Court:KERALA HIGH COURT
Bench: JUSTICE M. Sasidharan Nambiar
SURENDRAN Vs. STATE OF KERALA On 16 July 2009
Sections 2(a), 12, 18, 19, 20 — Aggrieved person — Marriage has been declared as null and void at instance of wife, she cannot be an aggrieved person as provided under Section 2(a) of Act — Claim by wife for Protection order, residential order and monetary relief — Not maintainable — She is not entitled to claim benefit under Act or file petition under Section 12 of Act.
Respondents in M.C. 6/2009 on the file of Judicial First Class Magistrate, Taliparamba are the petitioners. Second respondent is the petitioner in M.C. 6/2009. M.C. 6/2009 was taken cognizance by the learned Magistrate on Annexure-5 complaint filed by second respondent under Section 12 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) claiming value of gold ornaments, compensation for cheating and for residential accommodation under Section 19. It is admitted case that marriage of first petitioner with second respondent was solemnized on 15.7.2002 at Sree Krishna Temple, Guruvayur. Later second respondent filed O.P. 431/2003 before Family Court, Kannur under Section 12(1) of Hindu Marriage Act for a declaration that her marriage with first petitioner is null and void contending that first petitioner was impotent and suppressing that fact marriage was conducted and therefore the marriage is to be declared null and void. Under Annexure-1 order dated 28.1.2005 Family Court, Kannur declared the marriage null and void. Second respondent had also filed M.C. 191/2003 for maintenance under Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure before the Family Court, Kannur. Under Annexure-2 order it was allowed and first petitioner was directed to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs. 1,000. Though challenging Annexure-2 order no appeal or revision was filed, when in execution, arrest warrant was issued, first petitioner filed W.P.(C) 36823/2008 before Division Bench of this Court and it is pending. It is thereafter Annexure-5 petition was filed under Section 12 of the Act. This petition is filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure to quash Annexure-5 complaint as well as further proceedings contending that when at the instance of the second respondent, her marriage with first petitioner was declared null and void, she is not entitled to any relief under the Act and therefore, the case is to be quashed.
2. Learned Counsel appearing for petitioners and second respondent were heard.
3. Under Section 12 of the Act, an aggrieved person or a Protection Officer or any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person is entitled to file a petition seeking one or more reliefs provided under the Act. Section 18 provides for protection order, Section 19 for residential order and Section 20 for monetary reliefs. An aggrieved person is defined under Clause (a) of Section 2 as any woman who is or has been in domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to any act of domestic violence by the respondent. Domestic relationship is defined under Clause (f) of Section 2, as relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point of time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family. Domestic violence is defined under Clause (g) of Section 2 as the same meaning assigned to it in Section 3.
4. Therefore, in order to file a petition under Section 12 of the Act either personally or through Protection Officer or any other person, petitioner should be an aggrieved person as defined under the Act. Even though marriage of first petitioner with second respondent was solemnized on 15.7.2002, when at the instance of the second respondent herself, Family Court has declared marriage with first petitioner null and void, she cannot be an aggrieved person as provided under Section 2(a) of the Act. If that be so, she is not entitled to claim the benefit under the Act or file a petition under Section 12 of the Act. Therefore, Annexure-5 application is liable to be quashed.
Petition is allowed. M.C. 6/2009 on the file of Judicial First Class Magistrate, Taliparamba taken cognizance under Annexure-5 petition is quashed.