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498a quash on territorial jurisdiction

Andhra High Court

Venkatapathi Naidu And Ors.
State Of Andhra Pradesh And Anr. on 4 October, 2007

Equivalent citations: 2008 CriLJ 179

Bench: G Seethapathy
ORDER G.V. Seethapathy, J.

1. This petition is filed under section 482 cr. p.c. by the petitioners A.1 to A.5 seeking to quash the proceedings against them in CC No. 1176 of 2005 on the file of IX Metropolitan Magistrate, Kukatpally, Cyberabad district.

2. The 2nd respondent herein is the wife, A2 and A3 are brothers, A4 is the mother and A5 is the sister of A1. The 2nd respondent gave a complaint against the accused alleging the offence under Section 498-A IPC and the same was registered as Cr. No. 8 of 2001 of Balanagar PS. After due investigation, the police filed a charge sheet against all the petitioners for the offence under Section 498-A IPC and the same was taken cognizance by the learned Magistrate. Aggrieved by the same, the present petition is filed seeking to quash further proceedings against them.

3. Arguments of the learned Counsel for the petitioners and learned Public Prosecutor appealing for first respondent are heard. None appears for the 2nd respondent though served with notice. Records are perused.

4. The main contention of the petitioners is that the police at Balanagar, Hyderabad, have no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint, as no part of cause of action took place at Hyderabad even as per the averments of the complainant and the charge sheet.

5. It is not disputed that the marriage of complainant with A 1 took place on 27-9-1993 in Chittoor. According to the 2nd respondent, at the time of marriage, her parents gave cash of Rs. 70,000/- and 32 tulas of gold and another sum of Rs. 75,000/- for purchase of house-hold articles, all towards dowry and subsequent to the marriage, the accused demanded Rs. 1,00,000/- as additional dowry and subjected her to harassment on that count. Specific allegations are made against all the accused in the complaint and also in the statement of the complainant recorded under section 161 cr.p.c. during investigation and also in the charge sheet. It is further alleged that while the complainant was in 3rd month pregnancy, the accused forcibly drove her out of the house and on the intervention of the elders, she was allowed into the house, but was denied food and was not allowed to talk with any one or to write letters to her parents. It is further alleged that when she was in 8th month pregnancy and when her parents came to take her to their house, A 1 beat her with chappals and other accused beat her parents and even after delivery when they informed the accused about the birth of the female child, the accused did not even come to see the child. Specific overt acts of subjecting the complainant to physical and mental harassment have been attributed to the accused. However, a perusal of the complaint and also statement recorded under section 161 cr. p.c. and the averments in the charge sheet would go to show that all the acts alleged against the petitioners, which go to constitute the alleged offences have taken place at Chittoor. The marriage of 2nd respondent with A1 was performedat Chittoor. The alleged payment of dowry in cash and in the form of other valuables at the time of marriage was also at Chittoor and the alleged harassment and ill treatment of 2nd respondent demanding additional dowry also took place at Chittoor and the complainant was driven out of the house at Chittoor. It is not disclosed either in the complaint or in the record of investigation or in the charge sheet, as to which part of the alleged offences has taken place at Hyderabad or how the cause of action for the offences arose at Hyderabad.

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6. section 177 of  cr. p.c. deals with the ordinary place of inquiry and trial and reads as follows:

Section 177: Ordinary place of inquiry and trial: Every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.

7. In Y. Abraham Ajith and Ors. v. Inspector of Police 2004 (1) Decisions Today (SC) 826 : AIR 2004 4286 : 2004 Cri LJ 4180 the Apex Court while dealing with whether any part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the Court at Chennai, held as follows:

While in civil cases, normally the expression “cause of action” is used, in criminal cases as stated in section 177 of the code, reference is to the local jurisdiction where the offence is committed. These variations in etymological expression do not really make the position different. The expression “cause of action” is therefore not a stranger to criminal cases.

It is settled law that cause of action consists of bundle of facts, which give cause to enforce the legal inquiry for redress in a Court of law. In other words, it is a bundle of facts, which taken with the law applicable to them, gives the allegedly affected party a right to claim relief against the opponent. It must include some act done by the latter since in the absence of such an act no cause of action would possibly accrue or would arise.

In Halsbury Laws of England (Fourth Edition) it has been stated as follows:

Cause of action” has been defined as meaning simply a factual situation the existence of which entitles one person to obtain from the Court a remedy against another person. The phrase has been held from earliest time to include every fact which is material to be proved to entitle the plaintiff to succeed, and every fact which a defendant would have a right to traverse. “Cause of action” has also been taken to mean that particular act on the part of the defendant which gives the. plaintiff his cause of complaint, or the subject matter of grievance founding the action, not merely the technical cause of action.

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Applying the aforesaid legal principle to the factual scenario in the above case, which was also a complaint filed alleging the offences under section 498-a, 406 ipc and section 4 of dowry prohibition act, the Apex Court held that ‘the inevitable conclusion that no part of cause of action arose in Chennai and, therefore, the concerned Magistrate had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter and the proceedings were accordingly quashed. It was further directed that the complaint be returned to the complainant, if she so chooses, may file the same in the appropriate Court to be dealt with in accordance with law.

8. In the present case also, as no part of cause of action is shown to have arisen at Hyderabad within the jurisdiction of learned IX Metropolitan Magistrate, Kukatpally, Cyberabad and the entire cause of action as can be seen from the record, is alleged to have arisen at Chittoor. In view of the principles laid down by the apex Court in the above case, the proceedings in CC No. 1176 of 2005 on the file of IX Metropolitan Magistrate, Kukatpally, Cyberabad are not maintainable and they are accordingly quashed. It is however, open to the complainant to file a fresh complaint before the appropriate Court having jurisdiction to deal with the matter. In the result, the criminal petition is allowed accordingly with the above direction.

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