Temporary residence of aggrieved person is sufficient to invoke jurisdiction under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

 Orissa High Court: While dealing with the question relating to jurisdiction under Section 27 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Bench  comprising of S.K. Sahoo, J., held that even if an aggrieved person is residing at a place for a temporary period of time,  she has the right to file an application and seek relief under Section 12 of the said Act, before the competent court within the local limits  of whose jurisdiction such place situates.

The widowed mother, respondent herein, was compelled to leave the house in the twilight of her life by her son and daughter-in-law, the petitioners herein. After being subjected to physical and mental cruelty, the mother was constrained to take shelter in the house of her elder daughter at Phulbani. She filed an application under Section 12 of the 2005 Act in the Court of S.D.J.M., Phulbani against the petitioners seeking reliefs under the Act. The present application sought transfer of the case to Berhampur on the ground that the Court at Phulbani had no jurisdiction to entertain the same.

The Court held that in view of Section 27, if the ‘aggrieved person’ either permanently or temporarily resides at a place, the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the First Class within the local limits of whose jurisdiction such place situates is competent to entertain an application under Section 12  and to grant protection order and other orders under the Act or try the offences under the Act. Dismissing the application,  the Court observed that ‘residence’ as defined under Section 27  includes both temporary and permanent residence of the aggrieved person. The Court further stated the meaning of the word ‘temporary’ as lasting, existing, serving for a time only which is not permanent. Thus a temporary residence is a temporary dwelling place where the aggrieved person resides, irrespective of residing there permanently or for considerable length, but for the time being. The Court stated that temporary residence does not include a place where the aggrieved person may stay or reside for the purpose of filing a case against another or a place where the aggrieved person has gone on a casual visit, a lodge or hostel or a guest house or an inn where she stays for a short period rather a place where the aggrieved person was force to reside for the time being in view of the commission of domestic violence. [Rabindra Nath Sahu  v.  Susila Sahu, 2016 SCC OnLine Ori 592, decided on September 14, 2016]

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