Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Himachal Pradesh: A Bench comprising of  Sandeep Sharma, J. has set aside the judgment passed by Fast Track Court and restored the judgment passed by the trail court, in which the complaint filed by the wife of the petitioner under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act was dismissed.

The complainant wife initially filed a complaint under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act alleging domestic violence against her husband and in-laws. This complaint was rejected by the trial court for want of merit in the application. An appeal was filed to the Fast Track Court, in which even though the court found no proof of domestic violence, it granted the complainant a maintenance allowance after observing that she had no independent source of income. Against this judgment, the petition was filed by the husband of the complainant.

The petitioner argued that since no evidence was led by the complainant which proved violence against him, the maintenance allowance was not tenable in law. The court agreed with the arguments of the petitioner and observed that even the appellate court was not convinced of evidence led by the complainant. Perusal of the complaint by the court nowhere suggested that maltreatment and violence was ever meted out to her. Further, neither any specific instance was reported with regard to the violence, nor any independent witness from the locality was associated by the complainant to prove the allegations. Further, the Court found evidence that the complainant left the house on her own after being caught red handed with a person, with whom she had illicit relations. In view of these findings, the Court concluded that the appellate court got swayed by emotions and ignored overwhelming evidence while granting maintenance. Consequently, the judgment of the appellate court was set aside and judgment of the trial court was upheld. [Anil Kumar v. Shashi Bala, 2017 SCC OnLine HP 626, decided on 2-5-2017]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Rajasthan: While deciding the validity and legality of the criminal miscellaneous petition filed under Section 482 CrPc, by the petitioners, the Bench comprising of P.K.Lohra, J., while exercising its power under Section 482 Cr PC, held that the criminal complaint filed against the petitioner, under Sections 498-A, 323, 406 & 504  IPC and Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 if allowed to be continued before the trail court, would obviously result in abuse of the process of the court since the complaint lacks mentioning of specific instances of domestic violence directed towards the complainant.

The complainant is the respondent/wife of the deceased husband, who died while the proceedings were taking place in the trial court on account of complaint lodged by the her under DV Act and IPC against the deceased husband, his parents and her sister-in-law. The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that since the acrimony started between the deceased husband and respondent wife since then the latter is not living with the former hence there is no iota of evidence to indicate that she has been subjected to domestic violence by the petitioners therefore, the complaint has been designed to harass the petitioners, which is a glaring example of abuse of the process of the Court.

The Court allowing the instant petition held that the bare reading of the complaint makes it abundantly clear that it does not disclose any specific instance of domestic violence against the petitioners hence in the absence of concrete proof relating to the instance of domestic violence a casual reference of the name of the family members i.e. petitioners in the complaint without there being any allegation of their active involvement in the matter is sufficient to conclude that complaint is in fact designed to harass the petitioners and if the criminal complaint is allowed to be proceeded in the trial court it would obviously result in abuse of the process of the Court. [Sudama Dutt Sharma v. State Of Rajasthan, Criminal Misc. (Pet.)  No. 1524 of 2011, decided on 8th November, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding upon the issue that whether a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act is maintainable even after a decree of divorce has been passed, the bench of Anita Chaudhry, J., held that the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act can only be invoked if the marital relationship is in existence, therefore once a marital relationship is ended by a decree of divorce, a complaint under Domestic Violence Act cannot be filed at all.

The present case was filed seeking the quashment of complaint filed under the Domestic Violence Act. It is to be noted that the marital relationship between the petitioner and his wife had ended by an exparte divorce decree. The counsel for the petitioner, Sukhbir Singh contended that, since the marriage of the petitioner and his wife has ended therefore the complaint under the Domestic Violence Act is not maintainable.

The Court perused the relevant provision of the Domestic Violence Act, namely Section 2(a) and 2(f) while answering the accompanying question that whether a divorced woman is included in the definition of an ‘aggrieved person’. It was observed by the Court that the language of the concerned provision uses ‘who is’ and ‘has been’, both of which have been used in the present tense, clearly establishing that there has to be a marital relationship in existence. Similarly, Section 2(f) stresses about the existence of a relationship by marriage or a relationship in the nature of marriage at the time. The expression used is ‘are related’ by marriage, which again is in present tense. The relevant provisions indicate the legislative intent to protect women who are living in a domestic relationship. Therefore for a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act to sustain, it is necessary that the marriage between the aggrieved person and the respondent is in existence. [Amit Agarwal v. Sanjay Aggarwal, 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 4200, decided on 31.05.2016]