One-off incident of dowry demand, if any, or abuse, cannot amount to domestic violence – Delhi MM court !
“……In the opinion of the court no economic abuse has been committed as the father is fulfilling his responsibility of maintaining his child. As far as the maintenance of the wife is concerned under the Act, maintenance can only be given if domestic violence is established. The aggrieved has vaguely made allegations and in absence of actual and proper allegations, it cannot be taken that domestic violence was committed upon her. The allegation for demand of dowry are also not continuous and it is only stated that respondents demanded dowry once for the business of the respondent no.1. One off incident of dowry demand, if any, or of any abuse cannot amount to domestic violence……”
IN THE COURT OF MS. BHAVNA KALIA: METROPOLITAN
MAGISTRATE: MAHILA COURT 01:SOUTH DISTRICT: SAKET
COURT: NEW DELHI
CC No: 22/1/15
Jurisdiction of Police Station : Mehrauli
Smt. Papiya Chakraborty
W/o Shib Shankar Chakraborty
D/o Late Sh. Vikram Shou,
C/o Sh. Ramesh Kumar,
H. No. B6, Second Floor, Flat No.2,
Saidulajab, New Delhi110030. ……….Aggrieved
- Sh. Shib Shankar Chakraborty,
S/o Sh. Dinesh Chakraborty
Sh. Dinesh Chakraborty,
Sh. Sapna Chakraborty,
All R/o 34, Eas – Purba Panchanantala,
P.O. Nonachandan Pukur,
PS Titagarh, Barrackpore,
Distt. North 24 Parganas,
Kolkatta – 700122 ………Respondents
Date of filing : 09.03.2015.
Date of arguments : 09.03.2016.
Date of judgment : 26.04.2016.
- It is the case of the complainant aggrieved that she was legally married to respondent no. 1 on 17.6.2002. Photographs are Ex.
CW1/1. In the said marriage parents and other relatives of the complainant gave valuable gifts and 2 items to respondent no.1 and his family members. After the marriage aggrieved went to her matrimonial home with respondent no. 1 at Kolkatta and both started living there as husband and wife. One boy namely Suman was born to them on 17.1.2008.
- The aggrieved came to know that left eye of respondent no. 1 was made of stone and that respondent no.1 was more than 13 years older than the aggrieved which was not disclosed to her before marriage. The aggrieved has stated that her husband and in laws misbehaved with her and abused and taunted her for bringing more dowry and cash of Rs. 5,00,000/ for further investment in the business of respondent no. 1. The aggrieved told them that she was unable to meet their demand for dowry. She had stated that she was made to do all the domestic work like a maid servant even while she was sick.
She has stated that her fatherinlaw used to instigate her husband to send her back to her parental home and not bring her back till dowry demand is met. She has stated that respondent no. 4 was an alcohol addict. She further stated that when she told her parents about all this she was advised to tolerate the same. Thereafter, after one year her parents came to Delhi for their job and used to send money every month by depositing same in bank account of respondent no. 1. Still respondent no. 1 failed to maintain her and her child. She stated that she was assaulted by all the respondents and when she informed the same to her mother, her mother came to her matrimonial home on 19.04.2014. On the said date, she moved out of her matrimonial home with her husband and her son and the respondents took her statement forcefully on a paper that she was leaving her matrimonial home willfully. Thereafter, she filed petition u/s 125 Cr.P.C., but withdrew the same on 18.12.2014. She came to Delhi with her son to visit her mother and thereafter, she returned to her husband in Kolkatta. Just after her arrival respondent no. 1 abused her and assaulted her physically and held her neck forcefully with the intention to kill her, but she somehow escaped and called her mother. On 09.01.2015, mother of aggrieved reached her daughter and thereafter told her to pacify the matter, but due to regular physical assault and abuses, on 12.01.2015 respondent no. 1 drove her and her mother out of their rented accommodation and retained the custody of the minor son. He threatened the aggrieved not to inform the police. Thereafter, aggrieved came to Delhi with her mother and filed the complaint before the police.
Respondent was summoned by the court, but he failed to appear after service of notice by registered post and on 03.06.2015 the respondent was proceeded exparte.http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com
Exparte affidavit was tendered in evidence by the aggrieved. Thereafter, exparte arguments were heard and matter was reserved for exparte orders. Considering that the respondent did not cross examine the applicant, her testimony remained unrebutted. However, it remains to be seen whether the applicant has been able to prove the ingredients as stated in the Act.
In order to claim any Relief under the Act, it is imperative for the aggrieved person to show that she shared a domestic relationship with the respondent and she was subjected to domestic violence during the said period.
As per the Act, domestic relationship which is defined in section 2(f) 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.
As per section 2(s) of the said Act, shared household means a household where the person aggrieved lives or has at any time lived in a domestic relationship with the respondent. Shared household means a house belonging to or taken on rent by the husband or the house which belongs to joint family of which husband is a member1.
It is submitted by the aggrieved person that she is legally wedded wife of the respondent and they got married on 17.06.2002. From her averments it further appears that she and the respondent have resided in a shared household and one child was born out of their marriage. This fact, as stated earlier, has remained unrebutted. Hence, fact of marriage and domestic relationship are established.
Further, it has to be now seen whether any domestic violence 1 Neha Jain & anr. v. Gunmala Devi & Anr. RSA 282/2015 decided on 30.7.2015 was suffered by the aggrieved or not. Domestic violence is defined in section 3 of the said Act as any act or omission on part of the respondent which causes physical, sexual, verbal emotional and economic abuse to the aggrieved or an act or omission which harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security or an act which threatens or which causes physical or mental harm to the aggrieved.
In the definition of domestic violence u/s 3 of the Act, it is stated that there must be an act, omission or commission or conduct of respondent which amounts to domestic violence. To constitute Domestic Violence, the conduct of the respondent should be such as to imply that the aggrieved was harassed or tortured by the said act. Aggrieved has stated only one incident of 07.01.2015 when her husband had beaten her and threatened her. There is nowhere in the affidavit any allegation against the respondent no. 1 except one incident and in the opinion of the court one incident cannot constitute domestic violence. The aggrieved has stated that respondent no.1 neglected to maintain her and their child properly and the same would amount to economic abuse. Under the definition of economic abuse there has to be deprivation of all economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved is entitled. Aggrieved has stated that respondent neglected to maintain her and her child and that her mother used to send money for daily expenses, for school fee and for transport fare of her son, who was studying in school. Since the child is staying with the father it is assumed that he must be taking care of all the financial needs of the minor child. In the opinion of the court no economic abuse has been committed as the father is fulfilling his responsibility of maintaining his child. As far as the maintenance of the wife is concerned under the Act, maintenance can only be given if domestic violence is established. The aggrieved has vaguely made allegations and in absence of actual and proper allegations, it cannot be taken that domestic violence was committed upon her. The allegation for demand of dowry are also not continuous and it is only stated that respondents demanded dowry once for the business of the respondent no.1. One off incident of dowry demand, if any, or of any abuse cannot amount to domestic violence. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com
In view of the above observations the present application is dismissed.
Pronounced in open court (BHAVNA KALIA)
on 26th of April, 2016 M.M./(Mahila Court)01/South District
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