The Bombay high court on Thursday said that a criminal proceeding cannot be quashed merely on the ground that the police station conducting the investigation lacks jurisdiction.
The court has refused to interfere with the investigation being conducted by Aurangabad police station in a dowry case, although the alleged acts of cruelty purportedly took placer either at Kandhar in Nanded district or in Mumbai.
“At this stage, when investigation is underway, the impugned FIR cannot be quashed and set aside on the alleged ground that, as no part of offence is committed within the territorial jurisdiction of Aurangabad police Station, the investigating officer has no jurisdiction to probe the matter,” said the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice KK Sonawane.
The bench refused to quash criminal proceedings initiated by the wife of a police constable, residing at MIDC Police Colony in Andheri (East), against him and his family members only on the ground that the police officer investigating the case did not have the jurisdiction to investigate it.
The constable and his family members had approached high court seeking to quash the FIR registered at Cantonment police station in Aurangabad on the basis of complaint lodged by the constable’s wife. They contended that the allegations of harassment for dowry and threats were all false and also questioned the power of the investigating officer to probe the offence. This was because, the petitioners claimed, as none of the alleged acts had taken place at Aurangabad which was within the jurisdiction of Cantonment police.
The petitioners contended that according to the complaint, the alleged acts of cruelty had taken place either at Mumbai or at Kandhar in Nanded district, and therefore the police either at Mumbai or Kandhar should have investigated the offence, but not the Cantonment police.
The high court, however, refused to interfere with the ongoing investigation saying that the law does not permit any interference in the investigation by exercising inherent powers available to high court under Section 482 of CrPC. “Section 156(2) of CrPC contains an embargo that no proceeding of police officer shall be called in question on the ground that he has no territorial jurisdiction,” said the bench while rejecting the petition.