Case Law Summaries

Divorced Women are Entitled to Reliefs under the Act

The husband refused to maintain the wife and their child. So the wife filed an application u/s 12 of the DV Act. The husband challenged the application contending that it was not maintainable since they were divorced but it was rejected by the magistrate. Aggrieved, the husband filed a revision in the sessions court where the magistrate’s order was quashed. Therefore the wife filed a writ petition in the High Court.

Setting aside the sessions court’s order, the Bombay High Court held that the defining clause in section 2 of the DV Act suggests that persons who “live” or ” have at any point of time lived together in a shared household, dating back to past matrimonial relationship. Nowhere in the section is the word ‘wife’ mentioned. Further, the definition further has mentioned the word “maintenance”. Therefore, if there is an order of the court to pay maintenance to the “aggrieved person” then if such maintenance is stopped or the aggrieved person is deprived of such maintenance, it can be considered as an economic abuse.

Since the marriage, there were constant demands for dowry by the husband as well as his relatives. As the wife’s family were unable to meet these demands, the dissatisfied husband filed for judicial separation in the family court, which was granted. Thereafter, the wife filed an application u/s 12 of the DV Act seeking seizure of stridhan articles from the husband. The magistrate held the application as not maintainable. On challenging this in the sessions court, the wife’s application was dismissed. Thereafter she filed a revision in the Tripura High Court and it was dismissed again. Hence, she appealed in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of India, while allowing the appeal held that, “The definition of “domestic violence” covers a range of violence which takes within its sweep “economic abuse” and the words “economic abuse”, as the provision would show, has many facets.” The status between the parties was not severed because of the decree of judicial separation. The concept of “continuing offence” gets attracted from the date of deprivation of stridhan, for neither the husband nor any other family members can have any right over the wife’s  stridhan. They remain only as custodians. The wife can submit an application to the protection officer for one or more of the reliefs under the DV Act even after judicial separation. The Court observed that the application was not barred by limitation and appeal was allowed.

Divorced Muslim Women are Entitled to Reliefs under the Act

The husband refused to maintain the wife and their child. So the wife filed an application u/s 12 of the DV Act. The husband challenged the application contending that it was not maintainable since they were divorced but it was rejected by the magistrate. Aggrieved, the husband filed a revision in the sessions court where the magistrate’s order was quashed. Therefore the wife filed a writ petition in the High Court.

Setting aside the sessions court’s order, the Bombay High Court held that the defining clause in section 2 of the DV Act suggests that persons who “live” or ” have at any point of time lived together in a shared household, dating back to past matrimonial relationship. Nowhere in the section is the word ‘wife’ mentioned. Further, the definition further has mentioned the word “maintenance”. Therefore, if there is an order of the court to pay maintenance to the “aggrieved person” then if such maintenance is stopped or the aggrieved person is deprived of such maintenance, it can be considered as an economic abuse.

Since the marriage, there were constant demands for dowry by the husband as well as his relatives. As the wife’s family were unable to meet these demands, the dissatisfied husband filed for judicial separation in the family court, which was granted. Thereafter, the wife filed an application u/s 12 of the DV Act seeking seizure of stridhan articles from the husband. The magistrate held the application as not maintainable. On challenging this in the sessions court, the wife’s application was dismissed. Thereafter she filed a revision in the Tripura High Court and it was dismissed again. Hence, she appealed in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of India, while allowing the appeal held that, “The definition of “domestic violence” covers a range of violence which takes within its sweep “economic abuse” and the words “economic abuse”, as the provision would show, has many facets.” The status between the parties was not severed because of the decree of judicial separation. The concept of “continuing offence” gets attracted from the date of deprivation of stridhan, for neither the husband nor any other family members can have any right over the wife’s  stridhan. They remain only as custodians. The wife can submit an application to the protection officer for one or more of the reliefs under the DV Act even after judicial separation. The Court observed that the application was not barred by limitation and appeal was allowed.

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