561-A Cr. PC No. 100/2016 and M.P. No. 01/2016. Case: Akshay Kachroo and Ors. Vs Ishita Ganjoo. Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Case Number:561-A Cr. PC No. 100/2016 and M.P. No. 01/2016
Party Name:Akshay Kachroo and Ors. Vs Ishita Ganjoo
Counsel:For Appellant: P.N. Raina, Sr. Advocate and J.A. Hamal, Advocate and For Respondents: Monika Kohli, Advocate
Judges:Janak Raj Kotwal, J.
Issue:Criminal Law
Judgement Date:February 20, 2017
Court:Jammu and Kashmir High Court
 
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Judgment:

Janak Raj Kotwal, J.

  1. Petitioners have invoked inherent jurisdiction of this Court under section 561-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989 (for short, the Code) to seek quashing of a complaint under Section 498-A RPC filed against them by the respondent (hereinafter to be referred as 'the complainant') in the Court of learned Judicial Magistrate (City Judge), Jammu and proceedings therein including the order of taking cognizance dated 06.02.2016 passed by the learned Magistrate.

  2. Heard. I have perused the record.

  3. Complainant, Ishita Ganjoo, is wife of petitioner No. 1, Akshay Kachroo and petitioner No. 2 is her father-in-law. Marriage between the complainant and petitioner No. 1 was solemnized on 12.05.2013 at Jammu. In the complaint lodged by her, it is stated that after their marriage the complainant went to her matrimonial house at Nagpur with the petitioners. She has alleged various incidents of cruelty meted out to her by the petitioners in her matrimonial house at Nagpur. It is alleged inter alia that after she gave birth to a female child on 05.09.2014 the behavior of petitioners became more worse, they consistently harassed and tortured her on this count, saying that having given birth to a female child she should bear all her expenses as they wanted a male child only. She has alleged also that her torture by the petitioners continued with each passing day. She was given beating by petitioner No. 1 on 14.10.2015. On 15.10.2015, the petitioners gave beating to her and asked her to call her parents to take her back to their house or else they will throw her out from the matrimonial home. On 25.10.2015, petitioner No. 1 started yelling at and beating her mercilessly and even threatened that he would kill the minor child if her parents do not bear their expenses and provide cash and gold to him. She kept crying throughout the night in her room. On 26.10.2015 she left for Jammu and since then she is suffering and in order to maintain herself and her minor daughter she has started working in a private Homeopathic Medical College at Chandigarh. It is alleged by the complainant that on 28.11.2015, petitioner No. 2 and his other son came to Jammu and told her that they will take her back to matrimonial home if she leaves the minor child at Jammu and also asked her to give cash to them. Complainant, thus, sought action for commission for offence under Section 498-A read with 34 RPC against the petitioners for treating her with severe cruelty "for want of more dowry items as well as cash amount from her parents".

  4. Learned Magistrate on taking cognizance in the complaint recorded initial statements of the complainant and two witnesses and issued process against the petitioners for proceeding against them for commission of offence under section 498-A RPC.

  5. Petitioners seek quashment of the complaint and the proceedings on the sole ground that a court at Jammu does not have jurisdiction to try the offence alleged to have been committed by the petitioners at Nagpur. It is contended that all the alleged incidents of cruelty have taken place at Nagpur, whereas no such incident is alleged to have taken place in the State of Jammu and Kashmir so a court at Jammu has no jurisdiction to try the offence and entire proceedings being without jurisdiction are illegal.

  6. While reading out the complaint, learned Senior Advocate, Mr. P.N. Raina, appearing on behalf of petitioners submitted that all the alleged incidents of cruelty have been committed in the matrimonial house of the complainant at Nagpur so only a court within whose territorial jurisdiction offence has been committed has jurisdiction to try the same, whereas hearing of complaint by a Magistrate at Jammu is without jurisdiction and a sheer abuse of process of court. Learned Senior Advocate contended that whatever is alleged to have happened at Jammu on 28.11.2015 cannot be treated as an offence of cruelty or continuation of cruelty as it was evidently a reconciliatory effort by father-in-law and the brother-in-law of the complainant. The complaint as well as the proceedings therein, therefore, are liable to be quashed by this Court in exercise of jurisdiction under section 561-A the Code. Mr. Raina relied upon Amarendu Jyoti and Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh and Ors. (2014) 12 SCC 362, Bhura Ram and Ors. v. State of Rajasthan and Anr. (2008) 11 SCC 103 and Y. Abraham Ajith and Ors. v. Inspector of Police, Chennai and Anr. (2004) 8 SCC 100.

  7. Per contra, Ms. Monika Kohli, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the complainant, while not disputing legal position as regards jurisdiction of a court to try an offence, submitted that offence of cruelty punishable under section 498-A the Code is a continuing offence, which is generally committed more than once at more than one places and is a continuing offence also for the reason that the effect of cruelty...

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