Trial courts cautioned on domestic violence cases


New Delhi: Under the domestic violence law, a trial court cannot issue orders against those relatives of a married woman who have not been in a domestic relationship with her, the Delhi High Court has said.

Support TwoCircles

“It is expected from the trial court that before passing an order under Domestic Violence Act, it must be satisfied that there existed a domestic relationship between the petitioner and the respondent,” said Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra Monday while setting aside a trial court’s order in favour of a widow.

“It is also incumbent upon the court to specify as to which of the respondents would be liable to make the payment of interim maintenance and why, keeping in view the provisions of the act,” Justice Dhingra said.

Setting aside the trial court passed against five male respondents on a petition filed by the widow, the high court expressed surprise as to why the order has been passed against all male relatives named by the complainant in her complaint.

Justice Dhingra said the trial court passed the order without coming to a conclusion whether any domestic relationship existed between the aggrieved person and the respondents.

“Neither the order of learned magistrate nor the order passed by learned additional sessions judge specify as to which of the respondent out of the five would be liable to make the payment and why,” he said.

“The learned magistrate has only discussed the broad allegations and counter allegations but her order is conspicuously silent as to who were in the domestic relationship with the widow and who out of the five persons had deprived the widow of financial resources, if any, and who was liable to pay maintenance,” observed the court.

The court remanded back the case to the trial court asking the concerned magistrate to pass an order accordance with law.