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'Relief can't be after eon but anon,' Ktka HC tells courts to stick to timeline in DV Act [Read Order]

By Lawstreet News Network      Mar 24, 2023      0 Comments      391 Views
'Relief can't be after eon but anon,' Ktka HC tells courts to stick to timeline in DV Act [Read Order]

The Karnataka High Court has declared that judicial magistrates dealing with applications filed under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 must decide the pleas within a time frame of 60 days.

"A woman, who is a victim of domestic violence, knocking at the doors of the Magistrate, under the Act seeking maintenance or shelter such grievance, will have to be addressed with immediacy. It is for this reason that the statute mandates that such applications have to be disposed of within 60 days," a bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna said.

The court pointed out that the mandate of the law is unequivocal that the magistrate shall endeavour to dispose every application; every application would mean each and every, not a few or more.

"If the delay takes away the very soul of the enactment, such delay would definitely deny justice. It is, therefore, often said that “justice delayed is justice denied”," the bench added.

The court further said any delay beyond 60 days to consider the application should be only for reasons to be recorded in writing.

The court passed its order on a writ petition filed by a woman from Bengaluru contending that she has been denied maintenance and other benefits available under the Act for close to five years now, after she has been out of the matrimonial house. It directed the magistrate to decide her applications within four weeks.

Terming the delay in her case as "appalling", the court pointed out Section 23 of the Act empowered the magistrate to grant of interim and ex-parte orders in any application under Sections 18, 19, 20 and 21 or even 22 against the respondent.

"Granting interim relief in terms of the application/s so filed cannot be after an eon, it has to be granted anon. Therefore, there is no warrant for any Magistrate to await for the procedure as stipulated under the CrPC to get concluded, and then grant the relief that is sought in the application. It defeats the very life blood of the Act," the bench said.

It said the applications, filed by aggrieved woman, being kept pending would display apathy towards the litigants.

"Adherence to the timeline would be of paramount importance, as remedy under Section 12 to an aggrieved person is imperative. Therefore, timely disposal of such applications are also imperative as Section 12 is the salt of the statute; if by delay the salt would lose its savour; the statute would lose its flavour," the bench added.

The court issued general directions that if the husband does not file assets and liabilities statement within four weeks, the concerned courts should accept the application filed by the aggrieved person and pass appropriate orders.

[Read Order]

Karnataka High Court Protection of Women Domestic Violence Act Justice M Nagaprasanna Bengaluru Matrimonial House Judicial Magistrates Magistrate CrPC
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