The High Court of Bombay has held that "domestic relationship" is necessary for maintainability of action under the Domestic Violence Act. The case came to Court as, after her application under the Prevention of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (D.V Act) was held not maintainable because she was not in any domestic relationship by the Court of Sessions at Greater Bombay, Sejal Dharmesh Ved approached the Bombay High Court.
The High Court too agreed with the reasoning made by the Trial Court and rejected her application. Making the law clear, Justice Roshan Dalvi pronounced, "A wife who lived in a domestic relationship earlier, but which ceases only because of any domestic violence can certainly file an application for such domestic violence that took place whilst she lived in that relationship. Such application is required to be filed within a reasonable time to show that relationship would give her the cause of action to sue under the D.V. Act for the reliefs under the Act."
In the present case, the petitioner had married in 1999 and lived with her husband in US. She came back to India in 2009 and filed an application under the DV Act in 2010. The order of the High Court considers the reasoning made by the Trial Court and notes the same as, "The learned Judge has considered that under these circumstances, she having come to India in February, 2009 and having filed this application in January, 2010, there was no domestic relationship between the parties. The learned Judge has considered the definition of domestic relationship. Of course, that relationship is defined to be one of which the party then lived and had earlier lived. That would be during the subsistence of the union between them. The application under the D. V. Act could be filed, when the union subsisted. That having came to an end and long after the physical relationship came to be an end, she having returned to India, she cannot be taken to be living in any domestic relationship in India."
Rejecting the application filed, the High Court finally said, "A wife who has returned from the USA and consequently from the domestic relationship and lived in India for one year cannot file an application with regard to that relationship after such time. Such wife cannot be taken to be in any domestic relationship. The order of the learned Judge is, therefore, correct. The writ petition is completely devoid of merits and accordingly dismissed."