Case Title: Mrs. Zeba Mohasin Pathan, Easak Gulab Pathan V. State of Maharashtra
Case No: Writ Petition No. 5185 of 2018
Decided on: 5 January, 2024
CORAM: Dr. Neela Gokhsle, J
Facts of the Case
This case includes the Concern of the liability of a daughter-in-law, her father, and her brother under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (“DV Act”), a legal point is raised in the petition. Zeba, the petitioner, complained of domestic abuse in her married household and filed a DV Act application against her husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and mother-in-law’s brother. Respondent No. 2, Afrin, filed a complaint in the JMFC Court, Koregaon, and Satara, under Section 12 of the DV Act against Zeba, her father, and her brother.
The DV Act, 2005, provides protection to women victims of various forms of domestic violence. The Act defines “domestic violence” to include physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or economic abuse. The Act empowers the Magistrate to pass protection orders to prevent the respondent from committing acts of domestic violence and other specified acts
The main issues are with the sufficiency and durability of the JMFC court’s complaint and summons against the petitioners. According to the petitioners, Zeba’s ongoing maintenance and domestic violence proceedings is the target of the Domestic Violence (DV) proceedings, which they claim are a reprisal. It is alleged that this meddling could amount to “Contempt of Court” because it obstructs the administration of justice. According to the petitioners, they do not belong to the list of those against whom DV proceedings may be rightfully brought. This calls into question whether the proceedings that were brought were appropriate. Abuse of Legal Process: The petitioners ask the court to revoke the complaint because they believe Respondent No. 2 has abused the legal system. It is important to handle serious legal concerns when there are claims of improper use or manipulation of the judicial system.
Courts Analysis and Decision
In the present circumstances, Zeba falls within the statutory definition of the term ‘respondent’ as delineated in the Act. It is hereby determined that a complaint filed by a mother-in-law under the Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) is permissible against her daughter-in-law, contingent upon the satisfaction of additional criteria. The adjudication of the veracity of the allegations made by Afrin against Zeba is deferred to the DV Court, which shall assess the merits of the complaint. Consequently, the complaint against Petitioners No.2 and 3 is hereby quashed, and the summons issued to them pursuant to the order dated 10th January 2019 of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Koregaon, Satara is annulled. Conversely, the complaint against Zeba is deemed maintainable, and the DV Court is authorized to proceed with the prosecution against Zeba without prejudice to any observations on the merits articulated in this order. All other contentions raised by the parties remain unresolved. It is expressly clarified that no determination on the merits of the complaint has been undertaken in this order.
In accordance with the foregoing, the petition is disposed of accordingly, with no order as to costs.
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Written by- Komal Goswami