Bombay High Court’s larger bench to decide on domestic violence compensation issue

A single judge of the Bombay High Court has referred the question of whether applications for compensation in domestic violence cases can be quashed by the High Court during the initial stages of the matter before a magistrate to a larger bench for consideration.

The larger bench will have to examine whether such applications under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) can be quashed by the High Court at the stage of the issuance of notice to the parties by the magistrate dealing with such applications.

As per the DV Act, an aggrieved person can approach a local magistrate seeking compensation or damages. This application is considered by the magistrate after duly checking a report, if any, filed with a protection officer under the Act.

Before the application is heard, the magistrate is also required to issue a notice to the protection officer and any other concerned party.

The single bench of Justice Sharmila Deshmukh was considering whether such an application for compensation could be quashed and set aside by the High Court at the stage of issuing the notice.

Justice Deshmukh referred the matter to a larger bench, noting that there were divergent views within the Bombay High Court itself on whether such applications could be quashed by invoking the High Court’s powers.

The single bench also noted that in two cases where divergent views were expressed, the benches relied on a single Supreme Court decision; however, they ultimately arrived at conflicting views. A judge who later passed a view in a case had not had the benefit of seeing the other bench’s order as it had not been placed before the bench, the judge said.

“By adopting one of the views of the co-ordinate benches, there would not be any authoritative judicial pronouncement on the issue. The importance of judicial consistency cannot be undermined”, the judge reasoned while making the reference.

Your statement is grammatically correct. It effectively conveys that Justice Deshmukh, in light of the conflict, has referred the matter to a larger bench of the High Court for further consideration.

Published On:

Mar 9, 2024

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