Image via Wikipedia
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO.6269 OF 2009
Kushal Kumar Gupta & Anr. ... Petitioners
Mala Gupta ... Respondent
J U D G M E N T
ALTAMAS KABIR, J.
1. This Special Leave Petition is directed against the
judgment and order dated 28th July, 2009, passed by the
learned Single Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court
dismissing the petitioners' application under Section 482 of
the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, hereinafter referred to
as "Cr.P.C.", for quashing of order dated 2nd July, 2009,
passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, as
also the summoning order passed by the learned Judicial
Magistrate, 1st Class, Patiala, on 5th August, 2008.
2. The respondent herein, Mala Gupta, filed a complaint
against the petitioners, who are her father and mother-in-
law, under Sections 406 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code,
hereinafter referred to as "I.P.C.". On being satisfied
that a prima facie case to go to trial had been made out,
the learned Magistrate issued process against the
petitioners. Aggrieved thereby, the petitioners filed a
revision petition against the summoning order, which was
dismissed on 2nd July, 2009. Thereafter, the petitioners
filed the application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing
of the proceedings arising out of the complaint under
Sections 406 and 498A I.P.C.
3. The main ground taken in the said petition was that the
Court at Patiala had no jurisdiction to entertain the
complaint since no part of the cause of action for the same
had arisen within its jurisdiction. On a construction of
the provisions of Section 181(4) Cr.P.C., both the learned
Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, and the High Court,
dismissed the Criminal Revision Application No.48 of 2008,
and the Crl. Misc. Case No.19996-M of 2009. As indicated
hereinabove, the High Court also dismissed the petitioners'
application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. by the impugned order
dated 28th July, 2009.
4. The only point for consideration in this case is whether
the learned Magistrate at Patiala had jurisdiction to
entertain the complaint and to issue summons on the basis
5. Learned counsel for the petitioners contended that both
the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Patiala, and the High
Court misconstrued the provisions of Section 181(4) Cr.P.C.
in holding that the complaint was maintainable, as no part
of the cause of action had arisen within the jurisdiction of
the Courts at Patiala. It was urged that the
respondent/complainant had received back all her articles
and personal effects and nothing remained to be handed over
to the complainant at Patiala so as to give rise to a cause
of action within the jurisdiction of the Courts at Patiala.
Learned counsel urged that the complaint was wholly
motivated and without basis and was liable to be quashed.
6. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent,
Mala Gupta, submitted that the complaint itself contains a
categorical statement that the dowry articles were to be
returned at Patiala Court, thus attracting the provisions of
Section 181(4) Cr.P.C. It was also submitted that at the
stage of taking cognizance, the Magistrate was only required
to see whether there was any material in the complaint to
proceed against the accused and the learned Magistrate had
rightly observed that documents produced on behalf of the
accused would be considered at the time of trial.
7. In the ultimate analysis, what emerges from the
submissions of the parties is that during the trial the
petitioners will have to disprove the complainant's case
that part of the cause of action arose in Patiala where the
dowry articles were to be returned to the complainant. As
it stands, the complaint does indicate that a part of the
cause of action arose in Patiala, thus attracting the
provisions of Section 181(4) Cr.P.C. The High Court has
quite rightly observed that on a bare perusal of the
complaint, the Patiala Court has jurisdiction to entertain
the complaint. The decisions cited on behalf of the
petitioners are not of much help to the petitioners' case.
In Harmanpreet Singh Ahluwalia Vs. State of Punjab and
Others, [(2009) 7 SCC 712], this Court held that when on
investigation it was found that no case of cheating or
criminal breach of trust had been made out against the
accused, the High Court should have exercised its
jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.P.C. and quashed the
proceedings. In the said case the issue was whether a prima
facie case had been made out against the accused. The
situation in this case is different, since the complaint
itself makes out a prima facie case to go to trial. The
petitioners' case does not fall within any of the
circumstances indicated by this Court in paragraph 102 of
its judgment in State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan Lal, [(1992)
Supp.1 SCC 335]. The other judgments cited are on the same
lines and do not require our attention separately.
8. We, therefore, see no reason to interfere with the
judgment of the High Court impugned in this Special Leave
Petition, and the same is, accordingly, dismissed.
(SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)