DV Quash – Neighbour can’t pay for husband’s violence

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

CRIMINAL REVISION APPLICATION (FOR MAINTENANCE) NO. 43 of 2016

SUTHAR RAMILABEN SITARAM..
Versus
RAJPUT BHAVANABEN D/O CHAMANJI JAVANJI & 6…

CORAM: MR.JUSTICE S.G.SHAH
Date : 13/06/2016

1.Heard learned advocate Ms.Amrita Ajmera for the applicant and learned advocate Mr.A.V.Prajapati for respondent No.1.

2.The applicant herein is original opponent No.6 in Criminal Misc.Application No.317 of 2013 before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Visnagar. Such application was preferred by present respondent No.1 being wife under the provisions of Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against her husband and in-laws being respondents No.4 to 7. Whereas, present applicant was joined as respondent No.6 being their neighbour. In addition to different allegations, one of the allegation is regarding relationship between respondent No.3 – husband of the original applicant with present applicant. However, while dealing with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act, the law is now well settled that provisions of such Act is applicable to the husband and in-laws only and not upon any other persons including the person with whom either of the spouse is in relationship so also neighbour or any other person. Therefore, to that extent, the proceedings against the present applicant under the Domestic Violence Act is not only unwarranted, but unjustified and illegal and therefore, any order against the present applicant under the Domestic Violence Act by wife of some person with whom atleast on the date of filing of complaint till any order is passed, if there is no relationship between such third person and the husband or spouse, then, any such order under Domestic Violence Act against third person becomes nullity and it needs to be quashed and setaside.

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3.Therefore, in the present case, when original complainant has categorically disclosed the present applicant as their neighbour only, any direction or order, more particularly order granting maintenance in favour of the original complainant is unwarranted and needs to be quashed and set-aside.

4.If we peruse the impugned order, it becomes clear that while making several directions under the Domestic Violence Act, the trial Court has failed to restrict such order only against original opponents No.1 to 5 being husband and in-laws of the complainant. Unfortunately, similar mistake has been continued in Criminal Appeal Nos.9 and 10 when appellate Court has decided such appeals on 5.12.2015. In such judgment, again the appellant Court has failed to differentiate the liability of original opponents No.1 to 5 on one hand and opponent No.6 on other hand. By both the impugned judgments, both the lower Courts have confirmed the liability of all the opponents jointly for paying maintenance to the wife and to pay other amount towards cost and also towards residential accommodation.

5.Therefore, so far as impugned orders are fixing liability of the present applicant being neighbour of the opponent No.1 i.e. respondent No.3 herein – husband is concerned, all such direction needs to be quashed and set-aside. However, it is made clear that when original opponents No.1 to 5 – husband and in-laws of the complainant – wife have not preferred the revision by challenging the impugned judgment and order, their liability remains unaffected even though this revision application is allowed. 6.Therefore, this revision application is allowed qua present applicant only and hence, the impugned judgment and order dated 24.7.2015 in Criminal Misc.Application No.317 of 2013 by J.M.F.C., Visnagar so also judgment and order dated 5.12.2015 by Sessions Judge, Mehsana in Criminal Appeals No.9 and 10 of 2015 qua the present applicant is hereby quashed and set-aside. However, it is made clear that this Court has not scrutinized or examined the judgment and order against the respondents No.3 to 7 i.e. original opponents No.1 to 5 and therefore, judgment and order against them will remain in force.

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(S.G.SHAH, J.)

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