Two questions of interpretation of law in regards to the DV Act are explained in this landmark Judgment of Hon’ble High Court of Bombay.
Q1. Whether or not the proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2008 are in the nature of criminal proceedings ?
Proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are predominantly of civil nature and it is only when there is a breach of the protection order as is contemplated under Section 31 and failure or refusal to discharge duty without any sufficient cause by the protection officer as contemplated under Section 33, the proceedings assume the character of criminality. The first question is answered accordingly.
Q2. Whether or not the High Court can exercise its power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in respect of the proceedings under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 ?
the second question is answered in the affirmative.
Now, one incidental question would arise as to from what stage the provisions of the Cr.P.C. would become applicable and in our view, the answer could be found out from the provisions of Sections 12 and 13 of the D.V. Act.
A combined reading of these provisions shows that the commencement of the proceedings would take place the moment, the Magistrate applies his mind to the contents of the application and passes any judicial order including that of issuance of notice. Once, the proceeding commences, the procedure under Section 28 of the D.V. Act, subject to the exceptions provided in the Act and the rules framed thereunder, would apply. In other words, save as otherwise provided in the D.V. Act and the rules framed thereunder and subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 28, the provisions of the Cr.P.C. shall govern the proceedings under Sections 12 to 23 and also those relating to an offence under Section 31 of the D.V. Act on their commencement.
Nandkishor Pralhad Vyawahare Vs Mangal on 3 May, 2018