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Shyamlal Devda vs Parimala on 22 January, 2020

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 141 OF 2020
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.4979 of 2019)

SHYAMLAL DEVDA AND OTHERS …..Appellants

VERSUS

PARIMALA …..Respondent

JUDGMENT

R. BANUMATHI, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal arises out of the impugned judgment dated

18.02.2019 passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru in

Criminal Petition No.5959 of 2015 in and by which the High Court

has dismissed the petition filed by the appellants stating that the

Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to entertain

the complaint filed by the respondent under Sections 18, 19 and 20

of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (For
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MAHABIR SINGH
Date: 2020.01.22
short “Domestic Violence Act”).

16:49:10 IST
Reason:

1

3. Brief facts which led to filing of this appeal are as follows:-

The marriage of respondent-wife and appellant No.14-Manoj

Kumar was solemnized on 01.05.2006, as per Hindu rites and

customs in Rajasthan. After marriage, the respondent was residing

with appellant No.14 in her matrimonial house at Chennai along with

appellants No.1 and 2 who are the parents of the appellant No.14.

In April, 2014, appellant No.14 and respondent-wife went to

Bengaluru from Chennai to attend respondent’s sister wedding.

After the said wedding, the respondent expressed her desire to

remain at Bengaluru for some time; which was acceded to by

appellant No.14 with the understanding that the respondent would

stay in her parent’s house for short time. According to the

appellants, the respondent thereafter refused to join her matrimonial

home or cohabit with appellant No.14. Appellant No.14 filed O.P.

No.11355 of 2015 under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for

restitution of conjugal rights before the Family Court, Chennai.

Thereafter, respondent claiming herself to be a victim of domestic

violence seeking protection order under Section 18 and residence

order under Section 19 and monetary relief under Section 20 of the

Act filed Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 before the Court of Metropolitan

Magistrate at Bengaluru against her husband- appellant No.14, her

in-laws-appellant Nos.1 and 2 and other relatives of her husband

2
who are in Chennai, Rajasthan and also in Gujarat. The learned

Magistrate, Bengaluru vide order dated 16.04.2015 issued notice to

the appellants by holding that the Court has the jurisdiction to

entertain the petition filed by the respondent under Section 27 of the

Domestic Violence Act.

4. Aggrieved by the issuance of summons in Crl. Misc. No.53 of

2015, the appellants have filed a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C.

before the High Court seeking quashing of the entire proceedings in

Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 on the file of the MMTC-VI at Bengaluru.

Vide the impugned judgment, the High Court dismissed the petition

by holding that in the complaint filed by the respondent, various

instances of domestic violence at different places viz. Chennai,

Rajasthan and Gujarat are narrated by the respondent and

therefore, the complaint filed in Bengaluru is maintainable under

Section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act. Being aggrieved, the

appellants have preferred this appeal.

5. Mr. Balaji Srinivasan, learned counsel appearing for the

appellants contended that neither the marriage of the parties was

solemnized at Bengaluru nor the matrimonial house was at

Bengaluru and therefore, the Magistrate Court at Bengaluru has no

jurisdiction to entertain the petition filed under the Domestic

3
Violence Act. Learned counsel submitted that vague allegations

have been levelled against the family members of the husband-

appellant No.14 which are not at all substantiated. Learned counsel

further submitted that with a view to harass the family members of

her husband, the respondent has arraigned all the family members

of her husband including those who are residents in the State of

Rajasthan, Gujarat and other relatives in Chennai and the complaint

is an abuse of the process of the Court.

6. Ms. Nidhi, learned counsel appearing for the respondent has

contended that by virtue of Section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act,

the place where the complainant permanently or temporarily resides

or carries on business, Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the

complaint and grant protection order and other orders under the

Domestic Violence Act. It was submitted that the respondent is

currently residing within the territorial limit of the Metropolitan

Magistrate of Bengaluru City and that the High Court rightly held

that the Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to

entertain the complaint. Taking us through the averments in the

complaint, learned counsel for the respondent has submitted that

there are several instances of domestic violence against the

husband-appellant No.14 and other relatives particularly, appellant

4
Nos.1 and 2-father-in-law and mother-in-law who have been

harassing the respondent who have taken away respondent’s

jewellery and insisting upon her to buy properties. The learned

counsel submitted that the High Court rightly refused to quash the

order of taking cognizance.

7. We have carefully considered the contentions and perused

the impugned judgment and other materials on record.

8. Section 18 of the Domestic Violence Act relates to protection

order. In terms of Section 18 of the Act, intention of the legislature

is to provide more protection to woman. Section 20 of the Act

empowers the court to order for monetary relief to the “aggrieved

party”. When acts of domestic violence is alleged, before issuing

notice, the court has to be prima facie satisfied that there have been

instances of domestic violence.

9. In the present case, the respondent has made allegations of

domestic violence against fourteen appellants. Appellant No.14 is

the husband and appellants No.1 and 2 are the parents-in-law of

the respondent. All other appellants are relatives of parents-in-law

of the respondent. Appellants No.3, 5, 9, 11 and 12 are the

brothers of father-in-law of the respondent. Appellants No.4, 6 and

10 are the wives of appellants No.3, 5 and 9 respectively.

5
Appellants No.7 and 8 are the parents of appellant No.1. Appellants

No.1 to 6 and 14 are residents of Chennai. Appellants No.7 to 10

are the residents of State of Rajasthan and appellants No.11 to 13

are the residents of State of Gujarat. Admittedly, the matrimonial

house of the respondent and appellant No.1 has been at Chennai.

Insofar as appellant No.14-husband of the respondent and

appellants No.1 and 2-Parents-in-law, there are averments of

alleging domestic violence alleging that they have taken away the

jewellery of the respondent gifted to her by her father during

marriage and the alleged acts of harassment to the respondent.

There are no specific allegations as to how other relatives of

appellant No.14 have caused the acts of domestic violence. It is

also not known as to how other relatives who are residents of

Gujarat and Rajasthan can be held responsible for award of

monetary relief to the respondent. The High Court was not right in

saying that there was prima facie case against the other appellants

No.3 to 13. Since there are no specific allegations against

appellants No.3 to 13, the criminal case of domestic violence

against them cannot be continued and is liable to be quashed.

10. Insofar as the jurisdiction of the Bengaluru Court, as pointed

out by the High Court, Section 27 of the Protection of Women from

6
Domestic Violence Act, 2005 covers the situation. Section 27 of the

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 under this Act shall be enforceable throughout
India.

A plain reading of the above provision makes it clear that the

petition under the Domestic Violence Act can be filed in a court

where the “person aggrieved” permanently or temporarily resides or

carries on business or is employed. In the present case, the

respondent is residing with her parents within the territorial limits of

Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bengaluru. In view of Section 27(1)

(a) of the Act, the Metropolitan Magistrate court, Bengaluru has the

jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the

offence. There is no merit in the contention raising objection as to

the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bengaluru.

7

11. In the result, Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 filed against the

appellants No.3 to 13 is quashed and this appeal is partly allowed.

The learned VI Additional Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru shall

proceed with Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 against appellants No.1, 2

and 14 and dispose the same in accordance with law. We make it

clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the

matter.

..…………………….J.

[R. BANUMATHI]

..…………………….J.

[A.S. BOPANNA]

……………………….J.

[HRISHIKESH ROY]

New Delhi;

January 22, 2020.

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