The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court dismissed the criminal revision filed by the Appellant wife challenging the order of dismissal of her Domestic Violence (DV) application by the Trial Court and Court of Sessions Judge, Nagpur on the grounds that she was not entitled to any relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 as the divorce decree has already been granted.

The Appellant was married to the Respondent and had two children of the said wedlock. Eventually the Respondent filed an application for restitution of conjugal rights resulting in the dispute being settled and they both started residing together. The Respondent subsequently converted the conjugal rights petition into divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act which was allowed and divorce was granted. Eventually, the Appellant filed the DV application which was resisted stating that the parties are no longer having a domestic relationship and therefore is not tenable. Subsequently, the DV application was dismissed by the Trial Court and eventually by the Sessions Court, resulting in the present revision petition to be filed thereof.

The Advocate for the Appellant relied on the judgments of Juveria Abdul Majid Patni .v. Atif Iqbal Mansoori and another (reported in 2014 (1) SCC, 736) which was referred to in Inderjit Singh Grewal .v. State of Punjab and another (reported in 2011(9) SCALE, 295) to support the maintainability of the DV application. However the Bench observed that the facts were different from the referred judgments to the present application as the Appellant was not the wife of the Respondent at the time of the filing of the DV application.

Other judgments were cited but the same were not accepted by the Bench on the following premise:

“There is no dispute that the applicant/wife is no more wife from the decision of family Court in dated 30th June, 2008. The said decision is not set aside by the appellate Court till date. Therefore, it is clear that at the time of filing of petition under the provisions of DV Act in the year 2009, the applicant was not the wife and, therefore, the petition itself was not maintainable.”

The Bench referred to the judgment in the case of Harbans Lal Malik .v. Payal Malik (Criminal Revision Petition No. 253 of 2010, dated 29.07.2010), whereby it was held by the Delhi High Court that, “it is apparent that in order to make a person as respondent in a petition under Section 12, there must exist a domestic relationship between the respondent and the aggrieved person. If there is no domestic relationship between the aggrieved person and the respondent, the Court of MM cannot pass an order against such a person under the Act.”

The Bench dismissed the revision application while making the following observation:

“In the present case, divorce was granted by the family Court vide order dated 30th June, 2008. Application under DV Act was filed in the year 2009. At the time of filing of application under the DV Act, the applicant was not the wife. There was no domestic relationship between them. Hence, orders passed by the learned JMFC, Nagpur and maintained by Additional Sessions Judge, Nagpur in Criminal Appeal No. 235 of 2015 are perfectly legal and correct. There is no perversity or illegality in the impugned orders.”


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Judgment: Sadhana Walwatkar Versus Hemant Walwatkar