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Dowry harassment cases can be filed from anywhere: Supreme Court

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi delivered an important judgment with regard to territorial jurisdiction of a place where a married woman can file cases against her estranged husband and in-laws after being subjected to dowry harassment and cruelty.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2019 23:36 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ranjan gogoi,supreme court,Uttar Pradesh
The bench said besides the place where a woman was living before and after marriage, the place of shelter will also have territorial jurisdiction for filing matrimonial cases.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that a woman who flees her matrimonial home on account of dowry harassment can lodge a case against her husband and in-laws at the place where she currently resides or takes shelter, including her parental home.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi expanded the jurisdiction of courts in dowry harassment cases and also gave a wider interpretation to criminal procedure code (CrPC) that allows cases to be filed and tried only in courts within whose jurisdiction the crime occurred.

The verdict brings relief to women fighting dowry harassment cases as until now their cases could be heard only by those courts that fell within the jurisdiction of their matrimonial home. The need to define the term “jurisdiction” arose in January 2014 when a bench, came across an appeal filed by a woman questioning the Allahabad High Court judgment that declined her permission to register a dowry harassment case against her in-laws at her parents’ place of residence, where she was staying.

First Published: Apr 09, 2019 11:12 IST