Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • According to Section 3 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act, 2005), depriving the wife and the minor son of financial support is considered "domestic violence," according to the Calcutta High Court, and it makes no difference whether or not the parties are still sharing a home. 
  • Domestic violence is described in Section 3 and includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and financial abuse. 
  • Justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee was adjudicating upon a plea to dismiss criminal charges brought against the petitioner under Section 12 of the DV Act and currently being heard by the relevant Judicial Magistrate.
  • On November 20, 2011, the petitioner and his wife (opposite party no. 2) were legally wed in accordance with Muslim sharia law. It was claimed that a short time after, the petitioner's wife began acting inappropriately towards him for no apparent reason. 
  • After that, on February 15, the opposing party voluntarily departed her marital house with her minor child.
  • Finally, on January 19, 2016, the petitioner granted his wife a divorce through Talaknama in accordance with Muslim Personal Law, and she agreed. However, it was asserted that the opposite party no. 2 had brought a bogus criminal case after receiving a copy of the Talaknama.
  • She had also filed a civil lawsuit praying for a declaration that the Talaq divorce from January 19, 2016, was illegal under the law and had not been performed in accordance with Muslim law. She also prayed for a permanent injunction barring the defendant from implementation of dissolution of marriage through Talaknama. 
  • The court stated that the denial of financial support to the petitioner and their minor child, who has been raised by the opposing party no. 2, may qualify as "economic abuse" under the Act's definition of "domestic violence," and whether or not the parties are currently sharing a home is immaterial for this purpose. 
  • Even though opposite party No. 2 may have been a working woman in this scenario, it is still necessary to determine whether or not her income is sufficient, equitable, and commensurate with the standard of living to which the parties are used for their son.
  • The Court further observed that notwithstanding the purported talaq, domestic violence in the form of economic abuse persisted on a daily basis, as evidenced by the opposite party no. 2's request for temporary respite for the rearing of their son.
  • The Court noted that the limitation will only apply if an offence is committed in accordance with the terms of the D.V. Act, 2005 and not in relation to an application made under Section 12 of the same Act, rejecting the petitioner's argument that the current application is time-barred under Section 468 of the CrPC. 
  • In this case, the Supreme Court's ruling in Kamatchi v. Lakshmi Narayanan was relied upon.
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