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Section 25. Duration and alteration of orders
25.Duration and alteration of orders.-
(1) A protection order made under section 18 shall be in force till the aggrieved person applies for discharge.
(2) If the Magistrate, on receipt of an application from the aggrieved person or the respondent, is satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances requiring alteration, modification or revocation of any order made under this Act, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing pass such order, as he may deem appropriate.
Comment: This is an important section of the act, because it mentions how orders can be modified in a DV case.
For modification of a protection order under Section 18, aggrieved person/wife has to apply.
For modification of other orders (including protection order), either wife or husband can apply. Since the protection order is mentioned separately, the intention is that it is given special importance and a husband will not be able to get protection order removed unless he files for alteration of other orders too. Since sub-section 25(2) allows for either wife or husband to apply for alteration of any order (which can include protection order, if any), there was no need for sub-section 25(1) if the intention was that even respondent/husband can apply for it’s discharge independently of other orders.
Bottom line? Expect this section to be used as a negotiation tool by the opposite party and advocate. Want a relief in protection order? How about shelling out more maintenance? Don’t go that route, there are better ways to fight.
Also, this section can and should be used by husbands to get justice. For example, let’s say at the time of interim maintenance order, the wife had claimed that she was not working, and she got an interim maintenance order based on that submission. Now maybe after 4-6 months you are able to get some evidence of her working status or income, then you can use this section to get the interim maintenance order altered and maintenance reduced or made zero depending on the income of wife. Whether she was working at the time of filing her application or whether she joined work after interim maintenance order, in both cases your grounds to reduce the maintenance are strong. Of course, if you can prove that she lied to court about her working status at time of filing of application, it will be much stronger argument in your favour that she approached the courts with unclean hands. A perjury application under CrPC 340 may also be in order, but that is left to advanced fighters and the course of action will vary from case to case.
Section 26. Same relief can be got in other proceedings too
(1) Any relief available under sections 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 may also be sought in any legal proceeding, before a civil court, family court or a criminal court, affecting the aggrieved person and the respondent whether such proceeding was initiated before or after the commencement of this Act.
(2) Any relief referred to in sub-section (1) may be sought for in addition to and along with any other relief that the aggrieved person may seek in such suit or legal proceeding before a civil or criminal court.
(3) In case any relief has been obtained by the aggrieved person in any proceedings other than a proceeding under this Act, she shall be bound to inform the Magistrate of the grant of such relief.
Comment: Continuing in line of making DV Act the final act to be used by women, this section says that a wife can file a complaint in any other court whether before or after filing the petition under DV Act. There is no bar on her claiming relief under other cases filed in various other courts.
For example DV Act can be used by wife to get temporary custody of child(ren) under section 21. She can file a GWC case also in family court to get permanent guardianship and custody of children, and DV Act will not bar her from doing so.
However a woman cannot file a complaint in family court under Section 12 of PWDVA, since family courts have no jurisdiction to try PWDVA complaints. Following judgment of Chattisgarh high court disallowed filing of an application under Section 12 of PWDVA in family court.
Important parts of judgment\
Also, we had discussed earlier about sub-section 20(d), where a wife can claim maintenance under DV Act irrespective of maintenance already ordered under CrPC 125 or HMA 24. We also covered ground on how to deny her additional maintenance. In similar manner, this section extends that benefit to other reliefs also. However, to my knowledge, other laws like Hindu Marriage Act or CrPC 125 do not provide for reliefs like protection orders (section 18) or compensation orders (section 22) etc to women. If it may happen in particular case, it maybe under inherent powers of the court and not because the law specifically states such a relief under those other laws.
Sub-section 26(3) gives an important point to be followed by wife, that she has to inform magistrate in case she already has gotten similar relief in another court’s order. For example it is commonly seen that women who have got a maintenance order under CrPC 125 or HMA 24, will later file a DV case and ask for maintenance there too. Make sure to read her petition carefully and if it doesn’t mention the fact of existing relief she has gotten already, make it a strong objection point in your written statement. The whole point of this is to not abuse the process of law, and waste resources and time of the courts, where a person gets a relief and still keeps adding to the litigation by asking for same reliefs in another forum. This could also lead to grant of multiple relief on same cause of action, which is a clear abuse of the law and process of justice.