Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code deals with the offense of cruelty by a husband or his relatives towards a married woman. This provision aims to address the serious issue of harassment and cruelty against women within the institution of marriage. When it comes to filing cases under Section 498A, understanding the jurisdiction is crucial for a smooth legal process.

Determining the Appropriate Jurisdiction:

Place of Offense:

The primary factor in determining jurisdiction is the place where the alleged offense occurred. If the acts of cruelty took place within the jurisdiction of a particular court, that court would typically have the authority to hear the case.

Place of Residence:

The victim or the person filing the complaint also has the option to file the case in the jurisdiction where she currently resides or where the matrimonial home is situated. This provision allows for a degree of flexibility to ensure that victims can access justice conveniently.

Location of Parents’ Home:

In cases where cruelty extends beyond the matrimonial home, and harassment occurs at the parental home of the victim, the jurisdiction of that area may also be considered for filing the case.

Place of Marriage:

In some instances, the court having jurisdiction over the place where the marriage was solemnized may also be considered appropriate for filing a Section 498A case.

Challenges and Considerations:

Multiple Jurisdictions:

In cases involving widespread harassment, determining the appropriate jurisdiction may pose a challenge. The victim can file the case in any of the relevant jurisdictions where the offense took place.

Transferring Cases:

If a case is filed in a court that does not have the correct jurisdiction, the court may transfer the case to the appropriate jurisdiction. This transfer is done to ensure a fair and just trial.

Venue of Trial:

It’s important to note that while the jurisdiction for filing the case is determined based on the factors mentioned, the actual trial may take place in a different court within the same jurisdiction.

Procedure for Filing:

Police Complaint or FIR:

The victim or her representative can file a complaint with the police, and based on the complaint, an FIR (First Information Report) may be registered. The police will then investigate.

Court Complaint:

Simultaneously, or after the police complaint, the victim may file a complaint directly with the judicial magistrate. The court will then conduct its proceedings independently of the police investigation.


Navigating the jurisdiction in Section 498A cases involves a careful consideration of the location of the offense and the victim’s convenience. The flexibility provided by the law is intended to ensure accessibility to justice. However, it is crucial to approach the filing process with diligence to prevent misuse of jurisdictional options. As the legal system evolves, continued attention to the principles of fairness and justice will shape the way Section 498A cases are handled in different jurisdictions across India.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services related to law matters in India, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to provide you with expert legal counsel and representation tailored to your specific needs and concerns.

Written by: Avichal Singhal Adv.

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