HC quashes dowry case against NRI brothers
Says Indian courts can’t hear the matter if demand for money is made abroad
Source : THE TRIBUNE, PUNJAB
Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:23 AM (IST)
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that dowry demand raised abroad can’t be tried by courts in India. The HC quashed a dowry harassment case against two NRI brothers, accused of instigating their brother to such a demand.
“In the instant case, even if there was instigation at the behest of the petitioners for demand of Rs 5 lakh from the complainant, the demand was raised outside the territorial jurisdiction of Bathinda. Therefore, the courts are not competent to entertain the matter,” Justice Jaishree Thakur ruled.
Justice Thakur said specific role, injury, dowry demand, entrustment of dowry articles, “istridhan” or its misappropriation was not attributed to the petitioners. “It is apparently clear that the FIR has been registered against the petitioners only to harass the family,” the judge added.
The ruling came on a bunch of two petitions filed against Punjab and other respondents by Rajesh Kumar Gupta and Rakesh Kumar Gupta through counsel RS Bajaj. They were seeking the quashing of an FIR dated July 14, 2012, registered at Kahnwan police station in Pathankot district under Sections 406, 498-A, 420 and 34 of the IPC. Directions were also sought for quashing all consequential proceedings. Bajaj told Justice Thakur’s Bench that the petitioners’ brother and the complainant got married in 2006. Subsequently, the parties resided together in England. No complaint was made during that time before the authorities there or during their annual visits to India. A perusal of the FIR also did not reveal that the petitioners attended the marriage ceremony; or that there was any entrustment of dowry articles.
After hearing Bajaj and going through the documents, Justice Thakur referred to the reply filed in the matter before observing that the petitioners were permanent residents of England and residing separately at a distance of 175 km from the complainant’s matrimonial home. “Even if, for the sake of argument, it is taken into account that the petitioners instigated their brother to raise a demand of Rs 5 lakh from the complainant, it was a demand that was raised in England, outside the territorial jurisdiction of the courts in Bathinda. Therefore, the offence, if any, had been committed in England,” Justice Thakur added.
Referring to a similar case before the Supreme Court, she said the parties were residing in Canada, but the FIR was registered in Jalandhar, alleging demand of dowry and misappropriation of dowry articles. “The proceedings were quashed, holding that the Jalandhar court would have no jurisdiction to entertain the matter,” she concluded.