High Court Rules Domestic Violence Cases Cannot Be Dismissed Based on Cancellation of Chargesheet

In a significant ruling, the Allahabad High Court has declared that the cancellation of a chargesheet in a criminal case does not automatically lead to the dismissal of concurrent domestic violence proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act. The decision emphasizes that actions under the Domestic Violence Act are civil in nature, and therefore independent of the outcomes in related criminal cases.

The ruling came from Justice Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal as he dismissed a petition filed by Sushma and others from Etah, whose criminal charges of assault and dowry harassment were previously registered at the Jalesar Police Station. Despite the criminal chargesheet being filed after investigation, it was later challenged and cancelled by the High Court.

The petitioners argued that since the criminal charges were dropped, the domestic violence case, based on the same allegations, should also be dismissed. The court, however, rejected this argument, stating that the nature of proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act is fundamentally civil and thus remains unaffected by the status of any parallel criminal charges.

This judicial stance aligns with earlier precedents set by the High Court in the Amardeep Sonkar case, which clarified that proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act are practical (civil) in nature. It was further noted that both the petitioner and the respondent reside in the same household, which substantiates the continuance of the domestic violence case.

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The court also highlighted that the petitioner has the right to present her objections under the Domestic Violence Act in the competent court, suggesting that the matters be resolved there, rather than seeking dismissal based on the cancellation of a related criminal chargesheet.

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