Wife can claim monetary relief under S. 20 of Domestic Violence Act in addition to maintenance under S. 125 CrPC; trial court order holding contrary set aside

Shome Nikhil Danani Vs Tanya Banon Danani

Delhi HC

11/04/2019

CRL. REV. PET. 994/2018

About/from the judgment:

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 125 - The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - Sections 20 and 23 - Monetary Reliefs - An order under Section 20 DV Act is not restricted by an order under section 125 Cr.P.C.

 

The Trial Court clearly erred in not appreciating the distinction between the two provisions and the reasoning is clouded by an impression that the respondent – wife in the application under section 23 was only seeking an order of maintenance, which is not the case. In her application under section 23 of the DV Act, the respondent wife has inter-alia sought residence rights under Section 19 and protection under Section 18 apart from the monetary relief under Section 20. [Para 18]

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 125 - The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - Sections 20 and 23 - Monetary relief under Section 20 DV Act is in addition to maintenance under section 125 Cr.P.C.

 

Proceeding under the DV Act and under section 125 Cr.P.C are independent of each other and have different scope, though there is an overlap. In so far as the overlap is concerned, law has catered for that eventuality and laid down that at the time of consideration of an application for grant of maintenance under DV Act, maintenance fixed under section 125 Cr.P.C shall be taken into account. [Para 20]

 

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - Sections 20 and 23 - Monetary relief as stipulated under Section 20 is different from maintenance, which can be in addition to an order of maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. or any other law.

 

Cleary the scope of Section 20 of the DV Act is much wider than that of Section 125 Cr.P.C.. While Section 125 Cr.P.C. 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. Further, Section 20(1)(d) of the DV Act clearly provides that “In proceedings under the DV Act, the magistrate may direct the Respondent to pay the maintenance to the aggrieved person as well as her children, if any, including an order under or in addition to an order of maintenance under section 125 Cr.P.C. or any other law for the time being in force.” [Para 17]

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