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Sri Krishnendu Das Thakur vs The State Of West Of Bengal & Anr on 28 June, 2019

FormNo.J(1)

INTHEHIGHCOURTATCALCUTTA
CriminalRevisionalJurisdiction
AppellateSide

Present:

TheHon’bleJusticeMadhumatiMitra

C.R.R.3566of2018
With
CRAN1348of2019

SriKrishnenduDasThakur

Vs.

TheStateofWestofBengalAnr..

AdvocateforthePetitioner:Mr.SivaProsadGhose
Mr.ChandraBhanuSinha
Mr.RohitKumarShaw

AdvocatefortheOppositePartyno.2:Mr.AnandKesari
Mr.SekharMukherjee

Judgmenton:28.06.2019

MadhumatiMitra,J.:

ThepetitionerhasfiledthepresentapplicationunderSectionArticle227ofthe

ConstitutionofIndiareadwithSection482oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,

prayingforquashing/settingasidetheimpugnedorderdated10thOctober,2018

passedbytheLearnedAdditionalSessionJudge,HowrahinCriminalAppeal
no.82of2017andtheorderofrejectionoftheprayerforstayofthe

Mis.ExecutionCaseno.298of2016pendingbeforetheLearnedJudicial

Magistrate,HowrahMunicipalCourt,HowraharisingoutofMiscellaneousCase

no.27836/2014underSection12oftheProtectionofWomenfromSectionDomestic

ViolenceAct,2005.

InMiscellaneousCaseno.27836/2014underSection12oftheProtection

ofWomenfromSectionDomesticViolenceAct,thepetitionerwasdirectedbytheLearned

MagistratetopayRs.3,000/-permonthformaintenanceandRs.800/-per

monthforrentofalternativeaccommodationonandfrom5thOctober,2015to

theoppositeparty.Thereafterthepetitionerinitiatedamatrimonialsuitpraying

fordissolutionofhismarriagewithhiswifeandobtainedexpartedecreeof

divorceon23rdFebruary,2016.Afterthedecreeofdivorcethepetitionerfiledan

applicationunderSection25oftheProtectionofWomenfromSectionDomesticViolence

Act,2005prayingforalteration/modificationorrevocationoftheorderdated5th

October,2015,passedbytheLearnedMagistrategrantingmaintenanceandrent

foralternativeaccommodationinconnectionwithMiscellaneousCase

no.27836/2014onthegroundthathismarriagewiththeoppositepartywas

dissolvedbyadecreeofdivorceon23rdFebruary,2016andheisnotliableto

payanyamounttooppositepartyintermsoftheorderdated5thOctober2015.

Itisthespecificcontentionofthepetitionerthatafterthedecreeofdivorceheis

nolongerin’domesticrelation’withtheoppositepartyno.2.
AlltheLearnedCounselappearingforthepartiesadvancedtheir

argumentswiththehelpofaseriesofdecisions.Beforedelvingdeepintothe

matter,itwouldbebettertodealwiththerelevantSectionsandProvisionsofthe

ProtectionofWomenfromSectionDomesticViolenceAct,2005.

Section25ofthesaidActreadsasunder:

“Durationandalterationoforders-(1)Aprotectionordermadeunder

Section18shallbeinforcetilltheaggrievedpersonappliesfordischarge.

(2)IftheMagistrate,onreceiptofanapplicationfromtheaggrievedpersonor

therespondent,issatisfiedthatthereisachangeinthecircumstancesrequiring

alteration,modificationorrevocationofanyordermadeunderthisAct,hemay,for

reasonstoberecordedinwritingpasssuchorder,ashemaydeemappropriate.”

Section25consistsoftwoparts.Sub-Section1ofSection25oftheAct

2005dealswiththeprotectionordermadeunderSection18oftheAct.The

secondpart,thatisSub-Section2ofSection25speaksaboutalteration,

modificationorrevocationofanyordermadeunderthisAct.SofarasSub-

Section1ofSection25isconcerned,onlytheaggrievedpersonmayapplyfor

dischargeofprotectionorderpassedunderSection18oftheAct.

OntheotherhandSub-Section2ofSection25providesthattheaggrieved

personortherespondentmayapproachbeforetheMagistratebyfilingan

applicationforalteration,modificationorrevocationofanyordermadeunder
thisAct.IfanysuchapplicationisfiledbeforetheMagistrateprayingfor

alteration,modificationorrevocationofanyordermadeunderthisActeitherby

theaggrievedpersonorbytherespondentthentheMagistratemayforreasonsto

berecordedinwritingpassorder,ashemaydeemappropriate.Sub-Section2of

Section25hasconferredrightbothontheaggrievedpersonandtherespondent

toapproachbeforetheMagistrateforalteration,modificationorrevocationofany

ordermadeunderthisAct.Sub-Section1ofSection25isrestrictedonlytothe

protectionordersunderSection18oftheAct.TherecourseunderSub-Section1

ofSection25canbeavailedofonlybytheaggrievedpersonnotbythe

respondent.Whereas,Sub-Section2ofSection25dealswiththealteration,

modificationandrevocationofanyordermadeundertheActandrecoursecan

betakenbothbytheaggrievedpersonandtherespondent.Thescopeof

applicationofSub-Section2ofSection25ismuchwiderthanSub-Section1of

Section25.

Section2(a)oftheAct,definedtheterm’aggrievedperson’.

“aggrievedperson”meansanywomanwhois,orhasbeen,ina

domesticrelationshipwiththerespondentandwhoallegestohave

beensubjectedtoanyactofdomesticviolencebytherespondents.

WhereasrespondenthasbeendefinedinSection2(q):-

“respondent”meansanyadultmalepersonwhois,orhasbeen,

inadomesticrelationshipwiththeaggrievedpersonandagainst

whomtheaggrievedpersonhassoughtanyreliefunderthisAct:

Providedthatanaggrievedwifeorfemalelivinginarelationship

inthenatureofmarriagemayalsofileacomplaintagainsttherelative

ofthehusbandorthemalepartner.

InviewoftheprovisionascontainedinSub-Section2ofSection25,itcan

bepresumedthattheorderpassedundertheActisnotperpetualinnatureand

theorderpassedunderthisActmaybealtered,modifiedorrevoked,ifthereisa

changeinthecircumstancesandforthatpurposetheaggrievedpersonorthe

respondentmayapproachbeforetheMagistrateundertheAct.Ifsuchprayeris

madetheMagistratemayforreasonstoberecordedinwritingpassedsuch

order,ashemaydeemappropriate.

Now,thequestioncomesastowhetherafteradecreeofdivorcebyaCourt

ofcompetentjurisdiction,thedomesticrelationshipbetweenthehusbandand

wifewouldcontinueinviewoftheprovisionofthisAct.Inthisconnection,the

definitionofdomesticrelationshipasmentionedunderSection2(f)oftheAct

may,becitedhere:-

“domesticrelationship”meansarelationshipbetweentwo

personswholiveorhave,atanypointoftime,livedtogetherinashared

household,whentheyarerelatedbyconsanguinity,marriageor
througharelationshipinthenatureofmarriage,adoptionorarefamily

memberslivingtogetherasajointfamily.

Nodoubt,herethepartiesi.e.theaggrievedpersonandtherespondent

wererelatedwitheachotherbymarriage.Itisthecontentionofthehusband

thatheisnolongerindomesticrelationshipwiththewifeandassuchthe

interimorderunderSection23oftheActpassedbytheMagistraterequirestobe

revoked.Section23oftheActspeaksaboutgrantofinterimorder.Inviewof

Sub-Section1ofSection23oftheAct,Magistratemaypasssuchinterimorder,

ashedeemsjustandproperinconnectionwithanyproceedingsbeforehim

underthisAct.

AnorderpassedbytheMagistrateunderSection23oftheActshallremain

inforceunlessanduntilitisaltered,modifiedorrevokedeitherbythe

MagistrateunderSection25oftheActorbytheAppellateCourtunderSection

29oftheActinconnectionwithanappealpreferredeitherbytheaggrieved

personorbytherespondent.

Intheinstantcase,theprayerforalteration,modificationorrevocationof

theinterimorderunderSection25oftheActwasrejectedbytheLearned

Magistrateandthereaftersaidorderofrejectionhasbeenaffirmedinappeal.

Thatmeanstherearetwoconcurrentdecisionsagainstthepresentpetitioner

passedbytheLearnedCourtsbelow.

DuringthecourseofthehearingtheLearnedAdvocateappearingforthe

oppositepartyhascontendedthatinviewofthedecisioninKrishna

BhatacharjeeVs.SarathiChoudhuryandanotherreportedin2016Cri.L.J.

330thewifedoesnotceasetobeanaggrievedpersonbecausemerelythatthe

husbandobtainedadecreefordivorcefromaCivilCourt.Ihavegonethrough

thedecisionasreferredbytheLearnedCounselappearingfortheoppositeparty.

FromParagraphs18and22,ofthesaiddecisionitappearsthataquestionwas

raisedbeforetheHon’bleApexCourtastowhetherthewifeceasedtobean

aggrievedpersonbecauseofthedecreeofjudicialseparation.Inthesaid

judgmentparticularlyinparagraph22Hon’bleApexCourt,hasmadea

distinctionbetweenadecreeofdivorceanddecreeofjudicialseparation.

Inparagraph22ofthesaidjudgmentHon’bleSupremeCourtobservedas

under:

“Inviewoftheaforesaidpronouncement,itisquiteclearthatthereisa

distinctionbetweenadecreefordivorceanddecreeofjudicialseparation;

intheformer,thereisaseveranceofstatusandthepartiesdonot

remainashusbandandwife,whereasinthelater,therelationship

betweenhusbandandwifecontinuesandthelegalrelationship

continuesasithasnotbeensnapped.Thusunderstood,thefinding

recordedbythecourtsbelowwhichhavebeenconcurredbytheHigh
Courtthatthepartieshavingbeenjudicialseparated,theappellantwife

hasceasedtobean”aggrievedperson”iswhollyunsustainable”.

InthesaiddecisionofKrishnaBhatacharjeeVs.SarathiChoudhury

andanotherthewifeapproachedforreliefundertheAct.Thesaidreliefunder

Section12oftheActof2005wasrefusedonthegroundthatthewifeceasedto

bean’aggrievedperson’duetojudicialseparation.Thefactualsituationofthe

presentcaseisdistinguishablefromthefactsofthedecisionasreferredbythe

oppositeparty.Inthepresentcasetheoppositepartyhadalreadybeengranted

maintenanceandrentforalternativeaccommodationandthehusbandprayedfor

revocationofthatorderonthegroundofdivorce.

LearnedCounselfortheoppositepartyhasreferredanotherdecisioninA.

AshokVardhanReddyOrs.Vs.SmtP.SavithaandAnotherreportedin

2012Cri.L.J.3462andcontendedthattheinterimorderpassedunderSection23

oftheActinconnectionwithanapplicationunderSection12oftheProtectionof

WomenfromSectionDomesticViolenceAct,2005cannotbealtered,modifiedorrevoked

byanysubsequentdecreeofdivorceonthegroundthatatthetimeofpassing

theinterimorderunderSection23oftheActthepartieswereinjural

relationshipofmanandwife.

Thespecificcontentionofthepetitioneristhatafterthedecreeofthe

divorce,theoppositeparty-wifeceasedtobeanaggrievedpersonasenvisagedin
theprovisionsofSection2(a)oftheActof2005.Theoppositeparty-wifethough

hadbeeninthedomesticrelationwiththepetitionerbutthatrelationshiphas

beenlegallyterminatedbyadecreeofdivorcepassedbyaCourtofcompetent

jurisdiction.Afterthedecreeofdivorcetheoppositepartyno.2cannotbesaidto

beawomenwhoisorhasbeeninadomesticrelationshipwiththe

respondent/petitioner.Nowthestatusoftheoppositepartyno.2isadivorced

wifeasthematrimonialrelationshipbetweenthepartieshasbeenterminatedby

adecreeofdivorce.Afterthedecreeofthedivorcetheoppositepartycannotbe

consideredtobeanaggrievedpersonorindomesticrelationshipwiththepresent

petitioner.

Inboththedefinitionsofaggrievedpersonanddomesticrelationship,our

legislatureinitswisdomusepresenttenseandpresentperfecttense.Inorderto

bringanactionandtogetareliefundertheActtheaggrievedpersonhastoshow

thatsheisindomesticrelationshipwiththerespondentorhasbeenina

domesticrelationshipwithhim.

Sub-Section2ofSection25oftheActempowerstheMagistratetomodify,

alterorrevokeanyorderpassedundertheActwhenthereisachangeinthe

circumstances.

Themootquestionswhicharerequisitetobeconsideredare:-

1)Whethertheoppositepartyisrequiredtobecontinuedindomestic

relationshiptoexecuteanorderofmaintenancealreadygrantedin

herfavourundertheprovisionoftheActof2005;

2)Whetherchangeofmaritalstatusoftheoppositepartyno.2bya

decreeofdivorcecanbeconsideredtobeachangein

circumstancesasmentionedinSection25(2)oftheAct.

Boththequestionsareinterrelatedwitheachother.

Section25(2)oftheAct2005speaksabout’changeincircumstances’.

Circumstancesmeanafactorconditionconnectedwithorrelevanttoaneventor

action.Theterm’changeincircumstances’hasnotbeendefinedintheActof

2005.

ThewordschangeincircumstancesareusedinSectiontheCodeofCriminal

Procedure.Theexpression’changeincircumstances’inSection489Cr.P.C.now

Section127oftheCodeofCriminalProcedureiswideenoughtocoverthecostof

living,incomeoftheparties,etc.InbothSectiontheCodeofCriminalProcedureandthe

ProtectionofWomenfromSectionDomesticViolenceAct,2005,thewordschangein

circumstancesareusedinconnectionwithalterationofanorderofmaintenance.

UseofsamewordsinsimilarconnectioninasubsequentActgivesrisetoa

presumptionthattheyareusedtocarrythesamemeaningasintheearlier
statute.Moreoverwhenthesaidwordsusedintheearlierstatutehavebeen

interpretedbytheHigherCourtsonseveraloccasions,thenuseofsamewordsin

similarcontextinasubsequentstatutewillgiveriseinfavourofthepresumption

thattheParliamentintendsthesameinterpretationshouldalsobefollowedfor

constructionofthosewordsinthelaterenactment.

ThetermwifehasnotbeendefinedintheActof2005.

Explanantion(b)ofSub-Section1ofSection125SectionoftheCodeofCriminal

Proceduresaysthatwifeincludesawomanwhohasbeendivorcedbyorhas

obtainedadecreeofdivorcefromherhusbandandhasnotremarried.

Admittedly,theoppositepartyno.2hadbeeninadomesticrelationship

withthepetitioneri.e.husbandandwife.Oppositepartyno.2gottheorderof

maintenanceandrentforalternativeaccommodationwhileshewasindomestic

relationshipwiththepetitionerandshewasanaggrievedpartywithinthe

meaningoftheActof2005.’Changeincircumstances’and’changeofmarital

status’arequitedifferent.Divorcedwifehasarighttoclaimandget

maintenanceallowance.Hersaidrightcontinuestillherremarriage.Inviewof

Explanation(b)toSub-Section(1)Section125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure

awomandivorced,byherhusbandundertheSectionHinduMarriageAct,continuesto

enjoythestatusofawifeforthepurposeofclaimingmaintenanceallowances

fromherex-husband,ifsheisunabletomaintainherselfandshehasnot

remarried.

FromcopyofthejudgmentpassedinMATSuitno.103/2015(Previous

no.345/2015)itappearsthatthedecreeofdivorcewasgrantedunderthe

provisionofSectionHinduMarriageAct.Nowthestatusoftheoppositepartyno.2is

divorcedwifeofaHinduex-husband.Inviewoftheprovisionsascontainedin

Explanation(b)toSub-Section(1)ofSection125Cr.P.C.,aHindudivorcedwife

isentitledtogetmaintenancefromherex-husband.ItistruethattheProtection

ofWomenfromDomesticViolenceActdoesnotcontainanyprovisionsimilarto

thatofExplanation(b)toSub-Section(1)ofSection125Cr.P.C.

Thedomesticrelationshipbetweentheoppositepartyno.2(aggrieved

person)andthepetitioner(respondent)wasverymuchalivewhentheopposite

partyno.2madecomplaintofdomesticviolence.Theorderofmaintenanceand

rentforalternativeaccommodationwhichwaspassedinfavourofoppositeparty

no.2willcontinueunlessanduntilthereischangeincircumstancesas

mentionedinSection25(2)oftheActof2005.Decreeofdivorcedoesnotdeprive

thewifefromthereliefgrantedinherfavourundertheprovisionsoftheActof

2005.Afterdecreeofdivorcetheoppositepartyno.2hasbecome’divorcedwife’.

Moreover,ourlawrecognisestherightofadivorcedwifetoget

maintenancetillherremarriage.SectionThisActof2005providesadditionalrightsand

remediestotheaggrievedperson.Ifthecontentionofthepetitionerisaccepted

thenthewifewillbeforcedtoapproachbeforetheMagistratetogetmaintenance
underSection125oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure.Whatisneededisthatthe

existenceofdomesticrelationshipasdefinedintheActisnecessarytobringan

actionandtogetreliefundertheActof2005.Existenceofdomesticrelationship

isnotneededtoexecutetheordergrantedunderSection12oftheActof2005

andthedivorcedwifewhogotanorderofmaintenanceandotherreliefunderthe

Actof2005priortothedecreeofdivorceisentitledtoexecutethesameifsheis

unabletomaintainherselfandshehasnotremarriedandforotherreasons.

Forthereasonsmentionedabove,Idonotfindanysubstanceandforcein

theapplicationfiledbythepetitioner.

Consequently,theapplicationisdismissed.

Re:C.R.A.N.1348of2019.

InviewofthejudgmentpassedinC.R.R.3566of2018theapplication

becomesinfructuousandstandsdismissed.

UrgentPhotostatcertifiedcopyofthisjudgmentbesuppliedtotheparties,

ifappliedfor,uponcompliancewithallformalities.

(MadhumatiMitra,J.)

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