Criminal Appeal No. 2070 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 6220 of 2014). Case: Shalu Ojha Vs Prashant Ojha. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 2070 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 6220 of 2014)
JudgesJasti Chelameswar and Arjan Kumar Sikri, JJ.
IssueProtection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - Sections 2, 3, 12, 12(1), 17, 18, 19, 20, 20(1), 21, 22, 23, 29; Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 - Section 13(1); Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Sections 125, 125(1), 482; Constitution of India - Article 227
Judgement DateSeptember 18, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


Jasti Chelameswar, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This is an unfortunate case where the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are rendered simply a pious hope of the Parliament and a teasing illusion for the Appellant.

3. The Appellant is a young woman who got married to the Respondent on 20.04.2007 in Delhi according to Hindu rites and customs, pursuant to certain information placed by the Respondent on the website known as "Sycorian Matrimonial Services Ltd..".

4. According to the Appellant, she was thrown out of the matrimonial home within four months of the marriage on 14.8.2007. Thereafter, the Respondent started pressurizing the Appellant to agree for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent. As the Appellant did not agree for the same, the Respondent filed a petition for divorce being H.M.A. No. 637 of 2007 Under Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on 17.10.2007 before the Additional District Judge, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi. The said petition was dismissed by an order dated 03.10.2008. Within four months, the Respondent filed another petition on 08.04.2009 once again invoking Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 before the Additional District Judge, Patiala House Courts, Delhi being H.M.A. No. 215 of 2009 and the same on being transferred is pending before the Family Court, Saket and renumbered as H.M.A. No. 266 of 2009.

5. On 04.06.2009, the Appellant filed a complaint case No. 120/4/09 Under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as "the DV Act").

6. The said complaint case came to be disposed of by the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi by his order dated 05.07.2012. By the said order, the Magistrate granted an amount of Rs. 2.5 lacs towards monthly maintenance of the Appellant which included rental charges for alternative accommodation. The Respondent was made liable to pay such monthly maintenance from the date of filing of the petition, i.e. from 04.06.2009. The monthly maintenance was made payable on or before 10th of each succeeding month. The learned Magistrate further directed that the arrears of the maintenance be cleared by 05.12.2012.

7. Aggrieved by the above order, the Respondent carried the matter in appeal Under Section 29 of the DV Act in Criminal Appeal No. 23 of 2012 before the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Rohini, New Delhi. On 10.01.2013, the learned Additional Sessions Judge while granting stay of the execution of the order under appeal passed an order directing the Respondent to pay the entire arrears of the maintenance due to the Appellant till the presentation of the appeal within a period of two months.

8. Since the Respondent did not pay the arrears, the Appellant moved an application for execution of the order dated 10.01.2013.

9. By an order dated 07.05.2013, Criminal Appeal No. 23 of 2013 preferred by the Respondent was dismissed by the learned Sessions Judge for non-compliance of the interim directions dated 10.01.2013.

10. Aggrieved by the order dated 07.05.2013, the Respondent filed Crl. Misc. Case No. 1975 of 2013 and Crl. Misc. Application No. 78-34 of 2013 for interim directions in the High Court of Delhi on 08.05.2013. The High Court initially declined to pass an interim order in the said appeal. Aggrieved by the same the Respondent approached this Court in SLP (Crl.) No. 6509-6510 of 2013 which was dismissed in limine on 13.08.2013 with a direction to the parties to apply for mediation.

11. Pursuant to the said direction, the Respondent filed Crl. Misc. Application No. 12547 of 2013 in Crl. Misc. Case No. 1975 of 2013 for direction to refer the matter to Mediation. The matter was referred accordingly. Eventually the mediation failed. On receipt of such failure report, the appeal was again listed before the High Court on 10.09.2013. The High Court directed the Respondent to pay an amount of Rs. 10 lakhs in two instalments and that the execution petition filed by the Appellant for the recovery of the arrears be kept in abeyance.

12. Thereafter, an application was filed by the Appellant before the High Court seeking direction to the Respondent for the payment of monthly maintenance (current period) in terms of order dated 05.7.2012 of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate (supra). It appears that the matter underwent number of adjournments but no orders have been passed by the High Court.

13. In the said background, the Appellant filed Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 2210 of 2014 in this Court. The said...

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