Mukherjee Vs. Prashant Kumar Mukherjee  INSC 484 (30 April 1997)
RAY, G.T. NANAVATI
Justice G.N. Ray Hon'bleMr. Justice G.T. Nanavati S.K. Gambhir, Adv. for the
appellant Anoop Chaudhary, Sakesh Kumar, Uma Nath Singh, Advs. for State of M.P. for the Respondent K.M.K. Nair, and S.K. Mehta,
Advs. for the Respondent O R D E R The following order of the Court was
directed against the order dated 31.8.89passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Courtdisposing
of Criminal Revision No. 481 of 1989 and CriminalRevision No. 463/89.Criminal
Revision No.481/89 was preferred by all the five respondents against refusal by
the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raipur to transferthe case from Raipur
to Raigarh. Criminal RevisionNo. 463/89 waspreferred by four of the respondents
challenging the assumption of jurisdiction ofthe Chief judicial magistrate, Raipur
in the complaint madeby theappellant for offences under Section 498 Aand 506 B
and 323 of Indian Penal Code. The respondents arethe husband, parents-in-law andtwo
sisters- in-law of the appellant Sujata Mukherjee. The gist of the allegation
of the appellant, Sujata Mukherjee is that on accountof dowry demands, she had
been Maltreated and humiliated notonly in the house of the in-laws at Raigarh
but asa consequence of suchevents,the husband of the appellant had also come to
the house of her parents at Raipur and had also assaulted her.
respondents contended before the learned chief Judicial Magistrate Raipur that
the criminalcase was not maintainable before the said learned Chief Judicial
Magistrate because thecauseof action took place only at raigarhwhich was
outside theterritorial jurisdiction of the learned Magistrateat Raipur. A Prayer
wasalso made to quash the summons issued by the learned Chief judicial
Magistrate byentertaining the said complaint of Smt. Mukherjee. As the ChiefJudicial
Magistrate wasnot inclined either to quashthe summons or to transfer the criminalcase
to thecompetent Court at Raigarh, the aforesaid criminal revision petitions
were filed; one by all thefive respondents andanotherby fourof the respondents
excluding the husband presumably because there was specific allegation againstthe
husband that the husbandthat the husband had also gone to Raipur an had assaultedthe
appellant and as such husbandcould not plead want of territorial jurisdiction.
Both thesaid criminal revisions casehave been disposed of by a common order
dated 31.8.89 by theHigh Court. The high Courthaving held that excepting
against the husband, the complaint against other respondents related to the
incidents taking place at Raigarh. Hence, the criminal caseon the basisof
complaint made by the appellant wasnot maintainable against the said other respondents
atRaipur but suchcase was maintainable so far as the husband of the appellant,
namely, Sri S.S. Mukherjee is concerned.
hearing of theseappeals, Mr. Gambhir, the learnedcounsel appearing forthe
appellant has submitted that it willbe evident from thecomplaint that the
appellant has alleged that she had been subjected to cruel treatment persistentlyat
Raigarh andalso at Raipur and incident taking place at Raipur is not an
isolated event, but consequential to the seriesof incidents taking place at Raigarh.
Therefore, theHigh Court was wrong inappreciating the scope of the complaint
and proceeded on thefootingthat severalisolated events had been place at Raigarh
and on isolated incident had taken place at Raipur. Hence the Criminal case filed in the court ofthe Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Raipur was only maintainableagainst the
respondent husband against whom some over act at Raipur was alleged. But such case was not maintainableagainst the
connection, Mr. Gambhir has drawn our attention to Section 178 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure in particular clauses [b]and [c] of Section 178 clauses [b]
envisages that'where an offence is committed partly in one local area andpartly
in another" suchoffencecan be tried by a Court having jurisdiction over
any suchlocal areas.
c contemplates that 'where an offence isa continuing one, and continues to be
committed in more local areas:then such offence can be tried by a Court havingjurisdiction
over any of such local areas.
has submitted that complaint made by the appellant Sujata Mukherjee discloses
offence committed partly in one local area and partly in another local area.
complaint also discloses that the offence was continuing one having beencommitted
in more localareas and one of the local areas being Raipur, thelearnedMagistrate at Raipur had jurisdiction toproceed withthe criminalcase
instituted in such court.
learned senior counsel appearing for the State has submitted that clause [b] of
Section 178 is not attracted but ifthis Court is inclined to accept the
submission of Mr. Gambhir that the offence was continuing on and the episode at
Raipur was onlya sequence of the continuing offence of harassment and ill
treatment meted out to thecomplainant, clause [c] of the Section 178 may be
attracted. Mr. Choudhary has submitted that from the complaint it cannot bereasonably
heldthat all the accused had committed the offence partly in one area and
partly in anotherlocal area. Therefore, it will not be appropriate to apply;
clause [b] of Section 178 of the Code of Criminal procedure. In our view,there
is force in such submission of Mr. Choudhary.
servicebeing effected on the private respondents, no one has appeared for any
of of the accused respondents. Wehave taken intoconsideration the complaint
filed by the appellant and it appears to us that the complaint reveals a continuingoffenceof
mal treatment and humiliation meted out to the appellant in thehands of all the
accused respondents and in such continuing offence, on some occasionsall the
respondents had takenpart and on other occasion, one of the respondents hadtaken
clause [c] of Section 178 ofthe code of Criminal Procedure is clearly attracted.We,
therefore, set aside the impugned orderof theHigh Court anddirectthe learned
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raipur to proceed with the criminal case.Since the
matter is pending for long, steps should be taken to expedite the hearing. The
appeals are accordingly allowed.