A single judge bench of MP High Court held as follows, relying on Reema Aggarwal decision here
From Para 9,
9. Though it is an admitted position that complainant/respondent No.4 was already married and had a living spouse, when she contracted the second marriage withpetitioner, however, there is no indication of word ‘valid marriage’ in Section 498-A of I.P.C. The language used therein is ‘husband or relative of husband’. These words not only rope in those whoare validly married but also anyone who has undergone some or other form of marriage and thereby assumed for himself the position of husband.
A single judge of a Sessions Court in Mumbai held as follows:
From Para 5,
5] Perusal of the application under Section 12 of the D. V. Act filed by the applicant has several references to the alleged domestic violence committed by the respondent No. 1. It is not in dispute that heresides separately and not with the appellant or the respondent No. 1. The learned Metropolitan Magistrate in his impugned order hasobserved that since the respondent No. 1 never resided with the appellant in any shared household he cannot be considered to be therespondent as defined by Section 2 (q) of the D. V. Act. He, therefore, omitted him from the array of the respondents in the main application.
From Para 6,
6] Such an observation of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate however, is wholly misplaced. It is for the simple reason that the proviso to Section 2 (q) of the D. V. Act makes it very clear that anaggrieved wife can also file a complaint against a relative of the husband. The Act nowhere mandates that an aggrieved person can seekrelief only against the persons who have shared household with her. Had that been so, it would have been very convenient to cause violenceor any other trouble to the aggrieved person through the relatives not sharing the same household and yet remained out of the clutches of the D. V. Act. Rather, holding that any relative of the husband if not sharing or shared the same household cannot be a respondent would amount togiving licence to those relatives to commit violence to the aggrieved person and thereby rendering the very Act meaningless. That justcannot be and certainly was not the intention while enacting the said statute. As observed earlier, there are sufficient references to show that the respondent No. 1 was also a party to the domestic violencecommitted to the appellant. As such, the proceedings against him was certainly tenable. The learned Metropolitan Magistrate was obviouslywrong in holding that the respondent No. 1 since not shared the household with the appellant could not be a respondent as defined bySection 2 (q) of the D. V. Act. Consequently, the impugned order cannot sustain.
A Single judge of Karnataka High Court (Dharwad bench) held as thus…
(If it feels like biased/pre-judged, I too felt the same)
20. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, the following issue arises for consideration in this writ petition. Whether, it is permissible for a Family Court to summon the medical records of a spouse on the request of the other spouse, especially when it pertained to records relating to any procedures relating to the reproductive choices of the spouse?
Illogical Reasoning of the Court:
22. Regulation 7.14 of the Regulation, 2002, upon which, reliance was placed is a reflection of this declaration. The said regulation reads as follows : 7.14. The registered medical practitioner shall not disclose the secrets of a patient that have been learnt in the exercise of his/her profession except
i) in a court of law under orders of the Presiding Judge; ii) in circumstances where there is a serious and identified risk to a specific person and / or community ; and iii) notifiable diseases. In case of communicable / notifiable diseases, concerned public health authorities should be informed immediately.
23. As could be seen in Regulation 7.14 of the Regulations, 2002, there is an absolute embargo on the medical practitioner from disclosing the secrets of a patient that comes within the knowledge of the medical practitioner during the discharge of his professional duties.
24. To this embargo, however, there are three exceptions. The first exception, with which we are concerned, is when a presiding Judge passes an order calling upon the medical practitioner to divulge a secret that he is aware of regarding his patient. Thus, unless there is a specific order of a Judge presiding over a Court of law, no medical practitioner can disclose the secrets that he has become privy to during the discharge of his professional duties.
25. Merely because a Court of law possesses that power to direct the medical practitioner to divulge a secret confided with a medical practitioner, that power would not and should not be exercised merely for the asking or routinely. The power to direct a medical practitioner to act in violation of his declaration should be exercised only for strong and compelling reasons and would be more or less be exercised only when an element of public interest was involved.
26. The Courts, therefore, cannot direct medical practitioners to disclose the secrets that they are privy to Divorce proceeding, by their very nature, is adversarial and more often than not a bitter and acrimonious battle, at times initiated to tarnish the reputation of the warring spouse. Thus, the power of the Court to direct the medical practitioners to divulge secrets that are confided to them should be exercised very sparingly and only for exceptional reasons.
27. In order to get over the bar imposed on the medical practitioners to disclose the secrets of the patients to which they are privy, the Courts should not be asked to exercise their power to secure medical records. If this is permitted, it would mean the Medical practitioner is required to divulge the secrets that the patient has disclosed to him contrary to his professional ethics only because an adversary in litigation wishes to use it to non-suit the other.
28. It is to be kept in mind that the medical records of an individual are very private and are not for public consumption. If the medical record of a person is private to him, a direction to his medical practitioner to produce the medical records or divulge any secret that he is privy to it would essentially amount to infringing the fundamental right of privacy guaranteed to an individual, which emanates from the Right to Life granted under Article 21 of Constitution of India.
40. The Doctor, even if summoned, cannot by the production of medical records, assist the Court in concluding as to whether the wife had voluntary sexual intercourse with a person other than the husband. If the husband can prove that he had no access to his and if he can establish that his wife had or was having any illicit sexual relationship with another person, the same will have to be established by appropriate evidence as provided under the Evidence Act.
41. In any event, the illicit relationship of a spouse cannot be proved by securing his or her private medical records. In fact, if this approach is to be accepted, it would amount to the destruction of the entire concept of Doctor and patient confidentiality and also drag the Doctor into a marital dispute.
A division bench of Bombay High Court said that, FIR cannot be quashed against relatives living in far away places just on that ground, when there are allegedly specific allegations in the Complaint/FIR.
From Paras 8-10,
8. On going through the allegations made in the First Information Report, we find that the allegations are not vague in nature. They are not general in nature either and that they specifically assign a role to each of the applicants which they had performed while subjecting the respondent No.2 to cruelty and harassment. 9. It appears to us that the entire story of woes of respondent No.2 began, going by the allegations made against applicant No.1, after the applicant No.1 established extra marital relations with applicant No.6 and even performed second marriage with her clandestinely. The respondent No.2 got married to applicant No.1 in the year 2007 and the respondent No.2 also bore three children from out of the wedlock. Out of three children, one is son and two are daughters. The eldest daughter of respondent No.2 is aged about 14 years, second daughter is aged about 7 years and the son, who is the youngest, is aged about 4 years. It is further seen that the year 2017 proved to be a disaster for respondent No.2 as it was from this year and on wards the marital discord began. From this year hence, the applicant No.1 started harassing the respondent No.2. It is alleged that he even used to subject her to severe beating. Soon thereafter, it is further seen, the respondent No.2 learnt about the extra marital affair that applicant No.1 was having with the applicant No.6 and when questioned by respondent No.2, applicant No.1 would further subject respondent No.2 to cruelty. The acts of cruelty and harassment have been specifically stated by respondent No.2 in the FIR as well as in police statement. The respondent No.2 has also alleged that when she brought all these facts to the notice of remaining applicants, they being her in-laws and probably in a position to control and regulate the conduct of applicant No.1, unexpected reaction came from the remaining applicants. The remaining applicants instead of exercising proper control over the applicant No.1, according to respondent No.2, started instigating applicant No.1 against respondent No.2. As alleged by respondent No.2, these applicants even raised illegal demand of Rs.50,000/- from respondent No.2 and upon her failure to meet that demand, the respondent No.2 was subjected by all these applicants to verbal abuses. They even instigated husband i.e. applicant to drive respondent No.2 out of his house. 10. The afore-stated allegations, we do not think, could be called as vague and general. These allegations have been made not only against the applicant-husband but also against all the in-laws i.e. remaining applicants and they are all specific in nature. They disclose sufficiently commission of cognizable offence cruelty, punishable under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. It also does not appear to us that they have been made with some hidden motive to just rope in all in-laws.
From Para 12,
12. This is a case wherein specific instances of involvement of not only the husband but also his relatives have been stated and therefore, with due respect, we would say that the case ofKahkashan Kausar would not assist the applicants in any manner. In the case of Kahkashan Kausar, it is also held that when there aregeneral omnibus allegations made in the course of matrimonial dispute and if they are not checked, it would result in misuse of theprocess of law. As stated earlier, in this case, there are no general omnibus allegations made against all the applicants rather, these allegations make out a prima-facie case against all the applicantsand therefore, on this count also the case of Kahkashan Kausar would not help the applicants.
A short judgment from a single judge says as follows (Picking exact same works from here):
Prayer in this petition, filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is for issuance of directions to respondents No.1 to 3 to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners at the hands of privaterespondents as the petitioners are in live-in-relationship against the wishes of the private respondents. Perusal of file shows that petitioner No.1 Harpreet Kaur agedabout 23 years is legally wedded wife of respondent No.4 Gurjant Singh, and without seeking divorce from her spouse she is living a lustful andadulterous life with petitioner No.2. Once petitioner No.1 is a married woman being wife of respondent No.4-Gurjant Singh, the act of petitionersparticularly petitioner No.2 may constitute an offence under Sections 494/495 IPC. Such a relationship does not fall within the phrase “live-in-relationship” or “relationship” in the nature of marriage. Petitioners have no legal right for protection on the facts of thepresent case inasmuch as the protection as being asked may amount to protection against commission of offence under Section 494/495 IPC. Thispetition has been filed just to obtain a seal of this Court on their so called live-in-relationship. On the face of it, the representation (Annexure P-3)appears to be a fake document as no receipt or diary number of the office of Senior Superintendent of Police, Barnala is given or attached. In view of the above, the present petition is dismissed.
A division bench at Allahabad High Court held as follows:
From Para 16,
16. According to own case of the petitioners, the petitioner no.1 is still a legally wedded wife of one Mahesh Chandra. As per own alleged application dated 17.09.2020 (as reproduced in para 6above), the petitioners are living as husband and wife and they have sought protection from interference in their living together ashusband and wife. Once the petitioner No.1 is a married woman being wife of one Mahesh Chandra, the act of petitioners particularly the petitioner No.2, may constitute an offence under Sections 494/495 I.P.C. Such a relationship does not fall within the phrase “live-in-relationship” or “relationship in the nature ofmarriage”. The writ petition has been filed by the petitioners for protection from interference by others in their living as husbandand wife. If the protection as prayed is granted, it may amount to grant protection against commission of offences under Sections494/495 I.P.C.
From Para 18,
18. It is settled law that writ of mandamus can be issued if the petitioner has a legal right to the performance of a legal duty by the party against whom the mandamus is sought and such rightmust be subsisting on the date of the petition. Similar view has also been taken by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Kalyan Singh vs.State of U.P. 13. Applying the principles of issuance of writ of mandamus on the facts of the present case, we find that the petitioners have no legal right for protection on thefacts of the present case inasmuch as such the protection as being asked, may amount to protection against commission of offence under Section 494/495 I.P.C.It is well settled law that writ of mandamus can not be issued contrary to law or to defeat a statutoryprovision including penal provision. The petitioners do not have legally protected and judicially enforceable subsisting right to ask for mandamus.
Single judge bench of Allahabad High Court made pertinent comments on how not to interpret a provision of law.
From Para 6,
6. It is not disputed that the learned Magistrate had taken cognizance on the complaint filed by Dowry Prohibition Officer. Section 7(1)(b) of Dowry Prohibition Act bars taking cognizance of an offence under this Act except upon a complaint by the person aggrieved by the offence or a parent or other relative of such person, or by any recognized welfare institution or organisation. In this case undisputedly, the complaint was not filed by opposite party No. 2, or her parents or other relatives. Dowry Prohibition Officer has not been authorised by above section to file complaint. No doubt, Section 8B of Dowry Prohibition Act says that the State Government may appoint as many Dowry Prohibition Officer as it thinks fit and specified area in respect of which they shall exercise their jurisdiction and powers under this Act.
From Paras 8-11,
8. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has observed that though the Dowry Prohibition Officer was not authorised to file complaint, but he had power to collect evidence as may be necessary for the prosecution of persons committing offence under the Act and it appears that it was the intention of the Legislature to empower the District Dowry Prohibition Officer to move to the Court for prosecution of the person, who is found guilty of taking or demanding dowry. He further observed that if he was not empowered to file complaint for prosecution of guilty person, he cannot prevent the taking of dowry and his act of collecting evidence will go waste. In these circumstances, the Dowry Prohibition Officer has got power to collect evidence and also got powers to file complaint. The above observation of the learned Additional Sessions Judge shows that he acted beyond the scope of Section 7(1)(b) of the Act. If the Legislature actually intended to confer power of filing complaint on Dowry Prohibition Officer, it ought to have been mentioned in Section 7(1)(b) of the Act itself.
9. The power to file complaint, therefore, cannot be inferred from the analogy of the powers of Dowry Prohibition Officer enumerated in Section 8B. Anything which is not in the Act cannot be inserted by Courts. The Court does not possess law-making power. The Courts may interpret the law contained in the Act and not insert any fresh provision, which has deliberately not been incorporated by the Legislature. Therefore, the above observation of the learned Additional Sessions Judge that Dowry Prohibition Officer has got power to file the complaint is against the provisions of law.
10. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has further observed that Section 7(1)(b)(ii) and the Explanation to said section says that Court shall take cognizance of a complaint filed by a recognised welfare institution or organisation. The Harijan Welfare Department of the State of U.P. is a welfare institution and if its officer has filed complaint under the provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act, the Magistrate will take cognizance over it under Section 7(1)(b)(ii). This observation of the learned Additional Sessions Judge is also against the provisions of law. The complaint was not filed by Harijan Welfare Department allegedly a recognised welfare institution, but by Dowry Prohibition Officer. If the law requires that complaint should be filed by an institution, then it must be filed by institution and not by other Authority. It may be true that Dowry Prohibition Officer was appointed by Harijan Welfare Department, but that officer did not become the Department itself and no action has been taken by the Department, as there is no such indication in the complaint that it was filed by Harijan Welfare Department through Dowry Prohibition Officer. Therefore, above observations of the learned Additional Sessions Judge are against the provisions of law and cannot be accepted.
11. In the result it is clear that complaint was not filed by person enumerated in Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 7 of Dowry Prohibition Act and, therefore it was without authority. Therefore, the cognizance against the applicants on the complaint filed by unauthorised person could not have been taken. Therefore, there was legal bar for taking cognizance against the applicants and cognizance was wrongly taken. The prosecution of applicants on the complaint of unauthorised and incompetent person was nothing but abuse of process of law and on this ground the cognizance as well as proceedings arising out of it are liable to be quashed under the exercise of powers conferred under Section 482, Cr.P.C. Thus, the application succeeds.
Inherent bias towards women can lead to incorrect judgments… This judgment totally fails to consider a question (may be not posed to the Court by the Counsels on both sides) isn’t this interpretation violative of Articles 14 and 21, Principles of Natural Justice and many more… More so, since the person aggrieved by the offence is not defined in the Act, every tom, dick and harry are given any interpretation to the provisions of this law.
From Paras 5-9,
5. The learned Senior Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner would vehemently contend that the Trial Court failed to appreciate the ambit of section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 which proposed to punish not only the receiver of dowry but also the giver of dowry. Referring to section 7(1)(b)(ii) of the Act, the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner would submit that though protection is provided from charging a person who is aggrieved by the offence under section 7(1)(b)(ii), the parents of the aggrieved wife do not fall under the category of person aggrieved by the offence. Therefore, the exemption contemplated under section 7(3) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 does not apply to the father of the de facto complainant, who purportedly gave dowry. It is his further submission that even before the case reaches the stage of trial, the learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, while taking cognizance of the case as per section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is duty bound to array all the persons against whom offences have been made out. Therefore, it is his submission that when the giver of the dowry is also punishable under section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, he cannot claim any exemption under section 7(3) of the said Act. The learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate is bound to act under section 190 and take cognizance as against the father of the de facto complainant also, it is contended.
6. There was no representation for the intervenor. Learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) appearing for the State would submit that the object of the amendment introduced by Act 43/1986 to exclude the person aggrieved from prosecution under Dowry Prohibition Act will have to be considered by this court before approaching the ambit of section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. Referring to section 7(3) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, he would further submit that a clear exemption is contemplated from prosecuting a person aggrieved by any offence under the Dowry Prohibition Act. Further, he would submit that the petition seeking to array the father of the de facto complainant is totally misconceived, inappropriate and premature.
7. The statement of objects and reasons for the enactment of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 would reflect that the Act is enacted to prohibit the evil practice of giving and taking dowry. But, while dealing with the salient features of the Act 43/1986 which introduced the amendment, it has been stated that the statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject him to prosecution under the Act.
8. In terms of the statement of objects and reasons of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, provision under section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act was enacted to punish not only the receiver but also the giver of the dowry. Section 7(1)(b)(ii) would read that notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, no court shall take cognizance of the offence under this Act except upon a complaint by the person aggrieved by the offence or a parent or other relative of such person or by any recognised welfare institution or organisation. Section 7(3) of the Dowry Prohibition Act would provide that notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject him to prosecution under the Act.
9. In order to provide more clarity to the provision under section 7(1)(b)(ii), the legislature has thought it fit to clarify that a parent or other relative of such a person also is entitled to lodge a complaint apart from the person aggrieved by the offence. Firstly, it is found that Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 does not define the person aggrieved by the offence. The aforesaid provision made to provide more clarity cannot be interpreted that the word ‘parent’ does not fall within the category of an aggrieved person by the offence provided under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The parent of the victim girl is definitely a person aggrieved by the offence. By no stretch of imagination, the legislature would have thought of excluding the parent from the purview of the person aggrieved by the offence while drafting section 7(3) of the Act to exempt from prosecution the person aggrieved by the offence for the statement made by him. At any rate, the phrase “person aggrieved by the offence” employed in sub-section 3 of section 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 cannot be construed that it only refers to the victim girl who was deprived of the marital bliss on account of the harassment meted out to her demanding dowry. In the considered opinion of this court, parents and other relatives of the victim girl can safely be classified as person aggrieved by the offence as contemplated under section 7(3) of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
From Para 12,
12. Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is subject to section 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 on account of the non-obstante clause found under the above Act. When the provision under section 7(3) of the Special Act prohibits taking cognizance as against a person aggrieved by the offence for the incriminating statement made by him, the Judicial Magistrate cannot invoke the provision under section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and include a person exempted under the Special Act as one of the accused. On account of the introduction of the provision to the Special Act to exclude certain persons from prosecution, the powers of the Judicial Magistrate under section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure referred to in the above ratio cannot be exercised.