The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench has ruled that a husband entering into wedlock for the second time cannot be considered a case of domestic violence against the divorced first wife.
“Merely because the husband performs a second marriage, it cannot come within the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act’s, 2005, definition,” justice Manish Pitale said.
The judge, while allowing a petition by the Jalgaon-based husband along with his parents and sister mentioned that during the relationship, the first wife could have claimed the existence of domestic violence at the point of time.
“But the said fact in itself would not be enough for her to initiate proceedings under the DV Act, much after the divorce proceedings had attained finality and findings had been rendered against her,” stated the judge.
Criticizing the Aloka-based wife for harassing her inlaws by filing a case against them, Justice Pitale expressed that how the proceedings were initiated under the DV act was an “abuse of the process of law”.
The wife could not be permitted to keep the husband and in-laws engaged in litigation in this form when the DV Act’s requirements did not appear to be satisfied. The chronology of events indicates that she sought to invoke provisions after her divorce case attained finality up to the Supreme Court. It was not as if she initiated a proceeding during the matrimonial discord between the parties,” said Pitale.
While quashing the Akola magistrate’s notice of May 17, 2016, that rejected the petitioners’ application for quashing of the DV Act proceedings filed by the wife, the judge pointed out that it was only after she received adverse orders in the divorce and restitution of conjugal rights cases, which were confirmed up to the Supreme Court, that she sought to invoke the DV Act.
“She appeared to be interested in initiating and continuing such proceedings as a tool of harassments against the in-laws. the prayers about monthly maintenance, compensation, and other benefits have all been made in the backdrop of such allegations which are nothing but a repetition of the contentions raised in the earlier round of litigation”, the judge said.
As far as the husband’s second marriage after divorce is concerned, the wife’s contention that it amounted to domestic violence cannot be accepted. Section 3 of the DV act defines ‘domestic violence in an elaborate manner and it refers to physical, sexual, verbal, emotional. economic abuses”, Justice Pitale stated.