Civil appeal no. 2790 of 2021
Date of the judgment
4th January 2022
Justice Sandeep Shinde
Appellant -Kanaka Kedar Sapre and Anr
Respondent - Kedar Nahar Sapre
Bombay High Court ruled that an application cannot be filed for monetary reliefs under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act on behalf of the aggrieved person if such person is not alive. In this case, an application was filed by a minor girl on behalf of her deceased mother in the High Court for seeking monetary reliefs, compensation, and streedhan against her father and grandparents. However, this petition was dismissed by the High Court.
- Kedar and Suchita were married in November 2009, and became parents in October 2012 of a girl. Suchita, because of some illness, passed away in 2013.
- A petition was filed by the minor daughter through her maternal grandmother before Judicial Magistrate First Class stating that her mother was being neglected by her father and his (father’s) parents throughout.
- It was alleged in the petition that Suchita was abused by her husband and in-laws physically, verbally and economically. Because of this she got seriously ill and was admitted in hospital in April 2013. She died on 27th October 2013 and during this period Suchita’s parents were taking care of her.
- Meanwhile, the husband and his parents were not at all bothered about this and kept on neglecting her. During the treatment, Suchita’s mother spent almost Rs.60 lakhs on her treatment. It was also stated that during the marriage, some ornaments were gifted which were in custody of Suchita’s mother-in-law.
- The application by the minor girl was made under DV Act asking to return the ornaments as well as Rs.60 lakhs which were spent on Suchita’s treatment.
- However, this application was rejected by the JMFC in 2019 and this was confirmed by the Additional Sessions Judge in 202.
- Dissatisfied by this, the daughter approached the High Court.
- Whether the application filed by the petitioners under the DV Act for seeking monetary reliefs, compensation for treatment and streedhan was maintainable?
- The petition was dismissed.
- The Court observed that the petitioners were not the aggrieved person but were fighting for their right on behalf of a deceased who was an aggrieved person. Justice Shinde noted that the petitioners filed the petition for personal rights of Suchita which were not sought by her in her lifetime. Hence, the instant petition could not be allowed.
- The right to claim compensation and monetary relief under DV Act are personal statutory and inalienable rights of an aggrieved person. But as the aggrieved person dies, these rights just end. Hence, these rights were not enforceable by the legal representatives of the aggrieved person.
- The Court also observed that the meaning of word “aggrieved person” should be restrictive in view as per reasons of the Act. The word is not inclusive and its scope cannot be extended as suggested by the petitioners as it would hamper the object of the Act.
- The Court submitted that the DV Act allows a person to file an application on behalf of the aggrieved person which is given under section 12 of the DV Act, but the aggrieved person must be alive while filing the application.
Last week the Bombay High Court held that while filing a petition under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, the aggrieved person must be alive during the filing of application. Some another person cannot file a petition for monetary relief after her death under the DV Act. An application was dismissed by Justice Sandeep Shinde where a minor girl, through her maternal grandmother filed a petition on behalf of her mother seeking streedhan, monetary reliefs, compensation against her father and paternal grandparents.
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