Introduction of the Protection of Woman from Domestic Violence: – The Indian Parliament has enacted this act to prevent and protect women from household violent acts. On Oct 26, 2006, the Government and the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare signed it into law. For the very first time in Indian law, the Act includes a term of “domestic violence,” which is wide and encompasses not just physical assault but also other aspects of violence including such emotional and mental assault. It is essentially a civil law intended to implement protective orders rather than criminal law.
Domestic Violence act
- Beating, slapping, kicking, & hitting are all examples of physical violence.
- Sexual abuse or violence includes forced sexual relations OR intercourse and other acts of sexual coercion.
- Insults, verbal insults, continual humiliating, harassment, threats of injury, and threatening to take away children are examples of emotional (psychological) violence.
- Isolating a women family members and friends, tracking their activities, and limiting accessibility to monetary resources, work, education, or medical treatment are all examples of controlling behaviours.
Who is included in the Act’s scope?
- All women who live in a shared household, whether they are a mother,
- or partners, are covered by the Act. Marriage or adoption could be the essence of the relationship.
Who is eligible to make a complaint?
A woman may make a complaint on her behalf if she believes she has been the victim of domestic violence by the perpetrator or another person.
Under the D.V Act, a child is also entitled to protection. The mother of such a minor child may file a petition or application in the best interests of her minor child. The children can be included as co-applicants in circumstances when the mother files an application to the court on her own behalf.
A complaint can be lodged against whom.
- Any male who’s been involved in a household relationship with the female.
- Family members of the spouse or husband
- Both men and women relatives of the male partner are included.
To whom may you give information or submit a complaint?
An officer Officer/Service Providers (an NGO) or Magistrate can be approached for information or to file a complaint.
The definition of a domestic relationship
- Relationship between the two people who live together or have lived together in a shared household at some point in the past.
- Consanguinity relationships, nuptials, and relationships in the meaning of marriage are all included.
- A shared household is one in which the woman resides or has resided in a domestic relationship with the husband.
- Women may or may not be residing in the matrimonial home when they apply for remedies, but as long as the household relationship does exist, she is legally entitled to relief under the D.V Act.
- Even though she has no full right, ownership, or interest in the shared residence, every female in a domestic partnership has the right to live there.
Provision for a shelter house as well as medical assistance
- An affected person,
- or a Protection Officer
- or provider of services acting on her behalf,
can make a request to the person in charge of a shelter house or a medical centre, for shelter or medical assistance.
Who can file a petition or application to the magistrate?
An application to the magistrate may be made by an injured party, a Protection Officer, or any other duly authorized on the aggrieved person’s behalf.
It is the responsibility of the protection officer and the service provider to provide all guidance and support to the woman who is a victim of domestic violence.
Orders made by a Magistrate under the Act The Magistrate has the authority-
- Direct the defendant or the aggrieved person to seek counseling, either individually or jointly.
- Direct that the female not be forcibly removed or deliberately excluded from the residence or any part of it.
- If it is deemed necessary, the litigation may be conducted in private.
- Protect the woman by issuing a protection order.
- Grant money – related relief to compensate the aggrieved party as well as any children of the aggrieved party for expenditures caused as a result of domestic abuse.
- Grant interim custody of the children of the aggrieved party through custody orders.
- Compensation/damages must be granted for the injuries. This includes psychological pain and mental abuse induced by the respondent’s acts of D.V.
- Violation of any Magistrate’s order is an offence punishable under the taw.
The Act was enacted in particular with respect to existing legislation.
U/S498A of the JPC, an aggrieved party has the right to make a complaint.
Domestic violence relief can also be sought in other judicial proceedings, such as a petition filed for divorce, maintenance, Sec 498A IPC, and so on.
Report of a Domestic Incident (DIR)
Upon receiving a domestic and family violence grievance, the Protection Officer must prepare a DIR in Form 1 (as prescribed by the D.V Act) and report it to the Magistrate, along with copies to the authorities officer in charge of the concerned nearest police station.
If the woman desires, the Protection Officer can assist her in submitting the applications for immediate relief, and a copy of the DIR must be attached to such an application.
Important Judicial Decisions
Surekha Mote vs. Union of India,
High court of Bombay, stated “We examined Sec. 12 of the PWDV Act as well as the proviso to Sec.12. This doesn’t really imply that there will be no protection officers authorized. The Magistrate’s jurisdiction is terminated. That would defeat the purpose of the act “This implies that even when there is no protection officer, a complaint can be heard directly by the magistrate.
In the Case of Shalu Bansals
The Delhi High Court ordered that the respondents provide the aggrieved person’s rent for a separate residence as maintenance.
The Supreme Court recently stated that forms of violence against women in India are in a “never-ending cycle.”
The decision addressed the standard precautions of the Protection of D.V., Act of 2005. It has provided women fighting domestic abuse the right to live in the ‘shared household’ even if her husband had no lawful authority to the household and it was acquired by the father-in-law or mother-in-law.
probably making the Act More extensive: The court noted that a criminal court’s relief providing a married woman with the right to reside under a domestic violence law is significant and might be considered even in civil litigation seeking her removal from the marital home.
Under the D.V Act of 2005, the woman would be able to claim the “shared household” of the joint family.
The domestic violence act’s section 2(s) describes “shared property” as properties owned by a woman’s spouse or a joint family of which the partner is a member.
Earlier Judgment Has Been Overturned:
The decision reversed an earlier Supreme Court ruling in SR Batra v Taruna Batra, in which the wife was denied permission to reside in her husband’s house because it was owned by her mother-in-law, based on similar grounds. This aspect of the judgement was found to be illegal since it did not give the 2005 legislation its actual meaning.
- Domestic Violence Is the Most Commonly Reported Form of Cruel Behaviour: The court noted that domestic violence in India is widespread but unreported. Indian women faced discriminatory treatment and violence in numerous roles such as sister, daughter, bride, mother, wife, or widow.
- As per the National Family Health(NFH) Survey-4 (2015-16) (NFHS-4), 30 percent of Female in India aged 15 to 49 have suffered physical and/or sexual violence.
- According to UN Women’s rights , 243 million girls and women (aged 15-49) worldwide have been constantly subjected to sexual or physical abuse by a current or former partner in 2019-20.
- Less than 40% of females who have faced violent behaviour seek assistance or report the violent act.
- Less than 10% of those seeking relief go to the law enforcement agencies.
- Women are going to be highly susceptible to these crimes due to the following factors: non-retaliation,
- There are no complete and accurate laws attempting to address their legal protections.
- Women were also highly susceptible to domestic violence due to societal mentalities, discrimination, and condition, which are the main reasons for under-reporting of cases.
- This series of events ascertained that the number of females preferred to live in misery, not by choice, but by compulsion.
- The surge in acts of violence towards females should be dealt with immediately through legislative initiatives incorporated into financial help and stimulus packages that addressed the seriousness of the situation while also respecting the needs of women who have been subjected to various types of discrimination.
- Community organizations and women’s social organizations require significant help in their current frontline positions.
- Counseling services, social and psychological assistance, and numerous online consultations should be enlarged, with the use of innovation solutions such as Short message service, digital resources, and frameworks to widen support and assistance & reach women who haven’t had mobile phones or internet connectivity.
- Sexual violence and harassment must be treated as a high priority by the police and justice system, and perpetrators must face no immunity from court proceedings.
Conclusion of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence
D.V Act, 2005, which went into effect in Oct 2006, is a very encouraging legislative act that manages to combine civil or criminal remedial measures to provide appropriate intervention to women who have become victims of domestic abuse. The act includes provisions for officers, healthcare facilities, as well as free of cost orders, among other things, to assist aggrieved women in trying to protect themselves & their family members.
Even so, the Act does not come without faults. Clearly, the Act’s implementation requires improvement. According to Human Rights Organizations, police frequently do not register a First Information Report (FIR), which is the first step in initiating an investigation, particularly if the aggrieved party is from low-income or weaker sections of the society. The number of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and marital rape cases in India goes unreported. Domestic abuse victims’ misery is exacerbated by a lack of qualified and experienced counsellors who can assist them, as well as limited access to legal aid. Such difficulties must be resolved in order to make sure that women receive the justice they deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Intimate relationship violence can be avoided in all forms. Violence can be reduced by programmes that teach youngsters good relationship skills such as communication skills, effective emotional awareness, and problem-solving. These abilities can help prevent violence in relationships.
It has a negative impact on women’s physical and emotional health, as well as their women’s reproductive health. Injuries, gynaecological issues, permanently or temporarily disability, depression, and suicide are just a few examples.
D.V is defined by this act as abuse on someone by another person with whom they are currently or have been in a domestic relationship. It also tries to protect domestic violence victims & to penalize those who commit such acts.
The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the Act of 2005 is a useful legislative act for women’s safety and that there is no time restriction for making a complaint u/s12 of the Act.
The DV Act procedures, as per the High Court, are neither exclusively criminal nor civil procedures. “The objective of the DV Act is to defend, protect & defend the family”.