City man moves SC, alleges domestic abuse by wife, in-laws

A man from Bengaluru has sought to pursue a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act against his estranged wife and in-laws. On April 18, 2017, the High Court of Karnataka allowed his plea but the judge withdrew it on April 28, his last working day. The man has now moved the apex court.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued notices to the woman and others on a special leave petition filed by Mohammed Zakir.

Appearing in person, Zakir contended that the order passed by the high court was "patently erroneous" under Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code which states that no court shall, after releasing its signed judgement, "alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error".

The petitioner, who deals in the hardware business, contended that his wife, her brothers and others had attacked him on November 17, 2013, and decamped with jewellery and cash worth Rs 20 lakh, leaving him penniless. "Their actions were caught on camera," he claimed.

Zakir, who subsequently faced a dowry harassment complaint from his wife, moved an application before the trial court under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act but his plea was dismissed.

He then moved the high court. On April 18, 2017, the court ruled: "The petitioner's complaint could not have been trashed on the grounds that the Domestic Violence Act does not contemplate (a) provision for men and it could only be in respect of women."

The petitioner had relied on the apex court's ruling in 'Hiral P Harsora vs Kusum Narottamdas Harsora (2016)' that stated that any person, whether male or female, aggrieved and alleging a violation of the provisions of the Act, could invoke the provisions of the act.

The high court, which asked the trial court to consider Zakir's plea, then recalled its order.

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