Domestic violence law in India is governed by an Act of the Parliament, i.e., the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It provides a variety of rights to women who are victims of domestic violence.
Such rights include the claim of monetary relief, the right to residence, compensation for domestic violence, a protection order, and child custody, among other reliefs.
The Domestic Violence Act went into effect with the goal of expediting the resolution of domestic violence claims by women.A complaint of domestic violence is filed with the court magistrate, who is empowered to pass ex parte orders. Domestic violence has come into force with the objective of providing economic justice and independence to women who are victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence legislation expressly grants the right to reside.Living in the shared household is a right to residence, regardless of whether the wife has a right, title, or interest in the property or residence.This specific provision is included in domestic violence legislation to combat the threat of leaving a woman and her children, if any, without a roof and shelter in the event of a matrimonial dispute.The DV Act also provides for alternate accommodation. As a result, the law requires the husband to provide residence for the wife.A shared house where husband and wife live together and make it their matrimonial home is one example.Alternatively, the law mandates the husband provide an alternate residence comparable to the one previously enjoyed by the wife while living together.
A case under the domestic violence law is initiated by filing a complaint with the court of magistrates detailing all incidents of domestic violence. Such a complaint is generally accompanied by an interim application. The magistrate hearing the complaint has the authority to issue a summons in the case via a protection officer or the concerned police station. In dire cases requiring urgent relief, the court has the power to grant an ex parte order (an order in the absence of the other party). For example, a wife is abandoned by her husband, and she is in immediate danger of losing the roof over her head. She can approach the court for directions that she may not be evicted from the house but rather should be allowed to stay in the shared household or matrimonial home. Under such grave circumstances, a court is competent to pass an ex parte order restraining the husband or any other family member from dispossessing her from the shared household or matrimonial home.
Another important feature of domestic violence law is that relief can be claimed not only against the husband but also against his in-laws.
Previously, it was thought that a domestic violence complaint could not be filed against a woman.The rationale behind such views was that domestic violence is for the protection of women. However, this controversy is set to rest by a recent decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. Hence, a complaint for domestic violence is maintainable against women.
The scope of the law is further widened, wherein it is clarified that not only a wife but any other female living in a domestic relationship can seek remedy. Thus, a sister or mother can claim relief against a son, father, and/or brother for the relief.
Domestic violence law for the first time recognises the existence of legal rights for a female who is not married to claim monetary relief, residence, compensation, etc. from her partner. In other words, women living “in relationship” have been given benefits, protection, rights, and claims under domestic violence law.
The law relating to domestic violence has developed considerably. Yet, the law is still in its formative years, with different judgments and case laws that are evolving. We have domestic violence lawyers. Such a domestic violence lawyer keeps tabs on and is updated with changing laws for the successful prosecution or defence of the complaint. A good domestic violence lawyer ensures maximum benefits to victims of domestic violence. In cases of motivated domestic violence complaints, a good domestic violence lawyer ensures the best strategy to counter the claim and obtain justice.