Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court reprimanded a sessions judge for not giving a detailed reasoned order while quashing an order of a judicial magistrate in a domestic violence case observing that a single-line reason is not expected from senior judges like district judges.
Justice SG Mehare recently criticised a sessions judge for erroneously observing without giving reasons that the magistrate has not properly appreciated the evidence in proper perspective in a domestic violence case. “The judge has recorded a single-line reason that there is sufficient evidence to establish the domestic violence caused to the wife. He appears to have ignored the rules of writing judgment in appeal,” observed justice Mehare.
The judge further remarked that the appellate court was supposed to hear any case as if it is a trial and record reasons when giving its decision. “Writing a judgment in appeal is rewriting the judgment. The appellate court has to re-appreciate evidence and assign reasons for its conclusion. Merely writing a single line without failing to consider evidence, material placed on record and the facts elicited in proper perspective is incorrect in law,” said the court.
The magistrate had refused to grant maintenance to wife under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (DV) Act.
The wife challenged this before the sessions court, which overturned the magistrate’s order and granted monthly maintenance of Rs3,000 and an additional Rs3,000 for rent.
The husband challenged this before the HC.
Justice Mehare remarked that the magistrate had discussed every piece of evidence in detail and dealt with the provisions of the DV Act while giving a well-reasoned order rejecting the application.
“This Court is of the view that it is well-reasoned order and with correct findings that the wife failed to prove the domestic violence. However, the sessions judge appears to have not correctly examined the record, considered the rule of appreciating the evidence, and mechanically passed the order (in appeal). The order is illegal, improper and incorrect, and therefore, it is liable to be set aside,” held the judge while dismissing the sessions judge’s order.
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