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Shyamlal Devda and Ors. V/s Parimala

Petition under the Domestic Violence Act can be filed in a court where the “person aggrieved” permanently or temporarily resides or carries on business or is employed.

Case name:Shyamlal Devda and Ors. V/s Parimala
Case number:CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 141 OF 2020
Court:Supreme Court of India
Bench:Justice R Bhanumathi Justice A S Bopanna Justice Hrishikesh Roy
Decided on:JANUARY 22, 2020
Relevant Act/Sections:Hindu Marriage Act, Protection of Women from the Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
  • The respondent/wife and appellant no. 14/husband were married on 01.05.2006 in Chennai according to the Hindu rites and Rajasthani customs and stayed in their matrimonial house in Chennai along with appellant 1 and 2/parents of appellant 14.
  • In 2014, the appellant no.14 and the respondent went to Bengaluru to attend respondent’s sister’s wedding where the respondent expressed her wish to stay in Bengaluru which was agreed to by the appellant no.14.
  • Then according to the appellant no.14, the respondent refused to join their matrimonial house or cohabit. The respondent no. 14 filed an O.P. No.11355 of 2015 for restitution of conjugal rights u/s 9 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 before the family court at Chennai.
  • The respondent claiming herself to be a victim of domestic violence filed Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 before the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru u/s 18, 19 and 20 for protection order, residence order and monitory relief respectively against respondent no.1, 2, 14 and other relatives of respondent no.14 who reside in Chennai, Rajasthan and Gujrat.
  • The Magistrate at Bengaluru issued notice via order dated 16.04.2015 of having jurisdiction u/s 27 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Aggrieved by the said notice, the respondentno.14 filed petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. before the High Court seeking quashing of the entire proceedings in Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015.
  • The High Court dismissed the above-mentioned petition on the ground that the appellant had filed instances of domestic violence at various places i.e Chennai, Rajasthan and Gujarat and hence the Additional Magistrate at Bengaluru has the jurisdiction u/s 27 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
  • Aggrieved by the decision of the High Court, the appellant filed the present petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
  • ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:
  • Whether there exists a prima facie case of domestic violence against respondents 3 to 13?
  • Whether Additional Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru has the jurisdiction to decide the matter under section 27 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005?
  • Whether the Criminal Appeal Misc. No. 53 of 2015, a valid appeal?
  • RATIO OF THE COURT
  • The court examined the statements made by the appellant that respondent with the view to harass the appellant no.14, 1 and 2 and other family members who reside in Rajasthan and Gujarat to the appellant, has made vague allegations which is an abuse of the process of the court, held that with regards to appellant no. 14, 1 and 2 specific averments alleging domestic violence and that they have taken away the jewellery of the respondent gifted to her by her father during marriage and the alleged acts of harassment were made by the respondent. But no specific allegations as to how other relatives of appellant No.14 who reside in Rajasthan and Gujarat have caused the acts of domestic violence.
  • The court also stated that it is not know as to how other relatives who are residents of Gujarat and Rajasthan can be held responsible for award of monetary relief to the respondent. Since there were no specific facts showing how the relative were responsible, there cannot exists a prima facie case against appellant 3 to 13.
  • With respect to the jurisdiction of the Additional Magistrate at Bengaluru, the court criticized the appellant’s contention that that neither the marriage of the parties was solemnized at Bengaluru nor the matrimonial house was at Bengaluru and therefore, the Magistrate Court at Bengaluru has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition. The court on examining section 27 said that on plain reading of the section, it can be seen that a petition can be filed where the “person aggrieved” permanently or temporarily resides or carries on business or is employed. In the present case, the respondent was residing at her parent’s place in Bengaluru which was within the jurisdiction of Additional Magistrate at Bengaluru and hence he can take cognizance of the matter.
  • DECISION HELD BY COURT:Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 filed against the appellants No.3 to 13 is quashed and this appeal is partly allowed.Additional Metropolitan Magistrate at Bengaluru shall proceed with Crl. Misc. No.53 of 2015 against appellants No.1, 2 and 14 and dispose the same in accordance with law.

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