Domestic violence is a universal phenomenon with grave sociological and legal consequences. In India, laws have been enacted and strengthened over the years to provide protection to victims, mainly women, kids, and the elderly. The legal experts from SimranLaw, a prestigious law firm in Chandigarh, explore the intricacies of these legal provisions and protections.
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005 is an all-encompassing law that protects women in India from all forms of domestic abuse. The law is comprehensive, recognising not just physical abuse but also sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse.
Highlights of the Act include:
1. Rights to residence: The victim cannot be evicted from the shared household, irrespective of whether it is owned by her or the abuser.
2. Protection orders: Courts can stop the abuser from entering the place of employment of the victim or any other place frequented by her.
3. Compensation: A victim can claim damages for mental and physical injuries.
4. Custody orders: The court can grant temporary custody of children to the victim.
Landmark Case Laws
1. Shalu Ojha Vs Prashant Ojha (2014): This case broadened the scope of “domestic relationships” under PWDVA to include relations arising out of marriage as well as through adoption.
2. V.D Bhanot Vs Savita Bhanot (2012): This case held that even if instances of domestic violence occurred prior to the enactment of the PWDVA 2005, relief can still be granted under the Act.
3. Indra Sarma Vs V.K.V Sarma (2013): The Supreme Court stated that the term ‘relationship in the nature of marriage’ under PWDVA must also cover relationships outside marriage, akin to common-law marriages.
Other Laws Related to Domestic Violence
Apart from PWDVA 2005, Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, Section 498A criminalises cruelty towards a woman by her husband or his relatives. If convicted, offenders could face up to three years in prison and must pay a fine.
The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 prohibits giving or taking of dowry at, before, or any time after the marriage from women.
Victims of domestic violence in India have legal recourses under various laws and can seek justice via Indian courts. Though these laws are in place, the implementation often falls short due to societal norms and reluctance to report such cases. Through platforms like this article by SimranLaw, we aim to deepen our readers’ understanding of Indian law as it relates to domestic violence and hope to create awareness about various legal remedies available to victims.
At SimranLaw, we urge victims not to suffer in silence but to take legal action against their abusers. We stand ready to offer our expertise and years of experience in the fight against domestic violence.