DV Act not maintainable if family member leave shared household to establish own household
N S Leelavathi and Anr Vs Dr R Shilpa Brunda
Criminal Revision No. 1146/2019
About/from the judgment:
High Court has held that where a family member leaves the shared household to establish her own household, she cannot claim to have a right to move an application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act.
The court while allowing a petition filed by a mother and son, challenging the order passed by the lower court on a plea filed by a woman, said "I am of the considered opinion that, the respondent has not made out any good grounds so as to take any of the reliefs as stated in the DV Act. I have carefully and cautiously gone through the order and judgment of the Courts below. Both the Courts below without looking into the said facts have come to a wrong conclusion and have held that the petition is maintainable."
Mother N S Leelavathi and her son R Shiva Paratap had challenged the order passed on a petition filed by Dr.R.Shilpa Brunda also Known As Ayesha Zubair.
The petitioners claimed that in the first week of October, 2018, respondent came to the house of the petitioners and demanded to give the property to her. When her demand was refused, she picked up quarrel and even went to the extent of causing injury to her parents and brother. In this behalf a complaint was also registered. As a counterblast, respondent has also filed complaint against both the petitioners and wife of second petitioner before the jurisdictional police. In that background respondent filed a complaint under Section 12 of Domestic Violence Act.
The petitioners raised a challenge on the maintainability of such complaint. The main grounds urged was that complainant is not an aggrieved person as contemplated under Section 2(a) of DV Act. The petition is not maintainable under Section 12 of the DV Act. As there must be domestic relationship as contemplated under Section 2(f) of the DV Act. It is his further submission that the respondent-complainant is not in a shared household. If all these definitions are read together with reference to the factual matrix of the case, no complaint can be entertained under Section 12 of the DV Act.
The respondent got married in the year 2002 and thereafter she has divorced the first husband and got married to a person who is not belonging to her religion and thereafter she is residing permanently at Dubai. The petitioners argued that domestic relationship comes to an end once the respondent daughter moved out of the shared household and established her own household with her husband.
The respondent argued that "When the parties are residing in a joint family in a household or a shared household, then under such circumstances, limited interpretation cannot be made irrespective of the title of the respondent, a protection order can be made under Section 19(1)(a) of the DV Act.
The object of the law if it is taken and if a woman is in a domestic relationship and lived at any point of time together in a shared household either by consanguinity, marriage or through relationship in a joint family and if there is any domestic violence, then the Court can give the relief.
Court said: Domestic relationship arises in respect of an aggrieved person, if the aggrieved person has lived together with the petitioners in a shared household, but this living together can be either soon before filing of petition or at any point of time. The problem arises with the meaning of phrase "at any point of time". That does not mean that living together at any stage in the past would give right to a person to become aggrieved person to claim domestic relationship. At any point of time, indicates that the aggrieved person has been continuously living in the shared household as a matter of right, but if for some reason if the aggrieved person has to leave the house temporarily and when she returns she is not allowed to enjoy her right to live in the property. Where a family member leaves the shared household to establish his or her own household, he or she cannot claim to have a right to move an application under Section 12 of the DV Act on the basis of domestic relationship."
Further, the court said "Leave apart that it is the specific case of the petitioners that the said property is the absolute and exclusive property of Smt.Savithramma-grand mother of first petitioner and the same has been gifted to the second petitioner by a registered gift deed. Under such circumstances, the said property is neither a joint family property nor the property of the husband of Smt.Savithramma. Then under such circumstances also the respondent is not entitled to the shared household and she cannot file an application under Section 12 of the DV Act.
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