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DV Act 2005


Cril Revn Petition 21 of 2015J. R.R.PrasadInaobi Singh vs Huidrom NingolDV ACT 2005

Whether application by father for visitation rights is maintainable under domestic violence Act?

(1) As I have already indicated that Section 21 is amenable to two interpretations as is being highlighted by the parties, in such event only that interpretation which advanced the object of the provision can be accepted. It is worthwhile to note that the Act was enacted to prevent the occurrence of domestic violence in the society and keeping in view that, several protection orders including the safety of the aggrieved person and the ‘child’ have been contemplated to be passed. Therefore, the cause of the safety of the aggrieved person or the child is always warrants to be taken into account in interpreting the provision. In such situation, if the interpretation given on behalf of the wife-aggrieved party is accepted, it will render the provision incomplete as in case where wife-aggrieved party seeks custody of the child, if the child is in custody of the husband and an order of custody is passed in favour of the aggrieved party, visitation right can be granted to the husband. But, if custody lies with the wife–aggrieved party, then the husband will have no remedy of visitation right if the interpretation as contemplated by the wife-aggrieved party is given effect to and thereby it can easily be said that interpretation given by the aggrieved party-wife will never advance the cause of the child.

(2) On the other hand, if it is held that the husband, in absence of any application for grant of custody, can maintain his application for visitation right will advance the object of the provision as in case of child being in custody of the husband, application for custody can be filed by the wife wherein the husband can have a visitation right if order is of custody of child passed in favour of the aggrieved party. In other situation, when the custody of the child lies with the wife, there would be no occasion for the wife for filing an application for custody as it has happened in the instant case. In that situation, husband will have remedy to have visitation right by filing application to that effect. Under the circumstances, I do find that the appellate court was quite justified in holding that even in absence of application for custody being there, by the aggrieved party, application of visitation right in terms of the proviso to Rule 21 can be maintained. Thus, I do not find any merit in the Criminal Revision Petition No.16 of 2015. Hence, it is dismissed.