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Rahul Bhargava vs State (Nct) Of Delhi & Anr on 20 February, 2018

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* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
%
Judgment reserved on: 16.02.2018
Judgment delivered on:20.02.2018
+ CRL.M.C. 2304/2016 Crl. M.A. Nos.9669/2016 15253/2017

RAHUL BHARGAVA

….. Petitioner

Through Petitioner in person.

versus

STATE (NCT) OF DELHI ANR

….. Respondents

Through Mr.Kewal Singh Ahuja, APP along
with SI Karan Pal.

R-2 with her counsel Ms. Priya
Hingorani, Mr. Sarvesh Chowdhary,
Mr.Himanshu Yadav and Ms. Reema
Bhandari, Advs

+ W.P.(CRL) 2787/2016 Crl. M.A. No.14289/2016

RAHUL BHARGAVA ORS

….. Petitioners

Through Petitioners in person.

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 1 of 11
versus

STATE (NCT) OF DELHI ANR

….. Respondents

Through Mr. Avi Singh, ASC for the State
along with SI Karan Pal.

R-2 with her counsel Ms. Priya
Hingorani, Mr. Sarvesh Chowdhary,
Mr.Himanshu Yadav and Ms. Reema
Bhandari, Advs

CORAM:
HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE INDERMEET KAUR

INDERMEET KAUR, J.

1. Petitioner Rahul Bhargava seeks quashing of the complaint filed by

respondent No. 2 (Divya Sharma) CC No. 46/1/2016 under Section 12 read

with Sections 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 23 of the Protection of Women from

Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘DV Act’). He

also seeks a quashing of the FIR (FIR No.469/2016) registered under

Sections 498-A/406 read with Section 34 of the IPC at Police Station Hauz

Khas against himself as also his other family members on the complaint of

his wife (Divya Sharma).

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 2 of 11

2. The argument of the petitioner is bordered on his submission that the

Court below did not have the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint

case under the DV Act as even as per the complainant all acts/incidents of

alleged domestic violence were committed outside the territorial jurisdiction

of Delhi; not being within the precincts of National Capital Territory of

Delhi, the cognizance taken on that complaint is bad; it is liable to be set

aside. The same argument has been addressed on the FIR which has also

raised the plea of territorial jurisdiction. Submission being that all acts of

alleged cruelty were outside the territorial jurisdiction of the NCT of Delhi.

Even on merits, the contents of the FIR do not disclose a cognizable

offence. The proceedings both in the complaint case as also the FIR have to

be quashed.

3. These arguments have been rebutted. Learned counsel for the State is

assisted by the learned counsel for the complainant. It is pointed out that the

averments in the complaint disclose the incidents of domestic violence which

had erupted in Delhi; so also the cruelties (as defined under Section 498-A of

the IPC) have been disclosed. No ground is made out to interfere with the

orders passed by the Court below. Submissions made by the petitioners can

only be decided at the stage of trial. The question of quashing does not arise.

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 3 of 11

4. Petitioner in support of his submission has placed reliance upon the

following judgments of this Court to advance his submission. It is pointed

out that in 2011 (1) Crime 496 Harbans Lal Malik Vs. Payal Malik as also in

the subsequent judgment of 2010 (118) DRJ 520 Vijay Verma Vs. State of

N.C.T. of Delhi Anr, this Court had noted that where the parties had been

staying in a foreign country and the alleged violence committed in a shared

household was the incident of violence committed in a foreign country; the

question of maintenance of a complaint under the DV Act would not arise;

those proceedings had been quashed. Reliance has also been placed upon the

judgment reported as 2009 (2) UJ SC 0562 Jitendra Panchal Vs. Intelligence

Officer, NCB Anr. as also AIR 1935 Bom 437 Emperor Vs. Narayan

Mudlagiri Mahale to support the same argument.

5. Per contra, learned counsel for the State assisted by the counsel for the

complainant has relied upon (2011) 11 SCC 301 Sunita Kumari Kashyap Vs.

State of Bihar Anr as also 2012 (4) SCR 287 Lee Kun Hee Vs. State of

Uttar Pradesh to substantiate the argument that such like offences are

continuing offences and where such offence is committed in more areas than

one, the offence is triable by a Court having jurisdiction over every such

area. Thus the prayer made in the petitions be not granted.

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 4 of 11

6. Arguments have been heard. Record has been perused.

7. Record discloses that the parties i.e. Divya Sharma and Rahul

Bhargava had started interaction with one another through the medium of a

matrimonial website namely www.Shadi.com. The families of the parties

were introduced to one another in November, 2014. The husband and his

family were residents of Australia. The interaction was done through a

common friend namely one Vijay Kumar who was also a resident of

Australia. E-mails were exchanged between the parties. The complainant and

the respondent interacted with one another on 26.11.2014. The husband had

come to India in December, 2014. Parties met several times between

30.12.2014 to 03.01.2015. The families of the parties had agreed that the

marriage would be fixed for 22.04.2015. A rokka ceremony was held on

02.02.2015. The averments in the complaint further disclose that this rokka

ceremony was coerced upon the family of Divya Sharma who had no option

but to organize this function. The parties entered into a registered marriage

on 03.02.2015 at Ghaziabad, UP. A marriage certificate (evidencing this

fact) has been issued. This has not been denied. The father-in-law of the girl

however refused to pay the visa fee which was required for processing the

visa of the complainant to Australia. Ultimately it was the complainant’s

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 5 of 11
father who had to shell out ₹2.61 lacs towards her visa fee for her traverl to

Australia. E-mail dated 25.02.2015 sent by Rahul Bhargava to his father has

been highlighted by the learned counsel for the complainant to advance her

submission that even the son was aggrieved by this act of his father. The

complaint further discloses that the behavior of the respondent thereafter

changed. He became erratic and abusive. The complainant learnt that the

respondent was in fact suffering from a bipolar disorder since 2009 and this

was probably the reason for his obsessive temperament. The complainant

was not interested in continuing with this marriage. She accordingly applied

for a cancellation of the marriage certificate on 10.03.2015. Her husband

however tried to woo her again. She was persuaded by her father-in-law

through e-mails to get the marriage formalities completed on the date which

had already been agreed upon between the parties. The complainant

succumbed to this persuasion. Parties then had a runaway marriage on

27.05.2015. This was against the advice of the complainant’s parents but the

respondent’s parents who were in Australia had witnessed this on ‘skype’.

Para 29 of the complaint further discloses that the respondent husband then

went back to Australia. A formal wedding was held on 20.07.2015 at

Mapple Exotica, Chattarpur, New Delhi. The couple left for Australia on

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 6 of 11
22.07.2015. The further incidents of domestic violence and cruelties have

been detailed in the complaint. The complainant returned to India on

18.10.2015. It is alleged that the husband of the complainant and his family

landed up upon her parents’ house on various dates between 22.10.2015 to

18.11.2015. During one such visit in October, 2015 the respondent’s mother

created a scene and told the complainant’s mother that their daughter is

useless. On 18.11.2015, the respondent and his father came uninformed to

the complainant’s house and started abusing and misbehaving with her

father. The complainant came out of her room. Her husband rushed towards

her and held her by hair while continuing to abuse her. He punched her 4-5

times on her head and face which haemorrhaged her left eye and she felt

dizzy. This is contained in para 53 of the complaint. The complaint was

accordingly filed.

8. The contents of the FIR which is also registered on the complaint of

the complainant under Section 498A and Section 406 IPC have also been

perused. Apart from the incidents which have been disclosed in the

complaint under the DV Act it has been alleged that these acts of cruelties

coupled with the demands of dowry raised by the parents of her husband

were acts of cruelty; apart from the fact that her father-in-law had refused to

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 7 of 11
pay the visa money for her travel to Australia, they had made additional

demands upon her and her family. The incident of 18.11.2015 has also been

highlighted.

9. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act had been

promulgated in the year 2005. As per its statement of objects and reasons

since the phenomenon of domestic violence had become widely prevalent,

this Act had been introduced in addition to the penal provisions contained in

Section 498-A of the IPC; this was to enable the civil law to address this

phenomenon in its entirety. This Act covers those women who are or have

been in relationship with the abuser where both parties have lived together in

a shared household. The fact that Rahul Bhargava and Divya Sharma were

related to one another through marriage is not in dispute. The fact that they

were living together after their registered marriage (on 03.02.2015) is also

not in dispute. The husband had gone back only after staying in India with

his wife. The dates are not exactly clear but otherwise it is not disputed that

after their registered marriage on 03.02.2015 they lived together. The fact

that parties had a runaway marriage is again not in dispute. The formal

wedding between the parties took place on 20.07.2015. They left for

Australia on 22.07.2015. Apart from the incidents of cruelties and domestic

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 8 of 11
violence relating to episodes which had occurred both in India and in

Australia, the details of incidents of October, 2015 November, 2015 where

the husband of the complainant and his family came back to India and both

physically and mentally tortured the complainant and her family have

already been detailed supra.

10. The definition of ‘shared household’ as contained in Section 2 (s) of

the DV Act; it reads as under:-

“shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or
at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with
the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted
either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or
tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or
the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or
equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of
which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or
the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared
household.”

11. The definition of ‘domestic violence’ and particularly Explanation I

and Explanation II of Section 3 has also been highlighted; economic abuse

also comes within the ambit of domestic violence. Learned counsel for the

complainant rightly points out that the father of the respondent not agreeing

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 9 of 11
to pay the visa fee for the travel of the complainant after marriage to

Australia was a coercive financial burden upon the father of the victim and

he had no choice but to pay their visa fee.

12. Section 27 of the DV Act reads as under:-

“27. Jurisdiction.–

(1) The court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropolitan
Magistrate, as the case may be, within the local limits of which–

(a) the person aggrieved permanently or temporarily resides or carries on
business or is employed; or

(b) the respondent resides or carries on business or is employed; or

(c) the cause of action has arisen, shall be the competent court to grant a
protection order and other orders under this Act and to try offences under
this Act.

(2) Any order made this Act shall be enforceable throughout India.”

13. The jurisdiction of the Magistrate has been detailed. The aggrieved

person which in this case was the complainant and being a resident of Delhi

where the incidents/acts of domestic violence (noted supra) had occurred

were within the territorial jurisdiction of Delhi. The averments in the FIR

also disclose the manner in which the cruelties have been levelled upon the

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 10 of 11
complainant. The territorial jurisdiction of this Court to entertain this

complaint and FIR is prima-facie writ large. On merits, the question as to

whether the averments made by the complainant were the gospel truth or not

can only be decided after the parties are relegated to trial. The Court at this

stage cannot grant the prayers made in the present petitions. There is no case

made out for quashing either the complaint (filed by the complainant under

the DV Act) or the FIR registered at the behest of the complainant (under

Sections 498-A/406/34 of the IPC). The powers under Section 482 of the

Cr.PC have to be exercised sparingly and only if there is no perversity in the

order of the Court below. This Court finds that there is no such perversity.

14. Both the petitions are without any merit. Dismissed with costs

quantified at Rs. 25000/-.

INDERMEET KAUR, J
FEBRUARY 20, 2018
A

CRL M.C.2304/2016 W.P. (Crl.) No.2787/2016 Page 11 of 11

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