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HCs Empowered to Quash Complaint Under Domestic Violence Act: Gujarat HC

The High Court of Gujarat on last friday has said that the High Court have power to cancel a complaint initiated by a wife against her husband or his relatives as per the provisions of Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005 in the same manner like it quashes an FIR lodged by police. The bench consisted of Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel along with Justice N V Anjaria. The Court ruled that the complaint that are filed according to Domestic Violence Act can be cancelled as per the provisions of Article 482 of the Constitution of India. This case was previously heard by a single judge bench consisting of Justice J B Pardiwala who later send the issue to the division bench.

Earlier, the Court had opined that the Domestic Violence Act comes under civil law but the enactment had specifically provided that the proceedings under the Act are to be according to the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr PC). The Main purpose of this provision was to take effectual steps to safeguard the rights of women. This Act also means to protect the civil rights of women. The single judge also said that the purpose of DV Act is not to punish the persons against whom the wife had complained. The Court further added that to cancel a complaint the process followed in the High Court should be civil in nature.

But another judge said that The complaints under Domestic Violence Act are criminal complaints and can be cancelled as per Article 482. Since there existed a controversy regarding the issue the single judge sought the opinion of the division bench to avoid confusion among the petitioners. Hence the division bench of the High Court rules that High Courts are empowered to quash complaint filed by wife under the Domestic Violence Act like that of an FIR.

Adv. Jewel Panicker