Domestic Violence Act protect Mother­in­law and Sister­in­laws also


CR No. 17/2013

1. Ms. Seema Narula
W/o Bharat Singh
D/o Jagdish Chander Bhandari

2. Ms. Diksha Narula (Minor)

3. Ms. Vanshika Narula (Minor)

4. Master Chaitanya Narula (Minor)
(2 to 4 minors through mother Seema Narula)

All residents of H. No. 253/D, Model Town Exten.,Ludhiana, Punjab………… Revisionists


1. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi)

2. Sh. Narender Narula
S/o Roshan Lal Narula
R/o H. No. 1/18/A, Vijay Nagar, 1st Floor, Double Storey, Delhi­ 09

3. Sh. Ghanshyam Narula
S/o Roshan Lal Narula
R/o 188­K, Old Gupta Colony, Delhi­ 09

4. Narender Anand (Nandoi)
C/o H. No. 1/18/A, Vijay Nagar,
1st Floor, Double Storey, Delhi­ 09

Seema Narula etc. Vs. State & Ors.,
5. Prem Narula
W/o Roshan Lal Narula
R/o H. No. 1/18/A, Vijay Nagar,
1st Floor, Double Storey, Delhi­ 09

6. Indu Narula
W/o Narender Narula
R/o H. No. 1/18/A, Vijay Nagar,
1st Floor, Double Storey, Delhi­ 09

7. Vimla Narula
W/o Ghanshyam Narula
R/o 188­K, Old Gupta Colony, Delhi­ 09

8. Neelam Anand
W/o Narender Anand
R/o H. No. 1/18/A, Vijay Nagar,
1st Floor, Double Storey, Delhi­ 09

Present: Revisionist in person.

Addl. PP for the State / Respondent No. 1.

(1) This Criminal Revision under Section 397 of Code of Criminal Procedure has been filed by the revisionists against the impugned order dated 22.9.2011 passed by Ld. Trial Court thereby summoning only the husband of the Revisionist No. 1 (i.e. Bharat Narula) and not summoning the Respondents No. 2 to 8 in the complaint under Section 12 of Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 filed by the revisionist before the Ld. Trial Court. (2) Brief case of the revisionist is that her marriage with Bharat Narula on 21.7.2000 according to Hindu rites, customs and ceremonies at Delhi, as arranged marriage. The respondent 1 and 2 are the brothers­in­ law / jeth, respondent no. 3 is the brother­in­law (Nandoi), respondent 4 is mother­in­law and respondent no. 7 is Nanad / sister­in­law of the revisionist no. 1. It is alleged that soon after the marriage she had been subjected to harassment on account of insufficient dowry and was mercilessly beaten and abused by her mother­in­law and Nanad. The acts of cruelty and humiliation became unbearable for her and despite the fact that her parents had also intervened from time to time but regularly insulted. Numerous incidents of cruelty had been narrated in the complaint by by the revisionist no. 1 before the Ld. Trial. (3) Shortly the grounds now raised by the revisionist before this court are that the order of Ld. MM only summoning the husband is illegal as all the respondents are guilty of committing domestic violence and are liable for intolerable cruelty and causing harassment to her which fact the Ld. Trial Court has failed to consider. Also, because the order of Ld. MM is not a speaking order and hence by way of the present petition the revisionist seeks summoning of the respondents in the present case.

(4) I have considered the rival contentions. It is vehemently argued on behalf of the respondents that ever since first day of her marriage the revisionist no. 1 had been living separately with her husband and mother­in­law and all the other respondents were in no domestic relationship with her. It is alleged that the revisionist no. 1 and her husband along with mother­in­law had been initially residing at A­44A, Pocket A Flat, Ground Floor, Ashok Vihar­II, Delhi and thereafter at A­1/30, Derawal Nagar, Delhi and thereafter at 48, SBI Colony behind Gujrawala Town, Delhi, and in support to their claims,they have also placed on record the details of the domestic appliances delivered at the aforementioned addresses. This court is also informed about the fact that revisionist no. 1 has also filed a complaint with Police Station Model Town on the ground that her husband had allegedly given poison to her, three children and her mother­in­law and it is writ large that in the said complaint the mother­in­law (Respondent No. 5 Prem Narula) is also shown to be a victim. However, in the said case, as per the forensic opinion, no poison was detected in the juice delivered to her and hence the court of Sh. V. K. Goyal Ld. ASJ dropped the charge under Section 307 IPC and only ordered to addition of Section 498A/406 IPC. I am further informed that a divorce petition was earlier pending before the District Judge, Ludhiana which was later on withdrawn by the revisionist no. 1. It is also brought to the notice of this court that the revisionist no. 1 had also sent a letter dated 31.5.2010 to Hon’ble Home Minister of Union of India contents of which would show that the allegations made by the complainant in the same are substantively different from the contents of the present complaint under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. It is pointed out that it is only during trial of FIR No. 17/2010 and after withdrawal of said divorce petition, the revisionist no. 1 preferred to file this complaint under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act before the Ld. Trial Court which confirms that the grounds raised in the same have been fabricated on legal advise. (5) It is also pointed out that the Respondent No. 3 Ghanshyam Narula and Respondent No. 7 Vimla Narula had left their parental house in the year 1984 and are living separately since then (i.e. much prior to the marriage of revisionist no. 1) and the present summons were also served upon them on the said address. Further, the Respondent No. 8 who is the sister­in­law (Nanad) of the Revisionist No. 1 and Respondent No. 4 (the Nandoi being husband of Respondent No. 8) who were married in the year 1990 i.e. 10 years prior to the marriage of the Rrevisionist No. 1 are happily residing in their house and have no concern with the matrimonial life of the complainant. In respect of Respondent No. 5, it is pointed out that she is around 80 years of age and had undergone open heart surgery and is very hard for her to walk without any support and hence it is unbelievable that she may torture or beat the revisionist no.1 who is a young lady. It is further submitted that in so far as Respondent No. 2 and 6 are concerned they are residing separately so much so they were not invited / participated in the marriage of Revisionist No. 1.

(6) I have considered the rival contentions and the grounds raised before me. Wikipedia defines domestic relationship between two individuals as a legal or personal relationship to live together or share one domestic life but are neither joined by marriage nor the civil union. The Indian law Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 does not define family but it defines Domestic 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. Domestic relations are meant to cover sisters, widows, mothers and daughters and single women. The Indian law does not specify separate relationship and mentions members in a joint family.

(7) Applying the settled principles to the facts of the present case, it is evident that the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, would only apply to those living in the shared house hold. It is writ large that the revisionist no. 1 herself conceded that Respondent No. 3 and 7 are residing separately at 188­K, Old Gupta Colony, Delhi, and in so far as other respondents are concerned they are married brothers and sisters of the husband accused (Bharat Singh). Various documents have been placed on record by the complainant herself before the trial court including the medical record which shows that she was residing separately from the other respondents specifically at the time when the earlier incident took place in the year 2010 when she is shown to be residing at 48, State Bank Colony, near Gujrawala Town. Prima facie there is nothing to show that she was sharing a domestic relationship or share household with the Respondent No. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 as contemplated in Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, and therefore the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act which is a special legislation intended to protect the women from the sate of destitution, cannot be used as an instrument for inflicting harassment to the family members of the estranged husband including his marriage brothers and sisters and aged parents. The mother of the husband i.e. Smt. Prem Narula is stated to be aged around 80 years and under the given circumstances it would be impossible for her to harass the revisionist no. 1 herself suffering from multiple ailments.

(8) Merely because the respondents happen to be the mother, sisters and brothers of the husband of the revisionist no.1, this would not ipso­facto imply domestic relationship to the extent as contemplated under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 as these respondents have never lived together with the revisionist no. 1 in a shared household as a joint family. Married daughters cannot be terrorized into abandoning their parental family under the fear of their involvement into litigations connected with Domestic Violence. Married sisters residing in their own matrimonial houses are not a part of the shared household or joint family as contemplated under the Domestic Violence Act. At the same time they have certain rights in their parental home which cannot be denied to them. Similarly, sons cannot be terrorized into abandoning their aged mothers for the fear of their estranged wives dragging them into litigations relating to Domestic Violence. Increasing number of cases of abuse of Special Legislations have come to light and instances are not rare where the women protection laws have been used as weapons for settling personal scores in cases of marital discord. Misuse of anti­dowry laws and Domestic Violence Laws is a matter of serious concern. Time and again the higher courts including the Hon’ble Apex Court has stressed upon need for judicial intervention to protect the misuse and abuse of these Special Legislations. It is necessary for the courts to ensure that aged parents and married sisters and other relatives are not subjected to false accusations and any such attempt should be curtailed at the earliest. It is the obligation of the court to check systematic corruption due to the abuse of Special Legislations by a few to ensure that the genuine victims of domestic abuse, are granted timely justice. The intention of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act is not only to protection the daughter­in­law, but so also the aged mother­in­law and sister­in­laws. It is obligatory for the Courts to balance and safeguard their interests as well while simultaneously protecting the interest of daughter­in­law. It is not as if the Domestic Violence Act is titled towards the wife. It equally protects mother, sisters and daughters and other members living in the shared household enjoying a domestic relation, and hence I therefore find no illegality or irregularity in the impugned orders dated 22.9.2011 passed by Ld. Trial Court. The revision petition is hereby dismissed.

(9) The Trial Court record be sent back along with copy of this order. Revision file be consigned to Record Room.

Announced in the open Court (Dr. KAMINI LAU)
Dated: 12.7.2013 ASJ (NW)­II: ROHINI

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