Domestic Violence Act cases arising from live-in relationships cannot be transferred to a Family Court: Kerala HC

Kerala High Court (Kerala HC) in an appeal to transfer a domestic violence case, from Magistrate Court to Family Court noted that considering the definition of “Domestic Relationship” given under Section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, it applies to “a relationship in the nature of marriage;” thus, it applies even to a woman living in a live-in relationship. However, the Kerala HC rejected the appeal to transfer the case stating that “If it is held that an application under Section 12 is liable to be transferred to a family court, that will result in an indiscriminate classification since a family court is empowered to entertain disputes between the parties to a marriage only.