In a criminal revision filed challenging the judgment and order of the Additional Sessions Judge which set aside the decision of the Magistrate stating the relationship between the Petitioner and Respondent No 2 being covered under Section 2(f) of the D.V Ac, which states as follows:

‘ “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.’

The Bench, comprising of the Hon’ble Justice Mangesh S Patil, presided over the said Criminal Revisions Petition and concluded that the reasoning of the Additional Sessions Judge was just and proper. The brief facts of this case are that the petitioner belonged to the Jain Hindu community and had a child from her previous marriage. After her previous marriage came to an end through a customary divorce, she met the Respondent who was married and already had a child at the time. As the respondent was a Muslim, the petitioner got converted to Islam and the couple got married in presence of a Qazi and subsequently, the couple had a child. However, the couple separated after disputes arose. The Petitioner had filed a proceeding under the DV Act before Judicial Magistrate First Class, Aurangabad which was allowed by the JMFC and subsequently set aside after the Respondent’s challenge was accepted by the Additional Sessions Judge.

The Court observed that the Sessions judge had relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Velusamy v. D Patchaiammal [2010] while interpreting the provision of Section 2(f) of the DV Act. The Velusamy judgment contained the interpretation of a domestic relationship being as follows:

  • The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses.
  • They must be of legal age of marry.
  • They must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried.
  • They must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time.

The Court even noted the judgment of the Apex Court in Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma (2014), wherein a comparison has been made between the relations which are in the nature of marriage and live in relationship and guidelines have been culled out to distinguish between the two.

On the basis of its interpretation and reasoingn, the Hon’ble Court dismissed the Revision stating that:

“In view of such state of factual matrix and the evidence, the observation and the conclusion drawn by the learned Addl. Sessions Judge that the relationship between these two did not fall into the ‘domestic relationship’ as defined under Section 2 [f] of the D.V. Act is unassailable.”

 

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