Landmark Judgment: Important Ruling on Domestic Violence Act

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In a pivotal legal development, Justice Amit Borkar of the Bombay High Court delivered a groundbreaking judgment on March 16, 2023. This landmark decision, encapsulated in Writ Petition No.4037 of 2021, revolves around Transgender Rights and Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Background of the Case

The petitioner-husband challenged the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Baramati, dated October 5, 2021. This order upheld the Judgment and Order dated November 11, 2019, passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Baramati, in response to Criminal Appeal No. 75 of 2019.

Respondent No.1, initially a transgender person, had filed a case under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, as a woman following gender reassignment surgery on June 1, 2016. The petitioner and respondent no.1 entered into a marriage on July 21, 2016, but due to subsequent differences, the respondent filed an application seeking interim maintenance.

Legal Arguments

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the respondent lacked the right to be considered an aggrieved person under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, as the Act confers this right specifically to “women” in a domestic relationship. The absence of a certificate under Section 7 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, was emphasized, questioning the respondent’s status as a woman.

In response, the respondent’s counsel presented a medical certificate confirming gender reassignment surgery. Citing the Supreme Court’s judgment in the National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India case, it was asserted that transgender persons have the right to self-identify, and their gender identity should be legally recognized.

Court's Ruling

Justice Amit Borkar delved into the legal intricacies, emphasizing the need to interpret the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, in line with the evolving understanding of gender. Referring to the Supreme Court’s stance in the aforementioned case, Justice Borkar concluded that a transgender person who undergoes surgery to change gender is unequivocally covered by the term “woman” in the Act.

The judgment reaffirmed transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender, directing both the Centre and State Governments to grant legal recognition accordingly.

Maintenance Quantum

Addressing the petitioner’s contention regarding the maintenance amount, the court considered the respondent’s statement about the petitioner’s daily income from Sweet Shops and Snacks Centre. The court upheld the lower courts’ decision to grant Rs.12,000/- per month, deeming it a reasonable amount based on the available evidence.


In conclusion, the writ petition was dismissed, with Justice Amit Borkar asserting that recognizing the rights of transgender individuals aligns with the broader purpose of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. The judgment marks a crucial step towards inclusivity and acknowledgment of transgender rights within the legal framework.

Download Judgment

Click above to download this Judgment in the case titled WRIT PETITION NO.4037 OF 2021. It can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference.

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