The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005 is a civil statute that provides numerous reliefs to women who have been victims of domestic violence.
Women can seek for relief in the form of a protection order, a residence order, a compensation order, a monetary relief order, or a custody order under the legislation. Only when the Courts’ Protection Orders are violated is criminal action initiated against the respondent under Section 31.
WHAT IS DEFINED AS “DOMESTIC”?
Relationship between two people who live or have lived together in a shared household at some point includes consanguinity, marriage, and relationship in the nature of marriage.
A shared household is one in which the woman resides or has lived in a domestic partnership with the man. She may not be residing in the shared household at the time of the application for relief, but as long as the domestic connection exists, she is eligible to remedy under the Domestic Violence Act.
Even though she has no right, title, or interest in the shared residence, every woman in a domestic partnership has the right to stay there.
WHO ALL ARE COVERED UNDER THE AMBIT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT?
The act applies to all women who are mothers, sisters, wives, widows, or partners living in a joint home. The partnership might take the form of marriage or adoption. Relationships between family members who live together as a joint family are also considered. However, no female relative of the husband or male partner can file a complaint against the wife or female partner; for example, the mother-in-law cannot file an application against a daughter-in-law, but she can file an application against her daughter-in-law for abetting her son’s violence against her.
POSSIBLE RELIEFS UNDER THE ACT
The Magistrate may – Order the respondent or the aggrieved party, either individually or jointly, to attend counselling.
- Direct that the lady not be evicted or otherwise excluded from the home or any portion of it.
- If it is deemed essential, the hearings may be held in private.
- Protect the woman by issuing a protection order.
- Grant monetary relief to compensate the aggrieved person and any children of the aggrieved person for expenditures and losses sustained as a result of domestic abuse.
- Make custody orders, granting the aggrieved individual temporary custody of any kid or children.
- Compensation/damages should be awarded for the injuries. This includes mental anguish and emotional pain produced by the respondent’s actions of domestic abuse.
- Breach of any Magistrate’s order is an offence punishable by the taw.
IMPORTANT JUDICIAL PRONOUNCEMENTS
Surekha Mote vs. State of Maharashtra High Court of Bombay
Held that “we have considered section 12 of the PWDV Act and the proviso to section 12. This does not mean that if no protection officers are appointed. The Magistrate ceases to have jurisdiction. That would frustrate the object of the act ” this means that complaint can be entertained directly by the magistrate even if there is no protection officer
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