300. Person once convicted or acquitted not to be tried for same offence.
20. Protection in respect of conviction for offences
Article 20(2) : It is protection against Double Jeopardy in Criminal cases.
In this wonderful judgment from Hon’ble High Court of Bombay, the Hon’ble Justice has rubbed in it the lower court magistrate without any tolerance. See the rotten mindsets of magistrates of lower courts.
From Para 8,
Mamta Gautam Wankhede Vs Gautam Sukhdev Wankhede on 2 February, 2018
The learned Magistrate has gone on record saying that filing of divorce petition by the respondent against the petitioner after 23 years of marriage itself amounted to domestic violence. The remark is outlandish and, if I may say so, is alien to the known jurisprudential concepts. If this is the way how the applications filed under Section 12 of the D.V. Act are decided, as has been done in the present case by the learned Magistrate, as rightly submitted by the learned Counsel for the respondents, all the provisions of law, be they be from Hindu Code Bill or Family Courts Act or D.V.Act, creating rights and obligations of parties while maintaining a fine balance between the competing interests of both sides, would be rendered nugatory and a party would dither to initiate a proceeding for assertion of his right, for the fear of being labelled as merchant of domestic violence. The learned Magistrate shall do well to avoid making such remarks without giving any thought to rights and obligations of parties under the law.
This judgment also relies on another Bombay High Court judgment from 2014, available here.
In this wonderful landmark judgment, Justice Shri Nagamuthu has delivered a death-knell to the false case filing lair knifes.
From Para 13,
Now, the question is as to whether the wife, who has been neglected by her husband or refused to be maintained, is aggrieved person, as defined in Section 2(a) of the Act. In other words, whether such neglect or refusal by the husband would amount to domestic violence as defined in Section 3 of the Act.
From Para 15,
For the wife, maintenance paid by way of maintenance amount payable by the husband is a financial resource for her. Similarly, the denial of household necessities of the wife is also an economic abuse. The husband is bound to maintain the wife. If he neglects or fails to maintain, the wife is deprivation of her financial resources to maintain herself and to meet her household necessities. Denial of either of these two would amount to economic abuse. Such economic abuse will amount to domestic violence. The wife, who is the victim of such domestic violence, is, therefore, entitled for monetary relief under Section 20 of the Act.
From Para 17,
The next question, which arises for consideration, is as to whether an order for maintenance made by a Magistrate under Section 125 of the Code, shall be a bar for a Magistrate acting under Section 20 of the Act to pass an order for maintenance. In this regard, again, we should have a look into the Section 20(1)(d) of the Act, which states that the monetary relief granted under Section 20 of the Act may include an order for maintenance, in addition to an order of maintenance under Section 125 of the Code. Thus, it is crystal clear that a previous order for maintenance passed by a Magistrate under Section 125 of the Code, is not a bar for a Magistrate acting under Section 20 of the Act to pass yet another order granting monetary relief under Section 20 of the Act, by way of maintenance under Section 125 of the Code. Here, it needs to be noted that the subsequent order made under Section 20 of the Act is not in any way in modification or variation of the earlier order made under Section 125 of the Code by a Magistrate.
From Para 18,
If the wife wants to modify an order made under Section 125 of the Code, seeking enhancement of the maintenance amount, the only option available for her is to file a petition under Section 127 of the Code before the same Magistrate, who passed the order. In other words, the order made under Section 125 of the Code can be modified or varied only by the same Magistrate, who passed the earlier order. An order made under Section 125 of the Code for maintenance by one Magistrate cannot be varied or modified by a Magistrate acting under Section 20 of the Act. Therefore, it should be noted that a monetary relief granted towards maintenance under Section 20 of the Act may be not in modification of the previous order for maintenance passed under Section 125 of the Code, but it may be in addition to the said order for maintenance passed under Section 125 of the Code. If an order has already been made under Section 125 of the Code for maintenance, there can be no doubt that the wife had proved either neglect or refusal on the part of the husband. If the wife wants an order under Section 20 of the Act, in addition to the order under Section 125 of the Code, she has to prove fresh acts of the husband constituting the domestic violence subsequent to the passing of the earlier order under Section 125 of the Code. She cannot rely on the acts of the husband constituting domestic violence, which happened prior to the passing of the order under Section 125 of the Code. For getting an order under Section 20 of the Act, in addition to the earlier order under Section 125 of the Code, the wife should plead and prove that subsequent to the said order made under Section 125 of the Code, the husband had caused domestic violence and on account of the same, she had suffered loss and thus, she is entitled for additional amount as maintenance. Thus, it is manifestly clear that a previous order made under Section 125 of the Code is not a bar for an aggrieved wife to approach a Magistrate under Section 20 of the Act, for monetary relief as an additional relief of maintenance, provided subsequent to the passing of the earlier order under under Section 125 of the Code, the husband has committed domestic violence resulting loss to the wife.
From Para 19,
B.Prakash Vs Deepa on 28 July, 2015
In this regard, we may also take note of Section 36 of the Act, which states that the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and in derogation of the provisions of any other law, for the time being in force, which means Section 20 of the Act is not in derogation of Section 125 of the Code. It also needs to be clarified that as and when there is neglect or refusal on the part of the husband to maintain the wife, she has got option either to seek remedy under Section 125 of the Code or under Section 20 of the Act. If she elects to make a claim under Section 125 of the Code, on the same cause of action, she cannot, simultaneously, make a claim under Section 20 of the Act and vice versa. On the said cause of action, if the Magistrate dismisses the claim made by the petitioner under Section 125 of the Code, then, on the same set of allegation and cause of action, the wife cannot change her course and make a claim under Section 20 of the Act. Similarly, having elected to approach the Court under Section 20 of the Act, after having failed in her attempt to get maintenance, on the same set of allegations and cause of action, she cannot make a fresh allegation under Section 125 of the Code for maintenance. Having chosen one forum, if the aggrieved wants to approach the other forum, such approach could be made only on fresh grounds, which occurred subsequent to the order passed by the other forum.
Citation: 2016 All MR(Cri)168,
This was referred to in this 2018 judgment here.
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In this wonderful judgment, Justice Shri M.S.Ramesh has held that “The petitioner herein having chosen to invoke the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act seeking for monetary relief under Section 20(3), cannot subsequently invoke Section 125 Cr.P.C., for maintenance on the same set of facts and cause of action in view of my reasonings given above.” The cunning knife had her teeth broken and sent back for trying to manipulate and gain illegal benefits from Hon’ble Courts.
The government is equally to blame for causing such situation, whereby, a complainant is given two ‘options’ for same set of cause of action, under civil law itself. This is a clear case of aiding Double Jeopardy and needs to be dealt with iron fists of Judiciary.S.Suriya Devi Vs Thilip Kumar on 26 June, 2018