2010 ALL MR (Cri) JOURNAL 141
(RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT)
MAHESH CHANDRA SHARMA, J.
Smt. Hema Alias Hemlata & Anr.Vs.Jitendra & Anr.
Cri. Revision Petition No.804 of 2008
7th January, 2009
Petitioner Counsel: ANOOP DHAND
Respondent Counsel: NAWAB ALI,R. S. RATHORE
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005), Ss.12, 20 - Retrospective effect of Act - Marriage dissolved by consent prior to 3 years of coming into force of Act - Wife was forced to live separately because of torture and harassment by husband - No question of any violence after dissolution of marriage - Held maintenance order was rightly set aside by Sessions Judge. (Para 5)
-This revision petition has been filed by the petitioners Smt. Hema alias Hemlata and Rajni, challenging the order dated May 3, 2008 of Special Judge (SC & ST Cases) Alwar in Criminal Appeal No.125 of 2007 reversing the order dated August 8, 2007 of the Judicial Magistrate No.1, Alwar in Criminal Misc. Application No.1/2008/2007 by which application filed by petitioners under Section 12 read with Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was allowed and the respondent was directed to make payment of maintenance of Rs.1000 each to the petitioners.
2. Brief facts giving rise to this revision petition are that the petitioners submitted an application under Section 12 read with Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 for maintenance allowance and relief before the Court of Judicial Magistrate No.1. Alwar. It was alleged in the application that the marriage of the petitioner No.1 Hema was solemnised with the respondent on June 30, 1998 and out of the wed lock a daughter was born. The respondent tortured and harassed his wife for dowry and subjected her to domestic violence and on one occasion the respondent thrown the petitioner No.1 into the well but by God's grace and help of the people residing in the locality she was taken to Hospital and her life was saved. On 3-9-2003 the marriage of the parties was dissolved by a decree of consent divorce. At the relevant time, no arrangement for maintenance of the petitioners was made by the respondent. It was alleged that the respondent is having 30 bighas of land and earning Rs.2.00 lac per year. The petitioners, therefore, made a request for granting interim maintenance of Rs.3000 per month. The respondent submitted reply to the application and stated that divorce was already taken place and the case of the petitioners does not come within the definition of domestic relationship and the application under Section 12 of the Act is not maintainable and Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the same. After hearing both the sides, the learned Judicial Magistrate, Alwar accepted and allowed the application for interim maintenance by passing a reasoned and cogent order on August 8, 2007 and directed the respondent to pay maintenance allowance of Rs.1000 each to the petitioners. Feeling aggrieved by the order, the respondent submitted an appeal before the Court of Special Judge (SC & SC Cases) Alwar who vide order dated May 3, 2008 accepted and allowed the same and quashed the order dated August 8, 2007 of Judicial Magistrate. It was held that the case of the petitioners does not come within the purview and provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Hence this petition has been filed by the petitioners against this order.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that Section 2-A of the Act of 2005 defines the word "aggrieved person". It means any woman who is, or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent 2nd who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent. The learned counsel submitted that this definition is very clear that an aggrieved person means any woman who has been in domestic relationship with the respondent and who has been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent. The petitioner No.1 has been in domestic relationship with the respondent and she was subjected to domestic violence by the respondent. Under these circumstances, the provisions of the Act of 2005 are quite applicable in the instant case. Similarly, the provisions of Section 20(1)(d) of the Act are applicable and the petitioners are entitled for monitory relief of maintenance from the respondent. As per Section 27 of the Act of 2005 the Judicial Magistrate was having jurisdiction to entertain, hear and decide the application filed by the petitioners for maintenance. The appellate Court has seriously erred in holding that the Act of 2005 came into force by the Notification issued by the Central Government on October 26, 2006 and it came into force on October 17, 2006 and after enforcement of Act the petitioners were not residing with the respondent and they were not subjected to an domestic violence by the respondent. By misinterpreting the provisions of the law the appellate Court has quashed and set aside the order of the Magistrate. The learned counsel submitted that the Act nowhere says that the provisions of the Act will apply with only its prospective effect. Section 2-A clearly defines the word "aggrieved person" and it says that aggrieved person means any woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent. In the instant case, the learned counsel submitted that the petitioner No.1 has been in domestic relationship with the respondent and she was subjected to various acts of domestic violence by the respondent that is why their marriage was dissolved. The respondent created such a circumstance with the petitioner No.1 that it became impossible for the petitioner to reside with him. Because of the torture and harassment made by the respondent with the petitioner for demand of dowry and because domestic violence done by the respondent with the petitioner, the marriage was dissolved. The learned counsel submits that the provisions of Act is having its retrospective effect and it applies to the domestic violence created by the respondent even prior to enforcement of the same.
5. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the judgment passed by the Special Judge (SC & ST cases) Alwar. Admittedly, marriage between the petitioner No.1 and non-petitioner was dissolved by a consent divorce on September 3, 2003 and thereafter both of them are residing separately. Provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force on October 17, 2006 and after enforcement of the Act the petitioners were not residing with the respondent and they were not subjected to any domestic violence by the respondent. There is no provision in the Act having a retrospective effect. Special Judge (SC & ST Case) Alwar by a detailed order held that there is no question of any violence by the respondent with the petitioner No.1 after dissolution of marriage and there is no question of petitioners being aggrieved person as defined in Section 2-A of the Act. It was specifically mentioned by the special Judge in the impugned order that on a bare perusal of Section 12(1) of the Act specifically provided that before passing the order as per the provisions of the Act, the Magistrate has to look into the report of domestic violence. In the instant case, there is no question of any report of domestic violence as is clear from the facts that the divorce between the parties took place in September, 2003 and after coming into force of the provisions of the Act the parties cannot be termed as aggrieved person. The Special Judge has given cogent reasons for setting aside the order of the Judicial Magistrate allowing maintenance to the petitioners. The order passed by the Special Judge is perfectly legal and not contrary to law. The Special Judge has not committed any illegality in passing the same. Thus the impugned order does not call for any interference in the revisional jurisdiction. The revision petition being devoid of merit stands rejected. As the main petition has been dismissed the stay application also stands dismissed.