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ORDER Sunil Kumar Sinha, J.
1. The five accused persons (hereinafter called as the petitioners) of Criminal Case No. 233/2004, State of C.G. v. Anil Kumar Saxena and 4 Ors., pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Kawardha, Distt. Kabirdham (C.G.) have prayed for quashment of the proceedings of the aforesaid criminal case for want of territorial jurisdiction. Therefore, a short question involves for consideration as to whether the Court at Kawardha would have jurisdiction to try this case or not?
2. The brief facts, according to the charge-sheet, are that' the complainant/ respondent No. 2 was married to the petitioner No. 1 on 21.6.2002. The marriage was solemnized in Kawardha. The First Information Report would show that after the marriage, the respondent No. 2 want to live with her husband and other family members in Bilaspur and they were jointly residing in Mohalla Yadunandan Nagar, Bilaspur, Distt. Bilaspur (C.G).
3. The case of the prosecution, according to the charge-sheet, is that just after the marriage, the petitioners started demanding a sum of Rs. 2 lakh from respondent No. 2. The allegations are that she was constrained to call her parents to manage for Rs. 2 lakh and on the pretext of this, she was subjected to cruelty by the petitioners. Admittedly, petitioner No. 1 is the husband, petitioner No. 2 is the brother-in-law (Dewar), petitioner No. 3 is the father-in-law and petitioner Nos. 4 and 5 are sisters-in-law (Nanads) of respondent No. 2. When this was informed to the father of the complainant, he came over to Bilaspur on 21.10.2002 and submitted a complaint before Mahila Police Station, Bilaspur. The copy of the complaint has been filed as Annexure A-2. The statement of respondent No. 2 was recorded on 21.10.2002 in which she made allegations of cruelty and demand of Rs. 2,00,000 by the petitioners and since she made statement that she wants to go to Kawardha and if she is not allowed to go to Kawardha, she will commit suicide, she was handed over to her father and, ultimately, she was taken by the father to Kawardha on 21.6.2002. Since then the complainant is residing with her parents at Kawardha, Distt. Kawardha. The copy of the statement dated 21.10.2002 has also been filed as Annexure A-1.
4. It appears that thereafter, the complainant lodged a written report in Police Station Kawardha on 21.6.2003 and on the basis of this report, a crime vide No. 158/ 2003 under Section 498A read with Section 34 of the I.P.C. was registered against the petitioners by Kawardha Police and the investigation commenced and after completion of investigation, a charge-sheet was filed before the Court of C.J.M., Kawardha who in turn transferred the case to the concerned J.M.F.C. for trial. The Magistrate at Kawardha took cognizance in the matter and framed charges against the petitioners under Section 498A of the I.P.C. The contents of the written report lodged by the complainant in police station (Annexure A-3) are reproduced as under:
PRATI, SHRIMAN THANA PRABHARI, KAWARDHA JILA KAWARDHA, C.G.
VISHAY: DAHEJ HETU MANSIK AND SHARIRIK RUP SE PRATADIT KIYE JANE KE PARIP AKSHY ME PATI, SASUR, NANAD, DEVAR, KE VIRUDH KATHOR KARYAVAHI TURANTKIYE JANE BABAT.
*************************************** MAHODYA JI, NIMNANUSAR SA VINAY NIVEDAN HAI:
(1) YAH KI MERA VIVAH DINANK 21/6/2002 KO YADUNANDAN NAGAR BILASPUR NIVASI SHRI R.P. SAXENA KE PUTRA SHRI ANIL SAXENA KE SAATH KAWARDHA ME SAMPAN HUA THA. VIVAH KE TURANT BAAD DINANK 21-6-2002 KO ME APNE SASURAL YADUNANDAN NAGAR BILASPUR CHALI GAI.
(2) YAH KI VIVAH KE UPRANT BILASPUR JANE KE DUSRE TISRE DIN JAB MEHMAN CHALE GAI TO MERE SASUR, DEVAR, SUNIL, NANAD SHRIMATI SUNITA V KUMARI VINITA AAPAS ME YAH BAATCHEET KARTE THE KI DAHEJ MAIN NAGAD AUR SAMAN KAM DIYA GAYA HAI TATHA DAHEJ KE SAMAN TATHA NAGAD RAKAM KO LEKAR AAPAS ME BAATCHEET KARTE RAHTE THE ISKE DUSRE TISRE DIN MERE SASUR AVM MERE PATI DONO MUJHSE BOLE KI ANIL KO USKE SCHOOL KE LIYE DO LAAKH RUPY KI TAVASHYAKTA HAI JISE TUMHARE PITA NE NAHIN DIYA UNSE BOLO KI LAC RUPAY NAGAD LAAKAR DEVE YA KHUDH JAKAR LEKAR AAO, IS DORAN MERE PATI, SASUR AND DONO NANAD TATHA DEVAR HAMESHA YAH TANA DETE THE KI JITNA DAHEJ DENA THA NAHI DIYA TATHA YE LOG AKSAR MUJHE MAARPEET BHE KARTE THE. IS DORAN MERE PATI BHI RATRI ME MUJHE YAHI KAHTE THE KI APNE PITA SE DO LAAKH RUPEY LAO MAIN INKAR KARTI THE TO MUJH SE MAARPEET KARTE THE TATHA MUJHSE PASHUVAT VAYVAHAR KARTE THE RATRI ME V.C.R. AUR NAGN FILM KA CASSETTE LAKAR DEKHTE THE AUR MAJBUR KARTE THE KI MAIN BHI DEKHU TATHA VASI HI KIYA KARU MERE ASVIKAR KARNE PAR LAAT GHUSO SE MARTE THE.
(3) YAH KI ME VIVAH KE BAAD PRATHAM BAAR KARIB 15 DIN BAAD KAWARDHA AAI TO APNE PITA KO UKT GHATNA BABAT BATAI IS PAR MERE PITA DEEGAR PARIVAR VALO KE SAATH BILASPUR GAI, UNSE BHI MERE PATI AND SASUR NE DO LAAKH RUPYE KI MAANG KI YA IS PAR UNHONE 50 HAZAR RUPYA MERE PATI KO DIYA THA TATHA KAHA KI AB AUR DENE KO UNKI KSHMATA NAHI HAI, UNKI LADKHI KO DUKH NA PAHUCHAI MAIN MAIKE MAIN 5-6 DIN RAHNE KE BAAD PHIR APNE SASURALAA GAIKINTUMEREPRATI MERE SASUR, PATI, DEVAR, DONO NANAD KA VAYVHAR PURNAT HI PURWAT RAHA LEKIN MAIN SAHAN KARTI RAHI TEEJA ME MAIKE AAYI TO APNE MAIKE VALON KO PURA HALCHAL BATAI JINHONE DILASA DIVA KI SAB WEEK HO JAIGA VE KAHI SE RUPHO KI VAYVASTHA KAR UNKE DE DENGE:
(4) YAH KI TIJA KE BAAD SASURAL AAI HO AATE HI UN SABHI LOGON NE BAAKI DED LAAKH RUPYE KE MAANG KIYA INKAR KARNE PAR MERI DONO NANAD KAHNE LAG' KI USKO ISKE MAYAKE PAHUCHA DO, USI SAMAI MERE DEVAR BOLA KI TUM ABHI KAWARDHA VAPAS JAO IS GHAR ME NAHI RAHNA HA. ISKE KUCH DINO KE PASHYAT MERE PATI NE KAHA KI VAH CHIRMIRI JA RAHA HAI DO TEEN DIN BAAD AIGA UNKE JANE KE DUSRE DIN MERE SASUR OR DEVER TATHA NANAD AKSAR TELEPHONE SE KISI SE BAAT KARTE THEY TATHA AS BAATCHEET MERE BARE ME TATHA MUJHE JAAN SE MARNE KE BABAT HOTI THE BAAT CHEET SE LAGA KI YE LOG MERE PATI SE BAATCHEET KARTE THE JISKE KARAN MAIN ATYADHIK BHAIBHEEN HO GAI TATHA CHIPKAR APNE PITA KO KAWARDHA PHONE SE HALAT BATAI JIS PAR DINANK 21.10.2002 KO MERE PITA MERE CHACHA PRAKASH VARMA MERE FUFA SAGAR PATEL AVM PADOSI ABDUL KHAN, BILASPUR AAE MAHILA V CIVIL THANA ME AAVEDAN KIYE TATHA MUJHE KAWARDHA LE AAYE TAB SE MERE SASURAL VALE MUJHE LENE AAJ TAK NAHI AAYE AUR NA MERI JANKARI LIYE.
ATAV VINAMR PRARTHNA HAI KI DAHEJ KE LIYE MUJHE SHARIRIK TATHA MANSIK RUP SE PRATADIT KARNE KE KARAN MERE SASUR, MERE DEVAR TATHA DONO NANAD KE KHILAF KARYAVAHI KARNE KI KRAPA HO TATHA MUJHE MERE VIVAH ME MILE SAARI SAMANO KO VAPAS DILAI JANE KI KRAPA HO.
UPROKTANUSAR PRARTHNA HAI KAWARDHA SAHI/ANANMIKA SAXENA 21-6-2003 PRARTHI SANLAGNA:
1. MUJHE MAIKE SE UPHAR ME MILE VASTUO KI SUCHI, RASID SAHIT
2. MAHILA THANA BILASPUR AUR THANA CIVIL LINE BILASPUR ME MERE PITA DUARA DIYA GAYAAAVEDAN DINAK 21.10.2002 (PHOTO COPY)
3. MERE PITA DUARA MUJHE THANA CIVIL LINE SE PRAPT KARNE KA SUPURDNAMA.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioners argued that the contents of the charge-sheet would show that the offence is alleged to have been committed at Bilaspur, in the territorial jurisdiction of the Criminal Court at Bilaspur, therefore, the Criminal Court at Kawardha will have no jurisdiction to try this case. He submitted that perusal of the entire charge-sheet would show that even no part of cause of action has arisen at Kawardha, therefore, the entire proceedings drawn by the Magistrate, Kawardha is without jurisdiction and the same should be quashed forthwith.
6. Per contra, learned Counsel for the respondents submitted that on the logic of Section 178(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the offence alleged about treating the complainant with cruelty would be continuing offence and the Court at Kawardha will also have jurisdiction to entertain the case.
7. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties at length and have also perused the records of the Miscellaneous Petition which also includes the charge-sheet.
8. Chapter XII of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts in inquiries and trials. Section 177 provides for ordinary place of inquiry and trial. It has been provided that every offence shall ordinarily be enquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed. Section 178 provide for place of inquiry or trial in relation to the offences when it is uncertain in which of several local areas an offence was committed, or where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another, or where an offence is a continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local areas than one, or where it consists of several acts done in different local areas. It has been provided that in all such cases the offence may be enquired into or tried by a Court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas. Therefore, a conjoint reading of these two sections would show that the rule laid down by Section 177 is one of the general applications and governs all criminal trials held under the provisions of the Code, subject to the exceptions elsewhere provided in the Code. Whereas Section 178 governs the exceptions as are provided therein.
9. Approving the decision of the Bombay High Court Ramnarayan Baburao v. Emperor AIR 1937 Bom. 186, the Supreme Court laid down in the matter of Narumul v. State of Bombay , that the word "ordinarily" in Section 177, Criminal P.C. means "except where provided otherwise in the Code." The State Legislature is competent to provide for the trial of offences created by its statutes otherwise than is prescribed by Section 177; but it must clearly appear from the relevant provisions of the special statute that a departure from the general principles prescribed by Section 177 is intended.
10. Referring to the decisions rendered in the matter of Purushottamdas Dalmia v. State of West Bengal AIR 1961 SC 1569; L.N. Mukherjee v. State of Madras ; Banwarilal Jhunjhunwalla and Ors. v. Union of India and Anr. ; and Mohon Baitha and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Anr. II , the Apex Court held in the matter of Y. Abhraham Ajith and Others v. Inspector of Police, Chennai and Anr. 2004 AIR SCW 4788, that the exception implied by the word "ordinarily" need not be limited to those specially provided for by the law and exceptions may be provided by law on consideration or may be implied from the provisions of law permitting joint trial of offences by the same Court.
11. Therefore, it is well settled that unless the exceptional circumstances are there as are embodied under Section 178 of Cr.P.C, the jurisdiction to try an offence shall be with the Court within whose local limits, the offence was committed except where provided otherwise in the Code. If we examine the complete charge-sheet of this case especially the First Information Report, it would appear that the respondent No. 1 after her marriage with petitioner No. 1 on 21.6.2002 resided with the family of the husband in Bilaspur upto 21.10.2002 and, thereafter, she left the matrimonial house and went to Kawardha at her parents place and then only the report was lodged by her on 21.6.2003 in Kawardha Police Station. All the allegations about treating her with cruelty by the petitioners are pertaining to the period of her stay in the in-laws place at Bilaspur and not after that period. Therefore, admittedly in this case, the alleged offence under Section 498A, I.P.C. was committed at Bilaspur and on due application of the Rules of Section 177, Cr.P.C. the offence was ordinarily required to be tried by the Court at Bilaspur and not by the Court at Kawardha unless any exception vide Section 178 of Cr.P.C. is shown to be attracted in this case.
12. Learned Counsel for the respondents advanced the argument that the offence under Section 498A, I.P.C. is a continuing offence and, therefore, it should have been deemed to be committed at Kawardha also where the complainant was admittedly residing after 2.10.2002. This argument cannot be accepted in view of the observations of the Apex Court in the matter of State of Bihar v. Deokaron Nenshi and Anr. , referred to in the matter of Y. Abhraham Ajith (supra), (that a continuing offence is one which is susceptible of continuance and is distinguishable from one which is committed once and for all, that it is one of those offences which arises out of the failure to obey or comply with rule or its requirement and which involves a penalty, liability continues till compliance, that on every occasion such disobedience or non compliance occurs or recurs, there is the offence committed. '
13. In the matter of Sajata Mukherjee (Smt.) v. Prashant Kumar Mukherjee II , it has been held by the Apex Court that in case of allegation of dowry demand, ill-treatment, humiliation at the house of the in-laws of the complainant when there was also an allegation against the husband that he had gone to the house of her parents and had assaulted her, in the said situation, Clause (c) of Section 178, Cr.P.C. was attracted. That is to say that even if some part of the crime alleged against the accused is committed at some place other than the place where some part was earlier committed, then only, by virtue of Section 178(c), Courts at both the places will have jurisdiction to try the offences. But If there are no such allegations that any part of the crime was committed other than a particular place then the Court of that particular place will alone have jurisdiction to try the offences and no other Court subject to the exceptions elsewhere provided in the Code.
14. In the present case, even if we take the entire charge-sheet as it is, there are no allegations that any part of the offence was committed in the territorial jurisdiction of Kawardha Court rather the First Information Report and other documents would show that the entire crime was committed, though in part, in the local limits of Court at Bilaspur.
15. If we apply the principles laid down in the above cases, it would appear that in fact no part of cause of action pertaining to the crime under Section 498A, arose beyond the local limits of jurisdiction of Bilaspur Court. In terms of Section 177 and Section 178 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in the facts and circumstances of this case, the Court at Kawardha will have no jurisdiction to try the aforesaid offence vide the F.I.R. of Crime No. 158/2003 registered at Police Station Kawardha
16. In the result, it is declared that the concerned Court of Magistrate at Kawardha has no jurisdiction to deal with the present case vide Criminal Case No. 233/2004, State of C.G. v. Anil Kumar Saxena and 4 Ors., and the proceedings of the aforesaid criminal case are hereby quashed. The learned Magistrate shall return the charge-sheet to the prosecution agency and if so advised, they may file the same in the appropriate Court in accordance with law. Accordingly, the petition stands allowed.