New Delhi, Jun 8 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court today refused to interfere with the direction of the trial court which had awarded interim maintenance to the wife for maintenance of the child and also towards the rent/accommodation.
Dismissing a petition challenging the order passed by the Trial Court on the ground that the case before it is only at interim stage and does not require interference, A Single Judge Bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “It cannot be said that the order of the courts below warrants interference by exercising its revisional jurisdiction.”
“Since the case is only at an interim stage, this Court is not inclined to interfere with the trial court directions awarding interim maintenance to the respondent (wife)towards maintenance of child and also towards the rent/accommodation,”remarked the Bench.
The petitioner (Husband) and respondent (wife) entered into a marriage agreement in 2014 ,after the wife obtained divorce from her earlier spouse. The respondent had a son aged about 13 years from her previous marriage. The petitioner informed the respondent that he already married and that his wife was on dialysis and would not survive long, and therefore, he is looking for a life partner.
The petitioner arranged a rental accommodation, wherein both the petitioner and the respondent were living as husband and wife. Furthermore, the school records of the child and the bank accounts of the respondent shows the petitioner as the father of the child and as the nominee respectively. In 2020, differences arose between the parties and the respondent was subjected to physical and mental abuse by the petitioner, following which she lodged an FIR against the petitioner. Thereafter, she filed an application under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari Court, praying for an order restraining the petitioner from evicting her from the rented accommodation, and also filed an application for grant of interim maintenance. The husband prayed for dismissal of the application filed by the respondent on the ground that she was not entitled to any relief under the Domestic Violence Act as she is not an aggrieved person. The Metropolitan Magistrate, on August 17, 2020, restrained the petitioner from dispossessing the respondent from the rented property, and rejected the plea of the husband for dismissal of the case on the ground that the question as to whether the respondent was an aggrieved person or not and whether she was in a domestic relationship with the petitioner or not could not be decided at that stage without leading evidence.The Magistrate vide order dated October 26, 2020, further directed the petitioner to pay an ad-interim maintenance of Rs 10,000 per month to the respondent towards maintenance of the child and payment of rent. The petitioner preferred an appeal before the Sessions Court, challenging the order. The Additional Sessions Judge upheld the orders passed by the Magistrate. Aggrieved, the husband approached the Delhi High Court and filed an appeal against the Session Judge order.
The counsel for the petitioner contended that an application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act can be filed only by an aggrieved person and the respondent is not an aggrieved person in as much as the petitioner and the respondent had never been in a domestic relationship which is the sine qua non for maintaining an application under the DV Act. He further contended that till the issue of maintainability was decided, Magistrate ought not to have passed any orders.
The counsel for the respondent submitted that the parties resided together for six years before the disputes arose between them in the year 2020. it was not as if the petitioner was a casual visitor to the house.
The Bench observed that “the couple has held themselves out in the society as being akin to spouses which fact is evident from the marriage-cum-agreement deed, affidavits, the school records of the child and the bank statements of the respondent.”It further observed that the question as to whether the respondent is entitled to any protection under the DV Act can be determined only after the evidence is led.
Pointing the narrow scope of the Courts while exercising revisional jurisdiction, the Court directed the Trial Court to hear the matter and decide the matter within a period of one year. ILNS/KR/RJ