Sunday, 19 June 2016

Whether court can direct Neighbor of husband to pay maintenance to wife in Domestic Violence Act?

The applicant herein is original opponent
No.6 in Criminal Misc.Application No.317 of
2013 before the Judicial Magistrate, First
Class, Visnagar. Such application was
preferred by present respondent No.1 being
wife under the provisions of Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 against her husband and
in-laws being respondents No.4 to 7. Whereas,
present applicant was joined as respondent
No.6 being their neighbour. In addition to
different allegations, one of the allegation
is regarding relationship between respondent
No.3 – husband of the original applicant with
present applicant. However, while dealing
with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act,
the law is now well settled that provisions
of such Act is applicable to the husband and
in-laws only and not upon any other persons
including the person with whom either of the
spouse is in relationship so also neighbour
or any other person. Therefore, to that
extent, the proceedings against the present
applicant under the Domestic Violence Act is
not only unwarranted, but unjustified and
illegal and therefore, any order against the
present applicant under the Domestic Violence
Act by wife of some person with whom atleast
on the date of filing of complaint till any
order is passed, if there is no relationship
between such third person and the husband or

spouse, then, any such order under Domestic
Violence Act against third person becomes
nullity and it needs to be quashed and setaside.
Therefore, in the present case, when original
complainant has categorically disclosed the
present applicant as their neighbour only,
any direction or order, more particularly
order granting maintenance in favour of the
original complainant is unwarranted and needs
to be quashed and set-aside.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD
CRIMINAL REVISION APPLICATION (FOR MAINTENANCE) NO. 43 of2016

SUTHAR RAMILABEN SITARAM..
Versus
RAJPUT BHAVANABEN D/O CHAMANJI JAVANJI & 6...
CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE S.G.SHAH
 Date : 13/06/2016


1.Heard learned advocate Ms.Amrita Ajmera for
the applicant and learned advocate

Mr.A.V.Prajapati for respondent No.1.
2.The applicant herein is original opponent
No.6 in Criminal Misc.Application No.317 of
2013 before the Judicial Magistrate, First
Class, Visnagar. Such application was
preferred by present respondent No.1 being
wife under the provisions of Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 against her husband and
in-laws being respondents No.4 to 7. Whereas,
present applicant was joined as respondent
No.6 being their neighbour. In addition to
different allegations, one of the allegation
is regarding relationship between respondent
No.3 – husband of the original applicant with
present applicant. However, while dealing
with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act,
the law is now well settled that provisions
of such Act is applicable to the husband and
in-laws only and not upon any other persons
including the person with whom either of the
spouse is in relationship so also neighbour
or any other person. Therefore, to that
extent, the proceedings against the present
applicant under the Domestic Violence Act is
not only unwarranted, but unjustified and
illegal and therefore, any order against the
present applicant under the Domestic Violence
Act by wife of some person with whom atleast
on the date of filing of complaint till any
order is passed, if there is no relationship
between such third person and the husband or

spouse, then, any such order under Domestic
Violence Act against third person becomes
nullity and it needs to be quashed and setaside.

3.Therefore, in the present case, when original
complainant has categorically disclosed the
present applicant as their neighbour only,
any direction or order, more particularly
order granting maintenance in favour of the
original complainant is unwarranted and needs
to be quashed and set-aside.
4.If we peruse the impugned order, it becomes
clear that while making several directions
under the Domestic Violence Act, the trial
Court has failed to restrict such order only
against original opponents No.1 to 5 being
husband and in-laws of the complainant.
Unfortunately, similar mistake has been
continued in Criminal Appeal Nos.9 and 10
when appellate Court has decided such appeals
on 5.12.2015. In such judgment, again the
appellant Court has failed to differentiate
the liability of original opponents No.1 to 5
on one hand and opponent No.6 on other hand.
By both the impugned judgments, both the
lower Courts have confirmed the liability of
all the opponents jointly for paying
maintenance to the wife and to pay other
amount towards cost and also towards
residential accommodation.

5.Therefore, so far as impugned orders are
fixing liability of the present applicant
being neighbour of the opponent No.1 i.e.
respondent No.3 herein – husband is
concerned, all such direction needs to be
quashed and set-aside. However, it is made
clear that when original opponents No.1 to 5
– husband and in-laws of the complainant –
wife have not preferred the revision by
challenging the impugned judgment and order,
their liability remains unaffected even
though this revision application is allowed.
6.Therefore, this revision application is
allowed qua present applicant only and hence,
the impugned judgment and order dated
24.7.2015 in Criminal Misc.Application No.317
of 2013 by J.M.F.C., Visnagar so also
judgment and order dated 5.12.2015 by
Sessions Judge, Mehsana in Criminal Appeals
No.9 and 10 of 2015 qua the present applicant
is hereby quashed and set-aside. However, it
is made clear that this Court has not
scrutinized or examined the judgment and
order against the respondents No.3 to 7 i.e.
original opponents No.1 to 5 and therefore,
judgment and order against them will remain
in force.
(S.G.SHAH, J.)

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