DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005 (Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     3rd May 2024        
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Context: A petitioner recently appealed to the highest court challenging directives from the Bombay High Court and the trial court mandating a payment of Rs 3 crore to his wife under Section 22 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Court Ruling

  • Delhi High Court in Chaturbhuj vs. Sita Bai 2008: It held that the object of maintenance proceedings is not to punish a person for his past neglect but to prevent the destitution of a deserted wife by providing her food, clothing, and shelter through a speedy remedy.
  • Kalyan Dey Chowdhury vs. Rita Dey Chowdhury Nee Nandy 2017: Supreme Court ruled that the “amount of permanent alimony awarded to the wife must be befitting the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay maintenance”.
  • Dr. Kulbhushan Kumar vs. Raj Kumari: It held that 25% of the husband’s net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the respondent-wife.

Domestic Violence Act, 2005

  • About: The DV Act aims to safeguard the rights of women as per the Constitution, particularly within familial contexts, addressing various forms of violence.
  • Defining Domestic Violence: Actions or behaviors by the respondent that endanger the mental, physical, or emotional well-being of the victim, including physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and economic abuse, constitute domestic violence.
  • Dowry-Related Offenses: Coercing the victim or her relatives for dowry or other property through harassment, harm, or endangerment falls within the purview of domestic violence.
  • Aggrieved Person: The law recognizes any woman in or previously in a domestic relationship with the respondent who alleges experiencing domestic violence as an aggrieved person.
  • Compensation, relief: Section 22 of the Domestic Violence Act permits Magistrates to issue compensation orders in addition to other reliefs.

o Magistrates are empowered to direct the respondent to pay compensation and damages for various injuries, including mental torture and emotional distress resulting from domestic violence acts.

  • Section 12: It enables an aggrieved person or their representative to apply for multiple reliefs under the Act.
  • Section 20 of the DV Act (“Monetary reliefs”): Allows the magistrate, while disposing of an application for relief under Section 12, to “direct the respondent to pay monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred and losses suffered by the aggrieved person and any child of the aggrieved person” where the monetary relief is “adequate, fair and reasonable and consistent with the standard of living to which the aggrieved person is accustomed”.

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