Courts at Place where wife Resides After Leaving Matrimonial home Can Entertain Complaints U/s 498A IPC- Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in its recent judgement have reiterated that even wife after leaving their Matrimonial home can file a case unders section 498A IPC in their jurisdiction.

The Bench comprising of Justice L.Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta considered that in Rupali Devi Vs State of Uttar Pradesh (2019 (5) SCC 384), a judgement which was delivered last year, it was held by the Hon’ble Court that it is not mandatory for a woman to file their case u/s 498A at a place where her matrimonial home is situated. If women have moved from that place or has driven away her matrimonial  home on account of acts of cruelty committed by the Husband on his relatives, would, depending on the factual situation, then that woman have jurisdiction to lodge a complaint at a place where she is staying.

In this case an FIR was lodged by wife in a Police Station in Delhi against her husband u/s 498A, 406 and 34 IPC and u/s 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The High Court have observed in the recent case is that the place of occurrence as per the FIR is Meerut and the wife did not reside with her Husband in delhi. Therefore, it was directed to transfer the FIR to Police Station in Meerut, Uttar pradesh. Thereafter, Meerut Police have filed Charge sheet in the court at that place.

It was also ordered by the Hon.Court later that charge sheet that was filed by the Meerut police officials in the court of Meerut have later transferred their case in Karkardooma Court, Delhi after seeing and observing that wife after leaving her matrimonial house have started residing in Delhi.

In Rupali devi, the Court Have also observed Even if the acts of physical cruelty committed in the matrimonial house may have ceased and such acts do not occur at the parental home, there can be no doubt that the mental trauma and the psychological distress caused by the acts of the husband including verbal exchanges, if any, that had compelled the wife to leave the matrimonial home and take shelter with her parents would continue to persist at the parental home. Mental cruelty borne out of physical cruelty or abusive or humiliation verbal exchanges would continue in the parental home even though there may not be any overt act of physical cruelty at such place”

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