New Delhi: The Gujarat High Court has said that a woman once divorced cannot seek monetary relief from her former husband under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. HC judge Umesh Trivedi recently gave this ruling while quashing the proceedings against the woman’s estranged husband, 27 years after their divorce.
“The wife would be an aggrieved person (under the Act) so long as the domestic relationship survives. As soon as it is snapped, it is an end to their domestic relationship and she would not be an aggrieved person then,” the court said.
The court quashed the proceedings against petitioner Kanji Parmar under sections 19 and 20 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, dealing with the monetary relief by way of compensation, as sought by his former wife Urmilaben Parmar.
The couple had tied the knot in 1984, but got divorced in 1990. Urmilaben then married another man with whom she had three children. However, she moved a petition a few years ago under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, seeking compensation from Kanji Parmar.
The court considered the documents placed on record by the petitioner’s lawyer, Ashvin Gateshaniya, proving that the respondent (Urmilaben) had married another man and even had three children from him. “Referring the definition of domestic relationship, it is clear that it is a relationship, which is alive between the persons. Even on separation or staying apart, the marital relationship continues. But once the marital tie is severed by way of divorce between the parties, the relationship between them is snapped,” the court said.
“Considering the definition, it is clear that the wife would be an aggrieved person so long as the domestic relationship survives. As soon as it is snapped, it is an end to the domestic relationship and she would not be an aggrieved person then.
“Thus, after a divorce between two persons, neither the domestic relationship survives nor any person would be termed as an aggrieved person for the purpose of this Act. Hence, after divorce takes place between husband and wife, the provisions under the Act cannot be invoked. Things would be different if the provisions are invoked and thereafter divorce takes place,” it said.