Karnataka HC Withdraws Order Which Held That Husband Can Initiate DV Act Proceedings
Justice Anand Byrareddy of Karnataka HC withdrew his order on his retirement day.
Justice Anand Byrareddy of the Karnataka High Court has withdrawn his order wherein he held that a husband can initiate proceedings under the Domestic Act against wife and her relatives and has restored the petition on file.
Coincidentally, this withdrawal order by Justice Byrareddy came on his last day in office as high court judge. The judge turns 62 today (1 May 2017) and the order came on Friday, 28th April, 2017.
The order has been withdrawn by the Judge after Advocate Jayna Kothari has mentioned the matter before the Judge and argued that the order passed was in direct conflict with the provisions of the Act and the Supreme Court Judgment in Harsora Case.
The high court had recently observed that any person, whether male or female, aggrieved and alleging violation of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, can invoke the provisions under the Act.
Justice Byrareddy had apparently relied on a Supreme Court decision in the case of Hiral P Harsora vs Kusum Narottamdas Harsora, wherein the Supreme Court struck down a portion of Section 2(a) on the ground that it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and the phrase “adult male” as appearing in Section 2(q) stood deleted.
“If the said sub-section is read after deleting the expression ‘adult male’, it would appear that any person, whether male or female, aggrieved and alleging violation of the provisions of the Act could invoke the provisions under the Act. In that view of the matter, the petitioner’s complaint could not have been trashed on the ground that the Act does not contemplate provision for men and it could only be in respect of women,” the judge had observed.
Speaking to LiveLaw Advocate Jayna Kothari said;
“Harsora Judgment broadened the scope of the PWDVA to delete the phrase ‘adult male’ from the definition of the respondent. This was mistakenly applied to the definition of the ‘aggrieved person’ and the Karnataka high court held that men and women could see relief under the PWDVA. Not only was this under a mistaken understanding of the Harsora judgment, it would have led to a barrage of complaints being filed by men against women under the PWDVA which was enacted to protect women from domestic violence at the hands of men and not the other way around”.