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DV Landmark Judgement #5: Kamlesh Devi Vs Jaipal & Ors: DV Act Cannot Be Invoked Based On Vague Allegations

Neeraj ,
  31 March 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :
The present appeal arose from the impugned final judgment and order passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana dismissing the Criminal Revision filed by the petitioner under Section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Citation :
Special Leave Petition (Criminal) no.34053/2019

Date of Judgement:
04th October 2019

Coram/Judge:
Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee
Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

Parties to the Case:
Petitioner- Kamlesh Devi
Respondents- Jaipal& Ors.

Legal Provisions

  • Section 401 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1908- which lays down revisionary powers of the High Court for the orders passed by subordinate Courts under its jurisdiction.
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005- The Act envisages the protection of women from domestic violence.

Overview

  • The petitioner and respondents were family members of the same family and had been living on the same premises. The husband of the petitioner was retired from BSF and they had three daughters.
  • Respondents were quarrelsome people. They had formed a gang and whenever the daughters of the petitioner went to their college, respondents followed them and did obscene activities. The husband of the petitioner also made a complaint to the Sarpanch of the Village in this regard.
  • To this, the respondent had apologised, and things were normalised for some time. Such activities by the petitioner were started again after some time. Finding no other alternative, the petitioner resorted to a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.

Issue

Whether in light of the facts of the present case, proceedings against the respondents be initiated as per the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005?

Judgment Analysis

  • The Learned Judicial Magistrate, construing the provisions of the Act and facts of the matter, found that none of the witnesses established any fact to the effect that the respondents and the petitioner had been living in a shared household and the respondents caused domestic violence upon them.
  • The Court also held that no violence whatsoever had been alleged of any kind within the premises of the shared household. The Judicial Magistrate dismissed such complaint filed by the petitioner under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • An appeal filed by the petitioner against the said judgment and order was also dismissed by the Learned Sessions Judge by giving the reasoning as per law. The Learned Sessions Judge also discussed that there was no evidence to prove that the petitioner and the respondents were living together in the shared household.
  • The revisional application filed by the petitioner for quashing the appellate order of the Sessions Judge and the judgment and order of the Judicial Magistrate had been dismissed by the impugned order.
  • The Honourable High Court held that findings given by the Learned Judicial Magistrate were correct as per evidence and law. The order setting aside the complaint was held valid.
  • The Learned Judge of the High Court was of the opinion that the alleged offence committed by the respondents would fall under the purview of IPC and not the Act under which the complaints were filed. Just being members of the same family was not sufficient to evoke the Act. (Respondents being the nephews of the petitioner)
  • No merit was found in the criminal revision petition and it was dismissed.
  • The Apex Court adjudicated that the High Court had rightly held that the ingredients of domestic violence were absent in this case. The petitioner and the respondents were not persons living together in a shared household. There was a vague allegation that the respondents are family members. The Petitioner and respondent appeared to be neighbours.
  • Hence, the Special Leave Petition was dismissed

Conclusion

The Learned Judicial Magistrate had construed the facts of the present matter and held that it fell outside the purview of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Appeal to such order was also rejected by Learned Sessions Judge. Further, a revision petition for the said orders was also dismissed by the Honourable High Court. The Apex Court confirming such a decision dismissed the present Special Leave Petition and held that there needs to be a clear allegation along with well-established facts to proceed under the said act.

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