I think this is a very important judgment about grant of any kind of monetary relief including maintenance to wives under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence act.
It says that unless the domestic violence alleged in the complaint is proven, no relief can be granted under Section 20 of the DV Act which grants monetary relief. So bye bye to those complaints where wife says “I was not given food”, “I was locked in the bathroom” and the standard template of DV allegations. Let them prove their allegations, or find a real job rather than filing cases on husbands and living life like parasites!
Note that this was on disposal of the main DV petition, so even if interim monetary relief is granted, keep fighting the main petition and get your maintenance amount to zero.
Important excerpt from the judgment below:
10. In my considered opinion, the learned Magistrate had committed an error in granting monetary relief to respondent Nos. 2 and 3 despite the fact that domestic violence could not be established. Though it is possible to say that the maintenance was permissible for respondent Nos. 2 and 3 (minor children) under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the monetary reliefs could not have been given to them under Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The view taken by the learned Magistrate and the appellate Court, in my opinion, is not correct and hence, I pass the following order.
Full judgment text below:
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY,
NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR.
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 32 OF 2014
Koushik S/o. Anil Gharami,
Aged about 40 years,
R/o House NO.59, Shayamapalli
Khajurikala, Piplani, Bhopal462022
Tahsil Hujur and District : Bhopal(MP)
// VERSUS //
1. Sau. Sangeeta Koushik Gharami,
aged about 36, Occu. Service,
2. Ku. Gayatri Sangeeta Gharami,
3. Ku. Astha Sangeeta Gharami,
Age about 6 years,
Respondent No.2 and 3 being minors are
represented by their adlitum mother the
Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 all are R/o. C/o.
Thakurdas Mahaldar, Post : Alapalli,
Tahsil : Aheri, District : Gadchiroli.
Mrs. Sonali Saware, Advocate with Petitioner.
Mr. C.M.Munje,Advocate with the respondent No.1.
CORAM : M.L. TAHALIYANI, J.
DATED : MAY 05, 2014.
ORAL JUDGMENT :
2. ADMIT . Heard finally by consent of the parties.
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3. A short question that arises for determination in present writ
petition is, as to whether the minor children of the aggrieved person are
entitled for maintenance under Section 20 of the Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005 if the trial Magistrate has come to a conclusion
that the domestic violence has not been proved.
4. Admittedly, the petitioner is husband of respondent No.1 and
father of respondent Nos.2 and 3. Respondent Nos.1, 2 and 3 filed an
application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in the Court
of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Aheri. The said application was heard on
merits and following points were framed by the Magistrate for
1. Does Applicant No.1 prove that she was subjected to Domestic
Violence by Nonapplicant No.1 as alleged in the application ?
2. Do the applicants are entitled for relief claimed in their claim
3. What order ?
The learned Magistrate had answered point No.1 in negative
and point No.2 was answered partly in affirmative. The learned Magistrate
had come to a conclusion that respondent No.1 had not been able to
establish that she was subject to domestic violence by the petitioner. The
learned Magistrate has also come to a conclusion that respondent No.1 was
not entitled for any monetary relief. However, monetary relief was granted
to respondent Nos. 2 and 3. The final order of the learned Magistrate runs as
“ 1. The application is partly allowed.
2. NonApplicant No.1 shall pay Rs.2000/ per
month to Applicant No.2 and 3 each, for their
education, from the date of application.
3. NonApplicant No.1 shall pay Rs.1000/ per
month to applicant no.2 and 3 each, for their
maintenance (monitory relief) from the date of
4. parties to bear their own cost.
5. The amount received by Applicant No. 2 and 3
under interim order, Exh.No.18, be set off against
the amount as mentioned above .”
5. The petitioner had filed a criminal appeal against the said order
of the learned Magistrate. The said Criminal Appeal was also dismissed on
9 December, 2013.
6. As already stated, the question that arises, whether respondent
Nos.2 and 3 could be granted any monetary relief despite the fact that
domestic violence could not be proved by respondent No.1. In this regard,
one will have to refer to certain provisions of the Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act. ‘Aggrieved Person’ has been defined in Section 2(a)
of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 :
“ 2(a) “aggrieved person” means any woman who is, or
has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent
and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of
domestic violence by the respondent; ”
7. Chapter IV deals with ‘Procedure for obtaining orders of reliefs’.
Section 12 lays down the procedure for presenting application before the
concerned Magistrate. Sections 18 and 19 of the Act deal with ‘Protection
Orders’ and ‘Residence Orders’, respectively. Section 20 deals with
‘ Monetary Relief ’.
8. In the present petition, this Court is concerned as to whether
any monetary relief could have been given to respondent Nos. 2 and 3.
Section 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
lays down :
“ 20. Monetary reliefs . (1) While disposing of an
application under subsection (1) of Section 12, the
Magistrate may direct the respondent to pay monetary
relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered
by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved
person as a result of the domestic violence and such relief
may include, but is not limited to
(a) the loss of earnings;
(b) the medical expenses;
(c) the loss caused due to the destruction, damage or
removal of any property from the control of the
aggrieved person; and
(d) the maintenance for the aggrieved person as well as
her children, if any, including an order under or in
addition to an order of maintenance under section 125
of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(2 of 1974) or
any other law for the time being in force .”
9. It is thus, clear that the monetary relief is available for the
children of the aggrieved person if the monetary relief is required to meet the
expenses incurred by the aggrieved person as a result of domestic violence.
The monetary relief is also permissible in case losses are suffered by the
aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence. The monetary relief is
available to children of the aggrieved person under Section 20 of the Act.
However, the aggrieved person is under obligation to establish that she had
to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered due to domestic violence
on the part of the respondent. In the present case, since the learned
Magistrate has come to a conclusion that the domestic violence could not be
proved and since that finding of the learned Magistrate has not been
challenged by the aggrieved person, it follows that no relief could have been
given to respondent Nos. 2 and 3 also.
10. In my considered opinion, the learned Magistrate had
committed an error in granting monetary relief to respondent Nos. 2 and 3
despite the fact that domestic violence could not be established. Though it is
possible to say that the maintenance was permissible for respondent Nos. 2
and 3 (minor children) under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
the monetary reliefs could not have been given to them under Section 20 of
the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The view taken
by the learned Magistrate and the appellate Court, in my opinion, is not
correct and hence, I pass the following order.
i. The writ petition is allowed.
ii. The order passed by learned Magistrate in Misc. Criminal Case No. 27
of 2011 on 12 March, 2013 and the order passed by the learned
Sessions Judge, Gadchiroli in Criminal Appeal No. 14 of 2013 on 9th
December, 2013 are set aside.
iii. The amount of Rs.Twenty Five Thousand, deposited by the petitioner
in this Court shall be refunded to him immediately.
The petition stands disposed of accordingly.