Bombay HC on Claim of Maintenance u/Domestic Violence Act, 2005

May 10, 2018

Case name: Mr.Prakash Kumar Singhee v. Ms.Amrapali Singhee

Date of Judgment: May 07, 2018

In this recent case, the Bombay High Court has elaborated on the essentials of invoking plea of maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to hold that every person cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the Court under the 2005 Act, simply for claiming maintenance, as the purpose of the enactment is to protect rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.

In the case, the Petitioner husband had challenged the order passed by the Family Court, Pune below whereby the Court directed the Petitioner to pay maintenance of Rs. 2 lakhs to wife under Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

In the case, the wife had preferred application under Section 20 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 the Domestic Violence Act.

All you Need to Know about Domestic Violence Act: Law and Judgments

Bombay High Court’s Verdict

The Bombay High Court allowed the appeal and made the following observation in relation to claim of maintenance under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

  • That on perusal of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, it is apparent that the Act has been   enacted   to   provide   more   effective   protection   of   rights   of women guaranteed under the Constitution of India being victims of violence of any kind occurring in the family and the provision therein would have to be construed in the backdrop of the object with which the Statute is enacted.
  • That Section 26(2) of the Domestic Violence Act further provides that any such relief may be sought for in addition to and along with any other that the aggrieved person may seek in such suit or legal proceedings before a Civil or Criminal Court. Thus, by virtue of the Section 26 any relief available under the Domestic Violence Act can also be sought in any legal proceedings before any Civil Court, Family Court or Criminal Court.
  • That the object of Domestic Violence Act 2005, is to protect the rights of women who are offended by the act of domestic violence committed by the Respondent which may include any adult male person or with  whom   the   aggrieved   person   is   in   domestic relationship.
  • The term Domestic Violence has been given a specific connotation under Section 3 of the Act and any act, omission and commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it­ (a) harms   or   injuries   or   endangers   the   health, safety,   life,   limp   or   well­being,   whether   mental   or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; 
  • (b) harasses,   harms,   injures   or   endangers   the aggrieved person with  a view  to  coerce her  or  any other person related to her to meet any lawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
  • (c) has   the   effect   of   threatening   the   aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or (d) otherwise   injuries   or   causes   harm,   whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person. 
  • Thus, in order to claim relief under Section­12 of the Act which permits an “aggrieved person” to present an application to the Magistrate seeking one or more reliefs under the Act, levelling the allegations of Domestic Violence. Thus, the reliefs contemplated under the Act are thus available to an aggrieved person who alleged that she is or has been in domestic relationship with the respondent.
  • That every person cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the Court under the 2005 Act, simply for claiming maintenance, as the purpose of the enactment is to protect rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.

The entire case can be accessed here.