Justice Sandeep K Shinde further observed that since the right to seek remedy under the DV Act is an exclusive right of the aggrieved person, it shall be extinguished on the death of ‘aggrieved person’ and therefore, no other person can enforce this right by filing an application under the Act after the demise of the aggrieved person.
“Although ‘any other person’ can present an application under Section 12 of the D.V. Act, on behalf of ‘aggrieved person’, nevertheless, such ‘other person’ cannot maintain an application independently of an ‘aggrieved person’. In fact, Section 12 of the D.V. Act, simply enables, the ‘aggrieved person’ to present an application under the Act through ‘any other person’. That being the Scheme of the Act, ‘aggrieved person’ must be living (alive), while presenting the application,” the single-judge held.
The Court was hearing an application under the DV Act, moved by a minor daughter through her maternal grandmother on behalf of her deceased mother, seeking monetary reliefs, possession of stree dhan of the deceased and compensation from the respondents (her father and paternal grandfather and grandmother).
It was the contention of the petitioners that their right to present an application arises from the phrase of ‘any other person on behalf of the aggrieved person’ used under Section 12 of the DV Act. Therefore, the petitioners had sought the enforcement of personal rights of the deceased that she had not sought in her lifetime.
Rejecting the contention of the petitioners, the Court went on to observe that:
“…right to claim monetary reliefs, protection order and compensation under the D.V. Act, are personal-statutory and inalienable rights of the ‘aggrieved person’. These rights extinguish on the death of ‘aggrieved person’. For that reason, such rights were not enforceable by legal representatives of ‘aggrieved person’.”
The Court noted that the expression ‘aggrieved person’ has to be understood and given restrictive meaning, in view of the object of the DV Act.
“Defined expression ‘aggrieved person’ is not inclusive and thus by process of interpretative explanation, its scope cannot be expanded like suggested by the petitioners, as it would counter the Scheme and Object of the Act and would defeat the intention of legislation,” the Court stated.
The Court observed that although ‘any other person’ as provided under the Act can present an application under Section 12, on behalf of ‘aggrieved person’, nevertheless, such ‘other person’ cannot maintain an application independently of an ‘aggrieved person’.
While dismissing the appeal, the Court noted that:
“…petitioners attempt to claim rights through deceased, Suchita, not being acknowledged by the provisions of the D.V. Act, application has been rightly rejected by the trial Court and Appellate Court.”
However, the Court clarified that the dismissal of the application shall not forbid the petitioners from adopting other proceedings against the respondents for enforcing their rights, if any, in accordance with the law.
Advocate Abhijeet Sarwate appeared for the petitioners. Advocates Tapan Thatte, Amar Patil and Shantanu Adkar appeared for the respondents.