Petition Under 482 Cr.P.C. Not-Maintainable for Domestic Violence Act Proceedings

In the Latest Judgment of the Kerala High Court, on 15th September 2020, Justice P.B Suresh Kumar of the Kerala High Court passed his Judgement in a Domestic Violence case. 

The Court has decided the issue of maintainability of a Petition Under Section 482 Cr.P.C against the Proceedings Pending Under Section 12 of Domestic Violence Act.

Brief Facts:

The woman who was respondent, in this case, filed a case of domestic violence against her in-laws and Husband and the case was taken up by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Hosdurg. It was alleged that the family member of the husband was ill-treating her, and she was not provided with any care even when she was pregnant. It was also alleged that her husband and in-laws took all the gold ornaments that the victim possessed.

The Court passed an interim order and directed the husband to pay a sum of Rs. Ten thousand monthly to the second respondent ( wife ) and Rs.5000 should also be paid to her every month so that the wife can take care of the child.

The wife instituted another case O.P.(Crl)No.234 of 2019 where it was stated that the order passed by the Court on 14.02.2018 was not enforced and the Court should take measures to ensure that the orders were implemented.

Feeling aggrieved, the Mother and Sister of Husband approached the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C for quashing of Proceedings instituted under Section 482 Cr.P.C

Arguments by the Parties.

The counsel for the petitioners ( the sister and mother of the husband) argued that the allegations against them were vague and ambiguous, and no case of domestic violence was made out against them.

Petitioners also stated that the issue in question was trivial and was blown out of proportion to pressurize the family of the husband. They also submitted to the Court that notices issued to them were unwarranted.

Counsel for the respondents (the wife) argued that the petitioners filed the present case with an intent to delay the proceedings of the Court. 

It was also submitted that the allegations against the petitioners were genuine and a case of domestic violence filed against them was not unwarranted but was instituted as per set precedents.

The ruling of the Court

The Court referred to the Kerala High Court’s Judgement in Vijayalekshmi Amma v. Bindu, wherein the Court held that if section 12 of DV Act proceedings have been invoked against a person then he/she cannot approach the High Court by citing section 482 of Cr.Pc. It is up to the Court which has taken cognizance of the matter to adjudicate the case.

The Court also observed that in cases of domestic violence, it had become a common practice to make even distant relatives or people who have no relation to the crime, a party in the case to pressurize family members and get relief , which is not reasonable.

Reference was made to the Judgment of Supreme Court in the case of Preeti Gupta vs State of Jharkhand (2010) 7 SCC 667 and the Court observed that majority of cases are filed on the advice of lawyers or with their concurrence. 

Further the Court added that all the applications filed under DV Act should be scrutinized and ensured that people should not be arrayed as a party based on vague and substantiated allegations.

The case was however dismissed, and the petitioners (mother and sister of the husband) were directed to approach the Magistrate to get relief.

The Court referred to the  Vijayalekshmi case and gave liberty to the petitioners to approach the Magistrate. The Magistrate was also directed to consider the requests in the light of  Vijayalekshmi case.

Case Details-

Case Title: Sheeja K Vs P.c Jayadev & Ors.

Case No.: OP(Crl.).No.234 OF 2019 and Crl.MC.No.7977 OF 2018(F)

Date of Order: 15.09.2020

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr. Justice P.B Suresh Kumar

Appearance: Sri.S.Rajeev Sri.K.K.Dheerendra Krishnan Sri.V.B.Unniraj Sri.V.Vinay Sri.D.Feroze Sri.K.Anand And Sri.Suresh Kumar Kodoth Sri.K.P.Antony Binu

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