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Sudeep Soni & Others v. State Of U.P. & Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 13003 of 2005 [2006] RD-AH 7080 (31 March 2006)


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Criminal Misc.Writ Petition No. 13003 of 2005

Sudeep Soni and others                ..........             Petitioners


State of U.P. and others                ..........             Respondents.


( Hon.Mr.Justice Amitava Lala and Hon.Mr.Justice Shiv Shanker )


For the Petitioner                           -----       Sri S.K.Misra

For the Respondents                      -----       Addl.Govt.Advocate.

Amitava Lala,J.-  This writ petition has been made to get an order of quashing of the First Information Report ( hereinafter called as F.I.R.) dated 26th October,2005 lodged by one Sri Ghanshyam Das, respondent no.4 herein at the sub police station Sitapur, Police Station Karvi,District Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. In pursuance thereof Moqudma Reference No.39/2005, Case Crime No.298/2005 under Sections 498 A/326/307/506 of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter called as I.P.C.) and Section � of Dowry Prohibition Act has been registered.

The complainant's case is that on 24th January,2005 the petitioners i.e.,husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law burnt out complainant's daughter with the help of kerosene oil due to refusal of  the demand of dowry.    He further stated that a wrong statement was taken from her daughter in respect of burning out at the time of preparation of tea.  This incident took place at the residence of the petitioners at village Raghunathganj, Police Station Laur, Reewa, Madhya Pradesh. The complainant said that he had apprehension of murder there and for the said reason he did not  lodge F.I.R. in the local police station.  Thus he filed F.I.R. at the aforesaid police station in Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner's case is that on 24th January,2005 when the victim went to prepare tea, she opened the L.P.G.Gas stove and started  searching match box.  Thereafter when she lit a match stick, fire caught which resulted burn injuries.  She was taken to hospital.  The father of Petitioner No.1 as well as Chief Medical Officer gave information to the local police.  A statement of the victim was recorded in presence of the Chief Medical Officer on the self same day.  Upon reaching there, the  complainant submitted an application to the Superintendent of Police, Reewa, Madhya Pradesh making allegations that his daughter was burnt out by the petitioners due to non fulfillment of demand of dowry.  An enquiry/inspection was made by the Investigating Officer, who placed the report before the Superintendent of Police, Reewa, Madhya Pradesh on 7th April,2005 when the same was rejected.  Thereafter the victim recovered and started living with her husband at the in-laws house in Madhya Pradesh.   On 28th July,2005 the complainant came to the house of the petitioners and took her daughter to his residence.  On 7th September,2005 petitioner no.1 went to the house of the complainant to bring back his wife when he refused to send her and proposed the petitioner no.1 to sell his property in Madhya Pradesh and settle at Karvi, Uttar Pradesh as ''Ghar Jamai' which he did not agree.  Out of annoyance, the complainant submitted an application to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (hereinafter called as D.I.G.), Banda on 17th September,2005 without disclosing the earlier fact.  The concerned D.I.G. passed an order for registering a First Information Report on 26th October,2005 which is impugned herein.

In the counter affidavit complainant complained that no order has been passed nor any action has been taken by the concerned Superintendent of Police in Madhya Pradesh either for investigation or for making enquiry but due to political influence a summary enquiry had been conducted when no action had been taken against the petitioner. Burn injury of the victim was more than 70%.

The Investigating Officer filed an affidavit and said that the progress is at the initial stage. It will take some time for completion.  The complainant's case was supported by the victim and her mother.  The witnesses were examined and they fully supported the case of the prosecution.  Sufficient evidences have been collected by way of investigation.  

However, it is apparent that the complainant suppressed the material facts of making complaint in Madhya Pradesh and enquiry thereon irrespective of the result.  Consequently a question arose whether any part of the cause of action is available within the jurisdiction in the State of Uttar Pradesh or not.  

It is well known that if any cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of a court fully or partially, such court is empowered to  entertain, try and determine the matter irrespective of the seat of the Government.  Section 178 of the Code of Criminal Procedure speaks about place of inquiry or trial.  Supreme Court held in AIR 2004 SC 4286 (Y.Abraham Ajith and others Vs Inspector of Police, Chennai and another )  and  in 2001 (42) ACC 860 (Mohan Baitha and others Vs. State of Bihar and another) that ordinarily the offence will be enquired into and tried by the court within whose local jurisdiction the crime has been committed.  We have discussed such point in the judgement reported in 2006 (1) ALJ 793 (DB) (Rajesh Gupta and another vs State of U.P. and another).  There is no extra-ordinary feature available in this case.

If we go through the F.I.R., it will be seen that except a bare statement that after three to four months of the solemnization of marriage on 27th February,2003 demand of dowry was made in Madhya Pradesh which was informed over telephone by the victim to her mother in Uttar Pradesh  no reference of any cause of action within this State is available.  The date of commission of offence is 24th January,2005.  Sections 498-A/326/307/506 of I.P.C. and section ¾ of Dowry Prohibition Act are involved herein.  Let us examine the sections one by one.  If we examine the scope and ambit of Section 498-A, we shall be able to find out that it relates to cruelty to woman by the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, wilful conduct of such nature which may derive to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health both mental or physical harassment with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand are the ingredients of such section.   The offence under this section is cognizable if information relating to commission of offence is given to an officer incharge of a police station by the aggrieved person or by any person related to her by blood, marriage or adoption or if there is no such relative, or by any public servant notified by the State Government.  No such incident took place within the State of Uttar Pradesh.   Therefore, mere conversation over telephone between the victim and her mother in the year 2003, two years before the date of occurrence, cannot create any cognizable offence.  It is to be remembered that when a social relationship develops between two families on account of marriage then the atmosphere is different.   Various promises are being exchanged between two families formally or informally.  At the initial stage when any of the commitments are not fulfilled, the bride or the groom is/are becoming victim of teasing or taunting. That is not the offence under the relevant sections because by the passage of time when social relationship develops, it may minimise.  We have to keep our eyes open to the social objectivity.  The pith and substance of dowry prohibition is not the emotional approaches but the evil practice of giving and taking of dowry which culminated to cruelty and accordingly police has been informed.

The other related sections are Sections 326, 307 and 506 I.P.C.  Section 326 relates to voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons. Section 307 relates to attempt to murder. Section 506 relates to punishment for criminal intimidation, threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.  Those are admittedly caused within the appropriate jurisdiction of police station Reewa, Madhya Pradesh.  Applicability of sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is not independent but co-related with the aforesaid sections.  The cause of action means the circumstance forming the infraction of the right or the immediate occasion for the action.  Generally it means a situation or set of facts that entitles a party to maintain an action.  An existence of those facts  which give a party right to judicial interference on his behalf.  We have considered the cases as reported  in 1997 JIC 827 SC (Smt.Sujata Mukherjee v. Prashant Kumar Mukherjee ) and  2004 Crl.L.J.4180 (Y.Abraham Ajith and others vs Inspector of Police, Chennai and another ).   In 1997 JIC 827 (SC)( Supra ) it was factually held that the husband of the victim came to the house of her parents and assaulted her.  Therefore the jurisdiction arose at the paternal place of the victim.  In 2004 Crl.L.J.4180 (SC) (Supra) the Supreme Court distinguished earlier judgement on such factual basis.  In the later judgement the court factually held that the complainant left the house of the husband on account of alleged demand of dowry by the husband.  

"There is thereafter not even a whisper of allegations about any demand of dowry or commission of any act constituting an offence much less at Chennai.  That being so, the logic of Section 178 ( c ) relating to continuance of the  offences cannot be applied."

According to us ''whisper of allegations' as observed by the Supreme Court is whisper of allegations in connection with the immediate action to form a cause of action but not a perpetual thing.  There is a gulf difference between continuance of offence and perpetuality. It is depending upon various social circumstances.  When we ordinarily hold 48 hours might be a period of  pacification in case of insisting for committing suicide, we can safely hold two years period is good enough for the purpose of adjustment between two families.  Therefore, the telephonic conversion of the year 2003 in between the victim and the mother is a stray incident and cannot be regarded as an incident immediate before the occurrence of crime for treating it as continuance of offence.  The offence has been committed at the appropriate place of Madhya Pradesh which is considered to be the place of jurisdiction over the matter. No cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of the State of Uttar Pradesh.  

Thus the writ petition is dismissed on such ground alone without affecting rights of the contesting parties in merit.  Interim order, if any, stands vacated.   No order is passed as to costs.  

This order will also not affect the right of the police authority in transmitting the F.I.R. to the appropriate police authority in Madhya Pradesh for the purpose of investigation.

          ( Justice Amitava Lala )

I agree.

( Justice Shiv Shanker )




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