The division bench of the Supreme Court, presided by Justice L. Nageshwara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta in the present case of Ruhi Vs. Anees Ahmad & Ors. passed an order reiterating its decision given in Rupali Devi Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh case stating that a complaint u/s 498A can be filed at the place where the wife resides after leaving her matrimonial house.

In the present case, an FIR was registered by the Police Station Welcome Colony, North East, Delhi under Sections 498A, 406 and 34 IPC and under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The Respondent no.1 has approached the High Court to quash the FIR but the High Court rather than quashing the FIR, transferred the FIR from Police Station, Welcome Colony, Delhi to Police Station Lisadi Gate, Meerut, U.P., as they were of the view that the place of occurrence of the offence was Meerut and both Appellant and Respondent no.1 used to reside there. The Counsel for the Appellant cited the case of Rupali Devi Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh that stated that, “it is not necessary that a complaint should be filed only at the place of the matrimonial home. Even the Courts at the place where the wife resides after leaving the matrimonial home will have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code.”

The Supreme Court referring the judgement given in the Rupali Devi Case, reiterated a paragraph from that judgement that states, “We, therefore, hold that the courts at the place where the wife takes shelter after leaving or driven away from the matrimonial home on account of acts of cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives, would, dependent on the factual situation, also have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging commission of offences under Section 498-A of the Penal Code.” Therefore, it is not necessary that a complaint should be filed only at the place of the matrimonial home. Even the Courts at the place where the wife resides after leaving the matrimonial home will have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint under Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code. The Supreme Court allowed the Appeal and the prosecution to be conducted by Delhi Police.

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Link to the judgment: Ruhi v. Anees Ahmed & Ors.