Batting for a better life for women after separating from the husband, the Bombay high court has said that a woman can seek more maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) of 2005, even if she has been awarded maintenance any under other law.

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Batting for a better life for women after separating from the husband, the Bombay high court has said that a woman can seek more maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) of 2005, even if she has been awarded maintenance any under other law.Justice SB Shukre of the Aurangabad bench of the HC observed that even if an aggrieved woman has been given maintenance under any law, she can seek further maintenance under the DV Act.”Once we consider Section 20(1)(d) of the DV Act, the conclusion would be that an aggrieved person is entitled to claim maintenance under this section in addition to her maintenance right under any other law for the time being in force,” observed justice Shukre in his order passed last week.The HC was hearing an appeal filed by a 31-year-old resident of Gadchiroli challenging the order of a magistrate awarding additional maintenance to his estranged wife, 24, and two-year-old daughter under the DV Act. He was earlier directed to award them maintenance under the Criminal Procedure Code by appropriate court.MP Kariya, the husband’s advocate, argued that the Delhi HC had recently passed an order which said that a woman does not have any right to claim maintenance in a parallel proceeding when she has already availed of maintenance right in an application filed under Section 127 of the Criminal Procedure Code.However, the woman’s advocate PD Rane countered saying that the view taken by the Delhi HC was based upon the consideration of Sections 12 and 19 of the DV Act and it appears that no consideration has been given to the specific provision under Section 20(1)(d) of the DV Act. Section 20 confirms special right of the aggrieved person to claim maintenance either including an order under or in addition to an order of maintenance under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law for the time being in force. This means, that even if a woman has been awarded maintenance under the CrPC, the magistrate can still direct the husband to pay additional maintenance under the DV Act.Agreeing with the woman’s advocate, the HC observed: “From perusal of the judgment of Delhi high court, it becomes clear that the said judgment has been rendered without considering the import of Section 21(1) (d) of the DV Act.”Justice Shukre further observed: “Therefore, this section [section 20 of the DV Act] having not been considered by the learned single judge of Delhi high court, in my opinion, no assistance can be sought by the petitioner from this judgment.”

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Woman entitled to additional maintenance under Domestic Violence Act