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WHETHER SANCTION NECESSARY – FOR DOMESTIC OFFENCES COMMITTED OUT SIDE INDIA-The Petitioner, Thota Venkateswarlu, was married to the Respondent No.2, Parvathareddy Suneetha, on 27th November, 2005, as per Hindu traditions and customs in the Sitharama Police Kalyana Mandapam, Ongole, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh. At the time of marriage 12 lakhs in cash, 45 sovereigns of gold and 50,000/- as Adapaduchu Katnam is alleged to have been given to the Accused Nos.1 to 4, who are the husband, the mother-in-law and other relatives of the husband. However, in respect of offences alleged to have been committed outside India, the learned Magistrate shall not proceed with the trial without the sanction of the Central Government as envisaged in the proviso to Section 188 Cr.P.C.

Hyderabad High Court

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 REPORTABE

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO.7640 OF 2008

THOTA VENKATESWARLU ... PETITIONER 

 Vs.

STATE OF A.P. TR. PRINCL. 

SEC. & ANR. ... RESPONDENTS

 J U D G M E N T

ALTAMAS KABIR, J.

1. This Special Leave Petition is directed against 

the judgment and order dated 27th August, 2008, 

passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at 

 2

Hyderabad in Criminal Petition No.3629 of 2008 

dismissing the Petition filed by the Petitioner 

under Section 482 Criminal Procedure Code 

(`Cr.P.C.' for short) for quashing the proceedings 

in Complaint Case No.307 of 2007 pending before the 

Additional Munsif Magistrate, Addanki. This case 

raises certain interesting questions of law and to 

appreciate the same, some of the facts are required 

to be reproduced. 

2. The Petitioner, Thota Venkateswarlu, was 

married to the Respondent No.2, Parvathareddy 

Suneetha, on 27th November, 2005, as per Hindu 

traditions and customs in the Sitharama Police 

Kalyana Mandapam, Ongole, Prakasam District, Andhra 

Pradesh. At the time of marriage 12 lakhs in 

cash, 45 sovereigns of gold and 50,000/- as 

Adapaduchu Katnam is alleged to have been given to 

the Accused Nos.1 to 4, who are the husband, the 

mother-in-law and other relatives of the husband. 

 3

According to the Respondent No.2, the Petitioner 

left India for Botswana in January 2006 without 

taking her along with him. However, in February, 

2006, the Respondent No.2 went to Botswana to join 

the Petitioner. While in Botswana, the Respondent 

No.2 is alleged to have been severely ill-treated 

by the Petitioner and apart from the above, various 

demands were also made including a demand for 

additional dowry of 5 lakhs. On account of such 

physical and mental torture not only by the 

Petitioner/husband, but also by his immediate 

relatives, who continued to demand additional dowry 

by way of phone calls from India, the Respondent 

No.2 addressed a complaint to the Superintendent of 

Police, Ongole, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh, 

from Botswana and the same was registered as Case 

(Crl.) No.25 of 2007 under Sections 498-A and 506 

Indian Penal Code (`I.P.C.' for short) together 

with Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 

 4

1986, by the Station House Officer, Medarametla 

Police Station, on the instructions of the 

Superintendent of Police, Prakasam District. Upon 

investigation into the complaint filed by the 

Respondent No.2, the Inspector of Police, 

Medarametla, filed a charge-sheet in CC No.307 of 

2007 in the Court of the Additional Munsif 

Magistrate, Addanki, Prakasam District, under 

Sections 498-A and 506 I.P.C. and Sections 3 and 4 

of the Dowry Prohibition Act against the Petitioner 

and his father, mother and sister, who were named 

as Accused Nos.2, 3 and 4. The learned Magistrate 

took cognizance of the aforesaid case and by his 

order dated 19th February, 2007, ordered issuance of 

summons against the accused. 

3. The cognizance taken by the learned Magistrate 

was questioned by the Petitioner and the other co-

accused before the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 

Criminal Petition Nos.3629 and 2746 of 2008 

 5

respectively and a prayer was made for quashing of 

the same under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure. The High Court by its order dated 27th 

August, 2008, allowed Criminal Petition No.2746 of 

2008 filed by the Accused Nos.2 to 4 and quashed 

the proceedings against them. However, Criminal 

Petition No.3629 of 2008 filed by the Petitioner 

herein was dismissed. The present Special Leave 

Petition is directed against the said order of the 

High Court rejecting the Petitioner's petition 

under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and declining to quash 

Complaint Case No.307 of 2007 initiated against 

him. 

4. The submissions made by the learned counsel for 

the Petitioner before this Court have raised 

certain important questions which warrant the 

attention of this Court. 

 6

5. It has been submitted on behalf of the 

Petitioner that as will appear from the complaint 

made by the Respondent No.2 to the Superintendent 

of Police, Ongole, Prakasam District, Andhra 

Pradesh on 22nd March, 2007, no grounds had been 

made out therein to continue with the proceedings 

in India, having regard to the provisions of 

Section 188 Cr.P.C., which provides as follows :-

 "188. Offence committed outside India - 

 When an offence is committed outside 

 India- 

 (a) by a citizen of India, whether on the 

 high seas or elsewhere; or

 (b) by a person, not being such citizen, 

 on any ship or aircraft registered in 

 India.

 he may be dealt with in respect of such 

 offence as if it had been committed at any 

 place within India at which he may be 

 found:

 Provided that, notwithstanding 

 anything in any of the preceding sections 

 of this Chapter, no such offence shall be 

 inquired into or tried in India except 

 7

 with the previous sanction of the Central 

 Government." 

6. Learned counsel urged that Section 188 Cr.P.C. 

recognizes that when an offence is committed 

outside India by a citizen of India, he would have 

to be dealt with as if such offence had been 

committed in any place within India at which he may 

be found. Learned counsel, however, laid stress on 

the proviso which indicates that no such offence 

could be inquired into or tried in India except 

with the previous sanction of the Central 

Government [Emphasis Supplied]. Learned counsel 

submitted that in respect of an offence committed 

outside India, the same could not be proceeded with 

without previous sanction of the Central Government 

and that, accordingly, even if any of the offences 

was allegedly committed inside India, trial in 

respect of the same could continue, but the trial 

in respect of the offences committed outside India 

 8

could not be continued, without the previous 

sanction of the Central Government. 

7. On behalf of the Respondents it was urged that 

a part of the alleged offences relating to the 

Dowry Prohibition Act did appear to have arisen in 

India, even at the initial stage when various 

articles, including large sums of cash and 

jewellery were given in dowry by the father of the 

Respondent No.2. It was submitted that since a 

part of the cause of action had arisen in India on 

account of alleged offences under Sections 3 and 4 

of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1968, the learned 

Magistrate trying the said complaint could also try 

the other offences alleged to have been committed 

outside India along with the said offences. 

Reliance was placed on the decision of this Court 

in Ajay Aggarwal vs. Union of India & Ors. [(1993) 

3 SCC 609], wherein it had been held that obtaining 

the previous sanction of the Central Government was 

 9

not a condition precedent for taking cognizance of 

offences, since sanction could be obtained before 

trial begins. 

8. The question which we have been called upon to 

consider in this case is whether in respect of a 

series of offences arising out of the same 

transaction, some of which were committed within 

India and some outside India, such offences could 

be tried together, without the previous sanction of 

the Central Government, as envisaged in the proviso 

to Section 188 Cr.P.C.

9. From the complaint made by the Respondent No.2 

in the present case, it is clear that the cases 

relating to alleged offences under Section 498-A 

and 506 I.P.C. had been committed outside India in 

Botswana, where the Petitioner and the Respondent 

No.2 were residing. At best it may be said that 

the alleged offences under Sections 3 and 4 of the 

 10

Dowry Prohibition Act occurred within the 

territorial jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts in 

India and could, therefore, be tried by the Courts 

in India without having to obtain the previous 

sanction of the Central Government. However, we 

are still left with the question as to whether in 

cases where the offences are alleged to have been 

committed outside India, any previous sanction is 

required to be taken by the prosecuting agency, 

before the trial can commence. 

10. The language of Section 188 Cr.P.C. is quite 

clear that when an offence is committed outside 

India by a citizen of India, he may be dealt with 

in respect of such offences as if they had been 

committed in India. The proviso, however, 

indicates that such offences could be inquired into 

or tried only after having obtained the previous 

sanction of the Central Government. As mentioned 

hereinbefore, in Ajay Aggarwal's case (supra), it 

 11

was held that sanction under Section 188 Cr.P.C. is 

not a condition precedent for taking cognizance of 

an offence and, if need be, it could be obtained 

before the trial begins. Even in his concurring 

judgment, R.M. Sahai, J., observed as follows :-

 "29. Language of the section is plain and 

 simple. It operates where an offence is 

 committed by a citizen of India outside the 

 country. Requirements are, therefore, one -- 

 commission of an offence; second -- by an Indian 

 citizen; and third -- that it should have been 

 committed outside the country."

 Although the decision in Ajay Aggarwal's case 

(supra) was rendered in the background of a 

conspiracy alleged to have been hatched by the 

accused, the ratio of the decision is confined to 

what has been observed hereinabove in the 

interpretation of Section 188 Cr.P.C. The proviso 

to Section 188, which has been extracted 

hereinbefore, is a fetter on the powers of the 

investigating authority to inquire into or try any 

 12

offence mentioned in the earlier part of the 

Section, except with the previous sanction of the 

Central Government. The fetters, however, are 

imposed only when the stage of trial is reached, 

which clearly indicates that no sanction in terms 

of Section 188 is required till commencement of the 

trial. It is only after the decision to try the 

offender in India was felt necessary that the 

previous sanction of the Central Government would 

be required before the trial could commence. 

11. Accordingly, upto the stage of taking 

cognizance, no previous sanction would be required 

from the Central Government in terms of the proviso 

to Section 188 Cr.P.C. However, the trial cannot 

proceed beyond the cognizance stage without the 

previous sanction of the Central Government. The 

Magistrate is, therefore, free to proceed against 

the accused in respect of offences having been 

committed in India and to complete the trial and 

 13

pass judgment therein, without being inhibited by 

the other alleged offences for which sanction would 

be required. 

12. It may also be indicated that the provisions 

of the Indian Penal Code have been extended to 

offences committed by any citizen of India in any 

place within and beyond India by virtue of Section 

4 thereof. Accordingly, offences committed in 

Botswana by an Indian citizen would also be 

amenable to the provisions of the Indian Penal 

Code, subject to the limitation imposed under the 

proviso to Section 188 Cr.P.C.

13. Having regard to the above, while we see no 

reason to interfere with the High Court's decision 

to reject the petitioner's prayer for quashing of 

the proceedings in Complaint Case No.307 of 2007, 

we also make it clear that the learned Magistrate 

may proceed with the trial relating to the offences 

 14

alleged to have been committed in India. However, 

in respect of offences alleged to have been 

committed outside India, the learned Magistrate 

shall not proceed with the trial without the 

sanction of the Central Government as envisaged in 

the proviso to Section 188 Cr.P.C. 

14. The Special Leave Petition is disposed of 

accordingly. 

 ...............................................................J.

 (ALTAMAS KABIR)

 ...............................................................J.

 (CYRIAC JOSEPH)

 ...............................................................J.

 (SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)

New Delhi,

Dated: 02.09.2011. 
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