1. This Criminal Petition one under S. 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure arose out of a private complaint filed by the 1st respondent Smt. Kalavathi against the petitioner (the accused) for offences punishable under Ss. 494 and 109, I.P.C. read with S. 34, I.P.C.
2. The matter arises in this way.
On a complaint filed by the complainant in the Court of the JMFC., Saundatti, in Cr. Case No. 12/1982, the Magistrate after recording the sworn statement of the complainant and of four witnesses produced by her passed an order D/- 9-11-1982 directing issue of process against all the accused. The accused carried the matter to the Court of Session at Belgaum in Criminal Revision No. 10/1983 which came to be heard and dismissed by the 1st Additional Sessions Judge, Belgaum, as per his order D/- 30th July, 1983. Being aggrieved by this order the accused have filed this petition challenging the validity and legality of the order passed by the Courts below.
3. Sri S. M. Kallur, learned Advocate appearing for the accused presented two points for my consideration. They were : (1) the Court of JMFC, at Saundatti had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the offences alleged; and
(2) no sufficient ground was made out by the complainant to proceed with the case.
4. The counsel for the first respondent is not present.
5. Sri P. M. Appaji, the learned High Court Government Pleader appearing for the 2nd respondent-State argued in support of the orders passed by the courts below.
6. I shall take up for consideration the two points formulated in the order in which they were presented before me.
7. Before adverting to the question of jurisdiction it is necessary to notice a few facts appearing from the records. The complainant is the wife of the first accused. Their marriage was performed on 19-8-1976 at Chikkumbi village in Saundatti Taluk. After the marriage the complainant went and lived with the first accused in Sulla village of Hubli Taluk. They lived happily for about two years. A male child was born to them about two years after their marriage. The first accused and the complainant used to live sometimes at Chikkumbi village and sometimes at Sulla village. It is the case of the complainant that sometime after she gave birth to the male child the first accused began to ill-treat her and finally drove her to her parents' house at Chikkumbi village where she took shelter. On 10-8-1982 she came to know that accused 1 married the second accused in the house of the 5th accused at Hubli, who is the elder brother of the first accused. Accused 3 is the mother, accused 4 and 5 are elder brothers and accused 8 is the elder sister of the first accused. Accused 6 and accused 7 are the parents of the second accused. It is alleged that Accused 3 to accused 8 attended and performed the marriage of the first accused with the second accused obviously knowing fully that the marriage of the first accused with the complainant was subsisting. These are the primary grounds urged in the complainant lodged against the accused. In the background of these facts the argument advanced by Sri S. M. Kallur, relating to the question of jurisdiction shall have to be considered.
8. He argued that the offence of bigamy punishable under S. 494 alleged against the accused having been committed at Hubli, the Magistrate Court exercising jurisdiction over Hubli, shall be the Court competent to entertain the complaint and to take cognizance of the offence alleged against the accused. In that view he contended that the JMFC, Saundatti, had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint lodged by the complainant and take cognizance of the offence alleged and thus the entire criminal prosecution initiated against the accused including the order of the trial Court as well as that of the revisional court were without jurisdiction and liable to be quashed.
9. To better appreciate this contention it is necessary and useful to refer to the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
10. Chapter XIII of the Cr.P.C., 1973 (for short the Code) deals with jurisdiction of the criminal Courts in enquiries and trials. Section 177 provides for the ordinary place of enquiry or trial. It reads :-
'Every offence shall ordinarily be enquired into and tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.'
The other provision which is relevant for our purpose is sub-section (2) of Section 182. It reads :-
'182(2). Any offence punishable under S. 494 or S. 495 of I.P.C. may be enquired into or tried by a Court within whose local jurisdiction, the offence was committed or the offender last resided with his or her spouse by the first marriage or the wife by the first marriage has taken up permanent residence after the commission of the offence.'
11. A plain reading of S. 177 and sub-section (2) of S. 182 shows that sub-section (2) of S. 182 is a provision complete by itself regarding the place of enquiry and trial of offences punishable under S. 494 or 495, I.P.C. Sub-section (2) provides three venues for enquiry and trial of the offences under S. 494 or 495, I.P.C. viz., the Court within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed, or the offender last resided with his or her spouse by the first marriage, or the wife by the 1st marriage has taken up permanent residence after the commission of the offence. Out of these, the first venue that is the court within whose local jurisdiction the offence was committed is the same as the venue stipulated under S. 177 dealing with the ordinary place of enquiry or trial. In order to decide whether a court has jurisdiction to try offences under S. 494 or 495 I.P.C. one need require to consider the application of sub-section (2) of S. 182. There is no need to consider the application of S. 177 of the Code as it is covered under the first venue stipulated in sub-section (2). In this view, sub-section (2) cannot be said to be supplemental to S. 177 but supplement to it unlike sub-section (1) of S. 182 which is supplemental to and not supplement to S. 177.
12. Bearing these principles of law in mind, I shall next consider the case on hand on merits. The records of the case clearly disclose that the complainant after she was alleged to have been driven out by the 1st accused from his house, has been residing with her parents at Chikkumbi which is within the local jurisdiction of the JMFC, Saundatti. The learned Sessions Judge has observed in his order that the accused have also taken up the same stand in the revision petition before him that the complainant has been residing at Chikkumbi, in her parents' house after the birth of the male child, of her own accord and has continued to reside there along with her child even now without any reasonable cause or excuse. From these materials it is not difficult to hold that the complainant has been permanently residing with her parents at Chikkumbi within the local jurisdiction of JMFC, Saundatti and as observed by the learned Sessions Judge, the JMFC, Saundatti has jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the offence alleged as per the last portion of sub-section (2) of S. 182 of the Code. The decision in Bholanath Arora v. The State, 1982 Cri LJ 1482 (Delhi) in my view does not support the contention urged by Sri Kallur that the JMFC, Saundatti has no jurisdiction as the alleged second marriage had taken place within the local jurisdiction of the Hubli Magistrate Court which alone has jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the offence alleged.
For all the reasons stated supra, I find no force in this contention.
13. Point No. 2 :- This point appears to have been not taken before the learned Sessions Judge in the revision before him as is clear from the order under challenge. Further no material has been placed before me to show that there was no sufficient ground to proceed with the case and as such the order passed by the trial Court and confirmed by the Court of revision is legally unsustainable.
In the result, for the reasons stated above, the revision fails and the same is dismissed.
14. Revision dismissed.