No DV – DIL Visiting In-laws is not shared household

IN THE COURT OF PRAVEEN KUMAR, SPECIAL JUDGE,
PC ACT, CBI­III, ROHINI COURTS, DELHI

Criminal Appeal No.70/15

Satish Solanki & Ors. ……..Appellants
vs.
Sujata ……..Respondent

File received on assignment on : 03.10.2015
Arguments heard on : 15.12.2015
Judgment announced on : 22.12.2015

JUDGMENT:

1. This is an appeal against the order dated 2.7.2015 passed by Ld. MM, Mahila Court North­West, Rohini Courts, Delhi on application under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (in short ‘D.V. Act’) whereby appellants were summoned to appear before the trial court.

2. Briefly stating, the facts relevant for the disposal of the present criminal appeal are that respondent was married to Vikas Solanki on 17.7.2013 at Delhi according to Hindu rites and ceremonies. Both were divorcee before their marriage. After marriage, respondent and her husband­ Vikas Solanki lived at Flat No. 1094, 9th Floor, SBI Enclave, Vikas Puri, New Delhi. On 3.11.2013, they shifted to House No. H­19/129, Sector­7, Rohini, Delhi and lived there upto 13.3.2014. Thereafter, the respondent left the company of her husband from their house at Rohini and stayed at her parental house. In May 2014, respondent again joined the company of her husband and stayed with him till 2nd July, 2014. It is averred that since 3.7.2014, respondent has been living at her parents house. On these allegations, application u/s 12 of D.V. Act was filed by respondent against her husband and appellants herein.

3. Appellant no. 1 is the father­in­law, appellant no. 2 is the mother­in­law, appellant no. 3 is the brother­in­law (Devar) and appellant no. 4 is the sister­in­law (Devarani) of the respondent. All were/are residents of B­1/152, Janak Puri, New Delhi.

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4. I have heard Ch. Ram Kishan, Ld. Counsel for the appellants and Sh. D. K. Ahlwat, Ld. Counsel for the respondent. Ld. Counsel for the appellants has contended that appellant no. 1 has retired on superannuation as Supdt. from Govt. of NCT of Delhi on 30.6.2014 and on the eve of his retirement, a party was arranged at Janak Puri, New Delhi in the night of 30.6.2014. The said party was attended by respondent, her husband and others. The respondent and her husband were called from their residence at Rohini a few days before the day of party for helping in making arrangements. In the night of 2.7.2014, some domestic quarrel took placed between respondent and her husband whereupon she visited the Police Station Janak Puri on 3.7.2014 at about 6.00 PM and lodged a complaint. On her said complaint, FIR no. 748/2014 under Section 324/498A/34 IPC was registered. According to Ld. Counsel, only the violence committed in the shared household is covered under the provisions of the D.V. Act. The house at Janak Puri, a self acquired property of the father of appellant no. 1, cannot be considered a shared household as respondent and her husband were living separately in Vikas Puri and Rohini. They have come to the house of appellant no. 1 at Janak Puri on 30.6.2014 to attend the party thrown by him and stayed there for few days. Secondly, it is contended that the alleged incident that occurred on 2.7.2014 cannot be treated as an incident of domestic violence as separate FIR has been lodged for the said incident. In support of his contentions Ld. Counsel has relied upon judgments­S. R. Batra vs. Taruna Batra, 2007 (3) SCC 169; Vijay Verma vs. State, 2010 (118) DRJ 520; Sangeeta vs. Om Parkash, 2015 (3) JCC 1896; Preeti Gupta vs. State, 2010 (4) Crimes 19 (SC); Pushpendu vs. State, 2015 (2) JCC 1359 and Ashish Dixit vs. State, 2013 Crl. LJ 1178.

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6. On the other hand, Ld. Counsel for the respondent has contended that there is no infirmity in the order passed by the trial court.

7. I have gone through the record.

8. Domestic relationship is defined under section 2 (f) of the D.V. Act. Domestic relationship arises in respect of an aggrieved person if the aggrieved person (respondent) had lived together with the appellants in a shared household. This living together can be either soon before filing of petition, or ‘at any point of time’. The phrase ‘at any point of time’ under the D.V. Act has been defined in judgment Vijay Verma (supra) wherein it has been held that it only means where an aggrieved person has been continuously living in a shared household as a matter of right. It has been further held in the said judgment that where a family member leaves the shared household to establish his own household, and actually establishes his own household, he cannot claim to have a right to move an application u/S 12 of the D.V. Act on the basis of domestic relationship. It is the case of the respondent herself that after their marriage, they shifted to Vikas Puri and, thereafter, to Rohini. There is nothing in the application u/s 12 of the D. V Act to suggest that the respondent and her husband had been continuously living in the shared household as a matter of right at Janak Puri. Domestic relationship continues so long as the parties live under the same roof and enjoy living together in a shared household.

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9. So far as the incident that occurred on 2.7.2014 is concerned, a separate FIR has been registered under Sections 324/498A/34 IPC at PS Janak Puri but the said incident cannot be covered under the D.V. Act. There is a distinction between violence committed on a person living separate in a separate household and the violence committed on a person living in the shared household. Only violence committed by a person while living in the shared household can constitute domestic violence. For taking this view I am supported with the judgment Vijay Verma (supra).

10. Considering the facts and circumstances of this case, I am of the opinion that summoning of the appellants on an application u/s 12 of the D.V. Act filed by the respondent was not justified. Thus, the impugned order passed by the trial court is set aside. Appellants are discharged. The criminal appeal stands disposed of. Trial court record be sent back with a copy of the order and appeal file be consigned to record room.

Announced in open (Praveen Kumar) court today on 22.12.2015.

Special Judge (PC Act),
CBI­III, Rohini Courts, Delhi.

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