Once a marital relationship is ended by a decree of divorce, a complaint under Domestic Violence Act cannot sustain

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The Punjab and Haryana high court, in its recent judgment –Amit Agarwal v. Sanjay Aggarwal , 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 4200 where  the  question raised was  – whether the complaint of domestic violence under Domestic violence Act will sustain even after the decree of divorce has been passed, held that Domestic violence Act can only be applied during the existence of a marital relationship. Once the marital relationship is terminated by a decree of divorce, no action is maintainable under Domestic Violence Act.

The marital relationship of petitioner and his wife was terminated by an ex parte divorce decree. The court analysed section 2(a) and 2(f) of Domestic Violence Act while answering as to whether a divorced wife can be called as an aggrieved person under the act. It was observed that the language of the provision uses present tense which clearly establishes the fact that there has to be a marital relationship in existence while filing any complaint under the Act.

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