HC stays FIR against IAS officer by wife at Punjab


JAMMU, May 25: The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court stayed the FIR registered at Punjab by wife against IAS Officer Anshul Garg who is presently Additional CEO SMVDSB.
While staying the FIR, Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary after hearing Adv Sakal Bhushan appearing for the petitioner observed that High Court has jurisdiction to entertain quashing petition against FIR registered outside its jurisdiction.
The petitioners, through the medium of this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, seek issuance of appropriate direction, order or writ quashing FIR No.0039 of 2023 dated 03.05.2023 registered on a complaint filed by respondent no.4 at Police Station (Women), Patiala Punjab, for the commission of offences punishable U/Ss 406, 498-A, 313 and 120-B of the IPC.
The impugned FIR has been challenged on the grounds that respondent no.4 who happens to be wife of petitioner no.1 due to her temperament being daughter of a high profile person of Punjab who has been given cabinet rank as Vice Chairman, Economic Policy and Planning Board, Punjab.
During the course of hearing Adv Sakal Bhushan appearing for the petitioners submitted that most of the allegations leveled against the petitioners herein relate to the incidents in J&K, at Jammu, Katra, Doda, Kupwara, Anantnag where the petitioner no.1 had remained posted on various positions. He has further submitted that the FIR has been lodged on those incidents which have allegedly been committed before 04.02.2022 when at Chandigarh during a mediation in presence of a senior officer, Secretary to the Govt. of J&K, the father of the respondent no.4 and father of the petitioner no.1 had by way of an agreement stated that the wedding ceremony at Chandigarh organized by the parents of the couple was out of their free will and happiness without any demands by any side and purely on voluntary basis, as such, there was neither any demand nor liability from either side; and that the little misunderstandings of the past will be sorted out by non interference of both sides parents in the lives of the couple and that respondent no.4's parents will not interfere in petitioner no.l's professional life/service matter in any way.
The petitioners seek quashment of the FIR registered at Police Station in Punjab outside the territorial jurisdiction of this court. the Apex Court in a case titled Navinchandra N. Majithia v. State of Maharashtra & Ors., observed on this subject in para-43 which is extracted hereinbelow for ready reference. We make it clear that the mere fact that FIR was registered in a particular State is not the sole criterion to decide that no cause of action has arisen even partly within the territorial limits of jurisdiction of another State. Nor are we to be understood that any person can create a fake cause of action or even concoct one by simply jutting into the territorial limits of another State or by making a sojourn or even a permanent residence therein. The place of residence of the person moving a High Court is not the criterion to determine the contours of the cause of action in that particular writ petition. The High Court before which the writ petition is filed must ascertain whether any part of the cause of action has arisen within the territorial limits of its jurisdiction. It depends upon the facts in each case."
Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary observed that since most of the allegations leveled against the petitioners relate to the incidents in J&K including subjecting the complainant respondent no.4 to cruelty and causing her miscarriage in the State of J&K, therefore, this court is having jurisdiction to entertain this petition as 'cause of action' though not wholly but major part of that has arisen, within the territorial limits of this court. Moreover, the petitioners who are accused in the case are also residing within the territorial jurisdiction of this court, admit the petition and issue post-admission notice to the respondents to file counter affidavits within four weeks. Requisites for their service be filed within one week.
Justice Chowdhary further ordered that subject to objections from the other side and till next date before the Bench, the investigation into the impugned FIR qua the petitioners, is ordered to be stayed.

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