L.J 2667 wherein

the only issue for consideration was whether criminal proceedings

initiated by the appellant at Gaya against her husband and his

relatives was maintainable or not for lack of jurisdiction. The

appellant had got married with the respondent at Gaya. When she

was pregnant, she was forcibly taken out of her matrimonial home at

Ranchi and brought to her parental home at Gaya. It was for the

harassment and torture meted out to her by her in-laws for demand
of additional amount of dowry. The appellant wife had lodged an FIR

under Sections 498A and 406 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal

Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 at

Magadh Medical College Police Station, Gaya. The Chief Judicial

Magistrate took cognizance on the charge sheet and transferred the

case to the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Gaya for trial. An

objection was raised stating that the Court at Gaya had no

jurisdiction.

After considering all the relevant materials including the

allegations in the complaint learned Magistrate rejected the said

objection. Thereafter the accused persons preferred Criminal

Miscellaneous case before the High Court of Judicature at Patna and

the High Court found that the proceedings at Gaya are not

maintainable for lack of jurisdiction and quashed the entire

proceedings with liberty to file the same in appropriate Court.

Aggrieved by the order of High Court special leave petition was

preferred and the Hon’ble Apex Court while considering the special

appeal and by quoting the provisions of Sections 177 to 179 of the

Code of Criminal Procedure dealing with the jurisdiction of the

criminal courts in inquiries and trials, was of the clear opinion that

normal rule is that the offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and

tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.

However, when it is uncertain in which of several local areas an

offence was committed or where an offence is committed partly in one

local area and partly in another or where an offence is a continuing

one, and continues to be committed in more than one local area and

takes place in different local areas as per Section 178, the Court

having jurisdiction over any of such local areas is competent to

inquire into and try the offence. Section 179 makes it clear that if

anything happened as a consequence of the offence, the same may be

inquired into or tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction such

thing has been done or such consequence has ensued.

On the basis of a written complaint Chandannagar specific

police case was started against the petitioner which reflects a

continuing offence of maltreatment meted out to the opposite party in

the hands of the petitioner. Therefore, in consideration of the

provision of Section 178 (c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and

relying on the principle laid down in the landmark judgment of the

Hon’ble Supreme Court cited above, this Court does not find any

merit in the application.

I once again record that the order passed by the Additional

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chandannagar is absolutely correct on the

core issue of jurisdiction of the Court in the offence alleged under

Section 498A IPC. I hold that the offence under Section 498A IPC is

no doubt a continuing offence and the Court of the Additional Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Chandannagar has every jurisdiction to

entertain the trial of the petitioner.

Ergo, CRAN No.2405 of 2016 is hereby dismissed with an

exemplary cost of Rs.5,000/- (five thousand) to be deposited with the

Secretary, High Court Legal Service committee for use of the cost by

the destitute children.

A copy of this order be sent to the Additional Chief Judicial

Magistrate, Chandannagar forthwith with direction to hold the trial

and to dispose of the case preferably within 6 months from the date

of the communication of the order.

(Shivakant Prasad, J.)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *