A single judge bench of Telangana High Court passed note-worthy guidelines in disposing Domestic Violence cases.
From Paras 6 and 7,
6. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a legislation enacted to shield the rights of women which are enshrined and guaranteed under the Constitution of India, besides paving way to deal with the matters connected to and arising out of the family disputes in an effective and efficacious manner.
7. When the provisions contained in the said legislation i.e., The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act of 2005”, for brevity) are looked into, it is very clear that the proceedings that would be conducted are more civil in nature. The protection orders that would be granted under Section 18, the residence orders that would be granted under Section 19, the monetary reliefs that would be granted under Section 20, the custody orders that would be granted under Section 21 and the compensation orders that would be granted under Section 22, would be based on the applications that would be filed by the aggrieved persons, the domestic incident reports and the defence taken by the respondents therein. All those proceedings are civil in nature. No doubt, Section 28 (1) of the Act of 2005 lays down that the proceedings shall be governed by the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure. However, it is specifically mentioned under Section 28(2) of the Act of 2005 that the Court is empowered to lay down its own procedure for disposal of the applications filed by the aggrieved persons or the Protection Officers. May be due to the fact that the power to deal with the domestic violence cases is given to the Magistrate, the litigant public are under the impression that the proceedings initiated under the Act of 2005 are purely criminal in nature.
Guidelines passed in Paras 12 and 13,
P Parvathi Vs Pathloth Mangamma on 7 Jul 2022
12. It is brought to the notice of this Court by the learned Assistant Public Prosecutor that number of Criminal Petitions are filed before the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings in domestic violence cases, only because the trial Courts are insisting the physical attendance of the respondents in those cases for each and every adjournment.
13. Therefore, before parting with the case, this Court considers it desirable to lay down certain guidelines for the Courts of Judicial Magistrate of First Class, which are empowered to deal with the domestic violence cases, to follow so that the parties would not rush to the High Court.
(1)The Courts of Judicial Magistrate of First Class which are dealing with the cases filed seeking various kinds of reliefs as laid down under Sections 18 to 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 should take note of the fact that the proceedings therein are more civil in nature.
(2)When the aggrieved person or a Protection Officer or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person presents an application seeking one or more reliefs that are enshrined under Sections 18 to 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, upon service of notice as required under Section 13 of the said Act and upon making appearance by the opposite party i.e., respondents therein either in person or through their counsel, the Court shall not insist for their personal appearance for each and every adjournment.
(3)The Courts dealing with the cases under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 shall not even insist for filing an application under Section 317 Cr.P.C.
(4)The persons against whom the applications are filed seeking relief in domestic violence cases i.e., the respondents, however, shall appear in person if a specific direction is given for their personal appearance by the Court during the course of proceedings.
(5)The points enumerated above does not however apply during the course of proceedings that are conducted under Section 31 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
(6) Last but most important is that the Courts of Judicial Magistrate of First Class which are empowered to deal with the matters under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 shall make all endeavour to dispose of the applications filed for grant of various reliefs that are provided under Sections 18 to 22 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of first hearing, as required under Section 12(5) of the said Act.
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