Wife can’t file DV on in laws after living with them ONLY a few days. Delhi Sessions court

A wife files DV soon after her return from USA. She ropes in all the in laws with whom she has stayed only a few days… This is a very useful case for NRIs suffering the same fate !!

GIST : After marriage parties visit the husband’s ancestral house for a few days and stay at a hotel at Thirupathi for a few days. Otherwise they live in USA. On return from USA, Wife files DV cases on mother in law and sister in law alleging that they were treating her cruelly even during those short stays (at hotel or for few days at husband’s parental home), she was administered pills that lead to her miscarriage etc.

The magistrate court refuses to summon the mother and sister in law. summons are served ONLY on the husband !

Wife goes on appeal. The appellate (sessions) court dismisses the case against the mother in law and sisters in law stating that such short stays cannot be considered as “domestic relationships” and there is NO DV case in the absence of a domestic relationship !!

The Honourable court states

“….From the pleading it is also apparent that respondent no.1 was even prior to his marriage residing in U.S. and soon after the marriage the aggrieved also went alongwith on 12.12.2009 which shows that actually the matrimonial home/shared household between the parties was the house at U.S which they intended to share the same for matrimonial purpose and not the house at Kanpur. Therefore, there was no domestic relationship between aggrieved and respondent no.2 to 4 as per the provisions of Section 2 (f) of DV Act 2004. ….”

“….12 In the present matter, it may be mentioned that respondent no2, namely, Manju Trivedi, is mother in law of the appellant Ruby Shukla and respondent no.3 and 4, namely, Geetika Trivedi and Monika Trivedi, respectively, are sisters in law of the appellant. There is nothing on record file to show that the appellant ever intended to share the domestic relationship either with the respondent no.2 Manju Trivedi or respondent no.3 Geetika Trivedi and respondent no 4 Monika Trivedi, since, the husband was settled in USA and the appellant was aware that she also had to stay at USA after marriage. It cannot be said that appellant intended to settle with husband, namely Sonil Trivedi, at Kanpur. So far as the stay at Kanpur is concerned, it is clear from the record file that it was for a very limited period and from the said stay it cannot be inferred that appellant had shared domestic relationship with respondent no.2, namely , Manju Trivedi. Similarly, her stay with respondent no.3 and 4 in Delhi cannot be said to be sufficient enough to come to the conclusion that she intended to share the domestic relationship with respondent no.3 and 4 at Delhi.…”

and also affirmatively quotes the MM court verdict explaining how mere violence without a domestic relationship will NOT attract the provisions of DV act. In such a case, parties have to seek other remedies “….However, this Court is of the view that as already mentioned above that there was no sharing of domestic relationship between the parties, therefore, the question of compensation would not arise because for invoking provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 first the domestic relationship and shared household is to be proved and then it is to be shown that there was domestic violence inflicted upon the aggrieved. But, if domestic relationship is not shown to have been existing then even infliction of violence would have no consequence to invoke the provisions under the aforesaid act and for the same separate remedies are available with the aggrieved. Moreover, during the period aggrieved resided at the quarters of respondent no.3 and 4 which was also a temporary stay on her part therefore there was no shared household at that time also. Hence, summoning against respondent no.2 to 4 is declined. Issue notice to the respondent no.1 filing of PF/RC, speed post and approved courier for 19.11.2014.”……”

 

PS : yes this is a session’s court order and so would have limited force…however the rationale is sound and can be tried again !!

 

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IN THE COURT OF SHRI RAMESH KUMAR ASJ/SPECIAL JUDGE
(PC ACT) (CBI)SOUTH DISTRICT: SAKET DISTRICT COURTS
NEW DELHI

Criminal Appeal Number : 15/14
Unique ID No. 02406R0250412014

Ruby Shukla
W/o Sonil Trivedi
D/o Dr. P. Shukla
JE-18, 4th Floor, Gupta Colony
Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar
New Delhi ……………………Appellant

versus

1. Sonil Trivedi (Husband)
S/o Dr. O.N. Trivedi
R/o 6 Swam CT, Jersey City
New Jersey, USA

Also at:
128/2/127, Yashoda Nagar,
Kanpur-208011

2) Mrs Manju Trivedi (mother in law)
W/o Dr O.N. Trivedi 128/2/127,
Yashoda Nagar, Kanpur-208011

3) Geetika Trivedi (sister in law)
Specialist Obs. And Gynaecology
Deptt. Of Obs and Gynae
Kusturba Gandhi Hospital,
Near Jama Masjid, Daryaganj, Delhi

4) Monika Trivedi (sister in law)
D/o Dr. O.N. Trivedi 128/2/127,
Yashoda Nagar, Kanpur-208011 ……………………..Respondents

***********************************************************

Date of institution of Appeal : 27/09/2014
Date of Allocation : 29/09/2014
Date of conclusion of arguments : 27/11/2015
Date of Judgment : 10/12/2015.

Particulars related to impugned order
***********************************************************
CC No. : 273/2/2014
PS : Malviya Nagar
Under Section : 12 of Domestic Violence Act 2005
Date of impugned order : 25/07/2014
Name of learned Trial Court : Ms Niti Phutela, Ld MM, South District, New Delhi

Memo of Appearance
****************************
Sh Anurag Modi, Ld Counsel for Appellant.
Sh M.M. Tripathi , Ld Counsel for respondents.

JUDGMENT

1. The present is a judicial verdict on an appeal filed by the appellant, Ruby Shukla, against the order, dated 25/07/2014, passed by the Ld Trial Court.

2 Present appeal has been filed by the appellant, namely, Ruby Shukla u/s 29 of Domestic Violence Act, 2005, challenging the order, dated 25/07/2014, passed by Ld Trial Court, vide which Ld Trial Court had declined the summoning of respondent no. 2 and 4.

3. The impugned order is dated 25/07/2014 and appeal has been filed on 27/09/2014. Appellant has also filed an application for condonation of delay under section 5 of Limitation Act. It is stated by the counsel for appellant that appellant is an aspirant of Civil Services and her examination for M.P. Civil Services was fixed for 27/07/2014 at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh and her UPSC examination was fixed for 24/08/2014 due to which the appellant was not able to contact with her counsel. It has further been argued that matter was also referred to Mediation Cell in CAW Nanakpura u/s 406/498A of IPC. It has further been argued that delay was neither willful nor intentional. There is a delay of about one month and few days in filing the appeal. Considering the contentions of Ld counsel for appellant and in interest of justice, application for condonation of delay is allowed and delay is condoned.

4 Brief facts of the case are that complainant, Ruby Shukla filed a complaint u/s 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to the effect that she got married to respondent no.1, namely, Sonil Trivedi, on 01/12/2009 at Kanpur and all the functions were held at Kanpur, as per the wishes of in-laws of appellant. It has been alleged, in the complaint, that the marriage was done with great pomp and show and lots of articles were given in the marriage to the matrimonial family of the appellant. It has further been alleged by the complainant, that after marriage, she was humiliated and insulted by her in laws on the pretext of bringing less dowry and that she was beaten by the respondent no.1 on many occasions. It has further been alleged that her family members were also got humiliated by the respondent no.1 and his family for giving less dowry in marriage. It has further been alleged in the complaint that appellant went to USA along with her husband on 12.12.2009 and joined her office from 14.12.2009 and there respondent no.1 made her to share all the household and other related expenses equally. It has been further alleged that complainant came back to India in April 2011 and that her pregnancy was aborted by her in laws and further that was treated badly at her in laws house, during her stay over there.

5 On receiving the complaint, Ld Trial Court, after hearing the arguments, passed the impugned order, dated 25/07/2014, and declined the summoning against respondents no.2 to 4 and only respondent no.1 was ordered to be summoned.

6. Aggrieved from the said order appellant, Ruby Shukla, has preferred this appeal. It is contended by Ld counsel for appellant that the impugned order has been passed in a mechanical manner without applying mind and Ld Trial Court has erred in concluding that appellant only stayed for a brief period with the respondents no. 2 to 4 and hence there was no domestic relationship between the parties. It has further been contended that Ld Trial Court failed to realize that the appellant was subjected to cruelty and violence by all the respondents since the date of her marriage and that the specific instances of cruelty and domestic violence committed by all the respondents were not taken into account while passing the impugned order. It has further been argued that bare perusal of the definition as provided under section 2 (f) of the PWDV Act makes it clear that the said definition does not prescribe any time frame or time limit or period for which parties need to live together in a shared household for the said relationship to constitute as a ‘domestic relationship’ under the PWDV Act. It has further been contended that Ld Trial Court has acted in an arbitrary, biased and prejudicial manner without looking into content of complaint. Ld Trial Court erred in comparing stay of appellant at her matrimonial house at Kanpur as temporary stay as her stay at hotel and impugned order had been based merely on surmises and conjectures, which is against the facts of the case and contrary to judicial record and hence not sustainable in the eyes of law. It has further been argued that Ld Trial Court had not taken into account the fact that the personal belonging/articles and Istridhan belonging to the Complainant/appellant is still lying at the shared household/matrimonial home of the complainant. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

7 Respondents have filed the reply of the appeal, wherein they have denied the allegations levelled against them and had contended that no violence was committed on the appellant by respondent or his family member rather the appellant is victimizing the respondent and his family by misusing the provisions of law. Ld Counsel for respondent had relied upon S.P. Chengalvaray Naidu Vs Jagannath, reported as 1994 AIR (SC) 853, wherein it has been held by Hon’ble Supreme Court that “We have no hesitation to say that a person, whose case is based on falsehood, has no right to approach the Court. He can be summarily thrown out at any stage of the litigation. And also on merit as well as on the ground of the limitation.”

8 I have heard arguments on behalf of Ld Counsel for the appellant, Ld counsel for the respondents and have carefully gone through the Trial Court record.

9 Ld Trial Court had observed in its order dated 25/07/2014 that “It is apparent that there are specific allegations against respondent no.1. However, from the petition itself it is apparent that the marriage between aggrieved and respondent no.1 on 01/12/2009 and she left along with him to U.S. on 12/12/2009. During this interregnum period of 10 days she resided approximately only for 7 days at Kanpur i.e at the house of respondent no.2 in company with respondent no.3 and 4. During the said period of stay there are allegations of violence inflicted upon her by all the respondents. It is also alleged that she also visited Tirpuati Temple and went for Pagphere Rasam at her parental house. For the same she resided in a hotel and at her parental house respectively. This shows that her stay at her in laws’ house was equivalently temporary as her stay at the hotel for visiting the Tirupati Temple and her stay at her parental house because the said stays were not with the purpose to live there on permanent basis in domestic relationship in shared household. From the pleading it is also apparent that respondent no.1 was even prior to his marriage residing in U.S. and soon after the marriage the aggrieved also went alongwith on 12.12.2009 which shows that actually the matrimonial home/shared household between the parties was the house at U.S which they intended to share the same for matrimonial purpose and not the house at Kanpur. Therefore, there was no domestic relationship between aggrieved and respondent no.2 to 4 as per the provisions of Section 2 (f) of DV Act 2004. This Court is not oblivious of the fact that even temporary relationship is to be considered for invoking the provisions of the above said Act but this Court is of the view that temporary relationship cannot be construed in such broad terms and the additional factor of shared household should be there which in the case in hand was the house at U.S as discussed above.

10 It is argued by Ld Cl for aggrieved that after returning from U.S on 20.04.2011, the aggrieved alongwith respondent no.1 resided at the quarters of respondent no.3 and 4 at Delhi where she was administered pills which caused her abortion and, therefore, the aggrieved is entitled for compensation from respondent no.3 and 4 in this respect. However, this Court is of the view that as already mentioned above that there was no sharing of domestic relationship between the parties, therefore, the question of compensation would not arise because for invoking provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 first the domestic relationship and shared household is to be proved and then it is to be shown that there was domestic violence inflicted upon the aggrieved. But, if domestic relationship is not shown to have been existing then even infliction of violence would have no consequence to invoke the provisions under the aforesaid act and for the same separate remedies are available with the aggrieved. Moreover, during the period aggrieved resided at the quarters of respondent no.3 and 4 which was also a temporary stay on her part therefore there was no shared household at that time also. Hence, summoning against respondent no.2 to 4 is declined. Issue notice to the respondent no.1 filing of PF/RC, speed post and approved courier for 19.11.2014.”

11 Section 2(f) of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is reproduced herein below for ready reference:-

2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(f) “domestic relationship” means a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family;

12 In the present matter, it may be mentioned that respondent no2, namely, Manju Trivedi, is mother in law of the appellant Ruby Shukla and respondent no.3 and 4, namely, Geetika Trivedi and Monika Trivedi, respectively, are sisters in law of the appellant. There is nothing on record file to show that the appellant ever intended to share the domestic relationship either with the respondent no.2 Manju Trivedi or respondent no.3 Geetika Trivedi and respondent no 4 Monika Trivedi, since, the husband was settled in USA and the appellant was aware that she also had to stay at USA after marriage. It cannot be said that appellant intended to settle with husband, namely Sonil Trivedi, at Kanpur. So far as the stay at Kanpur is concerned, it is clear from the record file that it was for a very limited period and from the said stay it cannot be inferred that appellant had shared domestic relationship with respondent no.2, namely , Manju Trivedi. Similarly, her stay with respondent no.3 and 4 in Delhi cannot be said to be sufficient enough to come to the conclusion that she intended to share the domestic relationship with respondent no.3 and 4 at Delhi.

13 In view of the above discussions, I do not find any illegality, irregularity or infirmity in the order of Ld Trial Court passed on 25/07/2014 , and there is no ground to set aside the same.

14 Appeal, is accordingly, dismissed as not maintainable.

15 Nothing stated herein shall tantamount to have an expression of opinion on the merits of the case.

16 A copy of this judgment be sent to Ld. Trial Court along with the trial court record.

17 File related to appeal be consigned to the Record Room.

Announced in the open court
On this 10th of December, 2015

(Ramesh Kumar)
ASJ/Special Judge (PC Act) (CBI)
South Distt: Saket Courts: New Delhi

*****************************disclaimer**********************************
This judgment and other similar judgments posted on this blog was / were collected from Judis nic in website and / or other websites of Govt. of India or other internet web sites like worldlii or indiankanoon or High court websites. Some notes are made by Vinayak. Should you find the dictum in this judgment or the judgment itself repealed or amended or would like to make improvements or comments, please post a comment on the comment section of the blog and if you are reading this on tumblr please post responses as comments at vinayak.wordpress.com . Vinayak is NOT a lawyer and nothing in this blog and/or site and/or file should be considered as legal advise.
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CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE with necessary Emphasis, Re formatting
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