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Family Court Shall Hear Domestic Violence Case Along With Matrimonial Dispute Says Bombay HC [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
9 Dec 2019 5:44 AM GMT
Family Court Shall Hear Domestic Violence Case Along With Matrimonial Dispute Says Bombay HC [Read Order]
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The Bombay High Court last month allowed transfer of a pending criminal proceeding under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to the Family Court at Pune to be tried along with the pending divorce petition in the interest of justice.Justice SC Gupte heard the application for such transfer filed by Santosh Mulik, the husband. Mulik submitted before the court...

The Bombay High Court last month allowed transfer of a pending criminal proceeding under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to the Family Court at Pune to be tried along with the pending divorce petition in the interest of justice.

Justice SC Gupte heard the application for such transfer filed by Santosh Mulik, the husband. Mulik submitted before the court that his wife Mohini Chaudhari had filed the said proceeding under the Domestic Violence Act after he served her with petition for divorce filed by him.

Advocate Abhijit Sarwate along with Advocate Ajinkya Udane appeared on behalf of the applicant and Advocate Suhas Rohile appeared for the respondent wife.

Applicant's counsel submitted that in the interest of justice, particularly, having regard to Section 26 of the DV Act, the said application may be transferred to the Family Court at Pune, where both proceedings can be tried conveniently.

Whereas, Rohile argued that Family Court has no authority or jurisdiction to consider a domestic violence proceeding filed under Section 12 of the Act. He relied upon two judgments of the Bombay High Court in, Sandip Mrinmoy Chakraboarty Vs. Reshita Sandip Chakrabarty and Minoti Subhash Anand Vs. Subhash Manoharlal Anand in support of his application for transfer.

Sarwate relied on a judgment of Chhattisgarh High Court in Smt. Neetu Singh Vs. Sunil Singh and submitted that the option to proceed before a family court in a pending matrimonial proceeding under Section 26 of the Act is available to the aggrieved party, who is the respondent in the present case.

Court noted that Family Court has jurisdiction as per Section 26 of the said act-

"The question in this Misc. Civil Application, which seeks transfer of a proceeding, is not about who has the option to file such proceeding under the Act or to have the same transferred to the Family Court. The question is, whether it is in the interest of justice to have the two proceedings heard together and if the Family Court is the proper court to hear the proceedings together, where it has jurisdiction to consider the reliefs prayed for in the domestic violence proceeding filed before the criminal court.

If the two matters have to be heard together, and it is certainly in the interest of justice that they be so heard, they can come only before the Family Court. So far as the jurisdiction of that court is concerned, having regard to Section 26 of the Act and the judgments of our courts ruling in favour of such jurisdiction, it cannot possibly be urged that the Family Court lacks such jurisdiction."

Court further noted that contrary to what was argued, the said transfer of proceedings would not curtail her right to appeal-

"In any event, since from the domestic violence proceeding that may be heard along with the matrimonial proceeding before the Family Court, an appeal would lie to this court, and in that sense, no party can be said to be loosing his/her right of appeal, what is lost is a further right of revision. That, however, is no ground to deny transfer of proceedings on the basis of the principle of justice noted above."

Thus, the application was allowed.

Click here to download the Order


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