Cruelty committed in UK by NRI husband

Question asked on: 30/01/2019

My husband is a British citizen, and I’m his wife, an Indian citizen. We married on 6 May 2018 in India. After that, my husband was doing my visa of UK when he left India after marriage to the UK. I got my UK visa I went to the UK, and I lived there for two months.

There I was harassed by my husband. Then I said to my parents living in India, and then I was called to India by my parents, and my husband and I came to India. Moreover, then my husband went back to Uk without informing me, and now I m in India, and my husband is in the UK, and he is not receiving my call and messages. No support from there family and his whole family is not accepting my request and message. My mobile, passport and document are with my husband. Please, can you help me with what I could do?

 

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

No doubt, your husband has committed the offence of cruelty punishable under section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code. But, he is a British citizen and more importantly he committed the said offence in the UK. Hence, the Indian court lacks territorial jurisdiction in your case.

Section 4 of the Indian Penal Code confers jurisdiction upon Indian courts if a foreign citizen commits the offence. A foreigner is triable in India if he determines crime in

  • India or
  • on any ship or aircraft registered in India

In your case, the cruelty took place in the UK thus the matter is beyond the jurisdiction of Indian courts. If you move a complaint before the court for the offence of cruelty, then it shall be rejected by the court for want of jurisdiction [Fatma Bibi Ahmed Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2008) 6 SCC 789]

If few acts of cruelty were committed in India and remain to continue in the UK; then you can file a complaint in India. In other words, if the act committed in the UK is the part of the same transaction or furtherance of cruelty committed in India, then Indian court can take cognisance. Upon fulfilment of the above conditions, the court will have jurisdiction to take notice of your case. [Gyan Singh v. State of Rajastha (2000) DMC 634]

If you establish the authority of Indian court over the matter, then you can move complaint not only for the offence of cruelty but you can also move a complaint under

  • Domestic Violence Act
  • Section 406 IPC (for withholding your documents)

You should collect enough evidence to prove your case at the stage of filing the complaint. The complaint must show that offence of cruelty has been committed by the accused and it is triable by the Magistrate. The complaint must prima facie proves the commission of the offence and supported by cogent evidence. 

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