Subject Matter : What exactly is Domestic Violence?
Relevant Section : Section 3: The act, whether committed or omitted, constitutes domestic violence when- it harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse or coerces the aggrieved party or any other person related to them to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security.
Section 2(f): "domestic relationship" means a relationship between two persons who live or 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.
Key Issue : a. Whether a “live-in relationship” would amount to a “relationship in the nature of marriage” falling within the definition of “domestic relationship” under Section 2(f) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005?
b. Whether the disruption of such a relationship by failure to maintain a women involved in such a relationship amounts to “domestic violence” within the meaning of Section 3 of the Act?
Citation Details : Indra Sarma vs. V.K.V. Sarma (26.11.2013 - SC): MANU/SC/1230/2013
Summary Judgment :

Facts: Appellant and Respondent were working together in a private company. The Respondent, working as a Personal Officer of the Company, was married having two children and the Appellant, aged 33 years, was unmarried. Constant contacts between them developed intimacy and in the year 1992, Appellant left the job from the above-mentioned Company and started living with the Respondent in a shared household. Appellant's family members, including her father, brother and sister, and also the wife of the Respondent, opposed that live-in-relationship. Respondent started a business in her name and that they were earning from that business. After some time, the Respondent shifted the business to his residence and continued the business with the help of his son, thereby depriving her right of working and earning. Due to their relationship, Appellant became pregnant on three occasions, though all resulted in abortion. Respondent used to force the Appellant to take contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy. Respondent took a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- from the Appellant stating that he would buy a land in her name, but the same was not done. Respondent also took money from the Appellant to start a beauty parlour for his wife. During the year 2006, Respondent took a loan of Rs. 2,50,000/- from her and had not returned. Respondent, all along, was harassing the Appellant by not exposing her as his wife publicly, or permitting to suffix his name after the name of the Appellant. Respondent never used to take her anywhere, either to the houses of relatives or friends or functions. Respondent never used to accompany her to the hospital or make joint Bank account, execute documents, etc. Respondent's family constantly opposed their live-in relationship and ultimately forced him to leave the company of the Appellant and it was alleged that he left the company of the Appellant without maintaining her.

Held: a. The Appellant, having been fully aware of the fact that the Respondent was a married person, could not have entered into a live-in relationship in the nature of marriage. All live-in-relationships are not relationships in the nature of marriage. Appellant's and the Respondent's relationship is, therefore, not a "relationship in the nature of marriage" because it has no inherent or essential characteristic of a marriage. The Appellant's status is lower than the status of a wife and that relationship would not fall within the definition of "domestic relationship" Under Section 2(f) of the Act.
b. Since appellant was aware that the respondent was a married person having two children even before the commencement of relationship hence the status of appellant is that of a concubine or mistress and cannot fall under Section 2(f) of Act of 2005 and cannot be come within "domestic relationship" and therefore not entitled for any relief on the grounds of domestic violence. We are conscious of the fact that if any direction is given to the Respondent to pay maintenance or monetary consideration to the Appellant, that would be at the cost of the legally wedded wife and children of the Respondent, especially when they had opposed that relationship and have a cause of action against the Appellant for alienating the companionship and affection of the husband/parent which is an intentional tort. Appeal dismissed.

Subject Matter : Right to reside in a shared household
Relevant Section : Section 17: Every woman in a domestic relationship shall have the right to reside in the shared household, whether or not she has any right, title or beneficial interest in the same. The aggrieved person shall not be evicted or excluded from the shared household or any part of it by the respondent save in accordance with the procedure established by law.
Key Issue : Whether the wife is entitled to an enhanced maintenance as well as sharing the household?
Citation Details : Sumita Acharya vs. State of West Bengal and Ors. (27.02.2020 - CALHC): MANU/WB/0376/2020
Summary Judgment :

Facts: The petitioner got married with the opposite party no. 2 as per Hindu rites and customs on November 7, 2012 at her parental home and after marriage went to her matrimonial home and started to perform her conjugal life. It is alleged by the petitioner that at the time of marriage, her father gave her several gold ornaments and cash amounting to Rs. 63,000/- as per the demand of the husband and his family members. For not fulfilling the increasing demand of the husband and his family members, the petitioner was subjected to torture - physical and mental - and sexual assault instigating her to commit suicide. Ultimately, the petitioner was compelled to leave her matrimonial home and to lodge a criminal case under Sections 498A/34/406 of the Indian Penal Code against the opposite parties no. 2 to 5. The petitioner also filed an application under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The learned Judicial Magistrate by his judgment dated September 5, 2017 directed the husband to pay monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 6,000/- to the petitioner/wife and to pay a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- to her as damages. The learned Magistrate further directed the husband/opposite party no. 2 not to cause violence of any kind upon the petitioner/wife and in this context directed the officer in-charge of the concerned police station to provide necessary police protection to the petitioner/wife in case of any domestic violence. The order passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, as above, was appealed against and the appellate court below dismissed the appeal thereby affirming the judgment and order passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate. It is admitted on evidence by the opposite party no. 2/husband that he is a primary school teacher, but in his written objection to the application under Section 12 of the Act he has not disclosed his monthly income which he was supposed to disclose. However, it is submitted on behalf of the petitioner that the opposite party no. 2 is a primary school teacher belonging to the category of Graduate (IX-X) & Upper Primary and his net pay must be Rs. 30,751/- as per Revision of Pay and Allowances, 2009. In this regard, it is submitted that the monetary relief of Rs. 6,000/- per month, which has been awarded to the petitioner, is meagre and not having been considered in accordance with the social status of the parties.

Held: In the facts and circumstances of the case and in the context of the discussion, as above, this court is pleased to enhance the monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 10,000/- per month and award Rs. 5,000/- per month towards rental charges for the alternative accommodation, being a total sum of Rs. 15,000/- per month which the petitioner is entitled to from her husband. This enhanced monetary relief and the accommodation alternatively provided at the rate of Rs. 5,000/- per month would be payable by the husband/opposite party no. 2 to the petitioner/wife from the date of this order.

Subject Matter : Protection orders
Relevant Section : Section 18: The Magistrate may, on being prima facie satisfied that domestic violence has taken place or is likely to take place, pass a protection order in favour of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from omitting, aiding and abetting any such act, enter the workplace of the aggrieved person, communicate in any way with them, alienating the assets or harming the relatives of the aggrieved person.
Key Issue : Whether the protection orders can be given for the aggrieved party after their divorce?
Citation Details : Juveria Abdul Majid Patni vs. Atif Iqbal Mansoori (18.09.2014 - SC): MANU/SC/0861/2014
Summary Judgment :

Facts: The Appellant got married to 1st Respondent according to Muslim rites and rituals on 13th May 2005. 1st Respondent was in the habit of harassing her. She was subjected to physical abuse and cruelty. 1st Respondent acted with cruelty, harassed her and had banged her against a wall on her back and stomach on 5th January, 2006, due to which she suffered severe low back pain. The 1st Respondent refused her entry into the matrimonial house on 19th February, 2006 and asked her to stay with her parents. She delivered a baby boy at Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai on 10th August, 2006 but the 1st Respondent never visited to see the new born baby. Later, the 1st Respondent filed a petition seeking custody of the minor child. The Appellant lodged FIR on 6th September, 2007 before Agripada Police Station Under Section 498A, and 406 Indian Penal Code against the 1st Respondent, his mother and his sister. It was challnged by the respondent and a petition was filed by him. she obtained an ex parte 'Khula' from Mufti under the Muslim Personal Law on 9th May, 2008. The 1st Respondent challenged the 'Khula'. On 29th September, 2009, the Appellant filed a petition Under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against the 1st Respondent alleging that he is not providing maintenance for herself as well as for the minor child.

Held: In the present case, the alleged domestic violence took place between January, 2006 and 6th September, 2007 when FIR was lodged by the Appellant Under Section 498A and 406 Indian Penal Code against the 1st Respondent and his relatives. In a writ petition filed by 1st Respondent the High Court refused to quash the said FIR against him observing that prima facie case Under Section 498A was made out against him. Even if it is accepted that the Appellant during the pendency of the SLP before this Court has obtained ex parte Khula (divorce) under the Muslim Personal Law from the Mufti on 9th May, 2008, the petition Under Section 12 and 18 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is maintainable. An act of domestic violence once committed, subsequent decree of divorce will not absolve the liability of the Respondent from the offence committed or to deny the benefit to which the aggrieved person is entitled under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 including monetary relief Under Section 20, Child Custody Under Section 21, Compensation Under Section 22 and interim or ex parte order Under Section 23 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Subject Matter : Residence Orders
Relevant Section : Section 19: (1) Magistrate may, on being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, pass a residence order directing that (b) directing the respondent to remove himself from the shared household.
The other directions include not dispossessing the person aggrieved from the shared household, not restraining the relatives of the person aggrieved from entering any part of such a household, the accused not renouncing their rights on the shared household.
Key Issue : Whether order directing Appellant-husband to remove himself from matrimonial home of which he was co-owner, was sustainable?
Citation Details : Samir Vidyasagar Bhardwaj vs. Nandita Samir Bhardwaj (09.05.2017 - SC): MANU/SC/0630/2017
Summary Judgment :

Facts: A divorce petition was filed on the ground of cruelty and the Respondent-wife had alleged in the application seeking interim relief that she had been subjected to mental and physical cruelty due to which living under one roof with the Appellant-husband had become impossible. The Family Court passed the interim order directing the Appellant-husband to remove himself out of the matrimonial house and not to visit the same till the decision of the divorce petition. The Appellant-husband approached the High Court stating that final relief sought in the main petition could not have been granted at interim stage; he being a co-owner of the premises, he cannot be evicted from that premises which amounted to his virtual dispossession of the premises of which he was a co-owner. The High Court affirmed the interim order passed by the Family Court. Hence, the present appeal.

Held: Section 19(1)(b) provides that the Court may direct the Appellant-husband to remove himself from the shared household. The Family Court arrived at a finding that prima facie material was available on record to accept the allegation of the Respondent-wife on domestic violence wherein the concerned Judge had exercised his discretion Under Section 19(1)(b) which provides that the Magistrate on being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place can remove the spouse from the shared household which in our opinion he has rightly done. Exercise of discretion by Family Court could not be said to be perverse warranting interference. The High Court also considered the factual and legal position. Having gone through the orders of the High Court and the Family Court and considering the fact that the daughters were grown up, the present Court was not inclined to exercise discretions Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India at the interlocutory stage. Hence the appeal was dismissed.

Subject Matter : Monetary reliefs
Relevant Section : Section 20: The respondent may be directed to pay monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence.
Key Issue : a. Whether there is any domestic violence committed by the respondent towards the petitioner?
If yes then is she entitled to get the maintenance?
b. Whether the son of the petitioner can get the maintenance under the Act 2005?
Citation Details : Shikharani vs. Hitendra Chudasma (27.02.2020 - MPHC): MANU/MP/0517/2020
Summary Judgment :

Facts: Petitioner/applicant has preferred an application under Section 12 of Act, 2005 stating that her marriage was solemnized with the respondent/non-applicant on 13.04.2011 according to Hindu rites and rituals and they have been blessed with one male child namely Ayush Kumar. The respondent and his family members maltreated the petitioner and they demanded one Maruti Car, one gold Chain and Rs. 7,00,000/- as dowry. She further contended that the respondent has blamed on her character and committed sexual assault with her. The respondent has not fulfilled basic need of the petitioner. Her son-Ayush is studying and she has no source of income to take care of him properly. She further stated that the respondent restricted her to go out from the house, moreover, without taking her consent, the respondent had sold her stridhan and other valuable article. She further alleged that the respondent tried to throw her son from the terrace. She also prays to give interim compensation under the act. On reply, the respondent stated that the petitioner has filed a false case against him and the facts narrated by her are concocted. The petitioner had suppressed the fact that she was already married with one Dhananjay Mandal and she is having two daughter to him. When this fact came to knowledge of the respondent, the petitioner started quarrel with him. He further stated that the petitioner demanded Rs. 4,00,000/- and threatened him to falsely implicate in the case. The family members of the respondent were not involved in the case in any manner even then the petitioner has also implicated them. He stated about his income saying that he is under suspension period whereas the petitioner is earning Rs. 20,000/- to 25,000/- from her beauty parlour work. After evaluating the evidence available in the case, the learned JMFC found that the respondent committed domestic violence with the petitioner and her son. The JMFC has directed the respondent to pay the maintenance and compensation amount as aforesaid.
Being aggrieved by the order passed by learned JMFC, both the parties have approached the Appellate Court by filing the appeals. By the impugned order, the learned ASJ has allowed the appeal filed by the respondent and dismissed the another which was filed by the petitioner.

Held: a. Undisputedly, the petitioner was residing in the shared household of the respondent and by their co-habitation, she had born a child. In view of the pronouncement of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Lalita Toppo and Indra Sharma, prima-facie, her relation with the respondent is not appeared like a marriage but not less than marriage, thus, she is entitled to get the relief under DV Act 2005. After considering all the evidence available on the record, I am persuaded with the findings of the learned JMFC that the petitioner has sufficient reason to live separate with the respondent as well as looking to the other circumstance of the case, I am of the opinion that the learned JMFC has rightly decided that the act of the respondent, not providing maintenance and other basic need like medical facility etc. would comes under the purview of domestic violence, thus she is entitled to get the maintenance.
b. So far as maintenance to the child of the petitioner is concerned, there is specific provision of Section 20 under the Act 2005 therein while disposing of an application under Section 12(1), the Magistrate may direct the respondent to pay monitory relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person as a result of the domestic violence. Consequently, the judgment passed by learned JMFC dated 02.11.2017 in Criminal Case No. 3200024/2012 is hereby by restored. Accordingly, this petition is hereby allowed. The respondent is directed to pay the maintenance amount as awarded by the learned JMFC vide order dated 02.11.2017 without making any fault. He shall also pay the arrears, if any, within a period of 6 months.