Bombay HC crushes allegations made by a mother against her own daughter

The Bombay HC on 20th April 2021 decided a rather different matter wherein a daughter sought to quash proceedings made against her by her own mother under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. 

Background:

The Respondent, Jyoti Rodrigues, the mother of the petitioner, Vanisha Rodrigues filed an application before the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate against her husband (petitioner’s father) pertaining to Secs.12, 18, 19, 20 and 22 of the Act. In the application she raised several objections against her husband. In it, there was one allegation made against her daughter in that application. 

The learned magistrate issued orders against the husband which were challenged by him in the sessions court. Vanisha thus claimed that she has been caught between the matrimonial discord of her parents which would have detrimental effect on her career prospects of studying abroad. 

She had finished her studies in Engineering and hoped to study further in Australia. However, the proceedings initiated by her mother under the DV Act were causing hurdles to successfully seek a Visa. 

In December 2020, the HC had granted a stay on the divorce proceedings in furtherance to the writ filed by the daughter. The respondent had filed a reply in which she stated that there was no reason for her daughter to go abroad and it was just an excuse made by her to escape the DV proceedings. She also stated that her daughter had completed her education and was interested in food blogging. The mother also went as far to make statements about her own daughter’s character saying she had many boyfriends. Thus, dismissal was sought by the mother. 

Submissions:

The counsel for the petitioner stated that Vanisha was unnecessarily made a party by her mother in the DV proceedings. Just because she continued to stay with her father she was dragged into the mess. The only allegation against her was also of a general nature. The reliefs sought by the respondent were also maintainable only against the husband. 

He also stressed on the urgency of the matter stating that the University of Australia, was likely to commence in the month of May, 2021; so the petition should be quashed at the earliest for her to be able to get a visa. 

On the other hand the learned counsel appearing for the Respondent submitted that a specific allegation regarding assault was made in the DV application It was maintainable because the Petitioner was clearly covered under the definition of “Respondent” as defined in Section 2(q) of the D.V. Act.

Analysis and decision:

The court stated “domestic violence is widely prevalent and a specific law was required to provide remedy to aggrieved women for ensuring their protection, reliefs pertaining to protection from physical and economic abuse, as also shared household and adequate compensation were required to be provided for. It is in this backdrop that the D.V. Act was enacted.” 

The Court looked at various provisions of the act, the DV application and the writ filed by the daughter. The perusal of the DV application showed that the entire grievance is raised against the husband. The sole reason for initiating action against the daughter seemed to be that she continued to live with the husband. The bitterness between the parents had spilled over on the children. 

For the contention on the daughter’s wishes to study abroad the court states, “The Petitioner is a young lady, who has just graduated and her future depends upon how she is able to improve her educational qualifications and develop her personality.It is only in the interest of justice, that this aspect of the matter is also taken into consideration.”

The court was also surprised to see the mother bent on obstructing the daughter. The allegations against the daughter also seemed to be based completely out of spite. 

The Writ petition was thus allowed, quashing the DV allegations against the daughter. 

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