This appeal has been filed before the Honorable Supreme Court pursuing to the order passed by the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court ordering the appellant to vacate her matrimonial house with regards to the petition filed pursuing to proceeding from the Session’s Court wherein the High Court confirmed the order of the session court judge to withdraw all the respondent from the matter. The appellant herein was married to the respondent no. 1 wherein their marriage was solemnized on 20th January 2005. The marriage between the appellant and respondent was registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. After the marriage the appellant was residing with her husband in his house which was located in the Khorej Colony in Amravati, the appellant in here submission also mentioned that her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law who was widowed also resided with them in the same house. The appellant mentioned about brutalities of her marriage that started after a period of one year, in her submission, she mentioned that she was being assaulted by her husband and other respondents.
On 16th June 2007 when the brutalities by her husband were at its peak, she mentioned that her husband beat her mercilessly up to a situation it became unbearable for her and pursuing to such beating she lodged a complaint against him under section 498 A of Indian Penal Code. The appellant also filed the complaint under section 12, section 18, section 19, section 20 and section 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against the other respondents, i.e. her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The appellant filed a suit against all the applicants before the judicial magistrate of First Class under section 23 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The Judicial Magistrate passed an order in this behalf requiring the respondent to pay a sum of Rs. 1500/- to the appellant and no dispossession will be allowed of the appellant from her matrimonial house by any respondents whomsoever.
- Whether the order passed by the Honorable High Court valid?
- Whether the appellant should be forced to leave her matrimonial house?
- Whether a female member of the house can be made a party in Domestic violence case?
The Honorable Supreme Court after hearing the learned counsels representing both the parties in the matter above and considering the facts and the precedents submitted established by the Honorable Judges to support the prayers and pleadings of the parties in the matter above states its observation herein that the Supreme Court should consider the contention mentioned by the learned advocate while submitting the prejudicial remark on the working of the Honorable High Court that relying on the facts finding of the Trial Court. The High Court has wrongly confirmed the order of the Trial Court wherein it affirmed the direction to delete the names of the respondent which were important for the conclusion of the case and appropriate application of the intention of the party. The High court in providing the rationale that no female in the matter can be made a party to the matter of any offence committed under the Domestic Violence Act, applying the correct interpretation of the female person in reading the definition of the respondent in the Act. The plain reading of the definition might be in the contrary interest of the mind of legislature applied while enacting such act. Further, it will only serve the purpose if such definition or word is understood its entirety and context, and thus court further states that it was wisely decided by the court present this view. The court in understanding the matter and consider the viewpoints enunciated from the Honorable Session’s Judge and the by the Honorable High Court of Bombay the court finds itself unable to sustain the order by the respective institution of the Judiciary in relation to an interpretation formed of the respondent under section2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The court mentioned that for reference to this matter, it would be wise if the court itself states the section 2(q) heron:
"Respondent" means any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act:
Provided that an aggrieved wife or female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner."
The court states that this definition above though excludes the female member of the house from being party to any criminal suit but the section which defines the complaint widens the scope of the complainant by stating that any person male or any relative of such male member who is in a domestic relationship with the female of the house who has lodged a complaint about domestic violence that provides a fair meaning under the definition to understand the mind of the legislature. This court is of the opinion that if the legislature wants to exclude the female from being the person against whom the complaint cannot be file under the Domestic Violence Act, such specifications would have been mentioned by the legislature instead of adding a provision that states that any relative of ale member can be a party under the domestic violence whereas no specific definition of the relative has been mentioned and this court for serving the purpose is of the opinion that while interpreting such clause or proviso an inclusive interpretation fulfils the just cause. The court decides the matter by stating that it is true and can be believed that such exclusion was mere interpretation error, not the intent of the legislature. The Honorable Session Judge and the Honorable High Court of Bombay were wrong when deciding the matter it was decided on the wrong interpretation of section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and should be carried on.
The Supreme Court decides that the judgment by the earlier court be set aside and by allowing the appeal and suggested that the trial court should also proceed against the other respondents.