The Delhi High Court has observed that a litigant cannot be allowed to take proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 for granted especially when the same relates to the proceedings initiated by the victim of domestic violence.

While stressing on the importance of the Act, a bench of Justice Amit Mahajan observed, “A litigant cannot be allowed to take for granted the proceedings before the Court, especially when the same relates to the proceedings initiated by the victim of domestic violence. The DV Act was enacted to provide more effective protection to the rights of women granted under the Constitution, who are the victim of violence, of any kind, occurring within the family. The legislature also noting the victimization of the women has provided a mechanism for grant of maintenance to women who are not in a position to maintain themselves. Such proceedings cannot be taken in such a light manner as pleaded by the petitioner”.

“Petitioner being aware and having appeared in the proceedings before the learned Trial Court cannot be allowed to argue that he was not aware of the final judgment”, the bench further held.

The petition under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was filed by the respondent-wife against the petitioner-husband and his family members for which the summons were admittedly duly served on them.

However, the trial court noted that the petitioner did not appear before the Court on subsequent dates and thereby, passed a final judgment thereafter, in July 2022 granting maintenance of ₹6,000/- in favour of the respondent.

It was claimed that the petitioner came to know about the judgment dated July 2022 sometime in October, 2022 when a police personnel came to inform that the matter is listed before the Court in November, 2022 in the Execution Petition filed by the respondent.

The petitioner admittedly, also did not appear before the Executing Court on January 10, 2023 and filed an appeal challenging the order dated July 2022 in March, 2023.

The appeal was dismissed by the impugned order on the ground of delay. The delay in filing the appeal was not condoned and the appeal was dismissed, which led to filing of the present petition under Section 397/401 of CrPC.

It is to be noted that in terms of Section 29 of the DV Act, the appeal is to be filed within a period of 30 days.

Accordingly, while observing that there was no infirmity with the impugned order, the bench noted, “The explanation provided by the petitioner for not filing the appeal within 30 days from October, 2022 is also meritless. Even as per the petitioner, the steps, for filing the appeal, were discussed by the petitioner with his counsel after 10.01.2023, by which time the limitation to file the appeal had already expired”.

Cause Title: Vishal Kumar v. Karishma Kumari

Click here to read/download the Order