Domestic Violence: It is a typical violent or aggressive behavior of usually a spouse/ partner or any other member within the household.
Nature of Remedies: The legislature has given criminal and civil remedies to deal with the nuisance of domestic violence.
Criminal remedy: Section 498A, IPC provides a remedy to women where the conduct of the Husband or his relatives is of such a nature where the woman is likely to commit suicide or there is a grave injury/danger to her life, limb, physical or mental health. It additionally provides a remedy to women where an unlawful demand of valuable security or property is sought from her. Other sections related to hurt, grievous hurt, etc. can also be invoked in the relevant situations.
Civil remedy: The civil remedies for women is grounded under various provisions of ‘The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005’ (DV Act). The preamble of the DV Act makes it clear that this Act was introduced to ensure that the rights of women guaranteed by the Constitution who are victims of domestic abuse of any kind, as well as circumstances related with or incidental to that violence, are more effectively protected.
Meaning of Domestic Violence under DV Act
Section 3, DV Act includes physical, verbal or emotional, sexual, and economic abuse, the details to these categories of abuses have been explained in Section 3, DV Act. It is advisable to refer to the provisions of Section 3 that are relevant in a particular case of Domestic Violence before filing the complaint before the magistrate.
Effective provisions of Domestic Violence Act:
The women who are victims of violence in a shared household can seek redressal of her complaint under the DV Act. The key provisions are explained below:
1) Domestic Violence information to Protection Officer: Any person can provide information to protection officer under Section 4, DV Act who has a reason to believe that an act of Domestic Violence has been committed or is likely to be committed;
2) The duties and functions of the Protection Officer have been described under Section 9, DV Act, and the Protection Officer can act within the limits of Section 9;
3) An application under the Domestic Violence Act can also be filed under Section 12, DV Act by the aggrieved person with available evidence to the Magistrate;
4) The aggrieved person shall have a right to live in a shared household under Section 17, DV Act;
5) Under Section 18, after hearing the applicant and the respondent, the magistrate can pass protection orders in favor of an aggrieved person whenever there is actually domestic violence or likelihood of it;
6) The magistrate while disposing of an application under Section 12 (1) may pass orders of residence as per the mandate of Section 19, DV Act upon being satisfied that domestic violence has taken place;
7) The magistrate while disposing of an application under Section 12 (1) may also pass the order of financial assistance under Section 20 on the subject matters like loss of earnings, medical expenditure, maintenance to the aggrieved person, etc.;
8) The magistrate may pass Child Custody temporary order in favor of aggrieved person under Section 21 in the interest of the Child;
9) The magistrate upon receiving an application may pass compensation orders and damages due to the injuries suffered by an aggrieved person due to domestic violence as per the mandate of Section 22, DV Act;
10) The magistrate upon being satisfied that the application under Section 23 (2) prima-facie discloses acts of Domestic Violence on aggrieved person or there is a likelihood, he can pass interim and ex parte orders in favor of the aggrieved person;
11) There are penal provisions under Section 31 if there is a violation of the Protection Order by the Respondent;
12) The DV Act is not in conflict with other laws as per Section 36 it is in addition to and not in conflict with other laws.
How Domestic Violence Act is different from other laws related to maintenance?
The nature and scope of the DV Act are often misunderstood and misinterpreted by trial Courts, lawyers and judges by considering it as any other provision of maintenance.
Distinct nature of DV Act: There are provisions of maintenance under other laws also like 125 CrPC, Section 18, HAMA that were enacted for specific purposes. When we compare the different statutes with DV Act, all the remedies given in the statutes are distinct and independent in their operation. The dispute in hand shall be tested on the provisions of relevant law and facts and circumstances of the case. While granting maintenance under DV Act, it is important to understand that the aggrieved person must prove the acts of Violence before maintenance is granted to her. The court of Magistrate cannot pass an order of Violence without an aggrieved person proving the acts of Domestic Violence.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Sangita Saha vs. Abhijit Saha, SLP (Crl.) no. 2600/2601 of 2016 and Shyamlal Devda and Others vs. Parimala, SLP (Crl.) no. 4979 of 2019, and Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh in Anil Kumar vs Shashi Bala and others, FAO (HMA) No. 205 of 2011, have correctly laid down the application of the provisions of Domestic Violence Act.
How can the Lawyers help you in DV Act cases?
The cases related to Domestic Violence are technical and expert matrimonial lawyers are needed to consult such matters. The best matrimonial lawyers can provide you with correct guidance related to Domestic Violence cases. You can seek legal advice on your Domestic Violence case from our expert matrimonial lawyers at The Law Codes.