Bom HC | Magistrate can issue process against accused residing beyond his area of jurisdiction only after inquiry as contemplated under S. 202 CrPC

Bombay High Court: S.S Shinde, J. allowed a criminal application to the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate (First Class) issuing process against the applicant for the offences punishable under Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Penal Code.

The father-in-law and mother-in-law of the applicant filed an original application against the applicant and others, after which the Magistrate concerned issued process against the applicant for the offences punishable under Sections 502 and 506 as mentioned above.

Swapnil S. Mhatre, Advocate for the applicant submitted that she was not residing within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate concerned, and therefore, in view of the mandate of Section 202 CrPC, the Magistrate was required to cause an inquiry as contemplated under the said section and pass a reasoned order. Reliance was placed on Abhijit Pawar v. Hemant Madhukar Nimbalkar, (2017) 3 SCC 528.

Per Contra, Kaushik Jayant instructed by Amol P. Mhatre along with Mandavkar, Advocates for the respondent in-laws opposed the instant applicant.

On perusal of the impugned order and other material placed on record, the Court was of prima facie opinion, the Magistrate without assigning any reasons in the impugned order, proceeded to issue summons against the applicant. It was observed that the Magistrate was obliged to give reasons so as to reflect the order. It was observed:

“Certainly, the course adopted by the Magistrate is not keeping in view of the observations made by the Supreme Court in para 12 of the judgment in the case of Abhijit Pawar. In facts of the present case, the applicant-accused is residing outside the jurisdiction of JMFC, Thane and therefore, it was incumbent upon the Magistrate to cause the inquiry himself or entrust the said task with concerned Police Officer. However, the Magistrate by cryptic order proceeded to pass the impugned order.”

In such view of the matter, the High Court quashed the impugned order passed by the Judicial Magistrate (First Class). The complainants were given liberty to approach the Court concerned afresh for redressal of their grievance.[Amruta Ajay Mane v. Ramesh Dhodiba Mane, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 1717, decided on 26-08-2019]

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