This appeal arises from the order of the Family Court, Muvattupuzha, in a pending matter regarding the maintainability of the original petition. The respondent herein, who is the wife of the 1st appellant, filed the original petition for recovery of money and gold ornaments. The appellants raised a preliminary objection as to the maintainability of the petition on the ground that very same relief sought by the respondent before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Perumbavoor in a proceeding initiated under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (for short, the 'Act') was rejected, and, hence, the second petition for the same relief before the Family Court is barred by the principles of res judicata. The Family Court overruled the objection as per the impugned order holding that the proceedings under the Act are of a summary nature and the second petition before it, is not barred by the principles of res judicata.
The Magistrate is conferred with the power to direct the respondent to pay monetary reliefs to the aggrieved person for the losses suffered as a result of domestic violence, including restoration of the property removed from the control of the aggrieved person. Section 26 of the Act enables to claim of such reliefs as claimed under Section 20 before the Civil Court, Family Court, or Criminal Court.
The very objective of the Act is to protect the women against the violence that occurs within the family and for matters connected therewith. The objective criteria in such proceedings are to protect the women and not to adjudicate upon the dispute. The proceedings are ordained for the welfare and well being of the women
The relief of monetary claims under Section 20 is an ancillary relief. Therefore, the outcome in ancillary proceedings, that too in the proceedings in the nature of inquiry itself will not bar the Family Court or any other competent court having the power to adjudicate such dispute.