Case BriefsDistrict Court

Karkardooma Courts, Delhi: In a matter regarding providing maintenance to wife and children, Ramesh Kumar-1, Principal District & Sessions Judge, expressed that certain, factors such as husband’s liabilities, his standard of living, inflation rates, etc. are to be taken note of when Court decides the quantum of maintenance.

An appeal was filed under Section 29 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against the impugned decision passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate whereby the maintenance of Rs 40,000 was awarded in favour of the respondent from the month and the year of filing of the petition before the trial court, and further awarded compensation of Rs 1,00,000 in favour of the respondent.

Factual Background

It was stated that the respondent was treated with love and care, at her matrimonial home, however, she was not happy with the marriage. Further, it was stated that, it was the second marriage of the respondent and the appellant had asked several times for the decree of divorce from her previous husband, but, the respondent never showed the same to him.

Additionally, it was stated that when the appellant tried to stop the respondent from frequently visiting her parental home, the respondent used to abuse and manhandle the appellant and would threaten the appellant to implicate him and his family in false criminal cases or to face the dire consequences.

It was added that the husband tolerated all the cruelties at the hands of the wife to save the matrimonial life.

In the year 2015, the respondent filed a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act against the appellant and his family. Trial Court passed an order for interim maintenance in favour of the respondent and her minor son.

Appellant submitted that due to the prevailing circumstances, he used to remain under depression and could not perform his job obligations and due to his poor performance, he was terminated by his employer.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Court expressed that, it is a well-settled principle of law that,

“…it is the legal duty of every able bodied person to maintain his wife and children and provide them with the basic amenities of the life, as per his financial status.”

 Adding to the above, it was stated that while deciding the quantum of maintenance, the Court should take into account the earnings of the husband as well as his other liabilities and the due regard to be given to the standard of living of the husband as well as the inflation rates and high costs of living.

Bench stated that even if the appellant’s plea that he was terminated from service by his employer was accepted, the fact remained that the appellant was a qualified person and capable of earning. Hence, the trial Court had rightly assumed the appellant’s salary to be Rs 80,000.

“Appellant being the husband of the respondent, and father of minor child, has social as well as moral duty to provide maintenance to respondent.”

Settled Law

The appellant being the husband of the respondent, cannot escape from his moral duty of providing maintenance to his wife as well as a minor child.

Hence, the trial Court had rightly observed that the aspect of financial deprivation of woman, is included in the category of economic abuse.

“…an aggrieved woman needs economic support, in view of the domestic violence, perpetrated upon her, by a person, who is in domestic relation with her.”

Settled Law

Every able-bodied person is bound to maintain his wife and children and cannot run away from this responsibility.

 In view of the above, Court held that there was no infirmity or illegality in the impugned decision. [Pawan Sharma v. Aarti Sharma, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 17, decided on 10-5-2022]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Prateek Jalan, J., addressed the issue of whether visits of sundry family members to the matrimonial home, without permanency or the intention to treat the premises as a shared household, would render them members of the “shared household.

Respondent 1 in the present proceedings was the petitioner’s husband and respondent 2 was her mother-in-law. Respondent 3 was the petitioner’s sister-in-law and respondent 4 was the husband of respondent 3.

It was stated that the petitioner had filed an application under Sections 12, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22 of the DV Act and all the four respondents were arrayed as accused. A notice was issued, and the matter was adjourned for consideration on the point of summons to other respondents. Further, MM issued summons to respondent 2 also, but came to the conclusion that respondents 3 and 4 had not been residing in the shared household, hence no summons was issued to them.

The petitioner had challenged the order by way of an appeal under Section 29 of the DV Act and the appellate court affirmed the view taken by the MM.

Analysis, Law and Decision

In the present matter, Court noted in the complaint that the petitioner had mentioned in the memo of parties that the respondents 1 and 2 were residents at the matrimonial home, whereas respondents 3 and 4 were residents of BB- 18C Janakpuri, New Delhi.

The complainant had lived with the respondents 1 and 2 in a shared household in Jalandhar, and the joint family consisted of the petitioner and the respondents 1 and 2.

Respondents 3 and 4 being the sister-in-law of the petitioner and her husband, visited often for various lengths of time, but there was no suggestion that they were, or intended to be, permanently resident in the said household.

High Court expressed that,

Just as the woman living fleetingly or casually at different places, would not convert those places into a “shared household”, the visits of sundry family members to the matrimonial home, without permanency or the intention to treat the premises as shared household, would not render them as members of the “shared household”.

Therefore, the view taken by the MM and the Appellate Court did call for interference under Section 482 of the CrPC. Hence the petition was dismissed. [Bharti Anand v. Sushant Anand, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1191, decided on 26-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: C.P. Vig, Advocate

For the Respondents: None

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Sreenivas Harish Kumar, J., allowed the petition and directed that there cannot be any proceedings against the petitioner under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The instant Criminal Petition was filed under Section 482 Criminal Procedure Code i.e. Cr.P.C., praying to quash the entire proceedings on the file of the Civil Judge and JMFC Arakalagudu in Crl.Misc.No.45/2021 initiated by respondent 1 under Section 12 of Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act 2005  as against the petitioner.

Counsel for the petitioner Mr. M H Prakash submitted that the petitioner has been unnecessarily made a party by the respondent 1 in her application before the Magistrate under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It was further submitted that the only allegation found is that respondent 1 suspected her husband to be having illegal relationship with the petitioner and he thought of bringing her to his house therefore the petitioner should not have been made a party in the application filed under Section 12 of the Act as she does not fall within the meaning of respondent as mentioned under Section 2(q) of the Act.

Counsel for respondent 1 Mr. C P Puttaraja submitted that Domestic violence has been committed on the instigation of the petitioner and this is the reason for making her party in the application filed under Section 12 of the Act.

The Court observed that the definition of ‘domestic relationship’ under Section 2(f) and Section 2(q) of the Act makes it clear that only those persons who have been in the domestic relationship can be made as respondent. It was further observed that in the instant case the allegation against the petitioner is that the 1st respondent’s husband was suspected to be having illegal relationship with the petitioner and he thought of bringing the petitioner to his house. Except this allegation there are no other allegations against the petitioner which indicate that she too joined with the husband of the 1st respondent in harassing her.

The Court held “Therefore the petitioner does not come within the scope of respondent as envisaged under Section 2(q) of the Act. Making her respondent in the application filed under Section 12 of the Act is unwarranted”.[Harini H v. Kavya H, Criminal Petition No. 2148 OF 2021, decided on 17-06-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: Madhumati Mitra, J., dismissed an application filed against the order of the Sessions Judge whereby he upheld the order passed by the Magistrate who had directed the petitioner to pay monthly monetary relief to his mother and also her medical expenses.

The respondent, the mother of the petitioner, had filed an application under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (“DV Act”), claiming various reliefs. Allowing the said application, the Magistrate passed the impugned order as stated above under Section 18 of the DV Act. Challenging the said order, the petitioner filed the instant application.

Abdulla Rahamani and K. Basar Bulbul, Advocates for the petitioner, submitted that there was an ongoing land dispute between the petitioner on one side and his mother along with his two brothers on the other side. Denying all the allegations, the petitioner contended that the Section 12 application was filed by his mother on the instigation of his brothers. It was further contended that the dispute was purely of civil nature between the mother and her two sons and the mother could not be regarded as an “aggrieved person” within the meaning of the DV Act.

The High Court considered that the mother, in her application under Section 12, described that she was subjected to physical and mental torture by the present petitioner. On the point of law, the Court restated: “Section 2(a) of the Act of 2005 has defined the term ‘aggrieved person’. ‘Aggrieved Person’ means any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent.”

It was further observed: “Section 2(f) of the Act of 2005 defines ‘domestic relationship’. Domestic relationship means a relationship between two persons who live or have at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage,or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family.”

The court noted that in the present case, the parties were related to each other, i.e., the relationship between son and mother. They have been in a relationship where both parties lived together in a residence. the Court below elaborately analysed the evidence o record, the relationship between the parties, their economic condition and the income of the other two sons of the respondent; and, thereafter, came to the conclusion that the mother was entitled to get the reliefs under the DV Act.

In such circumstances, the High Court found no grounds to interfere with the impugned order. Resultantly, the interim application was dismissed. [Goutam Chanda v. Gouri Ram Chandan, 2019 SCC OnLine Cal 3832, decided on 02-12-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: Madhumati Mitra, J. dismissed an application filed by the petitioner to quash the order of the Additional Sessions Judge whereby he refused to stay the petition filed by his former wife for the execution of the maintenance order granted in her favour by the Magistrate.

By the order passed under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Magistrate had directed the petitioner to pay Rs 3000 + Rs 800 per month to his former wife. Subsequent to that order, the petitioner obtained an ex-parte divorce decree against his former wife. After the said decree, the petitioner filed an application under Section 25, praying for alteration/modification or revocation of the maintenance order on the ground that he is not liable to pay to his former wife as no domestic relationship between them subsist.

Before the High Court, the petitioner was represented by Siva Prosad Ghose, Chandra Bhanu Sinha and Rohit Kumar Shaw, Advocates. Per contra, the former wife was represented by Anand Kesari and Sekhar Mukherjee, Advocates.

After referring to the relevant provisions of the DV Act along with Section 125 CrPC, and a conspectus of cases on the subject, the High Court observed: “Decree of divorce does not deprive the wife of the relief granted in her favour under the provisions of the Act of 2005. After decree of divorce, the Opposite Party 2 has become a divorced wife.”

The Court was of the opinion that our law recognises the right of a divorced wife to get maintenance till her remarriage, under Section 125 CrPC. The DV Act provides additional rights and remedies to the aggrieved person.

Finally, it was noted: “Existence of domestic relationship is not needed to execute the order granted under Section 12 of the Act of 2005 and the divorced wife who got an order of maintenance and other relief under the Act of 2005 prior to the decree of divorce is entitled to execute the same if she is unable to maintain herself and she has not remarried and for other reasons.”

In such view of the matter, the Court decided the application against the petitioner, and accordingly dismissed the same.[Krishnendu Das Thakur v. State of W.B., 2019 SCC OnLine Cal 969, decided on 28-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: M.G. Giratkar, J. refused to interfere with an order of the Judicial Magistrate as confirmed by the Sessions Judge, whereby the application filed by the applicant under Section 12 and 18 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was dismissed.

The applicant married to the respondent in 1999, However, a decree of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 had been passed by the family court in 2008 at the instance of the husband. The application under the DV Act was filed by the applicant in 2009, i.e., subsequent to the grant of divorce. The respondent resisted the application on the ground that there was no “domestic relationship” between them and therefore any application under DV Act was not maintainable. The application was rejected by the Judicial Magistrate as well as the Sessions Judge. Aggrieved thereby, the applicant filed the present revision application.

Amruta A. Ghonge, Advocate led arguments for the applicant. Per contra, R.N. Sen, Advocate appearing for the respondent, resisted the application.

After perusing a conspectus of decisions of the Supreme Court as well as High Courts, the Court came to the conclusion that no relief could be granted to the applicant. It was observed: “In the present case, divorce was granted by the family Court vide order dated 30-06- 2008. Application under the DV Act was filed in the year 2009. At the time of filing of application under the DV Act, the applicant was not the wife. There was no domestic relationship between them. Hence, orders passed by the learned JMFC, Nagpur and maintained by Additional Sessions Judge, Nagpur in Criminal Appeal No. 235 of 2015 are perfectly legal and correct.” In such view of the matter, the revision application was dismissed. [Sadhana v. Hemant, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 659, decided on 18-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Mangesh S. Patil, J., dismissed a criminal revision petition filed against the decision of the Additional Sessions Judge who reversed the judgment of the Judicial Magistrate allowing the application filed by the revisioner under Section 12 of Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The revisioner belong to Jain Hindu community and was previously married to one Shantaram Mahadu. Subsequently, on separation, she had an affair with Respondent 2, a Muslim by religion. The revisioner converted to Islam and contracted marriage with him. However, dispute arose and the couple separated. The revisioner filed an application under Section 12 which was opposed by Respondent 2 mainly on the ground that marriage between the two was not legally possible as they had prior subsisting marriages. However, the Magistrate allowed the application, which decision was reversed by the Sessions Court in the impugned judgment.

The High Court interpreted the words “relationship in the nature of marriage” appearing in Section 2(f) which defines “domestic relationship”. Noting the interpretation of the words by the Supreme Court in Velusamy v. D. Patchiammal, (2010) 10 SCC 469, as well as Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755, the High Court observed that all live in relationships are not in the nature of marriage. Not all live in relationships are covered by Section 2(f). It is only those which qualify to be in the nature of marriage that are governed by the provision. In order to constitute such relationship, a legal marriage between the two must be possible. Since, in the instant case, first marriage of the revisioner was still subsisting, there could not have been a possibility of a legal marriage between her and Respondent 2. Further, a statute should be interpreted in a manner which would not promote illegality. Section 2(f) could not be interpreted in such a way so as to promote adulterous relationships. Thus, it was held that the instant relationship was not covered under “domestic relationship”, and the revisioner was not entitled to any relief under the Act. The revision was, accordingly, dismissed. [Reshma Begum v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1827, dated 25-07-2018]

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

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]