In an important ruling, the Bombay high court has held that a woman can file a complaint under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act only while still in the domestic relationship.
Justice Roshan Dalvi rejected a petition filed by a woman who had left her husband and two children living in America and returned to Mumbai.
“A wife who has returned from the US and consequently from the domestic relationship and lived in India for one year cannot file an application with regard to that relationship after such time," said Dalvi while upholding a sessions court order.
"Such a woman cannot be considered to be in any domestic relationship," the judge said.
The woman got married in May 1999 and lived with her husband in the US. She returned to India in February 2009.
In January 2010, she filed a complaint under provisions of the DV Act against her husband, but the sessions court rejected her complaint as no domestic relationship existed at the time of filing the complaint.
Upholding the lower court's order, Dalvi clarified that a woman who lived in a domestic relationship earlier, but which ceases only because of the domestic violence, can certainly file an application for such domestic violence that took place during the relationship.