Recently Delhi HC had granted relief on PWDVA case which happened before the act came into force, based on Article 14 of constitution granting equality. We are thankful that there are some judges like this Mumbai HC judge who did not go 15 years back in quest to grant retrospective operation of laws.
MUMBAI: A 44-year-old woman who approached the court with a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act against her husband, a junior college lecturer, who had “deserted” her 15 years ago was shown the door by the Bombay high court. Justice A B Chaudhari quashed Amravati resident Shalini Kale’s complaint against her estranged husband Kishore Kale (52) and ruled that she was not entitled to any benefits of the 2005 law enacted to protect woman from violence at home.
“According to me, domestic violence having been alleged only after 15 years by the wife would constitute an abuse of the process of law,” said Justice Chaudhari. “It is true that the Act of 2005 is a beneficial piece of legislation, but (the provisions of the law) clearly show that domestic violence cannot readily be inferred, but will have to be found out on the facts and circumstances of each case.”
Kale had married Shalini in 1990, but their marital life lasted barely two years. According to Shalini, Kale deserted her and their son in 1992. Shalini and her son filed a domestic violence complaint in 2007 on the ground that they were deserted and neglected. The complaint further said Kale had reportedly shown Shalini as dead in the service records. She claimed maintenance of Rs 7,000 per month for herself and her college-going son and suitable accommodation.
When an Amravati court allowed her complaint, Kale moved the HC. His lawyers claimed that no incidents of violence had been alleged in the near or recent past.
Shalini’s lawyers contended that economic abuse, refusal to provide maintenance, house accommodation or financial resources or such other facilities as the wife is entitled to from the husband without there being any actual violence amounts to domestic violence under the law.
The HC, however, pointed out that Shalini and her son were receiving maintenance according to a 1996 court order. The court held that the allegations too were vague.
“Suddenly, after a big gap of 15 years the Act of 2005 having been brought into force, they approached the Court with the grievance that they want higher amount of maintenance and rental in lieu of accommodation as there is domestic violence on the part of the petitioner,” the court said and held that no such offence could be inferred. “(Shalini and her son) could have adopted their remedy available under the other laws for enhancement of maintenance or accommodation or rental or as the case may be, but certainly they were not entitled.