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

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Sachdeva, J., reiterated that proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and under Section 125 CrPC are independent of each other and have different scope.

The parties, though married, were living separately. The wife had filed an application under Section 125 CrPC wherein she was granted interim maintenance of Rs 1.20 lakhs per month. Subsequently, she filed an application under Section 23 of the DV Act seeking, inter alia, monetary relief under Section 20. However, her application was rejected by the trial court on the ground that she had already been granted maintenance under Section 125 CrPC and all her claims were considered by the family court while granting the same. The wife filed an appeal against the order of the trial court, which was allowed and the Appellate Court remanded the matter back to the trial court for fresh consideration. Aggrieved thereby, the husband filed the present petition.

Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for the husband, submitted that the Appellate Court erred in passing the impugned order as maintenance was already granted to the wife. Per contra, it was submitted on behalf of the wife that she suffered domestic violence and was thus entitled to monetary relief. The wife was represented by Madhav Khurana and Trisha Mitta, Advocates.

Noting that the scope of Section 20 of the DV was much wider than that of Section 125 CrPC, the High Court observed: “While Section 125 CrPC talks only of maintenance, Section 20 DV Act stipulates payment of monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered as a result of the domestic violence including but not limited to loss of earning, medical expenses, loss caused due to destruction, damage or removal of any property from the control of aggrieved person.”

It was categorically stated: “an order under Section 20 DV Act is not restricted by an order under Section 125 CrPC.” As such, the trial court was held to have erred in not appreciating the distinction between the two provisions. In such view of the matter, the High Court did not find infirmity in the order of the Appellate Court. Resultantly, the petition was dismissed. [Shome Nikhil Danani v. Tanya Banon Danani, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 8016, decided on 11-04-2019]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Human Rights Commission: On the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, 15 students of the State run Eklavya Model Residential School, Khumulwng, Tripura have been paid monetary relief of Rs. 2 lakh each totaling Rs. 30 lakh, besides the free coaching for the 2018 National Eligibility and Entrance Test, NEET, which they could not write in 2017 due to the negligence of the school authorities.

The Commission observed that it was not sufficient that the Government of Tripura had initiated punitive action against the negligent Principal and the teacher of the school and that the students will be provided free coaching for 2018 also. It recommended that the State government needed to pay monetary relief also to the victim students for the loss of one academic year in addition to the free coaching. Subsequent to this, the government of Tripura, paid the monetary relief and sent a compliance report, which was taken on record by the Commission today on the 16th February, 2018 with the directions to the State government to inform about the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the guilty Principal and the teacher.

Earlier, during the course of enquiry, the Commission found that the Principal and a teacher of the school had filled the online application form of the students belonging to the tribal communities but failed to remit the requisite fee within the stipulated time hence, the students could not appear in the NEET. When the issue came to the knowledge of the Tribal Welfare Department, it approached the CBSE but it was too late for them to accept their request. Action against the negligent Principal and the Teacher had been taken and disciplinary proceedings were initiated against them.

The Commission observed that the State Government had accepted the negligence of the school authorities. The rights to education and equal opportunity of the 15 students had been grossly violated, as they have lost an entire precious year of their academic career. Therefore, the Commission recommended to the Government of Tripura to pay Rs. 2 lakh each to all the 15 students along with proof of payments. The Commission had taken cognizance of the issue on the basis of a complaint received on the 5th May, 2017.

National Human Rights Commission