In an unusual case, the Bombay High Court has allowed transfer of proceedings from JMFC Shindkheda to JMFC Dhule in a case under the Domestic Violence Act as the applicant husband fears for his security from wife and her relatives.
Justice AM Badar was hearing the application filed by the husband and said that justice would be served in transferring the proceedings.
Respondent wife had filed an application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act in her native place of Shindkheda. The applicant husband filed an application under Section 407 of CrPC seeking transfer of proceedings after his wife, who happens to be a State sales tax officer, slapped him.
Applicant’s counsel Samarth Moray told the court that during the conciliation proceedings, applicant’s wife slapped him in the presence of a police officer. Thereafter, the applicant’s relatives were assaulted by his wife’s relatives. Not only this, police protection was sought by the applicant and given on some occasions. But whenever the hearing at Sindkheda took place, a charged atmosphere was palpable because of the presence of relatives of the applicant’s wife, Moray said.
Amol Gatne appeared on behalf of the respondent-wife and opposed the application. He submitted that because the paternity of their son was questioned, the untoward incident (respondent wife slapping the applicant husband) happened.
The court noted that it is clear from provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 that an aggrieved person under the Act can filed proceedings from their native place, however, the court said:
“At the same time, assurances of fair trial is the first imperative of dispensation of justice and central criterion for the Court to consider when a motion for transfer is made.
In the case in hand, order sheet maintained by the police officer reflecting progress of conciliation in the matrimonial disputes shows that during conciliation proceedings, the respondent/wife had slapped hard on cheek of the applicant no.1/husband and then there was quarrel between the parties. Report of the non-cognizable case filed by the applicant no.1/husband with the concerned police station shows that he as well as his relatives were beaten by the respondent/aggrieved person and her relatives.”
The court concluded that the husband’s contentions were justified and Justice Badar said:
“Shindkheda is the native place of respondent no.1/wife. Averments in the application are to the effect that a lot of relatives of the respondent/wife gathers in the Court at the time of hearing of the application giving sense of insecurity to the applicants. At the same time, it is not disputed that the respondent/wife serving as Sales Tax Officer at Dhule. Hence, interest of justice could be served by transferring the proceedings.”
Thus, the proceedings were transferred to JMFC Dhule.