A bench of justices H L Dattu and H L Gokhale passed the ruling while restoring the charge under Section 489A (harassment of wife) by husband or other family members against a police officer A Subash Babu on the complaint of his second wife.
The apex court rejected the AP High Court's reasoning that since marriage of the accused with another woman during the subsistence of the first marriage was void, the second wife cannot lodge a complaint under Section 498A.
"Article 136 is a special jurisdiction. It is residuary power. It is extraordinary in its amplitude. The limits of Supreme Court when it chases injustice, is the sky itself. Further, the powers under Article 136 can be exercised by the Supreme Court, in favour of a party even suo motu when the court is satisfied that compelling grounds for its exercise exist," Justice Panchal writing the judgement observed.
Under Article 136 the apex court can grant permission to a person to appeal against any order/judgement of the high court or any subordinate court or tribunal.
The apex court further said that in bigamy cases, the magistrate can take cognisance of the offence on the basis of a police report also and it was not necessary that there should be direct complaint from victim or some other family member.