The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday, held that interim orders under Section 23 of the Domestic Violence Act which causes no prejudice to the party are not appealable. Justice Pankaj Naqvi, dismissed the Revision petition filed by a husband, observing that ‘This order has not decided any issue so as to cause any prejudice, on the contrary, it has only deferred its consideration till the stage of evidence. Such an order would not be appealable under Section 29 of the Act”
During the pendency of proceedings under Domestic Violence Act against him, the husband filed an application alleging that his marriage was never solemnized with the complainant. Magistrate rejected the application on the ground that the issue could be decided only after evidence. The Husband filed appeal against this interim order rejecting his application, before District Court which dismissed his appeal on the ground that no appeal is maintainable against an interlocutory order. Thereafter he filed the revision petition before High Court.
Citing a Kerala High Court Judgment, Sulochana vs. Kuttapam, it was contended by the applicant that, interim orders under Section 23 of the Domestic Violence Act are appealable. The Government attorney contended that considering the beneficial and remedial nature of the enactment, interlocutory orders have been kept outside the purview of Section 29 of the Act. The High Court after examining the provisions of Domestic Violence Act held that, though the interim and Ex Parte orders are appealable, as held by Kerala High Court, but interference would be on well-accepted judicial principles, such as perversity or patent illegality.
In this case, the Court held “The impugned order only indicates that the issue as to whether the applicant is the wife of O.P no.2, is to be decided after evidence. This order has not decided any issue so as to cause any prejudice, on the contrary, it has only deferred its consideration till the stage of evidence. Such an order would not be appelable under Section 29 of the Act”. The court further held “To take each and every order within the sweep of the appellate power under Section 29, would render the Act ineffective”.
The Court also made itself clear on which all orders made under the Domestic Violence Act are appealable. It held that all final orders under Sections 18 to 22 of the Act and the interim/ex parte orders under Section 23 of the Act would be appealable. All other orders relating to procedural domain are not appealable, it said.