Rupali Devi vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019

Rupali Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019 - 


On 9th April, 2019, in the case of Rupali Devi v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. [Criminal Appeal No.71 of 2012], the question raised before a three Judge Bench was: “Whether a woman forced to leave her matrimonial home on account of acts and conduct that constitute cruelty can initiate and access the legal process within the jurisdiction of the courts where she is forced to take shelter with the parents or other family members”.


The Bench observed that “cruelty” which is the crux of the offence under Section 498A IPC “can be both physical or mental cruelty.” It held that “adverse effects on the mental health in the parental home though on account of the acts committed in the matrimonial home” would “amount to commission of cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A at the parental home.” It was further held that “the consequences of the cruelty committed at the matrimonial home results in repeated offences being committed at the parental home” and “this is the kind of offences contemplated under Section 179 Cr.P.C which would squarely be applicable to the present case as an answer to the question raised.”


Accordingly, the Bench held 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 498A of the Indian Penal Code.”

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