8 Sep 2023 5:30 AM GMT
Observing that a physically disabled person is not incapable of giving threats, the Bombay High Court recently refused to quash a domestic violence case against a disabled woman accused of abusing and threatening her daughter-in-law.Justice RM Joshi of the Aurangabad bench observed that whether any domestic violence was caused is a matter of trial, but prima facie the complainant was subjected...
Observing that a physically disabled person is not incapable of giving threats, the Bombay High Court recently refused to quash a domestic violence case against a disabled woman accused of abusing and threatening her daughter-in-law.
Justice RM Joshi of the Aurangabad bench observed that whether any domestic violence was caused is a matter of trial, but prima facie the complainant was subjected to domestic violence.
“It is sought to be argued by the learned counsel for the applicant no.3 mother-in-law that she is physically disabled person and therefore she cannot be said to have committed any domestic violence against the respondent. The allegation against applicant no.3 is that she used to abuse and threaten the respondent. Needless to state that physically handicapped person in all cases need not be said to be incapable to give such threats. It would be the matter of evidence during trial before the learned Magistrate to ascertain as to whether any domestic violence was caused to respondent by these applicants. Suffice it to say that prima facie perusal of the application indicates that respondent was subjected to domestic violence”, the court held.
Five persons accused of domestic violence under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act) sought to quash the case against them via a criminal application before the High Court. The applicants included the complainant’s husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband of sister-in-law, and brother-in-law.
Advocate Niranjan Deshpande for the applicants contended that the complaint against them lacked specific instances of domestic violence, rendering it inadmissible before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Dhule. Further, the mother-in-law being physically disabled cannot commit domestic violence, it was argued.
It was also argued on behalf of the sister-in-law and her husband that they resided separately and had never shared a common household with the complainant. They cited a previous order of the HC in which it made a specific finding that they were residing separately. This finding remained unchallenged and, therefore, became final.
The DV Act defines an 'aggrieved person' under Section 2(a) and 'domestic relationship' under Section 2(f). It stipulates that domestic violence proceedings apply to individuals who have lived together in a shared household when related by consanguinity, marriage, or a relationship in the nature of marriage, or living together as a joint family.
The court ruled that the proceedings against the complainant’s sister-in-law and her husband were not tenable as they had not lived in a shared household.
Regarding the husband and other applicants, the court noted that they resided in a joint family with the complainant for a brief period. However, the DV Act does not prescribe a specific duration for a domestic relationship, the court said.
Therefore, the court refused to quash the proceedings against complainant’s husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law, but quashed the proceedings against complainant’s sister-in-law and husband of sister-in-law.
Advocate Niranjan Milind Deshpande represented the Applicants.
APP SN Morampalle represented the State.
Advocate Shaikh Mohd. Ibrahim Ismail represented the complainant.
Case no. – Criminal Application No. 694 of 2023
Case Title – ABC v. XYZ
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