Whether the Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint filed by the respondent under Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (For short “Domestic Violence Act”). ? Apex court held that Domestic Violence Act, 2005 covers the situation. Section 27 of the Act reads as under:- 27. Jurisdiction – (1) The court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropolitan Magistrate, as the case may be, within the local limits of which – (a) the person aggrieved permanently or temporarily resides or carries on business or is employed; or (b) the respondent resides or carries on business or is employed; or (c) the cause of action has arisen, shall be the competent court to grant a protection order and other orders under this Act and to try offences under this Act (2) Any order made under this Act shall be enforceable throughout India. A plain reading of the above provision makes it clear that the petition under the Domestic Violence Act can be filed in a court where the “person aggrieved” permanently or temporarily resides or carries on business or is employed. In the present case, the respondent is residing with her parents within the territorial limits of Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bengaluru. In view of Section 27(1) (a) of the Act, the Metropolitan Magistrate court, Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the offence. There is no merit in the contention raising objection as to the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bengaluru.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 141 OF 2020
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.4979 of 2019)
SHYAMLAL DEVDA AND OTHERS …..Appellants
VERSUS
PARIMALA …..Respondent
J U D G M E N T
R. BANUMATHI, J.
Leave granted.

  1. This appeal arises out of the impugned judgment dated
    18.02.2019 passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru in
    Criminal Petition No.5959 of 2015 in and by which the High Court
    has dismissed the petition filed by the appellants stating that the
    Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to entertain
    the complaint filed by the respondent under Sections 18, 19 and 20
    of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (For
    short “Domestic Violence Act”).
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  2. Brief facts which led to filing of this appeal are as follows:-
    The marriage of respondent-wife and appellant No.14-Manoj
    Kumar was solemnized on 01.05.2006, as per Hindu rites and
    customs in Rajasthan. After marriage, the respondent was residing
    with appellant No.14 in her matrimonial house at Chennai along with
    appellants No.1 and 2 who are the parents of the appellant No.14.
    In April, 2014, appellant No.14 and respondent-wife went to
    Bengaluru from Chennai to attend respondent’s sister wedding.
    After the said wedding, the respondent expressed her desire to
    remain at Bengaluru for some time; which was acceded to by
    appellant No.14 with the understanding that the respondent would
    stay in her parent’s house for short time. According to the
    appellants, the respondent thereafter refused to join her matrimonial
    home or cohabit with appellant No.14. Appellant No.14 filed O.P.
    No.11355 of 2015 under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for
    restitution of conjugal rights before the Family Court, Chennai.
    Thereafter, respondent claiming herself to be a victim of domestic
    violence seeking protection order under Section 18 and residence
    order under Section 19 and monetary relief under Section 20 of the
    Act filed Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 before the Court of Metropolitan
    Magistrate at Bengaluru against her husband- appellant No.14, her
    in-laws-appellant Nos.1 and 2 and other relatives of her husband
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    who are in Chennai, Rajasthan and also in Gujarat. The learned
    Magistrate, Bengaluru vide order dated 16.04.2015 issued notice to
    the appellants by holding that the Court has the jurisdiction to
    entertain the petition filed by the respondent under Section 27 of the
    Domestic Violence Act.
  3. Aggrieved by the issuance of summons in Crl. Misc. No.53 of
    2015, the appellants have filed a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
    before the High Court seeking quashing of the entire proceedings in
    Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 on the file of the MMTC-VI at Bengaluru.
    Vide the impugned judgment, the High Court dismissed the petition
    by holding that in the complaint filed by the respondent, various
    instances of domestic violence at different places viz. Chennai,
    Rajasthan and Gujarat are narrated by the respondent and
    therefore, the complaint filed in Bengaluru is maintainable under
    Section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act. Being aggrieved, the
    appellants have preferred this appeal.
  4. Mr. Balaji Srinivasan, learned counsel appearing for the
    appellants contended that neither the marriage of the parties was
    solemnized at Bengaluru nor the matrimonial house was at
    Bengaluru and therefore, the Magistrate Court at Bengaluru has no
    jurisdiction to entertain the petition filed under the Domestic
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    Violence Act. Learned counsel submitted that vague allegations
    have been levelled against the family members of the husbandappellant No.14 which are not at all substantiated. Learned counsel
    further submitted that with a view to harass the family members of
    her husband, the respondent has arraigned all the family members
    of her husband including those who are residents in the State of
    Rajasthan, Gujarat and other relatives in Chennai and the complaint
    is an abuse of the process of the Court.
  5. Ms. Nidhi, learned counsel appearing for the respondent has
    contended that by virtue of Section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act,
    the place where the complainant permanently or temporarily resides
    or carries on business, Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the
    complaint and grant protection order and other orders under the
    Domestic Violence Act. It was submitted that the respondent is
    currently residing within the territorial limit of the Metropolitan
    Magistrate of Bengaluru City and that the High Court rightly held
    that the Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to
    entertain the complaint. Taking us through the averments in the
    complaint, learned counsel for the respondent has submitted that
    there are several instances of domestic violence against the
    husband-appellant No.14 and other relatives particularly, appellant
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    Nos.1 and 2-father-in-law and mother-in-law who have been
    harassing the respondent who have taken away respondent’s
    jewellery and insisting upon her to buy properties. The learned
    counsel submitted that the High Court rightly refused to quash the
    order of taking cognizance.
  6. We have carefully considered the contentions and perused
    the impugned judgment and other materials on record.
  7. Section 18 of the Domestic Violence Act relates to protection
    order. In terms of Section 18 of the Act, intention of the legislature
    is to provide more protection to woman. Section 20 of the Act
    empowers the court to order for monetary relief to the “aggrieved
    party”. When acts of domestic violence is alleged, before issuing
    notice, the court has to be prima facie satisfied that there have been
    instances of domestic violence.
  8. In the present case, the respondent has made allegations of
    domestic violence against fourteen appellants. Appellant No.14 is
    the husband and appellants No.1 and 2 are the parents-in-law of
    the respondent. All other appellants are relatives of parents-in-law
    of the respondent. Appellants No.3, 5, 9, 11 and 12 are the
    brothers of father-in-law of the respondent. Appellants No.4, 6 and
    10 are the wives of appellants No.3, 5 and 9 respectively.
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    Appellants No.7 and 8 are the parents of appellant No.1. Appellants
    No.1 to 6 and 14 are residents of Chennai. Appellants No.7 to 10
    are the residents of State of Rajasthan and appellants No.11 to 13
    are the residents of State of Gujarat. Admittedly, the matrimonial
    house of the respondent and appellant No.1 has been at Chennai.
    Insofar as appellant No.14-husband of the respondent and
    appellants No.1 and 2-Parents-in-law, there are averments of
    alleging domestic violence alleging that they have taken away the
    jewellery of the respondent gifted to her by her father during
    marriage and the alleged acts of harassment to the respondent.
    There are no specific allegations as to how other relatives of
    appellant No.14 have caused the acts of domestic violence. It is
    also not known as to how other relatives who are residents of
    Gujarat and Rajasthan can be held responsible for award of
    monetary relief to the respondent. The High Court was not right in
    saying that there was prima facie case against the other appellants
    No.3 to 13. Since there are no specific allegations against
    appellants No.3 to 13, the criminal case of domestic violence
    against them cannot be continued and is liable to be quashed.
  9. Insofar as the jurisdiction of the Bengaluru Court, as pointed
    out by the High Court, Section 27 of the Protection of Women from
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    Domestic Violence Act, 2005 covers the situation. Section 27 of the
    Act reads as under:-
  10. Jurisdiction –
    (1) The court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropolitan
    Magistrate, as the case may be, within the local limits of which –
    (a) the person aggrieved permanently or temporarily resides or
    carries on business or is employed; or
    (b) the respondent resides or carries on business or is employed;
    or
    (c) the cause of action has arisen, shall be the competent court to
    grant a protection order and other orders under this Act and to try
    offences under this Act
    (2) Any order made under this Act shall be enforceable throughout
    India.
    A plain reading of the above provision makes it clear that the
    petition under the Domestic Violence Act can be filed in a court
    where the “person aggrieved” permanently or temporarily resides or
    carries on business or is employed. In the present case, the
    respondent is residing with her parents within the territorial limits of
    Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Bengaluru. In view of Section 27(1)
    (a) of the Act, the Metropolitan Magistrate court, Bengaluru has the
    jurisdiction to entertain the complaint and take cognizance of the
    offence. There is no merit in the contention raising objection as to
    the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bengaluru.
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  11. In the result, Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 filed against the
    appellants No.3 to 13 is quashed and this appeal is partly allowed.
    The learned VI Additional Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru shall
    proceed with Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 against appellants No.1, 2
    and 14 and dispose the same in accordance with law. We make it
    clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the
    matter.
    ..…………………….J.
    [R. BANUMATHI]
    ..…………………….J.
    [A.S. BOPANNA]
    ……………………….J.
    [HRISHIKESH ROY]
    New Delhi;
    January 22, 2020.
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