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Section 498A IPC Quashed on territorial jurisdiction

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT JODHPUR

S.B.Cr. Misc. (Pet.) No.3259 / 2015

Parteek Bansal son of Shri Rajkumar Bansal, aged about 30 years, resident of 49 New Anaj Mandi, Hisar, Haryana—-Petitioner

Versus

1. State of Rajasthan through Principal Secretary to Government of Rajasthan, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Civil Secretariat, Jaipur.

2. Shri Vinod Kumar Mittal son of Late Shri Bhanmalji Mittal, aged about 67 years, resident of Mittal Aluminum, Pilani Road, Chirawa, District Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, Presently residing at 3/4 Fatehpur Circle, Udaipur, Rajasthan

3. Divya Mittal (Deputy Supritendent of Police) daughter of Shri Vinod Kumar Mittal, aged about 35 years, resident of Mittal Aluminum, Pilani Road, Chirawa, District Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, Presently residing at 3/4 Fatehpur Circle, Udaipur, Rajasthan —-Respondent

For Petitioner(s) : Mr O.P.Mehta Mr Gajendra Singh Rathore For Respondent No.1 : Mr S.K.Vyas – AAG assisted by Mr Vikram Singh Rajpurohit – PP
For Respondent Nos 2 & 3 : Mr Vineet Jain

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE VIJAY BISHNOI
Order 06/03/2017

This criminal misc. petition under section 482 CrPC has (2 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] been filed by the petitioner with a prayer for quashing the FIR No.156/2015 lodged on 01.11.2015 at Women Police Station, Udaipur for the offences punishable under sections 498A, 406, 384, 420 and 120-B IPC.

The main ground raised in this petition for quashing the impugned FIR is that before registration of the impugned FIR, an FIR was already registered against the petitioner at Women Police Station, Hisar, Haryana on the same complaint filed by respondent No.2, who happened to be the father of respondent No.3.

It is averred in the petition that the earlier complaint filed by respondent No.2 before the Superintendent of Police, District Hisar is verbatim of the complaint filed before the Women Police Station, Udaipur resulted in the lodgement of the impugned FIR. It is also averred that in the FIR No.19/2015 of Women Police Station, Hisar, Haryana, the police has already concluded the investigation and filed charge-sheet against the petitioner in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Hisar, Haryana and the said court after taking cognizance against the petitioner for the offence punishable under section 498A IPC has framed charge for the aforesaid offence and some prosecution witnesses have also been examined. It is further averred in the petition that it is settled principle of law that there cannot be two FIRs in relation to the same incident and when the FIR was already registered against accused-person for the same incident at Police Station, Hisar, Haryana, the second FIR is not maintainable and is liable to be quashed.

It is alleged in this petition that the respondent No.3 is (3 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Rajasthan and is posted at Udaipur and by misusing her position as a Senior Officer in the Police Department got the impugned FIR registered against the petitioner only with intention to harass him and his family members. It is further alleged that respondent No.2 has filed the complaint against the petitioner alleging crime with his daughter –

respondent No.3 though she is major as well as the Senior Officer in the Police Department and she could have lodged the FIR but the respondent No.2 has lodged the impugned FIR to victimize the petitioner and his family members.

It is also alleged that respondent No.2 while lodging the complaint before the Inspector General of Police, Udaipur has concealed the fact that on the same complaint of him, the police at Hisar has already lodged an FIR against the petitioner and investigation in that FIR is under progress.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that it is settled principle of law that for the same incident, two FIRs cannot be lodged and the subsequent FIR is liable to be quashed. He has placed reliance on decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in T.T. Antony vs. State of Kerala & Ors., 2001 AIR SCW 2571 and Babu Bhai vs. State of Gujarat & Ors., (2010) 12 SCC

254. Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the above referred cases has clearly held that if both the FIRs relate to the same incident or in respect of the same occurrence, the second FIR is liable to be quashed.

Per contra, learned Public Prosecutor and the counsel appearing for the respondent Nos.2 and 3 vehemently opposed (4 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] the prayer of the counsel for the petitioner for quashing the impugned FIR and contended that though the complaints filed by the respondent No.2, which resulted in registration of two FIRs No.19/2015 of Women Police Station, Hisar and impugned FIR No.156/2015 of Women Police Station, Udaipur are same, but all the incidents of harassment for dowry, breach of trust, extortion, cheating and criminal conspiracy have taken place at Udaipur and, therefore, only the impugned FIR is maintainable and the FIR registered at the Women Police Station, Hisar is of no consequence as neither the Women Police Station, Hisar nor the Judicial Magistrate at Hisar has jurisdiction to inquire or conduct the trial of the said FIR as per section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Learned counsel for the respondent Nos. 2 and 3 has submitted that it is incorrect to say that the complaint in respect of the impugned FIR has been lodged after registration of the FIR No.19/2015 of Women Police Station, Hisar. It is argued that respondent No.2 filed a complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Hisar on 10.10.2015, however, when the Police at Hisar did not act upon the said complaint and later on when he realized that the Police at Hisar has no jurisdiction to inquire into the allegations levelled in the complaint as all the incidents had happened at Udaipur, he filed a complaint before the Inspector General of Police, Udaipur on 15.10.2015 i.e. prior to the registration of FIR No.19/2015 at Hisar. It is further argued that in the complaint submitted to the Inspector General of Police, the respondent No.2 has clearly mentioned that he has already filed a (5 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] complaint at Hisar, however, the police at Hisar has not taken any action on the said complaint and since all the incidents complained of in the complaint took place at Udaipur, this complaint has been filed at Udaipur.

Learned counsel for the respondent Nos. 2 and 3 has further argued that from the above facts, it is clear that when the police at Hisar has no jurisdiction to inquire into the allegations levelled in the complaint submitted before the Superintendent of Police, Hisar, no illegality can be found in the action of the respondent No.2 to lodge the complaint at Udaipur, where all the incidents had taken place. Learned counsel for the respondent Nos.2 and 3 has further argued that the filing of the charge-sheet against the petitioner by the Hisar Police and a trial being commenced against him at Hisar are of no consequence as neither the Women Police Station, Hisar nor the Judicial Magistrate at Hisar has jurisdiction to inquire or conduct the trial of FIR No.19/2015, therefore, the impugned FIR cannot be quashed.

Learned counsel for the respondent Nos.2 and 3 has also placed reliance on the reply filed by the petitioner before the Family Court, Udaipur in an application filed by respondent No.2 under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights, in support of their claim that no incident of demand of dowry, harassment etc. have happened at Hisar because in the reply, the petitioner has specifically claimed that the respondent No.3 never resided together at Hisar, Haryana.

In rejoinder, learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that even if it is assumed that the court at Hisar, where the (6 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] trial against the petitioner is pending, has no jurisdiction, then also by virtue of section 462 CrPC, the proceedings in that court cannot be said to be of no consequence. It is contended that the court at Hisar in not lacking inherent jurisdiction to try an offence and lack of territorial jurisdiction cannot be said to be fatal. In support of the said contention, learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in Nasiruddin Khan vs. State of Bihar, AIR 1973 SC 186, decision of Kerala High Court rendered in K.Ramanujan Nair vs. S.Sarojini Amma & Anr., 1971 CRI.L.J., 565 and the decision of Calcutta High Court rendered in Bimal Chandra Banerjee vs. Tez Chandra Banerjee, AIR 1918 Calcutta 305.

Heard learned counsel for the rival parties and perused the material available on record.

The facts, not in dispute, are that the respondent No.2 filed a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, District Hisar, Haryana on 10.10.2015 alleging therein that his daughter got in touch of the petitioner through internet and they decided to marry to each other. After making inquiry, he gave his consent for marriage of the petitioner with his daughter. In September, 2014, petitioner went to Udaipur to meet his daughter and informed his family with regard to his assent to marry her. After returning from Udaipur, petitioner and his family members including mother, brother, sister and brother-in-law were in contact with his daughter. Later on petitioner called his daughter to Gurgaon on the pretext to meet his mother, however, the mother of the petitioner did not come to Gurgaon and there his daughter and the (7 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] petitioner got married in a temple secretly. Thereafter petitioner met his daughter in Ajmer, where his brother-in-law called him and asked him to marry his daughter only when she agrees to give dowry. It is further alleged that the petitioner told that he would shift to Delhi and thereafter his daughter and the petitioner went to Bharatpur and Mathura, where the mother of the petitioner was supposed to come but again she did not come there. It is further alleged that the relatives of the petitioner were in contact with his daughter through phone and asked her to give dowry including Innova Car, Rs.50 lacs cash and to organize a grand function at Hisar. It is further alleged that when the complainant called the mother and brother of the petitioner, they abused him and demanded dowry for wedding to which he agreed under pressure. In between petitioner was regularly meeting his daughter in Udaipur and finally arrived at Udaipur on 08.01.2015 for joining a new job, which was also secured by his daughter.

Thereafter, he stayed at Udaipur in a rented house and regularly demanded from his daughter Rs.50 lacs and a car and pressurized that a grand function be organized at Hisar.

It is further alleged that the petitioner used to make excuses for registration of marriage and ultimately on 16.02.2015, he left Udaipur for Barmer without informing his daughter and never returned to Udaipur. Then he and his daughter went to Hisar, where they did not find anybody and they filed a complaint at Police Station, Hisar. On 18.02.2015, the petitioner and his family members gave an affidavit and agreed that soon the engagement of the petitioner and his daughter will be performed. Thereafter in (8 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] March, 2015 petitioner again started living at Udaipur in a rented house, which was managed by him only. Later on the wedding date of his daughter and the petitioner was fixed as 21.03.2015, however, on that day none came from the petitioner’s side and the marriage of the petitioner and his daughter was performed at Government accommodation, Fatehpura, Udaipur. Thereafter the mother of the petitioner Krishna Devi said that as Rs.50 lacs and a car have not been given and a grand function has not been organized, therefore, she would not treat his daughter as her daughter-in-law. In the same night, the petitioner also asked his daughter that his mother would be happy if her demands are fulfilled. It is further alleged that the mother of the petitioner also got put off the gold ornaments of his daughter and asked her that if they would not meet their demands, she would not allow her son to live with his daughter. It is further alleged that constantly the accused-persons harassed his daughter and refused to pay rent of the house. It is further contended in the complaint that marriage of the petitioner and his daughter was registered on 29.05.2015 and in August, 2015, petitioner left Udaipur for Kaithal, Haryana and stopped receiving the calls from his daughter. His daughter went to Kaithal on 22.02.2015, where the petitioner informed that he would divorce her and would not return to Udaipur. The petitioner also threatened his daughter that he would make it impossible for her to serve in the Police Department. The several other allegations were also levelled in the complaint.

On receiving the complaint from respondent No.2 on (9 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] 10.10.2015, the Women Police Station, Hisar registered the FIR No.19/2015 on 17.10.2015. Prior to that on 15.10.2015, the respondent No.2 filed written complaint before the Inspector General of Police, Udaipur which is verbatim to the earlier complaint filed by him before the Superintendent of Police, Hisar.

However, on the complaint filed by respondent No.2 before the Inspector General of Police, the impugned FIR has been registered on 01.11.2015. It is also not in dispute that Police Station, Hisar has continued with the investigation in the FIR No.19/2015 and filed a charge-sheet against the petitioner for the offence punishable under section 498A on 16.12.2015. It is also not in dispute that after framing of charge against the petitioner, trial against him is pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Hisar.

Now the question before this Court is whether the police at Udaipur has committed any illegality in registering the impugned FIR on the complaint filed by the respondent No.2.

Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads as under:

“154. Information in cognizable cases.__(1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read Over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf:
(10 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] Provided that if the information is given by the woman against whom an offence under Section 326-A, Section 326-B, Section 354, Section 354-
A, Section 354-B, Section 354-C, Section 354-D, Section 376, Section 376-A, Section 376-B, Section 376-C, Section 376-D, Section 376-E or Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) is alleged to have been committed or attempted, then such information shall be recorded, by a woman police officer or any woman officer:

Provided further that –

(a) in the event that the person against whom an offence under Section 354, Section 354-A, Section 354-B, Section 354-C, Section 354-D, Section 376, Section 376-A, Section 376-B, Section 376-C, Section 376-D, Section 376-E or Section 509 of Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) is alleged to have been committed or attempted, is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a police officer, at the residence of the person seeking to report such offence or at a convenient place of such person’s choice, in the presence of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may be;

(b) the recording of such information shall be videographed;

(c) the police officer shall get the statement of the person recorded by a Judicial Magistrate under clause (a) of sub-section (5-A) of section 164 as soon as possible.

(2) A copy of the information as recorded under sub- section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.

(3) Any person aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in sub section (1) may (11 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence.”

From perusal of the provisions of section 154 CrPC, it is clear that there is no scope for police officer to refuse registration of any information as an FIR which discloses cognizable offence.

A Constitution Bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in Lalita Kumari vs. Government of U.P. & Ors., AIR 2014 SC 187 while considering the issue whether a police officer is bound to register a First Information Report (FIR) upon receiving any information relating to commission of cognizable offence under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or the police officer has power to conduct a preliminary inquiry in order to test the veracity of such information before registering the same has answered as under:

“111) In view of the aforesaid discussion, we hold:
i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation.
ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be (12 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not.

iii) If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered. In cases where preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, a copy of the entry of such closure must be supplied to the first informant forthwith and not later than one week. It must disclose reasons in brief for closing the complaint and not proceeding further.

iv) The police officer cannot avoid his duty of registering offence if cognizable offence is disclosed. Action must be taken against erring officers who do not register the FIR if information received by him discloses a cognizable offence.

v) The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence.

vi) As to what type and in which cases preliminary inquiry is to be conducted will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:

a) Matrimonial disputes/ family disputes

b) Commercial offences

c) Medical negligence cases

d) Corruption cases

e) Cases where there is abnormal delay/laches in initiating criminal prosecution, for example, over 3 months delay in reporting the matter without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay.

The aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive of all conditions which may warrant preliminary inquiry.

vii) While ensuring and protecting the rights of the accused and the complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be made time bound and in any case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the causes of it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.

(13 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016]

viii) Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is the record of all information received in a police station, we direct that all information relating to cognizable offences, whether resulting in registration of FIR or leading to an inquiry, must be mandatorily and meticulously reflected in the said Diary and the decision to conduct a preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.”

So upon receiving an information of commission of cognizable offence, no option is left with the police officer except to register an FIR. However, in certain eventualities, a police officer can make preliminary inquiry, examples of which are provided in the above referred judgment.

In the present case, admittedly before registration of the FIR at Police Station, Hisar, complaint was filed by the respondent No.2 before the Inspector General of Police, Udaipur and bare perusal of the complaint discloses commission of a cognizable offence. As per the law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari vs. Government of U.P. & Ors. (supra), after receiving complaint regarding the commission of cognizable offences by the respondent No.2, the police officer is bound to register the impugned FIR. In this petition or during the course of arguments, it is neither averred nor argued that the police at Udaipur, at the time of registration of impugned FIR, was aware of the fact that on the same complaint of respondent No.2, the police station at Hisar has already registered an FIR and investigation into the same is under progress. In such circumstances, no fault can be found in the action of the police in registration of the impugned FIR.

(14 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] It is also to be noted that from the wholesome reading of the impugned FIR, it appears that none of the incidents of cruelty, criminal intimidation, demand of dowry and breach of trust, complained of in the complaint filed by the respondent No.2 with his daughter had happened at Hisar. The petitioner in his reply to the application under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage for restitution of conjugal rights filed by respondent No.2, has categorically stated that she never resided at Hisar at any point of time.

As per section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, every offence ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Y.Abraham Ajith & Ors.

vs. Inspector of Police, Chennai & Anr., AIR 2004 SC 4286 has held as under:

“7. Section 177 of the Code 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.”
8. Sections 177 to 186 deal with venue and place of trial. Section 177 reiterates the well-
established common law rule referred to in Halsbury’s Laws of England (Vol. IX para 83) that the proper and ordinary venue for the trial of a crime is the area of jurisdiction in which, on the evidence, the facts occur and which alleged to constitute the crime. There are several (15 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] exceptions to this general rule and some of them are, so far as the present case is concerned, indicated in Section 178 of the Code which read as follows:

“Section 178: PLACE OF INQUIRY OR TRIAL
(a) When it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed, or
(b) Where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another, or
(c) Where an offence is continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local areas than one, or
(d) where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, it may be inquired into or tried by a Court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas.”
9. “All crime is local, the jurisdiction over the crime belongs to the country where the crime is committed”, as observed by Blackstone, a significant word used in Section 177 of the Code is ”ordinarily”. Use of the word indicates that the provision is a general one and must be read subject to the special provisions contained in the Code. As observed by the Court in Purushottamdas Dalmia v. State of West Bengal (AIR 1961 SC 1589), L.N. Mukherjee v. State of Madras (AIR 1961 SC 1601), Banwarilal Jhunjhunwalla and Ors. v. Union of India and Anr., (AIR 1963 SC 1620): and Mohan Baitha and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Anr.(2001 (4) SCC

350), exception implied by the word “ordinarily” need not be limited to those specially provided for by the law and exceptions may be provided by the law on consideration or may be implied from the provisions of law permitting joint trial of offences by the same Court. No such exception is applicable to the case at hand.

10. As observed by this Court in State of Bihar v. Deokaran Nenshi and Anr., (AIR 1973 SC 908) (16 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] continuing offence is one which is susceptible of continuance and is distinguishable from the one which is committed once and for all, that it is one of those offences which arises out of the failure to obey or comply with a rule or its requirement and which involves a penalty, liability continues till compliance, that on every occasion such disobedience or non-compliance occurs or recurs, there is the offence committed.

11. A similar plea relating to continuance of the offence was examined by this Court in Sujata Mukherjee (Smt.) v. Prashant Kumar Mukherjee (1997 (5) SCC 30). There the allegations related to commission of alleged offences punishable under Sections 498A, 506 and 323 IPC. On the factual background, it was noted that though the dowry demands were made earlier the husband of the complainant went to the place where complainant was residing and had assaulted her. This Court held in that factual background that Clause (c) of Section 178 was attracted. But in the present case the factual position is different and the complainant herself left the house of the husband on 15.4.1997 on account of alleged dowry demands by the husband and his relations. There is thereafter not even a whisper of allegations about any demand of dowry or commission of any act constituting an offence much less at Chennai. That being so, the logic of Section 178(c) of the Code relating to continuance of the offences cannot be applied.

12. The crucial question is whether any part of the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the concerned Court. In terms of Section 177 of the Code it is the place where the offence was committed. In essence it is the cause of action for initiation of the proceedings against the accused.

(17 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016]

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. The expression “cause of action” has acquired a judicially settled meaning. In the restricted sense cause of action means the circumstances forming the infraction of the right or the immediate occasion for the action. In the wider sense, it means the necessary conditions for the maintenance of the proceeding including not only the alleged infraction, but also the infraction coupled with the right itself. Compendiously the expression means every fact, which it would be necessary for the complainant to prove, if traversed, in order to support his right or grievance to the judgment of the Court. Every fact, which is necessary to be proved, as distinguished from every piece of evidence, which is necessary to prove such fact, comprises in “cause of action”.

16. The expression “cause of action” has sometimes been employed to convey the restricted idea of facts or circumstances which (18 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] constitute either the infringement or the basis of a right and no more. In a wider and more comprehensive sense, it has been used to denote the whole bundle of material facts.

17. The expression “cause of action” is generally understood to mean a situation or state of facts that entitles a party to maintain an action in a court or a tribunal; a group of operative facts giving rise to one or more bases for sitting; a factual situation that entitles one person to obtain a remedy in court from another person. (Black’s Law Dictionary a “cause of action” is stated to be the entire set of facts that gives rise to an enforceable claim; the phrase comprises every fact, which, if traversed, the plaintiff must prove in order to obtain judgment. In “Words and Phrases” (4th Edn.) the meaning attributed to the phrase “cause of action” in common legal parlance is existence of those facts, which give a party a right to judicial interference on his behalf.

18. 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”.

19. When the aforesaid legal principles are applied, to the factual scenario disclosed by the complainant in the complaint petition, the inevitable conclusion is that no part of cause of (19 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] action arose in Chennai and, therefore, the concerned magistrate had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter. The proceedings are quashed.

who, if she so chooses, may file the same in the appropriate Court to be dealt with in accordance with law. The appeal is accordingly allowed. Appeal Allowed.”

[Emphasis supplied] Relying on the decision of Y.Abraham Ajith & Ors.

vs. Inspector of Police, Chennai & Anr. (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Bhura Ram & Ors. vs. State of Rajasthan & Anr., AIR 2008 SC 2666, has held as under:

“2. The complainant Rajeshwari lodged a complaint on 4.9.2001 before the learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar against the appellants. The complaint under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure was sent to the Police Station, Sadar Sri Ganganagar for investigation on which FIR No. 246 of 2001 was registered against the appellants for offences under Sections 498A, 406 and 147 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Challan was filed against the appellants in the Court of learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganga Nagar. The charges were framed against the appellants for offences under Sections 498A and 406 IPC. The appellants made a prayer before the Court that the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try the offences as the cause of action accrued within the jurisdiction of the other court. The application was rejected. The Revision Petition before the learned Sessions Judge, Sri Ganganagar was also rejected. The High Court dismissed the S.B.
(20 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] Criminal Miscellaneous Petition preferred by the appellants holding that although the marriage was solemnized at Village Ramsara, Tehsil Abohar, District Ferozpur, and right from the marriage, the complainant and her husband Ravindra Kumar were living in Punjab with her in-laws and her husband had died, and that she is now residing in Sri Ganganagar District in Rajasthan along with her maternal relations, but still offence under Section 498A IPC, being a continuing one, the complaint cannot be dismissed on the ground that it was time barred; and that the offence of cruelty being a continuing offence is still continuing with the local area of Rajasthan, where at present the complainant is living and, therefore, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar had jurisdiction to try the case. The Court has found that all the allegations regarding the offences charged with have been committed at the previous residence of the complainant.

3. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellants that the question involved is squarely covered by the decision of this Court in Y. Abraham Ajith and Others vs. Inspector of Police, Chennai and Another, (2004) 8 SCC 100, wherein this Court has held that cause of action having arisen within the jurisdiction of the court where the offence was committed, could not be tried by the court where no part of offence was committed.

4. The facts stated in the complaint disclose that the complainant left the place where she was residing with her husband and in-laws and came to the city of Sri Ganganagar, State of Rajasthan and that all the alleged acts as per the complaint had taken place in the State of (21 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] Punjab. The Court at Rajasthan does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. On the basis of the factual scenario disclosed by the complainant in the complaint, the inevitable conclusion is that no part of cause of action arose in Rajasthan and, therefore, the Magistrate concerned has no jurisdiction to deal with the matter. As a consequence thereof, the proceedings before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sri Ganganagar are quashed. The complaint be returned to the complainant and if she so wishes she may file the same in the appropriate court to be dealt with in accordance with law.”

[Emphasis supplied] Recently, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Manoj Kumar Sharma and Ors. vs. State of Chhatisgarh & Ors. reported in AIR 2016 SC 3930 has held as under:

“13. Learned senior Counsel for the Appellants vehemently contended that the P.S. Bhilai Nagar, Durg had no territorial jurisdiction to investigate the matter alleging commission of offence Under Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code because none of the part of the alleged offence was committed within the territorial jurisdiction of P.S. Bhilai Nagar, Durg. It is true that territorial jurisdiction also is prescribed under Sub-section (1) of Section 156 to the extent that the officer can investigate any cognizable case which a court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such police station would have power to enquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XIII. However, Sub-
section (2) makes the position clear by providing that no proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called in (22 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] question on the ground that the case was one which such officer was not empowered to investigate. After investigation is completed, the result of such investigation is required to be submitted as provided Under Sections 168, 169 and 170. Section 170 specifically provides that if, upon an investigation, it appears to the officer in charge of the police station that there is sufficient evidence or reasonable ground of suspicion to justify the forwarding of the accused to a Magistrate, such officer shall forward the accused under custody to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence upon a police report and to try the accused or commit for trial. Further, if the investigating officer arrives at the conclusion that the crime was not committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the police station, then FIR can be forwarded to the police station having jurisdiction over the area in which the crime is committed. But this would not mean that in a case which requires investigation, the police officer can refuse to record the FIR and/or investigate it. Chapter XIII of the Code provides for “jurisdiction of the criminal courts in inquiries and trials”. It is to be stated that under the said Chapter there are various provisions which empower the court for inquiry or trial of a criminal case and that there is no absolute prohibition that the offence committed beyond the local territorial jurisdiction cannot be investigated, inquired or tried. This would be clear by referring to Sections 177 to 188. For our purpose, it would suffice to refer only to Sections 177 and 178 which are as under:

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

(23 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016]

178. Place of enquiry or trial.-(a) When it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed, or

(b) where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another, or

(c) where an offence is a continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local areas than one, or

(d) where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, it may be enquired into or tried by a Court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas.

A reading of the aforesaid Sections would make it clear that Section 177 provides for “ordinary” place of enquiry or trial. Section 178, inter alia, provides for place of enquiry or trial when it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed or where the offence was committed partly in one local area and partly in another and where it consisted of several acts done in different local areas, it could be enquired into or tried by a court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas. Hence, at the stage of investigation, it cannot be held that the SHO does not have territorial jurisdiction to investigate the crime. But after the investigation is over, if the officer arrives at the conclusion that the cause of action for lodging the FIR has not arisen within his territorial jurisdiction, then he will forward the case to the Magistrate concerned empowered to take cognizance of the offence.

14. In the instant case, the question of territorial jurisdiction was just one of the grounds for quashing the proceedings along with the other grounds and, therefore, the High Court should have examined whether the case was fit to be quashed on other grounds or not.

(24 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] Nandini Sharma committed suicide in her matrimonial home at Ambala. The information with regard to the said incident was forwarded to the Police Station Mulana, District Ambala. On 22.09.1999, post mortem on the body was conducted and the case was closed by submitting a final report before the SDM stating that there was no sign of foul play in the occurrence. Since the Appellant No. 1 was a Flying Officer at the relevant time, a Court of Inquiry (CoI) was also convened to investigate herein which was finally closed on 25.07.2000. None of the family members of the deceased raised any doubt on the death of Nandini or named anyone in the Appellant’s family especially when the father, brother and other relatives of the deceased were present at Ambala during the period when the investigation was carried on. On a correct appreciation of record, we do not find even a whisper about the cruelty meted out to her soon before her death.

visited Durg several times after the death of Nandini and stayed with in-laws.

15. The territorial jurisdiction of a court with regard to a criminal offence would be decided on the basis of the place of occurrence of the incident. In the instant case, the suicide was committed at Ambala. The Ambala police closed the case after fulfilling the requirements of Section 174 of the Code holding that there was no foul play in the incident and also there was no requirement of lodging FIR Under Section 154 as none of the family members of the deceased raised any suspicion over the death even though the death was committed within seven years of marriage. Also, there is no evidence of it being a continuing offence. Hence, (25 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] the offence alleged cannot be said to have been committed wholly or partly within the local jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court at Durg. Prima facie, none of the ingredients constituting the offence can be said to have occurred within the local jurisdiction of that Court.

16. In the case on hand, as per the materials on record, in Crime No. 194 of 2005, charge sheet has been filed and the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Durg has taken cognizance of the proceedings. In the present fact situation, we are of the considered opinion that the Court at Durg has no territorial jurisdiction to try the case and the proceedings are liable to be quashed on the ground of lack of territorial jurisdiction since the entire cause of action for the alleged offence had purportedly arisen in the city of Ambala.”

[Emphasis supplied] As per the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the above referred cases, ordinarily, an offence is required to be inquired or tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed. As observed earlier that in the complaints filed by the respondent No.2 before the Police Officers at Hisar and Udaipur, it is alleged that all the offences have been committed by the accused persons at Udaipur only and when none of the incidents complained of in the complaint filed by the respondent No.2 before the Inspector General of Police had happened at Hisar and all such incidents had happened at Udaipur, the action of the police in registering the impugned FIR cannot be said to be illegal.

At the same time, it is necessary for the investigating (26 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] officer, who is investigating into the impugned FIR to take into consideration the fact that on the same complaint, FIR has also been registered at Hisar and charge-sheet has been filed against the petitioner in that FIR and trial is going on against him in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Hisar and thereafter to submit conclusion before the court concern with his/her opinion that what will be the effect of the same.

There is no quarrel about the proposition of law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in T.T. Antony vs. State of Kerala & Ors. and Babu Bhai vs. State of Gujarat & Ors.

(supra), however, there is substantial difference in the facts of those cases and in the facts of the present case. In those cases, the second FIRs were lodged against some persons in same police station in which the earlier FIR was registered for the same incident. In that event, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that second FIR for the same incident is not maintainable.

In the present case, the complaint resulting in registration of impugned FIR at Udaipur was filed prior to the registration of FIR No.19/2015 of Police Station, Hisar. In such circumstances, the above referred judgments are of no help to the petitioner.

So far as judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in Nasiruddin Khan vs. State of Bihar, judgment of Kerala High Court in K.Ramanujan Nair vs. S.Sarojini Amma & Anr. and the judgment of Calcutta High Court in Bimal Chandra Banerjee vs. Tez Chandra Banerjee (supra) are concerned, aggrieved persons had approached the Courts while (27 of 27) [APPLR-1119/2016] raising the question of territorial jurisdiction when the trial courts passed the judgments convicting and sentencing them. However, in the present case, the situation is different. The trial against the petitioner is pending and no final decision has yet been taken by the trial court.

With the above observations, the instant criminal misc. petition is dismissed.

(VIJAY BISHNOI),J.

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