The Supreme Court while setting aside a condition implemented by Delhi HC, allowed a victim of domestic violence to lead evidence during trial subject to payment of Rs.20,000 per witness. The court observed, “In a complaint filed under the Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, it is not open to the Court to impose such onerous conditions upon the appellant, who claims to be a victim of domestic violence. What the Appellate Court and the High Court have ordered are actually in the nature of penalty for the appellant not proceeding with the trial. In the first instance, it is impermissible in law.”
The instant matter is related to a complaint registered under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. In this particular case, the appellant’s right to lead evidence was closed and resulting in the rejection of the complaint. The appellant aggrieved by this action filed an appeal. The Appellate Court allowed the appeal directing the trial court to reopen the case and allow the appellant to lead evidence subject to her paying a cost of Rs.20,000/- per witness.
The appellant again filed an appeal against this order. The high court reduced the cost to 10000/- per witness and also directed that maintenance will not be paid during this period. The Apex court did not agree with this view and set aside the order passed by the appellant court as well as the High court.