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DV Landmark Judgment #10: When Husband And Wife Stop Living In Shared Household, Domestic Relationship In Reference To Parents Comes To An End: Kuldeep Singh And Others Vs Rekha: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Mayur Shrestha ,
  06 April 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh.
Brief :
In this instant petition where the wife was residing in her matrimonial home with the family members of her spouse/respondent, further, after the husband/respondent got a job at Indore the wife and her husband both shifted to the state of Delhi where they were cohabiting, following which her in-laws came to her house and demanded dowry worth Rs. 22,000,00/- (Rupees Twenty Two Lacs) to buy themselves a Fortuner car, which led her in-laws to harass her every now and then.
Citation :
M.Cr.C. No. 5644 of 2016.

Date of Judgment:
18th June 2016.

Bench:
Mr. S.K. Awasthi, J.

Parties:
Petitioners – Kuldeep Singh.
Respondents – Rekha.

Subject

The Hon’ble High Court(hereinafter referred to as ‘Hon’ble High Court’ or ‘the Court’), in the present instance,has held that if the wife and husband end up leaving the shared household to establish their own household, the domestic relationship ends in respect of the parents, and objections under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, cannot be filed against them.

Legal Provisions

Domestic Violence Act, 2005

  • Section 12 –states any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person can present an application to the Magistrate seeking redressal of the grievance or seek multiple remedies.
  • Section 2(a) –states the meaning of an aggrieved person, specifically directed towards the “Woman” who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by her husband.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

  • Section 482 – states inherent powers conferred to the High Court, it empowers the Court to dismiss and reject the observations as well as the remarks made by the Lower Courts, usually with respect to a right of a person or official.

BRIEF FACTS

  • In this instant petition where the wife was residing in her matrimonial home with the family members of her spouse/respondent, further, after the husband/respondent got a job at Indore the wife and her husband both shifted to the state of Delhi where they were cohabiting, following which her in-laws came to her house and demanded dowry worth Rs. 22,000,00/- (Rupees Twenty Two Lacs) to buy themselves a Fortuner car, which led her in-laws to harass her every now and then.
  • Subsequently, respondent No. 1 has instituted a suit against the applicant U/s. 12 of the DV Act, the respondent No. 1 has given initially a dowry of Rs. 8,50,000/-, the applicant not being satisfied with the same has again put forth their demand of Rs. 22,000,00/-, to which the respondent denied and was subsequently ousted from her house and was living with her parents in her own house at Indore along with her Daughter (respondent No.2).
  • Furthermore, the wife has also filed an application U/s. 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, for restitution of Conjugal rights, further in which the wife requested reconciliation and willingness to reside with her husband but the husband refused to keep her, thus being compelled the wife processed to file a suit U/s. 12 of the DV Act, thereafter in the subsequent proceeding she pleaded for interim maintenance of Rs. 20,000/- for herself and Rs.10,000/- for her Daughter(respondent No. 2) from the applicants.
  • Likes, being aggrieved by the same the applicants have filed this petitioner for the punishment of the complainant made by his wife under the aforesaid provisions.

ISSUES RAISED

  • Whether the wife can seek relief under the provisions of DV Act, whilst not staying in domestic setup or cohabiting in a shared household?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANTS

  • The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Applicant contended that at the time of the marriage due to the social strata of both the spouses and the job prospects there were a lot of disputes in between due to the same, which led to further strains where it was discovered by the husband that the Respondent No. 1/ wife initially was not interested in this marriage and loved someone else for the same she said that due to parental pressure she accepted the proposal to marry.
  • Further, the Counsels for the Applicants enlightened the Court on the fact that Applicants No.1 and 3 contacted respondent No.1 and her parents to resolve this issue; however, the respondent No.1 and her parents abused applicant Nos.2 and 3 in a very foul language and criminally intimated them, further they demanded Rs. 10,00,000/- for the mutual consent divorce of respondent No.1 or else they would falsely implicate the applicant and his family members in the dowry case.
  • Additionally, I learned counsel for the Applicant to substantiate the subsisting domestic relationship between the Applicant and the Respondent, stating that Applicants No. 7 and 8 are married and are having their own families living in Mathura, further the Applicant’s grandfather is also a single parent and is living alone thus they do not have any domestic relation, therefore the complaint filed by the Applicant cannot be sustained under the Domestic Violence Act.
  • Thus, praying for the dismissal of the criminal complaint made before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, in the city of Indore.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENTS

  • The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Respondents contended that the complaint was made at the initial stage, and at that point of time, it was not ascertainable that no domestic relationship subsisted between Respondents and the Applicants.
  • Furthermore, the counsel for the respondents argued that the Court while exercising its inherent power U/s. 482 of the CrPC for quashing the procedure, just the allegations in the complaint are to be considered without giving the respondent the chance to provide evidence, and hence no question for quashing of the process arises.
  • Additionally, the counsel for respondents stated that since no domestic relationship subsisted between respondent No.1 and Applicant No.2 to 8 at any given point of time so no claim for harassment could be made for the demand of dowry for purchasing a Fortuner car worth Rs. 22,000,00/-.
  • Thus, praying that the Respondents are entitled to claim from the Applicants U/s. 19 of the Domestic Violence Act for which they have committed no such acts of Domestic Violence.

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT

  • The Hon’ble High Court noted that Respondent No. 1 and Applicant N. 1 moved out of their joint home and established their own household in Indore, Raipur, and Delhi thus it is clearly ascertainable that it cannot be said that no domestic relationship subsisted at that given point of time between the applicant No. 1 and Respondent No. 1.
  • The Hon’ble Court further stated that no express allegations were made by the complainant for the alleged demand for dowry.
  • The court Court further stated that the attested evidence regarding the domestic relationship cannot be established because it was true that son after marriage the Respondent No.1 and her husband moved out of the joint family house and further established their own household in the city of Indore and Delhi.
  • The Hon’ble Court further placed reliance on the case of Vijay Verma v. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr, in which it was decided that the filing of a petition under the Protectio of Women by the concerned petitioner taking shelter of domestic relationship and domestic violence needs to be reconsidered so as to prevent the misuse of the aforesaid provisions.
  • Additionally, the Hon’ble Court was of the view that domestic relationship comes into existence when the two spouses along with the in-laws are taking shelter under the same roof and had been living together for a substantial portion of their married life and the problem persisted with the interpretation of the term “living at any point of time in the past” regarding this interpretation the Court has stated thatunder the Act only means where an aggrieved person has been continuously living in the shared household as a matter of right but for some reason 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.
  • Thus, the Hon’ble High Court held that the complaint initiated in the matter pending before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class-Indore is not maintainable against the applicant No.2 to 8 and deserves to be quashed, further the petition filed under section 482 of CrPC was allowed with relevance to the proceedings.

CONCLUSION

Allowing the application the Hon’ble Court observed that when the wife and husband leave the common household to create their own houses in a distant location, the domestic connection ends, and the procedures initiated under the terms of the Domestic Violence Act are not maintainable.

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