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The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Article 226 in The Constitution Of India 1949
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
The Code Of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1956
The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Bombay High Court
Mrs Dhara Surbhit Barla vs The State Of Maharashtra on 6 November, 2012
Bench: V.M. Kanade, P. D. Kode

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

WRIT PETITION 3884 OF 2012

1. Mrs Dhara Surbhit Barla, ) Presently residing at 29, ) Nav Jeevan CHS, Near Panch )

Pedhi Naka, Raipur 492 001 ) Chhattisgarh )

2. Mr. Surbhit Dileep Barla, ) R/o. 15, Mukti, Plot No. 9, ) Samarth Nagar, ) Nashik 422005, Maharashtra .... Petitioners.

V/s

1. The State of Maharashtra )

2. The State of Chhatisgarh ) ..... Respondents. ***

Mr. Makarand P. Panchakshari i/b Mr. S.K. Shinde for the Petitioners.

Mr. H.J. Dedhia, APP for the State. ***

CORAM: V.M. KANADE &

P.D. KODE, JJ

DATE : 6th November, 2012

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ORAL JUDGMENT: (Per V.M. Kanade, J.)

1. Heard the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of Petitioners and the learned APP for the State.

2. This joint Petition has been filed for quashing all criminal complaints and other proceedings which are taken out by Petitioner No.1 and Petitioner No.2 against each other in the Courts in Maharashtra and Raipur in State of Chhattisgarh.

3. Petitioner No.1 married Petitioner No.2 on 0/5/2006. Thereafter, disputes and differences arose between the parties and, as a result, various proceedings were taken out by them against each other. Petitioner No.1 filed divorce proceedings under section 13(i)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act in the Family Court at Raipur. Petitioner No.2 filed divorce proceedings under section 13(i)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act at Nashik. Similarly, criminal complaint has been filed by Petitioner No.1 against Petitioner No.2 and his family members under section 498A read with section 34 IPC at Raipur and the said case is pending before the learned JMFC, Raipur. Similarly, Petitioner No.2 has filed Civil Suit No.105- A/2010 in the Family Court at Raipur for a declaration that the divorce which was granted to Petitioner No.1 in Divorce Petition bearing No.79-A/2010 was obtained fraudulently. Petitioner No.2 also has filed Petition under section 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act, seeking order of desertion against 3/15

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Petitioner No.1. Similarly, other proceedings have been taken out by Petitioner No.1 and Petitioner No.2 against each other. A list of cases are annexed to the Consent Terms which are filed by the Petitioners in the Family Court and the appeal which is pending in this Court. The said cases are as under:-

Sr. No. Particulars of Cases Purpose

A. Before the Hon'ble High Court at Bombay

1. Application bearing CAM Delay condonation in No. 105/2012 in Civil Appeal against decree Appeal (Stamp) No. in Divorce Petition No. 11578/2012. A-608 /2010 granted by Family Court, Nashik.

B Before the learned Family Court of First Additional Principal Judge, Raipur at Raipur (C.G.)

2. Review Petition bearing For restoration of Civil MJC No. 2/2012 to Divorce bearing No. 94- set aside dismissal by A/2010 dismissed for default of Civil MJC No. default subsequent to 14/2011 filed u/s. 151 restoration of Civil MJC CPC, 1908 to set aside No. 14/11 and Civil MJC dismissal by default of No. 2/2010. Civil MJC No. 2/2010 filed

under O. 9, R.9, CPC,

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1908 to restore Divorce

Petition bearing No. 94-A

/2010 dismissed for

default.

3. Civil MJC No. 3/2012 For restoration of Suit No. 105-A/2010.

4. Review Petition bearing To finally set aside ex- Civil MJC No. 4/2012 to parte decree in Divorce set aside dismissal of Petition No. 79-A/2010 Civil MJC No. 7/2010 filed subsequent to the under O.9, R. 13 CPC, restoration of Civil MJC 1908 to set aside ex- No. 7/2010. parte decree in Divorce

Petition No. 79-A/2010.

5. MJC No. 70/2012 U/s 127(3) Cr. P. C.

6. MJC No. 71/2012 U/s 127(2) Cr. P. C.

7. MJC No. 72/2012 U/s 125(5) Cr. P. C.

8. MJC No. 43/2012 Execution proceeding U/s 125(3) Cr. P. C.

9. Case No. A-443/2012 U/s 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

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10. MJC No. 7/2012 U/s 126(2) Cr. P. C. to set aside ex-parte

maintenance order in Case No. 238/2010.

11. Recovery Proceeding U/s 125(3) Cr. P. C. through Collectorate,

Nashik u/s 421 Cr.P.C.

12. Civil Appeal No.354 of To restore Civil Suit filed 2012 for restraining Collectorate, Nashik

from initiating Recovery

Proceeding.

C. Before learned JMFC, Raipur at Raipur (C.G.)

13. Cr. Case No. 542/2011 Criminal Case under S. 498-A IPC against

Respondent, Parents

and brother of the Respondent.

D. Before Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, New Delhi

14. SLP No. 5288/2012 SLP filed by Vibhor Dileep Barla, brother of

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the Respondent seeking

discharge from charge

framing order passed in

Cr. Case No. 542/2011.

15. SLP No. 5307/2012 SLP filed by parents of the Respondent herein,

seeking discharge from

the charge framing

order passed in Criminal

Case No. 542.2011.

16. SLP No. 5308/2012 SLP filed by the Respondent seeking

discharge from the

charge framing order

passed in Criminal Case

No. 542/2011.

E. Case before Learned ACJM, Raipur

17. Unregistered Cr. Case Criminal case filed by brother of the

Respondent - Vibhor

Dileep Barla against

Appellant herein and

Incharge, Mahila Thana,

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Raipur U/s. 167, 120B,

211, 220, 34 IPC

whereunder an inquiry

has been ordered by

Hon'ble High Court,

Bilaspur.

F. Other Private Criminal Cases before Learned JMFC, Raipur at Raipur (C.G.)

18. Cr. Case No. 1226/2010 Criminal case by Respondent against

Appellant and her

mother under S. 506 IPC

19. Unregistered Cr. Case U/s 420, 427 IPC filed by Respondent against the

Appellant.

20. Unregistered Cr. Case U/s 500, 504, 420, 34 IPC filed by Respondent

against the appellant.

21. Unregistered Cr. Case U/s 420, 34 IPC read with S. 3 of the Dowry

Prohibition Act, 1961,

filed by the Respondent

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against the appellant.

22. Unregistered Cr. Case U/s 211, 500, 504 IPC filed by the brother of

the Respondent, Vibhor

Dileep Barla against the

appellant.

G. Priavate Criminal Case pending before Learned JMFC, Nashik

23. Cr. Case No. 4828/2007 Filed under S. 506 IPC by Dileep Singh Barla,

Father of the Respondent.

24. Cri. W.P. No. 1667/2012 Criminal Writ Petition filed by some of the

Accused in above Criminal Case No. 4828/

2007 for quashing of Criminal Case No. 4828/2007 against them. The copy of Writ

Petition is not yet received in this Criminal

Writ Petition.

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H. Before State Bar Council of Chattisgarh at Bilaspur (C.G.)

25. Unregistered Complaint Filed against Adv. Vinay Kumar Bajpayee by the

Respondent.

26. Unregistered Complaint Filed against Adv. Vinay Kumar Bajpayee by the

father of the

Respondent.

4. Pursuant to the suggestion given by this Court, both the the parties explored the possibility of settlement and, finally, they have agreed to withdraw all proceedings which are filed by them against each other and their respective family members.

5. We have interviewed both, Petitioner No.1 and Petitioner No.2 in our Chamber and we are satisfied that both the parties would like to put an end to the disputes which are pending against each other and start their lives afresh on a clean slate.

6. Some of the civil and criminal cases are filed by Petitioner No.1 in Raipur, State of Chhattisgarh. The 10/15

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question is : whether this Court can under Article 226 of the Constitution of India quash the complaints which are filed in Raipur for the offence punishable under section 498-A.

7. Parties, firstly, have filed Consent Terms and Petitioner No.1 has stated that she has no objection if the criminal complaints which are filed against Petitioner No.2 and his family members are quashed. The Apex Court in B.S. Joshi vs. State of Haryana1 has held that power of the High Court under Art 227 of Constitution and 482 of Cr.P.C. is not curtailed by virtue of section 320 and High Court can exercise power under section 482 to quash the complaint by consent of both parties if it comes to the conclusion that such order is in the best interest of husband and wife. We are satisfied that, in the present case, if all the proceedings are quashed, it would be in the best interest of Petitioner No.1 - wife as well as Petitioner No. 2 - husband. We have been told that as a result of the complaints which have been filed at Raipur by Petitioner No.1 - wife who is a resident of Raipur and the proceedings which have been taken out by Petitioner No.2 - husband at Nashik, both the parties and their family members had to visit Raipur and Nashik on more than 70 occasions and if these proceedings are not quashed considerable hardship would be caused, not only to Petitioner Nos.1 and 2 but also to their family members. In our view, therefore, this is a fit case for quashing the complaints

1 AIR 2003 SC 1386

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which are filed by Petitioner Nos.1 and 2 against each other and against each others family members.

8. The second question which falls for consideration is : whether this Court while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India can quash the complaint which has been filed at Raipur. It is an admitted position that the matrimonial house of Petitioner No.1 was at Nashik and she was residing at Nashik and, therefore, allegations made in the complaint pertained to the incidents which had taken place at Nashik. Strictly speaking, therefore, Court at Raipur would not have jurisdiction to entertain criminal complaint which has been filed under section 498A IPC. Therefore, under Article 226 sub-clause (2) of the Constitution of India, this Court can exercise its jurisdiction even for quashing the complaint which is filed in other States, if it is satisfied that the said complaint has been wrongly filed in that Court. The Apex Court in Navinchandra 1

N. Majithia, Appellant vs state of Maharashtra, Respondent has observed that in such cases High Court can exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 for the purpose of quashing such complaint. The Apex in the said case has observed in paragraph 13, 14, 15, 33 & 34 as under:-

"13. We make it clear that the mere fact that FIR was registered in a particular State is not the sole criterion

1 AIR 2000 Supreme Court 2966

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to decide that no cause of action has arisen even partly within the territorial limits of jurisdiction of another State. Nor are we to be understood that any person can create a fake cause of action or even concoct one by simply jutting into the territorial limits of another State or by making a sojourn or even a permanent residence therein. The place of residence of the person moving a High Court is not the criterion to determine the contours of the cause of action in that particular writ petition. The High Court before which the writ petition is filed must ascertain whether any part of the cause of action has arisen within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. It depends upon the facts in each case.

"14. In the present case, a large number of events have taken place at Bombay in respect of the allegations contained in the FIR registered at Shillong. If the averments in the writ petition are correct then the major portion of the facts which led to the registering of the FIR have taken place at Bombay. It is unnecessary to repeat those events over again as Mohapalra. .J. has adverted to them with precision and the needed details."

"15. In the aforesaid situation it is almost impossible 13/15

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to hold that not even a part of the cause of action has arisen at Bombay so as to deprive the High Court of Bombay total jurisdiction to entertain the writ petition filed by the petitioner. Even the very fact that major portion of the investigation of the case under the FIR has to be conducted at Bombay itself shows that the cause of action cannot escape from the territorial limits of the Bombay High Court."

"33. From the provision in Clause (2) of Article 226 it is clear that the maintainability or otherwise of the writ petition in the High Court depends on whether the cause of action for filing the same arose, wholly or in part, within the territorial jurisdiction of that Court."

"34. In legal parlance 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 suing; a factual situation that entitles one person to obtain a remedy in Court from another person (Black's Law Dictionary)."

Ordinarily, this Court would not exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction to quash the complaint and would ask the parties 14/15

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to go to the concerned High Court in the concerned State for the purpose of quashing the complaint. However, in extraordinary circumstances, if the Court is satisfied that it is in the best interest of parties to exercise its power under Article 226, it would not hesitate to do so.

9. Taking into consideration the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we deem it fit and proper, therefore, to exercise our extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to quash the complaints which are filed by Petitioner No.1 against Petitioner No.2 and his family members. The said complaints, therefore, are quashed. Similarly, the complaints which are filed by Petitioner No.2 against Petitioner No.1 and his family members are also quashed. We are informed that SLP has been filed by Petitioner No.2. The learned Counsel for Petitioner No.2 gives an undertaking that he shall withdraw the said SLP. The learned Counsel for Petitioner No.1 also gives an undertaking to withdraw the Criminal Writ Petition No.1667 of 2012 which has been filed in Chhatisgarh High Court. The learned Counsel for Petitioner No.1 also gives undertaking to this Court that he shall withdraw the maintenance proceedings including the execution application which are pending in the Raipur Court. The learned Counsel for Petitioner No.2 undertakes to withdraw all the complaints which are pending before JMFC, Raipur in the State of Chhattisgarh. The learned Counsel for Petitioner No.1 15/15

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undertakes to withdraw the execution proceedings which are pending before the Collector at Nashik. The learned Counsel appearing on behalf of Petitioner No.2 undertakes to withdraw the complaint which is filed against advocate for Petitioner No.1 in the Bar Council of Chhattisgarh.

10. Petition is accordingly allowed in terms of prayer clause (a) to (h). Stand over for four weeks in order to ensure that there is compliance of the undertaking given by the parties.

(P.D. KODE, J.) (V.M. KANADE, J.)

P.D. Pandit