A single bench of the Karnataka High Court of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar has held that husband’s extra- marital partner cannot be made a respondent under proceedings initiated by the wife under Section 12 Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The petitioner, represented by Advocate M.H. Prakash, submitted that the he has been unnecessarily made a party by the wife in her application before the Magistrate under Section 12 of the Protection for Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The petition further submitted that husband’s extra-marital partner does not fall within the meaning of respondent under Section 2(q) of the Act and therefore, no proceeding can be initiated against her under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Advocate M.H. Prakash further contended that the relief claimed in the application made under Section 12 of the Act does not claim relief against the petitioner and therefore, the proceedings against her required to be quashed.
Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar while hearing the petition, observed, “Section 2(q) of the Act makes it clear that only those persons who have been in the domestic relationship can be made as respondent. In this case as argued by the petitioner's counsel, the allegation against the petitioner is that the 1st respondent's husband was suspected to be having an illegal relationship with the petitioner and he thought of bringing the petitioner to his house.”
Furthermore, Justice stated that "Except this allegation ,there are no other allegations against the petitioner which indicate that she too joined with the husband of the 1st respondent in harassing her. Therefore the petitioner does not come within the scope of respondent as envisaged under Section 2(q) of the Act. Making her respondent in the application filed under Section 12 of the Act is unwarranted."
The Court found that under Section 2(q) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, ‘respondent’ means any adult male person who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the aggrieved person and against whom the aggrieved person has sought any relief under this Act and therefore, the woman with whom the husband was allegedly having an affair will not come within the meaning of the word, ‘respondent’.