Calcutta High Court Nandadulal Dey And Ors.-vs-Putul Dey on 15 May, 1995
Equivalent citations:1995 CriLJ 3821
Author: N Bhattacharya
Bench: N Bhattacharya
N.K. Bhattacharya, J.
1. Heard the submission of the Ld. Advocate for the petitioners Mr. Tapas Ghose and the Ld. Advocate for the O.P. Mr. Subhas Bhattacharjee appearing with Mr. Sumit Roy. Considered the materials on record.
2. By this revision Under Section 397/401, 482 of the Cr. P.C. the accused-petitioners have challenged the proceeding in complaint case No. 1383/94 and also the order dated 22 November, 1994 passed by the Ld. CJM Howrah, by which the Ld. Magistrate took cognizance of the offence Under Section 498A of the IPC and directed issuance of summons. Mr. Ghose appearing for the petitioners contended that according to the petition of complaint filed by the O.P. wife herein, the entire incident of torture, both physical and mental took place within the district town of Hooghly, that is, at Chuchura and thereafter on coming back to her father’s place the wife O.P. had fallen ill. As the complaint has been filed before the Ld. C.J.M. Howrah and as the Ld. Magistrate took cognizance of the same, the entire proceeding has been initiated before him. He further contended that the Ld. Magistrate had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint petition in view of the fact that the entire incident of cruelty took place at Chichura within the district of Hooghly. Mr. Bhattacharjee, on the other hand contended on behalf of the wife-O.P. that in views of Section 179 of the Cr. P.C. the offence may be tried by the Ld. C.J.M., Howrah. Mr. Bhattacharjee further contended that as the wife O.P. had fallen ill at the residence of her father at Howrah, the Ld. C.J.M. Howrah has jurisdiction to try the matter or to enquire into the matter. In support of his contention he relied upon a decision of the Allahabad High Court, in the case of Vijai Ratan Sharma v. State of U.P. in 1988 Cri LJ 1581. A single Judge of the Court held, inter alia, at page 1582, para 5 of that decision as under:
“When the wife fell ill at Gaziabad on account of the mental shock created by the treatment of the accused it means that consequences of mal-treatment and cruelty ensued at Ghaziabad. Section 179 Cr. P.C. says that where an act is an offence by reason of anything which has been done and of consequence of which has ensued the offence may be tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction such thing was done or such consequence ensued. Mal-treatment was meted outside Ghaziabad but it became cruelty on account of the consequence that the woman fell ill on account of the mental shock. She fell ill at Ghaziabad. The woman is being harassed by not being called by her in-laws so that her parents may meet their unlawful demand for dowry. When woman is at Ghaziabad and she is not being called, this harassment can also be said to have taken place at Ghaziabad. The letters with false allegations are being received at Ghaziabad and this also must be resulting in the harassment of the woman. Rather, this harassment seems to be continued one. It started when demand for dowry was made outside Ghaziabad and it has continued when she is not being called from Ghaziabad and she has been left there is order to get the dowry. So the offence continues to be committed or it may be possible to say that the offence was partly committed outside Ghaziabad when she was mal-treated and it continues to be committed at Ghaziabad where she has been left and is not being called.” (Seek)
Mr. Bhattacharjee contended in the next place that because of another reason the Howrah court has jurisdiction to try the offence. The ‘Sthridhan’ property of the marriage were presented at Howrah during the time of marriage and as the ‘Sthridhan’ property were not returned by the husband and his family members, there is an offence Under Section 406 and the offence can be tried at Hawrah. In support of his contention he relied upon a Supreme Court decision in the case of Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar . The
proposition that has been laid down in that decision is that if the ‘Sthridhan’ property of a married woman is placed in the custody of her husband or in laws they would be deemed to be trustees and bound to return the same if and when demanded by her. The decision under hand and under consideration is not an authority regarding the place and occurrence and the jurisdiction. Be that as it may, I find that the rationale that has been laid down by the Allahabad High Court and in view of Section 179 of the Cr. P.C., I am of the view that Howrah Court has jurisdiction to try the matter.
3. The revisional application is, accordingly, dismissed.