‘Domestic relationship’ is a sine qua non for action under Section 12 of J&K Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Janak Raj Kotwal, J. quashed the proceedings pending against the petitioners under Section 12 of J&K Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2010.

The respondent filed an application under Section 12 against her in laws. The petitioners sought quashing of the said applications and proceedings arising therefrom. Contention of the petitioners was that they were never in a domestic relationship with the respondent in as much as she never stayed with them in a shared household.

The High Court perused the record and found favour with the contention put forth by the petitioners. Section 2(a) defined the term ‘aggrieved person’ and Section 2(f) defined ‘domestic relationship’. Reading both the sections in juxtaposition, the High Court opined that an application under Section 12 can be filed by a women against whom she is in a domestic relationship, i.e., with whom she lives. In the present case, it was clear that the respondent and her husband had stayed in Noida all throughout their wedded life, whereas the respondents were residents in Mohali. Therefore, the domestic relationship was not established between petitioners and the respondent and hence, Section 12 could not be attracted to the case. Accordingly, the impugned application was quashed. [Raghav Agnihotri v. Neha Sharma, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 301, dated 18-05-2018]

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