Domestic Violence Act: Woman must temporarily reside at place of filing plaint, says Bombay HCmumbai Updated: Apr 14, 2018 23:21 IST
An aggrieved woman can file a complaint under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, only at a place where she is residing temporarily, said the Bombay HC.(HT File)
The Bombay high court (HC) has held that an aggrieved woman can file a complaint under the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, only at a place where she is residing temporarily. The high court reversed an October 2016 order passed by the principal district judge at Nagpur.
Justice SB Shukre said section 27 of the DV Act requires the complainant to be at least a temporary resident of the place to confer territorial jurisdiction upon a local judicial magistrate.
The Nagpur magistrate court had held that a complaint under section 12 of the DV Act was not maintainable in the case of a woman who filed the complaint in Nagpur. In the complaint, she had stated the address of her brother’s residence in Nagpur, when she was not even a temporary resident of the city.
The magistrate had taken note of the fact that the complainant, a mother of two, had earlier filed an application before a local court at Saunsar, 71km from Nagpur, seeking maintenance from her estranged husband under section 125 of the criminal procedure code.
She had stated that she had been residing at Saunsar since 2014. Justice Shukre clarified that “in the context of Section 27 of the DV Act, temporary residence means a residence set up or acquired in the ordinary course of human affairs, and is not a residence set up with the intention to file a case.” He said temporary residence requires residence at a place on a continuing basis in pursuit of some activity, want or need. It said such a residence cannot be created just for filing the case. Otherwise, he said, it would be easy for a resourceful woman to go to faraway places, set up a temporary residence, and file a case to get the pleasure of seeing her estranged husband put to travails of high expenses.