Team SoOLEGAL 27 Dec 2022 12:00am


New Delhi: Single Judge Bench of Hon’ble Mr. Justice ShubhenduSamanta, High Court of Calcutta put yet another feather to the wings of remedial process under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This came as a breakthrough when the Hon’ble Bench held that denial of financial support or proclaimed streedhan would amount to domestic violence. The Hon’ble bench also held that the Prevention of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 also covers within its ambit economic abuse.

Facts of the Case: This was an application U/s 482 read with Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, preferred against a Judgment and Order dated 07.04.2018 passed by the Learned Additional Sessions Judge, First Track 1st Court Howrah, in criminal appeal no. 111 of 2015 and 116 of 2015 thereby setting aside the judgment and order of awarding monitory relief including compensation and other reliefs to the petitioner by the order dated 2 31.07.2015 passed by the Learned Judicial Magistrate 4th Court Howrah, in Misc case No. 269 of 2012 U/s 12 read with Section 18,20,22,23 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005(PWDV Act). Marriage between the petitioners with Saugata Sarkar, since deceasedwas solemnised on 10.05.2009 according to Special Marriage Act 1954.After the said marriage the petitioner started to reside at the house of in laws andall the ornaments and other valuable articles which were gifted by the parents and parental relations of the petitioner as well as the other gifted items were kept at the in-laws house. She alleged that while her husband was alive, her in-laws subjected her to cruelty. The in-laws, on the other hand, contended that the widow herself left the house voluntarily. Subsequently, the widow sought compensation and other monetary reliefs under the PWDV Act by filing proceedings before a Magistrate, who allowed her plea on July 31, 2015. However, the order was quashed by the Sessions court on April 7, 2018.

Issues raised: Whether denial of economic support to wife amounts to 'Domestic Violence' even if parties aren't residing in household? 

Analysis of the Court: The Court said that the Sessions court committed injustice in not considering the entire case of the widow before him, observing “Considering the circumstances and materials and also considering the impugned order passed by the Learn℮d Appellate Court I am of a view that the Appellate Court has committed injustice in not considering the entire petitioner’s case before him. The Learned App℮llat℮ Court has also not cl℮arly obs℮rv℮d that why th℮ obs℮rvation of the L℮arn℮d Trial Court is not prop℮r. Considering the same it appears that the finding of Appellate Court regarding the fact that the petitioner has not proved the Domestic Violence against the opposite parties, is not correct.

Further, the Court noted that the widow did not have any independent income observing, “she is now residing at her father’s home  at the  mercy of her father. Th℮  day-to-day expenses of her livelihood is not a deniable  factor. She  is only to lay her hand to her father for to meet out the daily expenses. Thus the  circumstances incurred and loss suffered by the petitioner is itself proved from the facts and circumstances of this case, the  single judge noted.

Th℮  Hon’ble  Court observed that the argument advanced by in-laws, has no merit on that score  observing, “ultimately, it is the  irony of fate , that instead of specific legislative intent, the  widow lady is roaming doors of Courts since long 10 years without receiving any monetary relief," the Court stated while allowing the plea.

Tagged: Domestic Violence  
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