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Saroj Bala And Anr vs State Of Punjab & Anr on 25 May, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH

CRM-M-12402-2016
Date of decision: 25.05.2018

Saroj Bala and another
…Petitioners

Versus

State of Punjab and another
…Respondent

*****

CORAM: HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JAISHREE THAKUR

Present: Mr. Munish Behl, Advocate, for
Mr. Deepak Sharma, Advocate,
for the petitioners.

Mr. A.S. Sandhu, Addl. Advocate General, Punjab.

Mr. Amit Choudhary, Advocate,
for respondent No.2.

****

JAISHREE THAKUR, J.

1. This is a petition that has been filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

seeking quashing of FIR No. 49 dated 16.06.2015 under Sections 406, 498-

A, 120-B IPC read with Section 3 and 4 of Dowry Act 1961 registered at

Women Police Station, Patiala (Annexure P-1) as well as report under

Section 173 Cr.P.C under Sections 406, 498-A, 120-B IPC (Annexure P-9).

2. In brief, the facts are that Ajay Sharma son of petitioner No.1

and brother of petitioner No. 2 herein, solemnized a marriage with

complainant-respondent No.2 Sapna Sharma on 18.05.2013 as per Hindu

rites and ceremonies at Silver Oak Resort Village Jamitgarh, Police Station

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Ghanaur, District Patiala, while being informed that Ajay Sharma son of

petitioner No.1 was settled permanently in Australia. Ajay Sharma left for

Australia within 13 days of the marriage leaving the complainant in her

matrimonial home along with the petitioners herein, who started maltreating

her by taunting her that her parents had not given enough Istrithan. After

two months of the marriage, she went to Australia on the basis of an

Education Visa but was not treated well there. A demand of Rupees Eight

Lakh was made from her parents to deposit her six months fees. After a

period of six months on 31.01.2014, she came back from Australia to her in-

laws house to attend her brother’s marriage and thereafter left for Australia.

It was stated that she was maltreated by her husband who was not a

permanent resident of Australia as informed to her and there was also a

demand of more money from her parents. She came back to India but was

not allowed to enter into her in-laws. Due to the various circumstances as

narrated above, she was not allowed to inter into her matrimonial home

where her Istridhan was lying. FIR was registered at District Patiala. The

petitioners herein have instituted the present case seeking quashing of the

FIR on the ground that the courts at Patiala do not have the jurisdiction to

entertain the matter.

3. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners herein

submits that the said FIR is not sustainable at Patiala and the same has been

filed only to harass the petitioners. It is argued that the permanent address of

the complainant-respondent No.2 is of Ambala City in District Ambala as

would be reflected in the FIR itself where the address is shown as House

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No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala, Haryana. Her address in the passport is

reflected as 1818/11, Moti Nagar, Ambala City while in a complaint filed

under Section 12 read with Sections 17 to 22 of the Protection of Women

from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 her address also shown to be at H. No.

1818/11, Moti Nagar, Ambala City. This Complaint case under the DV Act

was filed on 19.11.2014 and the petition under Section 13 of the Hindu

Marriage Act for dissolution was also filed at Ambala. It is argued that

having invoked the jurisdiction of Ambala in all other matters, the FIR

registered at the Police Station in Patiala is not sustainable being without

jurisdiction.

4. Per contra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent

No.2 argues that the FIR has been rightly registered at Patiala as the

complainant-respondent No.2 is currently residing therein as would be

reflected from the domicile certificate issued, which is annexed as Annexure

R-2/3, showing her to be resident of Silver OaK Resort Village Jamitgarh

Post Office Loh Simbli, Jamitgarh, Tehsil Rajpura, District Patiala. It is

argued that as per the Punjab Residential Certificate, it has been certified

that ‘Sapna Sharma’ has settled in Punjab for a period of five years from

01.08.2012 to 16.08.2016 and is working as Student.

5. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and have perused

the case file.

6. The sole question that needs to be decided “Whether the FIR

can be quashed on the ground that the Courts at Patiala do not have the

territorial jurisdiction to entertain the said FIR?” Quashing of the FIR is

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prayed on the ground that the Police Station at Patiala would have not the

territorial jurisdiction either to register the case or investigate the same and

thereafter put up a challan before the Courts at Patiala.

7. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners herein,

who are mother and brother of Ajay Sharma (who is now divorced husband

of the complainant), argues that the complainant resided with them for a

very short period of time at Ambala. It is submitted that as per the

provisions of Sections 177 and 181 Cr.P.C., the FIR could not have been

registered at Patiala. Section 177 stipulates the place of inquiry and trial

pertaining to an offence committed, and jurisdiction is established within

whose local jurisdiction it was committed. As per Section 181 Cr.P.C.

cases pertaining to any offence of criminal misappropriation or of criminal

breach of trust may be inquired into or tried by a Court within whose local

jurisdiction the offence was committed or any part of the property which is

the subject of the offence was received or retained, or was required to be

returned or accounted for, by the accused person. It is argued that, it is the

Police Station at Ambala that would have the jurisdiction to register the case

and investigate the same. In this regard, learned counsel for the petitioners

places reliance upon Y. Abraham Ajith and others vs. Inspector of Police,

Chennai and another, 2004(3) R.C.R. (Criminal) 988 to substantiate that

no cause of action has arisen in Patiala and if there is any demand of dowry

or harassment therein it would be at Ambala and, therefore, any FIR or

proceedings at Patiala are not sustainable.

8. Per contra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

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complainant would rely upon the judgment rendered by the Hon’ble

Supreme Court in Sunita Kumari Kashyap vs. State of Bihar and another,

2011(3) R.C.R. (Criminal) 26, wherein it has been held that when an

offence is continuing one and if it continues to be committed in more than

one local area as per Section 177, the Court having jurisdiction over any of

such local areas is competent to inquire into and try the offence. Similarly,

reliance has also been placed upon the judgment rendered by the Hon’ble

Supreme Court in Satvinder Kaur vs. State (Govtr. of NCT of Delhi)

(1999) 8 SCC 728 and the judgment rendered by this Court on 04.11.2008

in Criminal Misc.M No. 26744 of 2007 titled Mrs. Sushmita Majumdar

Samal another vs. State of Haryana another.

9. In the instant case, the FIR was registered in the Police Station

at Patiala showing her current address to be that of Village Jamitgarh, Police

Station Ghanaur, District Patiala, Punjab. It is also undisputed that the

marriage was performed at Silver Oak Resort Village Jamitgarh, Police

Station Ghanaur, District Patiala on 18.05.2013 and the instant FIR came to

be registered on 16.06.2015 at Police Station, Patiala showing the place of

occurrence at H. No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala. The translated version of

the FIR is reproduced herein as under :

“FIRST INFORMATION REPORT
(Under Section 154 Cr.P.C.)

1. District : Patiala P.S. : Woman Year: 2015 FIR No. 49 Date:

16.6.2015

2. Act(s): Section(s):

(i) IPC 1869 406/498/120B

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(ii) Dowry Act 3 / 4

(iii)

(iv)

3. Occurrence of offence:

(a) Day : Saturday Date from :18.5.2013 Date to:
Time Period: Time From: Time to:

(b) Information received at P.S.: Date : 16.6.2015
Time : 8:15 AM

(c) General Diary reference entry No. 05 Time : 8:15 AM
(4) Type of information : WRITTEN

5. Place of occurrence : House No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala
(Haryana)

(a) Direction and distance from P.S.: Beat No.

(b) Address : House No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala (Haryana)

(c) In case, outside the limit of the Police Station :
Name of P.S.: District:

6. Complainant/informant:-

(a) Name : Sapna Sharma (d/o) Yashpal Sharma

(b) Birth Year : About 26 years Nationality : India

(c) Passport No.: Date of Issue: Place of issue :

(d) Occupation: Housewife

(e) Address : House No. 1818, Moti Nagar Ambala City,
(Haryana) now resident of Village Jamitgarh, Police
Stationi Ghanaur, District Patiala, Punjab.

7. Details of known/suspect/unknown accused with full
particulars (attach separate, if necessary) :(2)

(i) Ajay Sharma (s/o) Joginder Sharma

(ii) Saroj Bala wife of Sh. Joginder Pal Sharma

(iii) Parveen Sharma son of Sh. Joginder Pal Sharma residents
of House No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala (Haryana)

8. Reasons for delay in reporting by the complainant/informant
NO DELAY

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9. Particulars of the properties stolen/ involved (attach
separate sheet, if necessary):

SI. No. Property Type Est. Value Status
(Description) (Rs.)

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

10. Total value of properties stolen.

11. Inquest report/UD case No., if any:

12. FIR contends (attach separate sheet, if required):
Today one complaint No. 78/case dated 11.6.2015 from Sapna
Sharma D/o Shri Yashpal Sahrma r/o House No. 1818,
Moti Nagar, Ambala City, Haryana to SSP Sahib Patiala
has been received through post for investigation against
accused persons which is as under : to SHO Sahib,
Police Station Ghanaur, dated 30.3.2015 from Sapna
Sharma d/o Shri Yashpal Sharma caste Brahmin r/o
House No. 1818, Moti Nagar, Ambala City, Haryana
against 1. Ajay Sharma s/o Shri Joginder Pal caste
Brahmin r/o House No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala City 2.
Joginder Pal (father-in-law) 3. Saroj Bala wife of
Joginder Pal Sharma 4. Parveen Sharma s/o Joginder
Pal Sharma r/o above stated address. Subject:-
Maltreatment from in-laws family and giving false
information regarding permanent settlement of husband
abroad. Sir, it is submitted that I Sapna Sharma d/o Sh.
Yashpal Sharma caste Brahmin, am, r/o House No. 1818,
Moti Nagar, Ambala City, Haryana and have done JBT.
That my marriage was solemnized with Ajay Sharma s/o
Joginder Pal Sharma caste Brahmin r/o House No. 25,
Ranjit Nagar, Ambala City on 18.5.2013 as per Hindu
rites and ceremonies at Silver Oak Resort Village

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Jamitgarh, Police Station Ghanaur, District Patiala. My
parents have given Istridhan as per their status. My in-
laws had told at the time of marriage about the
permanent settlement of my husband at Australia and my
husband, Ajay Kumar Sharma went to Australia after 13
days of our marriage and I lived at my in-laws house and
my above stated in-laws family started maltreating me by
taunting me that your parents have not given enough
Istridhan. They said that our son was getting many
marriage proposals as he is a permanent resident of
Australia. When I used to ask them to let me talk to my
husband, they used to threaten me. But after two months,
they sent me to Australia on the basis of education. And t
hey said that you first stay with my sister-in-law,
Archana Sharma for few days and then Ajay will take
you with him. I got to know about their reality after
reaching there that Ajay Sharma was not a permanent
resident of Australia. Rather they destroyed my life by
playing fraud with us. After that my in-laws family
started demand Rs. 8 Lakh from my parents to deposit
my six months fee. That after six months on 31.1.2014 I
came back from Australia to my in-laws house to attend
my brother Kuldip Sharma’s marriage and after
attending my brother’s marriage I came back to my
husband at Australia. They maltreated me as my
husband was not permanent resident of Australia and
also demanded more money from my parents. I came
back to India when I got no alternative and my in-laws
did not allow me to enter into my in-laws house. My
husband Ajay Sahrma has now returned back to India
and is hiding somewhere. Due to this my in-laws family
is not telling us anything and they are also not allowing

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me to enter into my house and all of my Istridhan is lying
at in-laws house. They started threatening me when I
asked t hem for my Istridhan. Legal action should be
taken against them. Sd/- Sapna Sharma”

10. Section 177 stipulates that every case should be inquired and

tried by the Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed. A

reading of the FIR would reflect that the complainant resided with her in-

laws at Ambala, wherein it is alleged that she was maltreated for not having

brought enough Istridhan. She was sent to Australia on the basis of an

Education Visa and she resided in Australia with her husband. A demand

was raised for ` 8,00,000/- her parents in order to deposit her six month

fees. Thereafter, she came back from Australia on 31.01.2014 to the house

of here in-laws to attend the marriage of her brother and thereafter left back

to Australia with her husband. While residing with her husband in Australia,

she was maltreated and she returned back to India and was thereafter not

allowed to enter into the house of her in-laws at Ambala.

11. In the judgment referred to as Y. Abraham Ajith and others

case (supra), it has been held as under :-

“10. 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.

11. It is settled law that cause of action consists of
bundle of facts, which give cause to enforce the legal

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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.”

12. In the case of Y. Abraham Ajith and others case (supra) the

facts are similar. The complainant therein filed proceedings alleging

harassment on account of dowry. Thereafter, she left and came to live at

Chennai. In the complaint, there was no allegation about the demand of

dowry at Chennai which led the Supreme Court to arrive at the conclusion

that no cause of action arose at Chennai and it proceeded to quash the

complaint.

13. The instant FIR does not reveal any such incident taking place

at Patiala. In fact, as per the allegations there was a demand of ` 8,00,000/-

from her in-laws to pay for her tuition fee after she had been sent to

Australia and thereafter there too another demand was raised. There is no

allegation that the demand was raised by the husband or the in-laws in her

home at Patiala. Therefore, the demand, if any, was made at Ambala and at

Australia.

14. The case law as relied upon by the respondent is not applicable

to the facts herein. In Sunita Kumari Kashyap case (supra), judgment

relied upon by counsel for the respondent, the Supreme Court while taking

note of the judgment rendered in Y. Abraham Ajith and others case (supra)

declined to interfere in the said matter on account of specific allegations

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made in the complaint stating that the complainant had been maltreated and

treated cruelly at the hands of husband and relatives at Ranchi. It was

because of cruelty meted out and on account of insufficient dowry, she was

taken to her parental home at Gaya by her husband with dire consequence

for not fulfilling demand of dowry. It was held that both Courts at Ranchi

and Gaya would be competent to entertain the proceedings since there was

also a demand of dowry at Gaya. Unlike in the case of Sunita Kumari

Kashyap, there is no allegation that a demand was made from the

respondent at Patiala when she was residing there. Judicial note is also

taken of the fact that proceedings under the D.V. Act were initiated in the

year 2014 , immediately after the return of the complainant from Australia at

Ambala. The divorce petition which could have been instituted at Patiala,

since the marriage was solemnized there and the respondent had established

a domicile, too has been filed at Ambala. Even in the FIR itself the place of

occurrence has been shown to be at House No. 25, Ranjit Nagar, Ambala

(Haryana) the residential address of the petitioners. Therefore, since there

is no cause of action or an offence having been committed at Patiala, no

jurisdiction can be conferred there.

15. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case in hand

and on the basis of the specific averment in the FIR, it is held that the

proceedings at Patiala are not maintainable on account of lack of

jurisdiction. However, without commenting on the merits of the case, the

proceedings are transferred to a Court of competent jurisdiction at Ambala.

Let the case file and other record be transferred immediately. Parties to

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appear before the Session Judge, Ambala on 12.7.2018. The Session Judge,

Ambala to assign the case accordingly.

Petition stands allowed on the aforesaid terms.

25.05.2018 (JAISHREE THAKUR)
Satyawan JUDGE

Whether speaking/reasoned Yes.
Whether reportable No.

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