18 Aug 2021 3:52 PM GMT
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has recently ruled that a man entering into a second marriage after divorce will not amount to cruelty or an act of domestic violence under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (Domestic Violence Act) while quashing proceedings initiated by the ex-wife. Justice Manish Pitale observed that the contention that...
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has recently ruled that a man entering into a second marriage after divorce will not amount to cruelty or an act of domestic violence under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (Domestic Violence Act) while quashing proceedings initiated by the ex-wife.
Justice Manish Pitale observed that the contention that second marriage after the grant of a divorce decree amounts to domestic violence cannot be accepted and accordingly remarked,
"Merely because the applicant No.1 performing a second marriage cannot come within the definition of domestic violence under Section 3 of the D.V. Act".
The Court further opined that although there has been a domestic relationship between the parties, however this solely cannot be a ground for the respondent (ex-wife) to initiate proceedings under the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act 'much after the divorce proceedings had attained finality and findings had been rendered against her'.
Pursuant to marital discord between the husband and wife, the husband had initiated divorce proceedings on the ground of cruelty. Consequently, the Family Court at Nagpur had granted a decree of divorce on the ground that the wife had indeed inflicted cruelty. The same was also upheld by the Apex Court.
Subsequently, the respondent wife had initiated proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act before the Magistrate in May 2016 and sought monthly maintenance, compensation and other monetary benefits. The in-laws of the applicant had moved a plea seeking dismissal of the proceedings following which the concerned magistrate had rejected such a plea. The instant appeal had been filed before the High Court for quashing of the proceedings.
The Court further opined that the chronology of events in the instant case indicates that the wife sought to invoke the provisions of the Domestic Violence after the proceedings concerning the divorce decree had already attained finality upto the Supreme Court.
"It was not as if the respondent had initiated a proceeding under the D.V. Act during the course of the matrimonial discord between the parties. It is after the respondent suffered adverse orders in the proceedings concerning the divorce petition and the application for restitution of conjugal rights, which stood confirmed right upto the Hon'ble Supreme Court, that she turned around and sought to invoke the provisions of the D.V. Act", the Court remarked.
It further added,
"This demonstrates that the manner in which the proceedings were sought to be initiated under the provisions of the D.V. Act was nothing but an abuse of process of law."
Justice Pitale further reprimanded the wife for keeping her former in-laws engaged in a litigation of this form which constitutes 'a tool of harassment' by observing,
"In any case, the respondent appeared to be interested in initiating and continuing such proceedings as a tool of harassment against the applicants. The prayers pertaining to monthly maintenance, compensation, residence order etc. have all been made in the backdrop of such allegations, which are nothing but a repetition of the contentions raised in the earlier round of litigation"
Accordingly, the Court quashed the order of the Magistrate and the concerned proceedings by ruling that the "continuance of further proceedings in such a matter would amount to permitting abuse of the process of law".
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