REMEDY AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN INDIA
Criminal Law remedies for domestic violence provided in the Indian Penal code are enforceable after the commission of the offence. The new Act on domestic violence namely, Protection from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for civil law remedies in the form of preventive measures and interim relief’s to check harassment of women through domestic violence.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The Act defines “Domestic Violence” for the first time in Indian law. It is a comprehensive definition and captures women’s experience of abuse and includes not only physical violence but also other forms of violence such as emotional / verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
- AGGRIEVED PERSON:
It includes any woman who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence by them. (See Section 2(a) of the PWDVA)
- DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP
It is any relationship 2 persons have lived together in a shared household and these people are:
- related by consanguinity (blood relations)
- related by marriage.
- though a relationship in the nature of marriage (which would include live-in relationships)
- through adoption
- are family members living in a joint family.
LAW IN DETAIL
An aggrieved person under the Act means a woman who is the wife of the accused and also includes a woman who is the sexual partner of the male whether she is his legal wife or not. The daughter, mother, sister, child, widowed relative of the male respondent are also covered under the Act. The testimony of the aggrieved person is enough for the court to conclude that an offence has been committed by the accused. The offence is cognizable and non-bailable.
COMPLAINT UNDER WHICH SECTION ?
Section 9 & 14 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
WHOM TO COMPLAIN AND WHERE TO COMPLAIN ?
The aggrieved person or any other person on her behalf may make an application to the concerned Magistrate under Section 9 seeking relief under Section 14.
PROCEDURES INVOLVED UNDER THE PWDVA
Step 1: Informing the Protection Officer: Any person who has reason to believe that such an act has taken place or is likely to take place can inform the Protection Officer.
Step 2: Aggrieved woman should be informed of her rights under the law: A police officer, Protection Officer, Service Provider or Magistrate who has received a complaint shall inform her about her rights.
Step 3: The Protection Officer makes a Domestic Incident Report to the Magistrate and forwards copies thereof to the Police Officer in charge.
Step 4: The Magistrate shall fix the first date of the hearing, which shall not ordinarily be beyond three days from the receipt of the application by the Court, and shall endeavor to dispose every application within a period of 60 days from the date of the first hearing.
Step 5: A notice of the date of hearing shall be given by the Magistrate to the Protection Officer who shall serve it on the respondent and on any other person as directed by the Magistrate within a maximum period of two days.
Step 6: Aggrieved person has the right to reside in a shared household, whether or not she has any right, title or beneficial interest in the house and shall not be evicted.
Step 7: The Magistrate, after giving both parties an opportunity of being heard, and satisfied that domestic violence has taken place, can pass a protection order or a residence order, direct the respondent to pay the aggrieved person monetary relief and in addition, can pass compensation orders, custody orders and ex-parte orders.
Step 8: Within 30 days from the date of receipt of the order, appeal to the Court of Session.
The object of passing the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence (PWDVA), 2005 was to protect the women’s from domestic violence which they face within the four walls in their life span, to stop the violence against women, to provide the opportunity for her development and to encourage them to fight for their rights and also to support them to the full extent.
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